After a lot of back and forth, Rogue covenant abilities are starting to look like what we may see when we sneak into the Shadowlands. This is highlighted by several tuning passes as well as changes that obviously have tuning in mind. Let me go through the current state of Rogue covenant abilities and the outlook.
- 울려퍼지는 문책 (Kyrian): Over the past few weeks we saw an overall pretty heavy buff to the instant damage of the ability. That buff brought it more in line with the other covenant abilities and shifted more value away from the combo point minigame to the basic attack. Consuming the animacharge with a damage finisher was changed to also scale passive interactions as if they used 7 combo points. This is very helpful with things like 잠들지 않는 칼날, 깊어지는 어둠, or 무정함. While I'm personally not a fan of the minigame and it still has the issues of having thresholds that can be hard to get (probably causing you to ignore the minigame rotationally and just waiting to match at some point), it looks like it is here to stay.
- 톱니 뼈 가시 (Necrolord): The ability that was pretty much overpowered for most of the alpha and beta got the expected nerf. Damage was reduced across the board and the unintended fracture mechanic (which was not on the main tooltip and always seemed like a leftover) was removed. This makes bone spike easier to understand again with gameplay being entirely in using the 3 charges for DoTs and combo points. It also eliminates some bugs with fractures from dead targets quirks like that which we have seen on Beta. Main drawback is that the heavy nerfs put this in a weird place for the Subtlety AoE rotation. It may look like the best AoE covenant ability but targets have to be alive for quite a while to be worth the use.
- 피고름 (Night Fae): Sepsis has not changed too much aside from one rather important thing: Instead of triggering a free 소멸, it now grants a buff which allows the ability to cast a stealth-requiring spell, such as 매복, 혼절시키기, or 비열한 습격. As such, Sepsis no longer synergizes with stealth effects such as 일급 암살자 or 기만. While this does remove some interesting gameplay, this change is a welcome sight in order to make this ability actually balanceable. The free Vanish was heavily favoring Assassination and legendaries that synergize with Vanish, basically making it impossible to tune it so that it is viable with and without those synergies. The new approach is much less impactful but allows it to come in line with the other covenant abilities. Main value is in the DoT and the empowered DoT tick, with the stealth ability being a gimmick on top. Oh, and this also fixes the open world problem of resetting enemies that don't die fast enough with the free Vanish.
- 채찍질 (Venthyr): In place of Slaughter, Venthyr Rogues have received an entirely redesigned covenant ability. Flagellation now reminds a lot of the 애쉬베인의 칼날 산호 trinket. It has two alternating uses, one to apply a debuff that stacks and deals damage for every combo point you spend on any target, and another one to consume that debuff and convert the stacks into stacks of a Haste buff. Just like Razor Coral, stacks are also converted when the debuffed target dies. Otherwise, the duration is not too long and you have to pay attention to convert before the debuff expires. Compared to Slaughter, this removes some serious issues of being untunable and favoring specific specs. Flagellation looks like it will be a more independent support cooldown that seems generally fine in every situation.
About the situation as a whole, all of these changes and tuning made covenant abilities very close to each other in single target simulations. The abilities themselves are all in the ballpark of 3-4% increases and end up within 50 DPS for each spec. Just changing one talent is likely to have a higher impact than changing the covenant ability. If the same kind of tuning is applied to soulbinds and conduits (and it is currently leaning that way), then the bottom line is probably going to be: It doesn't really matter what Covenant you choose - both differences as well as impact on your spec performance is very low.