This guide covers Rogue basics up to the Omens of War expansion.
Rogues damage starts off incredibly low in Classic but gets better and better all the way up until Omens of War at which point they do huge amounts of damage and compete for top dps in the game. Rogues scale well with buffs and during Planes of Power get the AA Shroud of Stealth, which allows their Sneak/Hide combo to make them invisible to almost every mob in the game (For example, it doesn’t work against Trakanon).
Rogues also have a fairly easy 1.0 Epic on TLP servers so get it ASAP in Kunark era. Unfortunately they have the longest 2.0 Epic, although the payoff on it is huge.
Rogues also have the ability to change into many races. Check out this Illusion Guide.
Stats are more meaningful in early EQ because they don’t max out right away. Once you begin to get Luclin/PoP raid gear they are generally maxed by default from gear and/or buffs.
Strength – Increases your Attack and encumbrance limit
Dexterity – Increases proc chance/accuracy
Stamina – Increases HP
Agility – Increases Avoidance AC (not super effective until Heroic, but isn’t useless either)
Always prioritize Strength and Dexterity. Get to 200 Strength ASAP as that is the soft cap to maximize backstab damage. Rogues can never tank well at any point in the game so don’t worry about HP, Stamina, or AC too much, just keep them up as needed. Once “Attack” becomes a mod, you’ll also want to get to the attack cap from gear, which is 250.
Don’t forget a haste item!
As a Rogue you’ll always want to have a dagger in your mainhand for your Backstab skill. The higher the damage of the weapon the more damage Backstab does, but keep ratio in mind as well. For off-hand, Rogue can use any type of weapon, typically it’s best to go with whatever has the best ratio.
Generally rogues don’t have aggro issues when your tank has good aggro/gear. You can nearly always go all out.
With that said, Rogues do have the ability to “Evade” during combat. You can press Hide during while attacking to lower your aggro.
Backstab – This is your main damage skill. Use this always when attacking. At level 61 you can /autoskill it. In order to Backstab you need to be behind the mob.
Sneak – This skill allows you to walk behind mobs invisible, even if they are see invis. It lowers your movement speed but +Run Speed buffs and AA can counteract this. Sneaking behind a mob also allows you to con “indifferent” to NPC’s who may not normally interact with you. This is good for doing certain quest turn-ins or interacting with merchants.
Hide – This allows you to be invisible as long as you don’t move
Sneak/Hide Combination – Using both of these skills simultaneously allows you to move around unseen to both undead and regular mobs at the same time. Once you get Shroud of Stealth AA in Planes of Power, it allows you to be invisible to see invis mobs as well.
Pick Lock and Disarm Trap – Rogues can Pick Lock and Disarm Traps
Pick Pocket – Rogues can “steal” platinum and non-magic items from NPC’s. It cannot be used while attacking. Level this up a bit if you plan to do your 1.0 Epic.
Rogues are nice because they only need a couple hundred AA to have their core offensive abilities. Usually you want to get Offensive or Utility AA’s first. Run Speed is also important since it raises your movement greatly while sneaking. Get them in whatever order works best for your setup. Some of the best AA sorted by type are:
Combat Fury (SoL+) – Increases chance to critical strike
Ambidexterity (SoL+) – Increases dual wield success rate
Chaotic Stab (SoL+) – Backstab for minimum damage if not behind target
Finishing Blow (SoL+) – Procs huge damage when mob below 10% HP (scaling NPC level cap based on AA rank)
Burst of Power (PoP+) – Increases Double Attack chance
Planar Power (PoP+) – Increases Max Stats
Weapon Affinity (GoD+) – Substiantially increases proc pate
Triple Backstab (GoD+) – Increases chance to triple Backstab
Virulent Venom (GoD+) – Increases melee proc rate
Veteran’s Wrath (OoW+) – Increases critical hit damage
Backstab Precision (OoW+) – Increases Backstab accuracy
Combat Stability (SoL+) – Increased Mitigation AC
Combat Agility (SoL+) – Increased Avoidance AC
Natural Durability (SoL+) – Increased HP %
Physical Enhancement (SoL+) – Increased Mitigation/Avoidance AC
Escape (SoL+) – Allows you to drop all aggro.
Innate Run Speed (SoL+) – Base Run Speed Increase
Shroud of Stealth (PoP) – Makes you invisible to nearly every NPC in the game
Hastened Stealth (PoP+) – Lowers cooldown of Hide and Sneak
Nerves of Steel (OoW+) – Increases chance to remain hidden when hit by an AE
These become the most important stat you can get once they are available starting in Plane of Time. By this time your base stats will already be maxed out from gear. For DPS, priority should be: Heroic Dexterity -> Strength -> Stamina -> Agility
Heroic Dexterity – Combat Effects/Accuracy — Combat Effects (proc rate. 1 HDex = increased proc rate 3%, up to 100%. Accuracy is also good as it increases your chance to hit.
Heroic Strength – You’ll get improvements to your max hit. 10 Heroic Strength = 1 max damage. It also provides a damage shield at the ratio of 1 Hstr to 1 Damage Shield.
Heroic Stamina – Mitigation/Stun Resist – This decreases your damage taken by mobs. This is important to mitigate damage and to resist stuns.
Heroic Agility – Avoidance/Strikethrough – Increases Avoidance AC and raises Strikethrough chance. Strikethrough is not effective if you’re behind a mob.
Rogues primary focus is on Offensive Discs. Not all discs are listed here, just ones you won’t want to pass up.
Timers with the same “number” share a cooldown. Numbers in () is the level required to use the skill. For example, Fearless (40) requires player level 40.
Deadeye (54) – Kunark
Always Hit. 20 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 4
Kinesthetics (57) – Kunark
Always dual wield and double attack. 5 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 3
Blinding Speed (58) – Kunark
Hundred Hands Effect. 20 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 4
Duelist (59) – Kunark
Increase all damage by 50% and minimum damage by 400%. 22 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 3
Deadly Precision (63) – PoP
Backstab always hits. 5 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 4
Twisted Chance (65) – LDoN
Increase critical chance 500% and always hit. 22 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 4
Imperceptible (66) – OoW
Proc -500 aggro. 10 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 5
Deadly Aim (68) – OoW
Increases throwing damage 150%. 20 min cooldown. Lasts 1 min. Timer 19
Frenzied Stabbing (70) – OoW
Greatly reduces Backstab cooldown. 15 min cooldown. Lasts 5 ticks. Timer 6
Fearless (40) – Classic
Immune to Fear for 1 minute. 30 min cooldown. Timer 5
Counterattack (53) – Kunark
Always Riposte. 40 min cooldown. Lasts 2 ticks. Timer 2
– Get Rogue Epics ASAP. Both 1.0 and 2.0 are very strong
– Level up Pick Pocket early as its used in the Rogue 1.0 Epic. Recommended skill 130+ at least.
– Level up Pick Lock as its useful for several expansions
– Check out the Rogue 1.5 Epic Guide on this site and start working on tradeskills early, this way when OoW hits you’ll have a lot less to do. Also farm the appropriate illusion masks ahead of time.
– Make use of the bandolier.
– Grab an Avatar proc weapon from Sleeper’s Tomb if you raid
– Get an instant cast clicky to mitigate mobs/bosses that cast dispel.
– Keep Heal, Haste, and Spirit of Wolf potions handy.
– Rogues scale well from buffs such as Shaman Avatar line, Bard Overhaste, Beastlord Ferocity, and Ranger attack buffs.
– Get a Levitate clicky. There is a fairy illusion in the in-game store that gives Levitate (easiest option), or you can farm Quillmane cloak (lol). There may be other options.