Before I get into my concerns about BfA, first a bit of history…
I’ve always played Sub. Right back to the Vanilla Hemo/Swords Stunlock builds. I’ve watched it go through its Nerf/Buff cycle again and again. Seen the problems a passive ability called sinister calling could create, seen the OP Sub rogue of Late Cata and the absolute lows that were the beginning of MoP and Post nerfing early Legion.
It went wrong for Sub PvP at the beginning of Legion when part of the class fantasy was announced as "Teleporting around the battlefield unleashing devastating attacks". Every man and his dog could see that a playstyle like that would cause problems. Sure enough, those problems got us nerfed back to the stone age and it took until 7.2.5-7.3 for Sub PvP to recover.
So, looking at what’s happened in BfA so far. We launched again in an OP state. Yes Shadowstrike and Evis damage was on the high side but 90% of the problem was a broken trait that let Shuriken toss and Poisoned knife do huge crits. A sensible approach would have been to deal with the azerite trait, nerf damage slightly and then see where we stood, but no. An extremely heavy nerfing spree began:
5% damage nerf across the board
an extra 10% nerf to Shadowstrike in PvP
an extra 15% nerf to Eviscerate in PvP
Phantom assassin nerfed from 35% increased chance to crit down to 10%.
If the damage nerfs were more like 5-10% and phantom assasin had been left alone, we might have been OK but the nerfs, as always went way too far. Play Assa or Outlaw you say! Erm, nope. You might as well tell me to change class altogether…
One problem for Sub PvP in BfA is that we have practically zero damage outside Shadowdance. Sustained damage is non-existent. If we’re going to do damage, we need to hit hard during Shadowddance and to do that we need to crit. Knowing that makes it all the more surprising that come patch 8.1 Phantom assassin is removed altogether meaning we’ve lost 35% chance to crit with nothing in the way of compensation.
On top of that, come 8.1 there has been a trait “re-design”. The First Dance trait has been used buy sub rogues in PvP recently to try and guarantee that at least one of their Eviscerates will crit during shadowdance. Its clunky as hell but play it properly and you’ll see two Eviscerate crits. But that too is gone in 8.1. Its almost as if someone has made the conscious decision that “we cannot let sub rogues crit in pvp”. And on top of that, in the latest PTR patch, Shuriken combo has been removed effectively nerfing our damage further by removing another mechanism we had to buff eviscerate damage.
So as Sub rogues we watch the PTR patch notes appearing week after week just hoping for a cookie to be thrown our way. Something, anything, some glimmer of hope that we might be seeing changes but no, every single week, something else happens to nerf Sub rogue in PvP.
At this point, its no longer the being nerfed that is the irritation. Its the radio silence being maintained while we see what on the face of it seem to be utterly bizarre nerfs (removal of Phantom assassin in particular). Complete radio silence and further nerfs while other specs other specs (who are already doing well in pvp) getting pages of changes and acompanying notes explaining them (Enh Shammy and SP).
Really, any tiny bit of info from devs would do. “Were lookng closely at the spec in PvP and might have something to share with you soon” would be amazing to hear. But honestly, right now If the devs popped by to say “sorry, you’re going to be garbage until 8.3” even that would be fine as I could go do something else!