Gearing Up the Rogue
Murder Binds when picked up One-Hand Dagger 164 - 306 Damage, Speed 1.50 (156.7 DPS) +25...
Pokey, Pokey, Stab, Stab
As a melee DPS, weapons are of the utmost importance to us Rogues. You can't shiv somebody in the back with a toothpick, ya know! At the beginning, Rogues know how to use daggers and thrown weapons. You will be able to learn the following weapons from the various weapon masters located throughout the various cities as you level up: one handed-sword, one-handed mace, fist weapons (melee) bows, crossbows, and guns (ranged).
As soon as you are able to, learn sword or mace depending upon your build (I prefer swords as they usually have a slightly higher DPS than maces). While daggers are great for ambushing, swords and maces give you a bigger bang for your buck as you level up. Your primary attack will be your Sinister Strike and damage from that ability is based upon your weapon's base damage. Therefore, you should use a sword or mace (depending upon your build) in your main hand. Once you're able to dual wield at level 10, then use a dagger in your off hand, until you hit the low 30s when it becomes more beneficial to use 2 of the same type of weapon - one in each hand. Good fist weapons are pretty rare in the lower levels, so it's best to stick with swords or maces as you level up. Whichever weapon style you choose, make sure that you continually get the highest DPS possible. A Rogue's main ability is to dish out damage as quickly as possible. It's also a Rogue's best defense. A dead enemy can't hit back! Make sure that you have a high DPS rating along with a good base damage. As for ranged weapons such as thrown weapons or bows, they definitely take a back seat to melee weapons. You should always carry one - to pull an enemy, to finish a fleeing enemy, and for any bonuses on the weapon.
Hack, Cough, Gag
Poisons are an indispensable part of a Rogue's armory. After learning to use poisons from the class quest at level 20, you should always carry poisons with you. Make sure that both your weapons have poison on them at all times. (Even at the Auction House! Perhaps you could get a better deal when you hold a blade dripping with venom at an auctioneer's throat.) An unpoisoned blade is not the blade of a true Rogue. All poisons last for an hour after being applied and have a chance on each hit to inflict their venom on your enemy. Start off with Instant Poison (extra damage), then later Wound Poison (extra damage plus reduces heals on them for a short time). Crippling Poison (slows the enemy's movement rate) is great for enemies that flee and bring back a friend (or a group of friends) such as those Venture Co. minions!
A Fashionable Killer
Let's turn our attention to armor. A darkly armored Rogue slipping through the night up to an unsuspecting victim is a much cooler image than a naked Rogue doing the same. As a Rogue, we can wear cloth and leather. Which is better? The answer is simple. Leather, leather, leather. The only time you should touch cloth is when you're cleaning your foe's blood off your weapon. Rogues cannot use a shield, but that's ok. We prefer to carry a second weapon in our off hand anyway.
So, what bonuses and abilities are we looking for in our gear? On a basic level, we're looking at getting the highest DPS and base damage possible from our weapons, and we're looking for the greatest amount of armor points available from our armor. However, there are some slight differences in what we're looking for from our leveling period (levels 1 to 60) to end-game (level 60+). While leveling, chances are you'll solo quite a bit. Your gear should be chosen to help keep you up and fighting. Agility and Stamina increases are very important. Every point of Agility adds 1 to our Attack Power (AP), which increases our DPS. Plus, Agility also helps dodge and our chance to inflict criticals. Every additional point of Stamina adds 10 health points to our total. That takes care of our primary concerns, but don’t ignore Strength totally; it’s a good secondary stat. Every point of Strength adds 1 to our AP. Strength is useful, but not as useful as Agility (or Stamina for leveling/solo purposes). Intellect and Spirit bonuses are worthless, so don't bother with them.
In addition to stat increases, there are abilities that gear can provide. A major ability that we're looking for is an increase in Attack Power (AP). Since AP increases our damage, any bonus to it should be prized highly. An increase to our Critical percentage also is a good thing. Anything that increases the combat effectiveness of a Rogue is important. Other abilities such as an extra damaging attack (by fire or shadow) are handy. Getting multiple pieces of an armor set will really help you out. With each additional piece, usually, you get another bonus from the armor set. At higher levels, abilities such as bonuses to hit rating, resilience, and expertise should be looked out for. Basically, anything that makes a Rogue more lethal and able to keep standing is what we're looking for.
What to Look For
As you're leveling, you should look to get green and blue items. You can find gear from drops, quest rewards, or the auction house. Don't worry if you don't have the absolute best gear, as you'll probably out-level it within a short time. At higher levels (60+), you'll be wanting purple gear that can be obtained from raids and PvP. In addition, you'll probably look at getting at least 2 different sets of armor, one for PvE and one for PvP. The reasoning is that some abilities have a greater influence in one environment over another.