Friday, June 21, 2013

Is the Readiness Change a Nerf or a Blessing in Disguise?

Looking at some of the upcoming hunter changes it is really easy to scream we are being nerfed yet again.  It is actually getting quite tiring having to say it over and over again.  Some buffs would be nice thank you very much.  But this next nerf, and it is a nerf, could very well end up being a blessing in disguise.  What am I talking about?  Here, take a read.

Readiness now finishes the cooldowns on Rapid Fire, Feign Death, Deterrence, Disengage, and Camouflage when activated (was all Hunter abilities with a base cooldown of less than 5 minutes).
No longer will abilities like bestial wrath be reset.  I've used to to double dip while in survival as well for an extra explosive, beast and glaive toss or to apply a second black arrow to another target, even fishing for the triple kill shot if it so worked out that way.

Not matter how you look at it, readiness gave us more buttons to press and probably one of the reasons for the bloat feeling was the readiness issue.  Not only did we have a huge array of abilities we must hit in order to get to our maximum potential but with all the priorities and timing concerns made the use of readiness part of the reason we felt extremely bloated at the front end of our rotation.  More so for beast mastery than any other spec but it did effect them all in some way.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not saying the change by itself is great because on paper if you think of that change alone it is not only a nerf but it is huge nerf.  One of monumental proportions.  For beast mastery it could be the difference between bursting for 600K or 400K.  That is a 1/3 damage difference and if you do not consider that huge you probably aren't one of the people that was using readiness correctly.  I do think this is more of PvP change once again but this is a change this PvE player can embrace.

I can embrace it with conditions of course.  Not just straight out.  Like I said, straight out it is a major nerf.  As in enough of a nerf that I could see many hunters riding the bench if this is not balanced elsewhere by buffing some other abilities.

And that is why I ask if this is really a blessing in disguise.  Without readiness it could be a little easier to balance the three specs.  Beast mastery got the most of out readiness, survival much less so but still some and marksmen got the least out of it.  It could be a blessing as it could be easier to get all three specs in line with one another.

It could also be a blessing in disguise because now that it does not reset offensive cooldowns (with the exception of rapid fire) it means that they can adjust our signature abilities a little higher upwards to compensate for the loss of that ability.  This would greatly boost the concept that these are indeed signature abilities.  One of the largest complaints, and rightfully so, of hunters is that our signature shots do not feel powerful enough to feel like signature shots.  However, the effect was not so huge that we would see any major boost to the signature shots, but it should mean we do seem some boost to them.

Now to see how blizzard chooses to follow this up and how long it takes them to make the appropriate adjustments.

Lets hope that the people at blizzard are not as clueless about hunters as it seems Taepsilum on the UK forums is when he says...

We just need to make sure that this isn’t one of those cases where something was so overpowered that its removal means we have to buff it somewhere else to keep everything in balance.

Is being clueless a requirement to work for blizzard?  Let me explain to him.

Yes, readiness was extremely over powered and was huge for beast mastery and helped somewhat as well with the other specs even if not as much.  Yes, removing anything that was a solid DPS boost will require adjusting something else unless you are just trying to lower over all DPS.

How could you think that removing something overpowered, your words, would not need compensation elsewhere?  Of course it would need compensation else where.  There is nothing to "make sure" about.

If you removed ascendance from a shaman don't you think you would need to compensate for it if you want to keep overall damage roughly the same?  If you doubled the rage cost of execute for a warrior don't you think you would have to compensate for it elsewhere to keep overall damage roughly the same?  If you remove something that effects DPS in a negative manner don't you think you would need to compensate for it elsewhere?

The only thing blizzard needs to "make sure" about is that they "make sure" to give some sort of adjustment to hunters elsewhere to cover for the loss.  Like I said, it would be minimal, maybe even as low as a 2% boss to our signature shots, but if they want to keep things the same, they need to adjust for the loss of an offensive cooldown.

Losing readiness for a beast master hunter would be akin to losing tigers fury or berserk to a feral druid, losing vendetta to a assassination rogue, losing arcane power to an arcane mage, losing a solid DPS boosting ability for any DPS class.

I do believe it will be a blessing in disguise because we will no longer have that moment after hitting it where we feel like "OMG! I must hit everything as fast as possible".  As long as we are compensated for the loss.  Then it is a solid change.  It is not a "must see" if we need to be adjusted.  It is a "must do" some sort of adjustment.  Don't listen to the blues that obviously do not understand that losing a DPS boosting ability might actually effect DPS.

There were a few other changes that deserve mentioning like black arrow and explosive trap no longer being on the same cooldown but explosive trap no longer triggering lock and load.  That could have a big impact on how we play.  I know it will change my survival AoE significantly.  Will I fire a black arrow now instead of an extra multi shot?  I had always fired a trap and used procs on my main focus during AoE.  Will it be worth doing a black arrow?  That is a reasonable question.

The spirit bond change is interesting as well.  While it was my skill of choice while out questing and soloing by default mostly for a long time the change from 2% to 3% per 2 seconds is actually pretty large when compared to the loss of 5% damage reduction from ironhawk.  Depending on the fights in SoO it is quite possible it also becomes my raid option of choice by default where ironhawk previously was.

Then there are some quality of life changes that I like.  No longer needing line of sight to revive a dead pet is nice.  Glyph of mend pet now having a 100% chance to cleanse our pet of anything is another nice little tidbit should you need it while soloing but has me wondering if that change was because we might be needing it or was it them just being nice to us with a little quality of life change.  Wyvern sting being increased to 40 yards, like the rest of our spells, is also another nice change.  Not like anyone would use it, but now that we lost our silencing shot option some might choose it and it is nice to see it in line with our other ranged abilities now.

Over all, as it has been since they started announcing 5.4 PTR stuff, there really isn't anything for hunters to be happy about.  But there is one bright side to that.  It is still early in the PTR and there will be a lot more changes to come and after being let down and felt nerfed, each and every time they announce anything, there is no place to go but up from here right?  Nah, they will find a way to nerf us even more.  I am sure of it.


  1. Really more fricking things to dumb down for pvp?

    not frosty....

    1. If it is for PvP or not is an opinion really. I believe it is a nerf to lower burst in PvP. I do hope it evens out in the end. If it does then for PvE it does nothing but actually make the rotation, even more so the burst phase, easier.

    2. all I really know is , changes have been made to hunters since vanilla. Some good, some bad and some so terrible, it made heads spin. And now, it seems everytime someone gets their panties in a bunch, changes are made - mostly for a group of people that is not the majority of players - pvp. And when these changes are made for that minority group of players, then the pve world gets that much tougher.

      Tonight, I was on my lvl 87 druid. who has no talents or glyphs picked out. Pertty much, nothing, going around and taking down the horde bonfires. Lvl 90 hordies backed off from me. heck, they could have cleaned my clock, but didn't.

      And one of my 2 rogues made 90 this week-end. Thanks for the heads up on the 4 buttons to use. Pretty much weak, though with 2 lvl 416 weapons when going against 2 or 3 mobs, but lived.

      However, i want to do a shout out to the lvl 89 Goblin rogue who showed me how to do the quest in the White Tiger Temple. I kept dying. Died 6 times. Until I watched this Goblin rogue do his/her stuff. Aha! One has to jump around and stay out of the black icky stuff and bubbles! Now it made sense, what you been spouting about these few posts - jump out of the fire, baby! The Goblin did pretty good until the last portion of the quest. They died, but I had jumped in and killed the sha-being right as the Gobby died and they got the kill. So, I remember - jump, hit and kite (vanilla hunter time!). Lived finally. What a relief. Then to my horror, no JC trainer in Golden Latern! LOL. So, I went back all over finding quests to do and within a few hours, dinged, 90, crafted lvl458 armor, got cloud serpent exalted in 3 hours, died a thousand times from the tigers and tricksters while gathering black oynx eggs and doing the CS quests, realized my lvl 416 sword and axe where not very good and found an excellant new sword (lvl 502 0/2, whatever that means, made on the thunder island dino area. Traded a bunch of living steel, 30 full stacks of ghost iron bars, a few stacks of mists gems and gold for it. Actaully a friend of mine made it for free, but since I hoard mats, just gave them to him, to make me feel more honest). So, i will have to see if having that new sword helps. It should.

      I can't wait to see what your posts tomorrow bring.


    3. I'd just note that we, PVPers, are in the same boat as regards intruding changes as PVEers. There are many changes done for PVP reasons that adversely affect PVE. Similarly, there are many changes done for PVE reasons that adversely affect PVP. Nobody likes it. It's important to understand this.

      In short, when Blizzard breaks PVE for PVP reasons, blame them for not being able to fix PVP without breaking PVE. Do NOT blame PVPers for demanding changes to glaring problems that really exist and that are every bit as bad for us as PVE problems are for raiders and soloing problems are for soloers.

      PS: The change to Readiness was required for PVP, yes.

    4. @ Roo

      When all else fails, kite. Stay out of stuff and keep moving. Most of the time that will be the answer to everything. That, and interrupt, while we that are not marksmen still can at least.

      @ PvP anon

      I understand that. But the game is a PvE game and as such should be treated as that and that should be what is balanced first. But even that is opinion based, some people say it is a PvP game and even if I do not understand why they would think that, they are entitled to their reasons.

      In the end they just need to break the two up. Spell 1 does 50K damage to a mob and 20K damage to a player. Tada, fixed. No need to nerf it for PvE because it is too strong in PvP.

      It amazes me that they have not done that yet. It would make their life so much easier.

      They already have the tech in game. CC acts different against mobs and players. Even things like hunters mark works different on players than it does on mobs. Just make every ability like that and things are fixed without having to screw one over to fix the other.

      But instead of fixing things they would rather just leave a broken system broken. I will never understand that.

    5. Yup, pvp'ers will still get blamed by non-pvp'ers for anything dumbed down in pve talents/abilites for/from pvp.

      So, just go with it, as we do. :D

      stay frosty...

      PS - GE,
      I got all of rogue interrupts next to each other, but I am noticing, that some things like "kick" now has a longer cool-down. :D but thats ok. Once I realized that I should move all over the place and kite, life has gotten a little easier, that is, except for Dread Wastes - you don't dare really move around there without running into another mob or 3.

    6. At least kick is now free. Made no sense that it used to cost energy when all other interrupts for other melee classes didn't cost anything.

      You can move in the waste if you survey the area first. Move into an area you scouted to be safe beforehand.

      I always have an escape route planned. Not saying it always works of course, but at least I always have a plan. lol

  2. I'd mentioned recently that I'd prefer just to get rid of Readiness as a rotational cooldown... this almost does that, so I'm good with it. Now they just have to remove RF from it, no clue why they'd choose to leave that in as well. Make it a utility-only reset, buff dps elsewhere to make up for it (maybe give RF a more oomph, it doesn't seem to actually change my dps much when I hit it, maybe have it regen focus faster and increase damage done by focus-costing abilities by some %age while active).

    The other changes seem fine, I especially like the decoupled cooldown, it wasn't a matter of having to choose which cooldown to use, it was too much a matter of not having what I wanted/needed available due to having used the other one recently and having ExT not trigger LnL is a good thing, too, it'll decrease the dps penalty of tanks not actually keeping mobs in the trap. It was just too cumbersome the way it was set up previously.

    1. I think they have something bigger in mind for rapid fire, being it is part of our tier set. That might be why it is still there.

  3. We were just talking about changing Readiness this way! Blizzard must read this blog! :)

    As Anon mentioned, not sure why RF is still in there. I'd remove that too.

    Darkbrew noticed that Ghostcrawler at least got it right on Twitter where the blue poster failed... tweet
    "Two examples: We will compensate hunters for Readiness and paladins for Eternal Flame, should those changes stick beyond a PTR build or so."

    Crossing my fingers that it sticks and we get a signature shot buff in exchange.

    1. It does seem like he reads here sometimes.

      I think RF is still there because I have a feeling they are going to give it a little boost. As it is, it really is not much of a DPS boost to begin with. You can do your rotation without ever using it and the end result would not amount to all that much. I would like to see it be given more oomph.

      I too am hoping for a signature shoot boost. I can feel it coming. It is long over due.