Post by Neffi
Since you said under 30, and you're PvPing, I'm going to assume you want to twink at 29. We can compare the differences in the spec easily.
All else being equal.
Assassination has the upshot that their primary damage-dealer
hits fairly hard, as mentioned above. The downside being that it costs a hell of a lot of energy. While you get 20 extra energy baseline, this only really counts during the first couple hits; thereafter, you've got the same net energy regen as Subtlety has, which will make Assass feel quite slow. But does the damage equal out to be worth it?
Sub has the advantage that, while their main damager-dealer should hit for less, it costs much less energy. This allows them to get more attacks off, which means more combo points, which means more finishers. That's important, because Eviscerate and Envenom are not quite equal.
So let's run the numbers on damage alone.
Assuming you're using Sharpened Scarlet Kris
(which should be the best weapon obtainable), you've got a weapon damage range of 27-51 (avg of 39). Here's some math (this is before resilience, which is at least 40% against any player!):
- A single Hemorrhage will hit for (203% of 39 =) 79. At a cost of 30 energy, this equates to 2.633 damage per energy. (Ignoring the DoT.)
- A single Mutilate will hit for (200% of 39, plus 22, times 2 =) 200. At a cost of 55 energy this equates to 3.63 damage per energy.
Since your primary limiting factor in output after the opener will be waiting for energy, you can pretty accurately say that damage per energy is the number you should be paying attention to, NOT the actual output.
Let's throw your finishers into the mix and see how things go:
Energy regenerates at 10 per second, so figure you can perform one Hemorrhage every 3 seconds, and one Mutilate every 5.5 seconds.
- Hemorrhage would generate 5 combo points after 15 seconds, at which point you can use an Eviscerate. Eviscerate hits for 724 assuming 200 attack power*. All told (including the DoT component), Sub will produce (via only Hemo and Evisc) 1144 over 15 seconds, giving you 76.25 DPS from your primary burst abilities alone.
- Assassination would generate 5 combo points after 16.5 seconds, at which point you can use Envenom. Envenom hits for 312 assuming 200 attack power. All told, Ass will produce (via only Mut and Env) 912 damage over 16.5 seconds, giving you 55.27 DPS from your primary burst abilities alone.
Without getting deep into the details of rotation with Slice and Dice and white attacks and all (this is PvP, so the only damage you can really count on is your burst anyway), Sub is a pretty huge winner in terms of burst damage.
I haven't compared the abilities that increase damage, but these will vary (for instance Find Weakness's mileage may vary depending on the ratio of high-to-low armor targets in the brackets, and the efficacy of Sinister Calling depends on your stats at 29).
I'll also point out that Sub will feel "faster", because you won't feel so energy drained. 5.5 seconds between each Mutilate will make the gameplay feel a lot more dull (since you don't have all the nice perks a 90 has to cope with this).
As far as spec goes, I'd recommend Subterfuge. Hugely useful to be able to get 2 openers off. Very nice when you get pulled out of stealth and can still get an opener up. If you play a bit, you can even master restealthing with a DoT on you and still getting at least 1 opener off.
Post by Neffi
in the calculations, so Assass works out to (55.27 * 1.2 =) 66.3 DPS. Still short of Sub. While Envenom does increase poison proc chance, it only does so for 6 seconds; if your interest is max DPS, you would probably be better off spending combo points on Slice and Dice for the increased proc chance of poisons AND increased white damage. In fact Envenom is so weak, that I don't think I would even use it as Assass. Edit:
Remember that Assass doesn't get increased poison damage until later, so assuming Assass will do any better against armored targets because of higher poison damage doesn't actually pan out. On the other hand, Sub should have a slight upper hand. If a target has 50% armor, Evisc still works out to be better than Envenom. Meanwhile, Mutilate likes heavy weapons so your ideal choice is 1.8+1.8 daggers; Sub doesn't need a strong offhand, so it can use the 1.7 dagger and get more poison procs than Assass. (Not to mention Find Weakness, which is hugely
beneficial if you're looking to go right into a 5 CP Evisc from the opener!) --Sure, if you manage to weave in Slice and Dice and
Envenom for absolute best poison procs, Assass wins out there (in terms of amount of poison procs), but in practice that only provides benefit with 100% target uptime, and the only time you see 100% uptime is when you either stunlock, or kill too quickly for them to kite -- situations where you don't need the extra DPS anyway (even if the extra procs did
make up for Eviscerate being stronger).
It's really not looking to me like Assass at these low levels favors good burst or
good damage. Working from the calculations I've already done and running rough estimations, I'm inclined to say Sub wins out in all respects: burst potential and
sustained DPS. (Assass should come within several percent of it in max theoretical DPS, but that's assuming maximum uptime on a target, which doesn't happen in PvP, especially at low levels where you lack strong CC and gap closers). It may seem like Assass has an upper hand in DPS when you notice how hard Mutilate hits, but the numbers don't give me that conclusion at all.
Granted with how bursty low-level PvP is, you're not likely to notice a big difference. If you're in heirlooms, chances are anything you hit in even good dungeon gear is going down after an Ambush+Mutilate. But the same should be true of Sub's Ambush + Hemorrhage + 3 CP Eviscerate (hell if I recall correctly, my heirloomed Sub rogue was able to down anyone in even half heirlooms with just an Ambush and a 2 CP Evisc, if the Ambush crit). And when you do come up against an equally heirloomed opponent, Sub should win out by a very good margin.
Based on what I'm seeing, I'm gonna say: hands down, go Sub.