After talking to some guild members last night and thinking about the focus thing I am starting to think it might not be as bad as I thought. For PvE only that is and that is assuming that the haste bonus for regeneration is good. I am hoping that during the beta they take a serious look at some things and adjust them as needed.
1) Defensive Skills.
- Being it has already been shown that we will not have a lot of focus to play with unless haste is massively beatifically then having our defensive skills cost large amounts of focus will be a huge hindrance. If our defensive skills cost no focus, like druid tanks defensive skills cost no rage and rogue defensive skills cost no energy then it should not be an issue. They did not address that, so here is hoping they do the right thing. I am also wondering why things like tranq shot, concussive shot, master call, and disengage are costing focus. They are all defensive abilities and should be free to use.
- Now here is an interesting issue. Do you consider this a defensive ability or an offensive ability? If you are survival then it is a offensive trigger ability. So they are going to be a good source of your rotation. Being able to fire the traps will help as well. Better then walking in, dropping the trap, walking back out. However, for marksman and beastmaster they are purely defensive. They are crowd control. Sure, I have used them for offensive benefits. Slowing someone or something so you can blow it away is, in a way, an offensive ability. However, I do hope they classify this as a defensive ability and make it cost no focus. Make the fire trap shot be a focus cost, but the placement trap be free, like all other defensive spells should be.
- The addition of focus has all but removed Hunters from being able to participate in PvP at any level at all if they keep focus designed as they mentioned in the release. Any good hunter will be firing Aimed Shot at nearly every target he can whenever it is off cooldown. Limiting healing is hugely helpful in PvP. I also do not know about others but I drop a sting of some sort on everyone. At the moment we do not know if they are going to cost anything. I also use concussive often as well as tranq shot often. All of this while moving around. Mind you I am not very good at PvP just yet, just started doing it a short time ago. But what I see here is a lot of focus use in an extremely short time and never even one moment to stand still and fire a steady to help my regeneration. This basically means I will be useless in PvP as I will never have focus. As I am always moving, my instant shots were about 70%+ of my damage. Only on rare occasion could I just stand and shoot unmolested. Unless they make autoshot fire while moving or at the very least make steady an instant shot as well. PvP for the hunter is dead. Completely dead and there is no arguing that at all... Unless haste really helps a HUGE amount in regeneration.
4) New Abilities.
- Nearly everything I think about when it comes to the change I can deal with. No (good) new shots. No (good) new abilities. Call Stabled Pet being called an addition when it has been around forever. Sure, it is annoying everyone else gets something new and cool to play with and hunters get stuck with nothing. We have the biggest change of all characters to deal with. The way a hunter is being played is completely changing. Everyone else is basically the same with some tweaks so they have a minor adjustment period and then they get to play with new abilities. Us hunters have to completely relearn the class at 80. That is going to bring the term "huntard" back big time. Learning a class at 80 is like buying off ebay. You should never do it. We should not be forced to do it either by blizzard. So not giving us anything new and useful is over all not that bad of a thing. We have enough on our plate being we have to learn how to play the class all over again at 80.
- This will turn out to be the key to whether focus works or not. Like I said, they need to make steady instant, that is not something up for discussion. Hunters NEED to have a way to regenerate focus faster when moving. But if they do not make steady an instant, which I doubt they will being that might actually be cool and why would they ever want to do something that was cool for the hunter, they will need to make the effects of haste on focus big. Lets say for arguments sake a ratio of 1 focus is increased by 1fps for every 50 haste. This is reasonable. So we get 6fps to start with, it can be increased with talents but we do not know how much yet. I'll guess by 3 max, so we are at 9fps now. (remember all guess work here) Getting to 500 haste would not be an issue I am sure for even most averagely geared hunters, so that would translate to 10fps from haste putting us at 19fps. That would mean you would need 3+ seconds roughly to generate enough for a second Aimed Shot if that were all you where doing, but being it is on a 10 second cooldown you would be doing other things in the mean time, all of which seem to be around 45fps. To make sure you had the 60 when Aimed was off cooldown you would be forced not to fire any shots while waiting for it because it would take another 2 1/2 seconds to make up for the 45 you just used on an arcane or chimera shot. That means 1 second of doing nothing between each shot but running around trying to not die while you are waiting to do something again in PvP. 1 Second in PvP can see like a lifetime sometimes. So even those reasonable numbers suggested are still far off from effective in a moving environment like PvP or Kiting.
5a) Haste in PvP.
- If blizzard is truly interested in balancing PvP and PvE like they always claim then the effects of haste on focus would have to be so huge for PvP that once it translates over to PvE it will not be a problem at all. For Focus to be even remotely fair in PvP it would need to regenerate at a rate no less then 30fps. Which is the bare minimum you would need to be able to fire at least an instant shot every time it is off CD and always have some extra for defensive abilities that need to be called on in an instant(which really should be free anyway). That would still not be enough to fire an Aimed every time it is off CD if you are shooting your best shots like mad while waiting for it, but you could at least fire something every time. And that is the balance I guess, a fair balance, you can do "something" even if it is not the shot you wanted or you can wait for the shot you wanted. There is a fair balance. They are not keeping you from doing anything, they are giving you a choice. Fire Arcane now or wait another second for Aimed. So 30fps is a fair and reasonable amount to keep hunters mildly useful in PvP at least. It is enough that you will not be sitting around doing nothing, but not so much that you have an infinite supply and can do whatever you want whenever you want... Which brings us to...
5b) Haste in PvE.
- Now being we just figured that 30fps was more then respectable for a PvP hunter to be useful in PvP and we know that Blizz likes to keep things balanced, or at least pretend to appear as it is, then we can guess the final number will be around that area. So here is our hunter ready to start the fight against the big bad boss with his fps sitting at 30 and he is ready to roll. In any PvE encounter, unless you are kiting, you will always have steady shot being a huge part of your rotation which means that you will be regenerating even more focus then 30fps. It would be more like 36fps when steady is flying. Which is 54 per cool down, which being chimera and arcane cost 45 and steady costs nothing we will always have enough for aimed or multi when the time comes. You know what that really means? If they balance focus to be fair for PvP then it will never be an issue in PvE. As a matter of fact, it will be useless in PvE as there will never be a time we are less then 50% focus even if we fire the biggest costing shot available at any given time. So I can live with that. Unlimited Focus. I am loving that. But it makes me think. Why are they changing it to a resource that can not be balanced for PvP and PvE without making one or the other over powered?
6) Creating the Balance.
All people that use limited resources (outside of mana) have one thing us hunters do not have. The ability to keep fighting while moving with auto swings. Warriors can attack while moving without rage. Rogues can attack while moving without energy. Cats can attack while moving without energy. Bears can attack while moving without rage. Hunters can not, I repeat, CAN NOT shoot while moving. So in anything that requires movement if we are resource starved we are doing no damage, so we are useless whereas all other classes if resource starved can still be doing damage while moving. And do not tell me to go in an melee. I am a hunter, I don't melee. To create the balance, let us shot while moving. This will help a little... oh, and in case I did not mention it. Make Steady Shot an instant and all these problems go away. You would not even need to pump up fps so high in PvP that is makes PvE over powered if you made Steady Shot an instant. Being we do no damage while moving, we need to be able to always use abilities while moving and that is where the problem is. Auto shots firing while moving and steady shot being an instant fix that problem instantly.