I stopped on the PTR yesterday with my Hunter to test out some things, namely mastery. With the changes to my gear nearly all my Hunters gear has haste and critical on it. The armor penetration was changed to one or the other. Lucky for me I do not have armor penetration gems so the changes will not be as costly to me as others.
Normally my critical rate was sitting at 62% unbuffed before any changes so as you can imagine with the changes it went up some. That is all passive too. No gems or anything. I can only imagine if I had been gemmed for armor penetration I most likely would have been close to the 104.8% critical cap.
For my test I wanted to see how I could get my mastery up some while not really effecting my stats much. Being I had tons of critical to begin with and now haste actually means something to Hunters I decided I would change all my critical over to mastery and see what it would be.
As it turns out I dropped to 49% critical, unbuffed of course, if I change every piece of gear I have over to mastery as much as I am allowed. The beauty is that all that mastery now gives me a huge boost to my bonus.
In MM I would not have a 36% change to fire an extra shot at 115% damage.
In BM my pets damage would increase by 34%.
In SV my elemental damage would increase by close to 20%.
Now that makes those mastery bonus's look a little more attractive over the base specials they offer. It is going to be two months before we see anything with mastery on it to start with so for now this is the only way we can get mastery.
The question I need to ask myself is if losing 13% critical is worth the gains in any of those numbers. Without testing, just thinking about it, I would have to say yes, it will make a difference. If the PTR does not get taken down this weekend, which it will if the update is going to be on Tuesday, then I will try and run some tests to see.
In a way I hope it does get taken down this weekend. I am looking forward to the changes for as much as I really do not want them.
While testing on my Hunter last night I noticed something that is going to be an issue for me. Kind of like a relearning all over again. I was doing the stormwind invasion event (which is really fun, get ready for it) and it is all bang bang, lots of elementals and lots of running around, so a good test for me to try some things out.
Mind you my normal keybinds are not there but I did some basically simple stuff, just for testing. Serpent is 1, Aimed is 2, Chimera is 3, Arcane is 4, Steady is 5. That was it really, anything else I would just click. I have not taken much time trying to set it up. I was just testing thing.
Everything was going down rather quickly so I could not test out the sting/chimera heal as much as I would have liked to in an actual situation but it seemed to heal me for 1400-2400 each time I did get a chance to do it. The few times I got the chance to use it were enough to always keep me topped off. So in minimal damage fights it sure seems as a hunter you are self reliant on keeping yourself healed now and it also seems that the 5% heals can indeed crit.
My one problem was focus, of course, and getting used to it. I was out of focus quite often (basically any time I had to shoot and move, can't wait for fox at 83) so I picked a target that was further away and spammed steady some to get it back up. As it went on, I got better at choosing when I had time to steady and when an instant was required.
My second problem comes down to being a keybinder. A clicker would not run into this problem, or at least I do not think they would. When I was spamming steady and the free aimed proced (impossible to miss the proc which is kind of cool) I would fire an aimed shot. The thing is, I spam my keys. Remember, Hunters have a 1 and 1/2 second global to begin with so I was always in the habit of spamming the key for the next shot ahead of time. When aimed lit up I would go 2,2,2 real quick. Like I said, out of habit. I would be spamming my aimed (which is normally 3, shift 3 for a KC/Silence/Aimed combo). I've never had a problem with it. Now I do. I have to learn how to hit the damn keys only once. By doing what I did I hit the free Aimed and then started a full cost aimed after being there is no global there. Oops.
So either I have to get out of the habit of spamming my keys like that, which I could learn of course, or I need to move aimed away from my comfort spot where I can spam it and put it somewhere like Z where I would need to move a little to get to it so I only hit it once. Or my third option, I have a floating panel I use for "special" situational stuff that I leave in the middle of my screen for quick click use (it is movable, called extra bars if you are interested. I usually have just 4 things on it and it is can be made really small so it is not intrusive at all). Putting it there might work as well. Only time will tell.
Grumpy Rant Time: Continue at your own risk.
Over all however there was not much to complain with. The loss of volley is HUGE in a event like this where everything is just all out. Multi is kind of sweet, but it costs way to much to be spammable and it needs a target, so it is not just a click and let lose spell like everyone else has. I feel like the red headed stepchild no one loves.
I used Multi when I could, but the damage has been nerfed to all high hell. My normal mutli now is 3 shots from 8K-15K each. Now it is as many shots as needed for roughly 2K-4K each. They took away our volley and nerfed the hell out of our Mutli. They really do not want people playing hunters any more I think.
Outside of the obvious mistreatment and apparent disdain for hunters the development staff has it is going to be more about readjusting how we do things then it is about complaining. Nothing seems like it will be game breaking for us at the moment, not even the loss of volley, we just need to do what we always do as hunters. We need to adapt. We have always been able to do so many things, we will figure out how to do them again, it will just take some exceptional skill. Hunters are the most complicated class to play well as it is, focus surely doesn't make it any easier. Take pride in that as a Hunter.
Hunters will most likely never see the top of the DPS charts again and will no longer be able to tank things non tank classes have no business doing and extreme soloing is now a thing of the past but I believe it can still be a fun class to play. We have one thing no other class will ever have. Our pet. It is not an elemental, it is not a demon, it is an animal pet and our pets rock more then ever now.