While the fact remains that Hutners, as a whole, are basically worse off over all it is not all doom and gloom or at least not as much as everyone would lead you to believe.
Ran a few different things over the weekend and tried my hand at some soloing just to see how that worked as well. Nothing crazy, just some BC instances for rep purposes.
The biggest losses of volley where the usefulness in PvP and soloing. Sure, it was nice to inflate trash damage but there are enough other classes that can flex their epeen for that, let them have their moment in the sun we have been owning the DPS charts for as long as I have been playing. While I have not even attempted to PvP yet and do not think I will because this change made me lose all interest I ever had in PvP as a Hunter, at least until we get aspect of the fox. Sad really, I was liking it for the most part. I did try to get some soloing done.
First up, the Mechanar. Normal to start out with. I do not know what to expect just yet. I also did something that some might find rather interesting. I went for the soloing as marksman. I grabbed my trusty turtle and laughed to myself at his ungodly 42K hit points, unbuffed of course.
The reason I went for Marks over any other spec is that none of this would be considered extreme soloing so I would have no need for intimidation or added stamina that other specs might offer and it did give me a little boost to my multi shot. As multi shot is our only shot that can hit multiple targets now and MM is the only spec that makes that one shot a little more useful focus wise by reducing the cost. Add to that the new glyph of misdirection and we have a steady flow of aggro transferring goodness.
I was routinely grabbing 5-9 mobs casting MD and hitting multi three time before casting MD again and throwing a few more multi's in for good measure. Everything went down nice and smoothly. The turtle held his own very well, rarely needed more then a patch up mend pet here and there and all was beautiful in the world of soloing.
After seeing how easy it was on normal I tried it on heroic and it went just the same really. In truth, it seems as if for this level of content that soloing has gotten even easier and marks is the way to go for the multi/md combo to help the pet out.
Doing my little soloing and the steady flow of multi shots I was firing gave me a better understanding of MM's mastery. First off, it can fire off from a multi shot. Secondly it is for a full damage and not based off of the crap damage that multi does. Third, and surely not least, it can proc piercing shots as well it seems. It turned out that wild quiver was doing near 35% of my damage while soloing and that is not only there (more on that later).
Lets be honest, multi shot sucks big time for a raiding tool or for anything where you need some actual damage on more then one target. It really needs to be tuned up some. 700-900 per target? Who are you kidding? I was doing 8K-10K per hit with it before they changed it. I understand it can not be that high any more but lowering 8K-10K down to 700-900 is really an insult to a class that got nothing but abused this patch to begin with. Here's to hoping they change it to some more reasonable. 1500-2000 would at least be acceptable if not over powered.
Back on target:
So for soloing it seems the Hunters are in good shape at the moment. There was never a moment where I was ever in trouble and the few times where the mobs got away from my turtle multi shot is a huge kiting tool for multiple mobs. This was not the first time I ran into that one however. Doing Naxx for fun this week I noticed the pure power of multi shot for kiting large groups of mobs on Gluth. Sure we over gear it now but being able to pick up lots of packs and keep them on you all at once is awesome. Multi being an instant is a huge asset to us.
This Would Be Fun:
Makes me want to go find a huge group of mobs that I will not kill right away and kite them somewhere. Could you imagine bringing 200+ mobs on the march to a city? It would be awesome beyond words. Time to start thinking of what I can kite that will not die. Even if they are easy to beat once they get there it would be fun to see a trail of mobs like that running into a city.
Now on to raiding and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
I do not know what they are talking about with tanks not being able to hold aggro now. At least from my perspective it doesn't seem to be an issue at all. I never even came close to grabbing aggro with the exception of one or two times. Before I was always dancing the line, now I am never close to grabbing aggro on most things. Maybe it is because I suck at multi target damage now. Maybe the talk of tanks having aggro issues is over exaggerated. Maybe both.
Big Tips and Tricks Time:
If you had not noticed before, wild quiver can proc on multi as well, each shot from multi shot I should say. So set your main burn target as your target and mutli away. When a raid leader screams out that he does not want any AoE he wants the main target focused down explain to him that is exactly what you are doing. If there are 10 mobs and you get 4 procs from wild quiver then all 4 will hit your main target. Not to mention the mutli that hits it and the auto shot that hits it. So basically you are hitting the main target for 1 auto shot, 4 wild quivers at 115% damage and your 700-900 multi shot ever 1 second, yes, every 1 second. That is way more damage then if you had just dropped arcane, chimera and steady on the main target alone.
The DPS Good:
Well, it seems single target has not been nerfed as badly as I was lead to believe. Sure, my DPS was off a tad bit. Was hitting 11K, 10K on average when I am used to doing 13K and 12K, so it is a 2K drop that I happen to think I will make up on just as I get more used to the new way our rotation goes. So single target is not dead.
The DPS Good:
Target switching is easier. The only fights I ever had gotten myself into mana troubles are fights where there was a lot of target switching and a lot of movement like PP and DBS. I would occasionally throw myself into viper whenever I was on saurfang so I had mana for the blood beasts. Now I just steady (with keeping chimera up) on saurfang and fire the aimed whenever it pops and when beasts come I switch to them and can instant away enough to burn them down. This bought about the highest DPS I ever saw on Saurfang from myself. Was number 5 over all in a 25 man. It is rare that I am ever that high on a fight like that. So there is the first advantage of focus so far from what I have seen. The steadys proc wild quiver and piercing shots so spamming them on the boss so I have full focus actually worked out to be a good thing. If you notice, I did not mention arcane on the boss, only the shots that can proc the bleed. DoTs on the boss for when I am kiting beasts. Nothing wrong with that.
Our trash DPS is exactly that, trash. My suggestion is play the smart Hunter. You are not going to compete with 18K DPS from locks and mages and if you tried to AoE you might be able to get to 8K-9K so why not pick a target and do what Hunters do best. Burn the mofo down. Like I said, be smart, pick out the target that posses the biggest threat to your group or had the highest life total and burn that down first using the multi technique I mentioned before. If aggro is an issue, just play follow the tank and burn whatever the tank is working on. You can easily get to 10K-12K DPS doing that and you are actually doing things the way blizzard wants us to do things which means when cataclysm hits we will be way ahead of the curve.
The Other Bad:
Burst damage. Not a hell of a lot we can do that I have figured out so far to pour it on. I did hit rapid fire just before a shammy hit heroism and my steady shot was down to 0.65 seconds which was sick but can you really call that burst? Being our extremely limited resources our ability to do burst damage is almost nothing compared to what it was before. Popping readiness when everything was on cooldown to reset for another Chimera, Aimed, Kill, Silence, Kill Command, was always nice for huge burst but now it is rather useless for the most part being we need to have to focus to make anything work. Silence no longer does damage, aimed is all but useless and kill command is not cost effective leaving us with Chimera and Kill Shot as the only thing it refreshes that we can use and Chimera's cost is way to high for it's use and Kill Shot is free but so underpowered it is laughable. Which leads to the next point.
The Biggest Bad:
I had arcane and chimera hit for more then my kill shots. Not joking either. I am sure other Hunters that actually look into this will notice it. On average kill shot only does 1K more then chimera or arcane. The only thing that makes kill shot even an option is that it costs a beautiful 0 focus. Otherwise it is useless as a damage bonus thing, 1K is not much of a bonus. Gone are the days of 22K-25K standard KS hits and 45K-50K crits. 50K was a regular occurrence even outside of ICC and now I have not seen one over 13K.
What have they done to our pets? Every time we port somewhere, our pet has 10% life. Every time we enter an instance, our pet has 10% life. Every time we dismount, our pets have 10% life. You would think someone would have noticed this and fixed it already. It can't be that hard and it is not really game changing but it is rather annoying.
The Ugly Pt 2:
I know locks and mages are a little over tuned at the moment so I will forget about that for now but come the fuck on. There is no reason that Priests, Druids and DKs should be beating Hunters in DPS. They are hybrid classes and do not give me that shit they they are not hybrid, they are only in one spec. Sure they are in their DPS spec but they still have the option to be more then a DPS spec. Hunters do not. Hunters, rogues, mages and lock should always be top DPS classes being they are not hybrid, they are DPS and they have no choice but to be DPS. Down with Hybrids beating pure DPS classes. If they do not like it then they can go heal or tank, we need more healers and tanks anyway.
The Ugly Pt 3 or The Good Pt 2?:
Looking at the end of run breakdown I was number 7 in DPS for the 25 man run. Now DPS does not mean anything but it is a shock to the system when you are used to being top 3 in DPS and usually number 1. Looking over to damage done I was number 4 over all. It has been around a year since I was not number 1 over all for damage done. That was a complete shock to the system. So that was pretty ugly, 7 for DPS and 4 damage done. Very ugly for a Hunter. But there is some good there. The damage done I was number 4 but I was behind the mage, the warlock and the DK.
All three where doing sick 20K+ DPS on trash pulls. If you want to do the math of things here and look at the total damage done and minus the trash that Hunters are now useless on then I was #1 over all on boss damage. Now that is where I belong. That information can not be seen from the recount unless the raid leader has a brain and knows what all classes are capable of but when you look at it this way, my first real raid with a totally new character so to speak my damage against the mobs that mattered, bosses, I was over all #1, that bodes really well for Hunters.
Once I get used to my reactions to the new system, the new resources and for all intent purposes new skills and how they function I should be able to improve on that a great deal. Remember fellow Hunters, we are the only class that has the learn everything over again. Others have changed functions or new functions but how they work remains mostly the same, if anything they have just one new mechanic to work with. Hunters have nothing left of what we where once, except our trusty pet. For me, that is enough to make it worth learning it all over again. At least our pets got some love from this update.