Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stop the Hunter Hate Blizzard

Someone at Blizzard needs to meet the business end of a shotgun.  I would never advocate violence to a person in real life over a video game but the sentiment of that is how I feel about whomever is making the hunter design choices. 

I could just picture a dwarf hunter with some developer pinned to the wall, a shotgun in his face and fluffy growling near the developers crotch just one bite away from making the family jewels disappear forever saying, "change it back".

I'll start with the recent hunter nerfs and extend to the advanced changes we see coming for 5.4.


Then: It was supposed to be our big move of the expansion.  An ability with a long cooldown, a fun visual, and holding multiple purposes.

Now: Dire beast with no focus regeneration on a massively long cooldown.

Using stampede as the universal buff machine?  No more.  Using stampede as a healing cooldown with all spirit beasts?  No more.  Using stampede as a defensive cooldown with all pets growling?  No more.  So many uses for stampede, all gone.

Why where these changes made?  For PvP.  And PvPers wonder why PvE players complain about PvP.  A new ability that was extremely useful for PvE in many ways has been neutered because people in PvP did not know how to counter it.  Well guess what?  Get better or deal with it.  There was no reason to change stampede.  And even less reason to change it for PvP.  If it was really that much of an issue in arena because of bad players crying because they could not figure out how deal with it blizzard should have told them to man up and learn to play or just removed the ability to use stampede in arena.  Simple solutions.  Appropriate solutions.  There was no need to change it.

What makes matters worse is that blizzard tried to mask the fact they nerfed stampede and blink strikes by giving hunters a 10% buff to arcane, steady and cobra.  And it worked.  Yesterday someone came on vent and all excitedly said, did you hear hunters finally got a buff.  All he noticed was that 10% increase to those abilities.  I almost felt bad telling him that it was a nerf, not a buff, that hunters got.

I even explained that in a perfect situation, patchwork type fight, the nerf will outweigh the buff to the tune of as much as a 2% DPS loss.  Now that was under ideal conditions.  Once I explained what that really means in action I thought I broke the guys heart.  In action it will actually will be more along the lines of a 5% nerf and could be a 10% or more loss for lesser skilled hunters.

See, in battle, when moving and thinking on the fly we all are bound to make mistakes.  Even the most perfect players will miss an arcane here and there or a steady/cobra once in a while.  Each time they miss one of those they are losing that 10% extra the buff gave them.  Whereas stampede was a 5 minute cooldown you would only get in once or twice a fight at most usually.  You will use arcane and steady/cobra 100s of times possibly and each one you miss is a little bit you lost that used to be something you did not need to worry about because it was damage from stampede before. 

If you miss a stampede by three seconds you are still getting the full effect out of it as long as it runs its entire life.  Heck, delaying it a few seconds, or even minutes if you know you will not get another in anyway, is sometimes a good idea.  But delaying a arcane or steady/cobra even a fraction of a second is a DPS loss.  So where you hit stampede and lost nothing, now you have 100s of chances to lose that DPS during the fight because of missed or delayed, even by a fraction of a second, arcane shots and steady/cobra shots.

So the nerf is not a flat out 2% nerf like it might seem like on paper when working on a patchwork fight, it is a 5% nerf for most and perhaps a 10% or more nerf for others that were not very good.

All thanks to PvPers crying because they are bad players that do not know how to deal with the other characters abilities.  PvE should never take the short end of the stick for a mini game.  Next hunters will get nerfs because of pet battles.  And then hunters will get nerfs because of the farm.  Nerfing PvE for PvP reasons is just as stupid as nerfing PvE for pet battle reasons.  It should never happen.  They are two separate things and should always be treated as such.

Hunters were not exactly in great shape to begin with on the charts.  We didn't need a nerf.  We needed a buff.  But thanks to PvP we get nerfed.  Again.  Just because I top the charts doesn't mean hunters are doing good.  It just means the people I pug with on my server suck, it is because people in the LFR suck, it is not because hunters are good.  Hunters are not in a good place now and we did not deserve to be nerfed for such a stupid reason.

Now coming in 5.4.  More nerfs.  Oh joy.

Arcane Shot:

Arcane shot has had its damage and focus cost increased by 50%.

Excuse me?  Focus is in a nice place now.  It spends fast and it regens fast.  Unless you spam arcane for no reason you won't run out but now just hitting arcane could force you to run out.  So it will mean I need to relearn my rotation, no big deal, it is not like I have not had to do that and much more every patch since, well, forever.  But increasing the focus cost makes no sense. 

Increasing the damage portion actually makes perfect sense.  As I mentioned hunters are near the bottom.  Buffing a shot that is used in all three specs with a damage boost is welcome.  It could put us in line with the other classes as it should be.  There was no need to mess with the focus and that could very well end up being another DPS loss.  Have to see how it works on paper, but reading it, it sure seems like it will be a DPS loss to me.

About the only thing that hunters have going for them is the fact we are the only class that can put out our rotation 100% while moving.  So the casters and melee doing more than us on paper can be compensated for in a raid environment by the hunter being good.  This is true.  So I guess that means they are going to take that away soon too right?  Can't have hunters being happy about something can we?  I am surprised we have not had that removed yet.  Give it time, they just over looked it.  Next time someone gets a bug up their ass and wants to mess with hunters again we will be land locked once more.  Most likely because of bad PvPer cried that some hunter kept running away from him while still beating on him.  I'll put my money on it being a retribution paladin.

Aspect of the Ironhawk:

Now reduces damage taken by 10% down from 15%.

So blizzard is not content with just lowering our damage output they want to increase the damage we take.  Lets not forget that this is not a given ability either.  We have to choose it.  If we choose it, it should be something we can benefit from.  It should be good.  In theory anyway right?

Are they trying to make us not choose it?  Don't know about you but the other two options really seem to stand out a hell of a lot more now that it will be reduced to 10%.  Before it was a choice most of the time.  While many would stay in ironhawk by default, the other two options had their place and I would use them often depending on the content I was doing.  Now ironhawk is almost completely off my radar.  I think I will just stay in spirit bond from now on.  If anything, even at 15%, ironhawk was off my radar in many situations.  I would never use it while soloing.  I would never use it while questing.  Now I might never use it in raids.

It should have been increased to 20% if they really felt the need to change it.  Not lowered.  Hunters have no ability that reduces damage besides deterrence and we can not attack while in deterrence.  So a passive damage reduction of 15%, that we had to choose over another useful option, was fine.  There was no reason to change it.

Silencing Shot:

An interrupt that works on bosses.

Now this ability is marksman only.  Binding shot which was a talent then became marksman only is now a talent choice again.  So now we get to choose between Wyvern Shot, Intimidation and Binding Shot.  Three abilities that are completely useless against bosses.

Why this change?  Because people were choosing silencing shot more than any other ability on that tier.  It is changes like this one that prompt me to say that whoever is making these decisions needs to meet the business end of a shot gun.  Instead of finding a way to make the other abilities more attractive, just get rid of the one people like.  Smart idea there genius.

So because it was a good ability and people liked it and it was useful in all facets of the game you move it to the one spec that is not viable in game?  Who the hell is running the ship over there?

If everyone was choosing it that means it was good.  So make it base line if you want people to choose something else and make it a real choice.  Do not give it to the one spec that no one is playing with now.

And look at that tier for the raiding player now. 

Binding Shot.  Useless against bosses.  Minor rare uses otherwise if there are adds in the fight and there was usually another class that could handle it better or a trap could handle it almost the same.

Wyvern Shot:  Useless against bosses.

Intimidation:  Useless against bosses.

Okay blizzard, where exactly is my choice here?  I get to chose between three abilities that do not work against bosses. 

Do you want to know one of the reasons silencing shot was the top choice for players, because it was the only one on that tier that was always useful no matter what you do.  Solo?  Yeah, it is an interrupt.  Questing?  Some mobs have abilities that just need to be interrupted.  PvP?  Of course, it is an interrupt isn't it. PvE?  It is the only ability on that tier that works against raid bosses so even if it was not your job to interrupt you took it.

The worst part is that they give the ability to a spec no one plays.  Marksman is my favorite spec, always has been.  I would love to play marksman.  It is just not viable and giving it silencing shot is not going to be enough to get me to play it.

If they want a bit of free advice on how to fix marksman.  Change the careful aim time to 60% and it might even it out.  Not sure about your raid group but my raid group, when counting in burst, the first 20% of the bosses health doesn't last 30 seconds.  So that boost is not enough for marksman because they rarely get to spend any meaningful time in the careful aim rotation.

Better yet, make careful aim an ability.  It increases crit chance by 75% for 20% of the targets health.  So if I use it when the mob is at 54% I have the bonus until 34%.  If it is only going to work for 20% don't make it work during the fastest 20% of the fight.  That is one way to fix marksman.  In part.

Put silencing shot back as a talent or make it baseline.  Do not make it marksman only.  And seriously.  At least make one of the abilities on the level 30 row useful in raids being you took away the only skill that was useful.

Not sure what is going on over there when it comes to making these decisions.  I will blame it on ghostcrawler because even if it is not his fault I am sure he screwed something up recently and needs to be blamed for it.  I just can not believe how much hunter hate is going on over at blizzard.  They really need to stop it.

In the end none of this is game breaking.  We will still do what we do, we will still adapt, and we will still rock the charts even if we seem behind the curve.  We are hunters, we rock.  But at some point I just get tired of always hearing nerf, nerf, nerf.  Just quit it already.


  1. Not the post I was expecting from you today. Maybe we'll get another one later? I really want to know what you think about the announced patch 5.4 notes. I'm not stalking your blog or anything *whistles*, well I might be. Your thoughts are always interesting and I wondered what you would say about it, when I read the patch notes.

    Anyway your hunter thoughts are good too. Though I agree with you, why blizz can't separate PvE and PvP is beyond me. I get that they want to make it accessible to either side but it's screwing it up both ways. Noble goal, poor execution.

    1. I was going to write something on them but there is really nothing there that stands out to me. Except the hunter nerfs.

      I was going to write about the proving grounds and who they are for. The virtual world and how that can help. And some other little tid bits, but none of that really seems worth my time. At least not at the moment. I am neither excited or upset by either one and indifference is not a very good motivator to write. ;)

    2. Ah right I thought for sure you would have an opinion on Virtual Realms, given your many posts on CRZ and also on the benefits/drawbacks of low population realms. I mean basically as I see it, it's server merges without calling it that, plus people get to keep their names which was the problem with server merges.

      I think this could be good if they remove forced CRZ. Surely having both would be a) overkill b) conflict, as it would be trying to merge servers on crz that were already combined, just seems odd. That would also get rid of all the CRZ bugs and bring back balance into the game world.

      It will also effectively CRZ Pandaria which will suck. To be honest I've grown used to being on a low pop realm. It bothers me when it comes to recruiting raiders for my guild, but aside from that I like it. I've visited Pandaria on my old server, which was very high pop, by a friend inviting me, and man no mob lasted more than a few seconds in some areas. Sure this is an MMO and you are supposed to share nicely, but I don't like sitting around waiting for respawns, I like just having a few people around. Still can't have it both ways and having a healthier population for raiding can only be a good thing. Makes me wonder what will happen with realm firsts that are won by a virtual guild. Have to wait and see I guess.

    3. Virtual realms are server merges without the stigma of sounding like a server merge. That is really all there is to say about until I see it in action.

      I do hope this means they are removing CRZ however. Now that would be something worth writing about.

      I too love being on a low pop realm, with the exception of the raiding situation of course. Everything else is just better.

  2. I'm going to be contrary and say that I am so glad that I don't have to deal with any more stupid hunter growl machine stampedes.

    It's a nerf to hunters who knew what they were doing and a buff to ignorant hunters who didn't tailor their stable.

    But as a tank I'm going to be so happy not to have to sit there waiting out stampedes until I get the boss back. Now if only more DKs would fix their stupid Armies.

    1. I know what you mean, but why should I have to suffer because of bad players in PvP. Or what should I have to suffer because of bad hunters leaving on growl for you.

      Any decent hunter never had those problems. I thought they had changed it so pets could not taunt raid bosses. Of course I would not notice because I was not one of those hunters that left taunt on.

      Usually when I am tanking if a pet gets aggro I let them keep it, kill it, then get it back. Nothing will teach them and I got tired of trying to fight with the pet. So I just let them die.

    2. Pets can't taunt raid bosses. It only works on dungeon bosses and trash.

      I've had tanks complain when I use stampede in a dungeon and my turtle happens to have growl on (he's my personal tank, so it's usually on).

      Honestly, the tank should just take a break during those 20 seconds. He can have it back after my turtle is done kicking the bosses ass... or he can just sit there and I'll tank it with my normal pet... My pet probably has more survivability than he does in his 440 ilvl gear.

      I should be nicer but I'm doing 50% of the damage in the dungeon group so I don't really care...

    3. I think the issue is that growl is an actual taunt now. A change I like. But tanks got used to just out threating the pet and he could growl all he wanted and it meant nothing.

  3. I bet you didnt read my blog, yesterday, huh. :D

    stay frosty

    1. I can't say I did but it seems we are on the same page. lol

  4. I am a PVP guy and, well, in my opinion, BM hunters on arenas *are* somewhat OP at the moment and should be nerfed. Honest.


    The above changes are WRONG, they are NOT the nerf we need for arenas at all. I am not in a position to talk about hunter PVE, but I will take your word that these changes are terrible for PVE as well.

    It seems we have a situation where not doing anything at all (even though hunters do need a buff in PVE and a nerf in PVP) would be better than going forward with these changes, yet, by some bad luck, we are stuck with these changes for some time. I have no doubt that these changes will - after some time - be reversed and done properly, at least the PVP part (because, as I said, they are NOT solving the problem in PVP at all). But that is not going to happen immediately and in the meantime we will somewhat suffer.

    The nerf that I think would be best for all is this: such and such ability does X% less damage against players. Then we can buff it for PVE, too.

    1. BTW, this is me talking about changes in the hotfix, not those in 5.4. I haven't studied the PTR patch notes for 5.4 yet.

    2. They should have just removed stampede from being allowed to be used in arena and left our very versatile ability alone instead of making it completely useless and actually a DPS loss.

    3. They really need more of that "does X against a player" differences instead of continuing to screw with the game.

      PvP will never be balanced, that is just a fact. So any changes that have this much of a huge impact on PvE should be left alone. It is not like it would help balance the unbalancable.

  5. Out of idol curiosity what is your thinking on the appropriate way to respond to stampede in PVP? My extensive research has shown the most effective thing I can do is to wait patiently to die. Your Idea of handle it better doesn’t seem to be very helpful. (sarcasm) Have you ever had the pleasure as a clothie of two hunters stampede you at once? It’s extremely…. Bracing. Perhaps they gave you buffs in damage in other area’s to compensate for the loss of damage from your bursty as hell cooldown instead of “hiding” your nerf.. You know as they do see frost mage ice lance upfront damage pushed to frostbolt.

    1. I am not a PvPer so any answer I give there would be a better one by someone that actually PvPs but...

      Every class in the game has defensive cooldowns. Pick a class and pick their cooldown and use it.

      Many classes have group slows, snares, stuns, how about they attempt to use them?

      If you would like I can go through detailed explanation of how they are handled for every class combo you might have. Yes, it would be hard, yes it would be a challenge. No, it would not and has never been a problem for good PvPers.

      Once you live through the burst, kill the hunter, it is a free kill unless he is really really skilled. And lets face it, if he was counting on his stampede and only his stampede he is not a very good player so take your free kill and smile.

      Now the clothie and 2 stampedes, I can't see you living though that. So guess what, unless it is arena, die and revive and go back to fighting, what is the big deal? If someone has a problem with dying they should not be PvPing to begin with. And if it is an area, you have other team mates to help you with them. Still, yes, a double hunter stampede is a bit much for any class but I am sure skilled players could handle it. It is not like the hunter can do much otherwise.

      The real fix is to just remove stampede from being able to be used in arenas. Done. Fixed. Not buffs, no nerfs, nothing else needed. Wow, that was so hard to fix wasn't it? (sarcasm of my own of course)

      The buffs to the other things are a nerf in over all damage for PvE, like I explained in the post. That is how they are hiding the nerf.

      Even when executed to perfection it is a nerf. And no one is perfect, I sure as hell am not even close, so while it is a 2% DPS loss as is I would say it could be as much as 3-4% to me, even more if I really screw up my other abilities.

      I really do not mind the 2% DPS loss much. What really pisses me off is that the utility of the ability is gone.

      I use it to solo content. I use it as a defensive cooldown. I use it as a buff machine. I use it for burst healing. I use it for various reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with PvP or raiding. All of that is lost because of some mini game call PvP. There was no reason to nerf it, at least not that bad. At least let it still taunt, still cast buffs, still do the things many decent hunters used it for. We can get over the DPS loss, the utility loss can not be compensated for.

      I want the utility of stampede back. That is my problem with the change.

    2. To Tiggi.

      You aren't dying to stampede. You are dying to the main pet which has been unpeelable with Blink Strikes. The main pet is slightly more peelable now, which is a good thing, but that "slightly" is very difficult to take advantage of, plus it is compensated with more burst from the hunter himself, which the hunter gets automatically.

      Changes to stampede do lower the overall burst (although, again, there is no loss to the very first burst since you can get all the buffs you need in the flag room), but nobody was dying to stampede in the first place, it has been nerfed already to appropriate levels.

      If you ask me, yes, I absolutely agree that hunters do need a nerf in PVP. But these changes aren't the way to do it. They aren't even a nerf to hunters who press more than one button, to be absolutely frank.

    3. @ PvP Anon

      Exactly. It is blink strikes that is the issue. I mentioned that in a reply to someone else.

      They could have just disabled blink strikes during stampede and it would have been fine.

      Look at the hunter representation in PvP and how small it is. Hunters are not being used in PvP because over all they still suck outside of being a one trick pony.

      In the hands of a skilled player, very skilled, they are gods. To anyone else, they are free kills. Stampede was all "everyone else" had.

      Is it odd that I don't think I have ever called stampede in PvP? I have only done a few battlegrounds this expansion, but I have never once used it. I would rather learn how to be a good hunter than learn how to depend on having one ability available.

  6. And the amount of whining they would have got if they removed it from PVP would be epic and they would need to offset the damage loss in pvp too still so no that’s not a "simple fix" what they don't like is all the pets coming out and using their abilities. BM hunters in PvP are OP right now PVP might be a mini-game for you but for someone else it’s all they do and raiding is the mini game. It’s not the nerf hunters deserve right now but it is the nerf they needed.

    1. I can see your point but being I play from a PvE angle in a PvE game and being it is a PvE game they should think about that first and PvP second.

      And yes, there would be outcry from hunters in arena, but again, it is an easy fix even if you do not agree with it. A fix they should have done from the beginning.

      Have abilities work differently when they hit a mob than they do when they hit a player. It already works that way for CC, why not everything?

      Here are your PvP changes. Remove stampede, buff those shots and a few others when in an arena. Fixed.

      Out in the world a hunter will still be able to chew your face off with his stampede but guess what? Shit happens.

      If you want to be flagged and you are not one of the classes that can easily counter it, you die. I've had to run back to my body plenty of times because I got jumped, it is my own fault for being flagged on a PvE server. Big freaking deal. Either take your flag off or don't complain. If you are on a PvP server, travel with a friend or be better than the person attacking you.

      They need to separate PvP from PvE. That is what it comes down to.

      I want my stampede back. Screw arena. Fix the problem another way without screwing up my abilities that have nothing to do with arena.

  7. None of it being game-breaking is an understatement... these are non-issues.

    Silencing Shot was far too good in that tier so everyone took it regardless of what they were running. I would have preferred it to be baseline for all and perhaps that's where it will end up but I don't mind it being MM-only... just means melee interrupters will have to actually do their jobs rather than making me interrupt a Cobra Shot to do it. Silencing Shot also has travel time, I believe, making it less useful than a melee interrupt. Let them do it.

    I don't personally know of anyone who used Stampede for a buff fiesta or for chain healing... either way, I believe it's meant to be a dps cooldown, not a utility one, so I don't mind this change at all. I believe the buffs to Cobra/Steady Shot and Arcane Shot will more that compensate for the loss from Stampede... been a while since I checked my hunter logs but I don't think Stampede accounted for more than 5% of my damage done so even a 100% nerf to Stampede damage would almost be covered by the buffs. Either way, it's a margin of error change that will be hard to notice.

    Ironhawk is another non-issue... whenever you have a healer that talent was so far superior to the others that the others were basically just a noob trap, the same kind of noob trap that Blizz has been trying to get away from. Yes, for soloing when you generally take very little damage, Spirit Bond was the better choice... and still is. Ironhawk will still be the better choice for raiding most of the time but maybe the others will be more competitive so you COULD take Spirit Bond into a raid. Isn't choice a good thing?

    I suspect the 50% damage / 50% focus increase (I haven't seen the 5.4 notes you must have pulled those from yet so I'll assume they're accurate) for Arcane Shot in 5.4 are absolutely necessary for my hunter right now... I took the "free Arcane Shot" talent (passives ftw) and I'm probably focus capped 50+% of the time and I'm hitting so many Arcane Shots that my Serpent Sting drops because I can't find the cycles to work Cobra Shot in occasionally. This change will only make my life better and presumably, the lives of many other hunters, otherwise they wouldn't be considering the change. You've commented before that playing a hunter these days is more like whack-a-mole than anything... this will slow down the rotation a bit. That's a good thing.

    When you consider all the GREAT hunter changes that have happened recently (no minimum range! no rogues stealing our bows or warriors stealing our tanking guns! 50 stable slots!! 100% dps on the move! my pet has enough health to survive a hit after it spawns!) it's hard to argue that any of these changes are even a blip in the overall scheme of things. I'm not even sure any of them are even negatives.

    1. Further comment on Ironhawk going from 15% DR to 10% DR.

      Boomkins went from 15% DR to 0% DR.

      Shadow priests went from 15% DR to 0% DR.

      Warlocks went from 10% DR to 0% DR.

      If anything, that's some hunter love there... they still have some DR left. :)

    2. Silencing used to be MM only and I was very happy to see all specs get it being they basally made MM useless. I dislike they are making it MM only again. If everyone was using it that means it is a good ability. I don't see a problem with something being good. And no, there is no such thing as too good. Best yes, but not too good.

      I used stampede for various different things and so did many others. Just because the vast majority did not understand the true utility of an ability doesn't mean the ability should be removed. That is basically what they did, they basically removed stampede.

      As for the numbers, I too recall my old numbers saying stampede being only 5% but perhaps it is more now. Everything I read is putting it at a DPS loss and as the people saying it are the numbers people I will believe them.

      90% of the time when not in a raid I would use spirit bond. For some soloing I would use the other. For raiding I used that. All three abilities had uses. All three are good at what they do. It is the only tier that actually has good solid choices. I liked it.

      I did not know about the other classes, only read about hunters because lets face it, all other classes are just support classes to hunter. ;)

      I've been in the focus capped time myself a lot and lost my sting more times then I recall but I would trade that for being focus starved any day. We will have to see what the numbers do when someone plays with it, but it is another change just for the sake of change as I see it right now.

      I would love to see hunters stop the whack a mole approach. But to do so we need to remove a bunch of the bloat and put cooldowns on abilities. Until then it will always be whack a mole.

      I do agree that over all in the past couple of years we have had out fair share of good happen to us. But we are not talking about the good. We are talking about the bad. Changes for the sake of changes. None of which were needed, asked for, or required.

      Even if, like I said, it is nothing game breaking, it is still bad for hunters.

      Again. Did not notice the other classes lost it all. So in that case it is actually a good thing. But it has me wondering why are they doing that? Healers are having a hard enough time as it is. Why make them have to heal more?

    3. Imtimidation use to be BM's only ability until last patch, but blizzard decided to share the love and make it a lvl 30 talent for everyone to use. Now we lose a talent that I liked and it is given back to MM's as an ability. Not crying here, but really, why all the frigging changes (not a question to be answer, just can't spell rhetorical).

    4. Silencing shot being available to everyone was great. I finally had an interrupt that actually worked, and I've used it a LOT!!! Dungeons, LFR, soloing, raids, etc. Every spec in the game should have a baseline interrupt with a CD < 30 seconds; it's just necessary. In 5.4, I'll have 3 useless abilities. Maybe I just won't even select one for that tier as a protest to Blizzard.

      To me Stampede was a utility CD. In raids, it was just an extra button to press during my opener and again half way through the fight; like Readiness. But outside raids, Stampede is a utility CD (just like Readiness is a utility CD).

      5 different pet buffs from Stampede was great for soloing and Brawler's guild.

      5 spirit beast heals was great for certain soloing situations where you need an extra heal.

      4 extra growls was great for soloing when your tenacity pet died and you needed something to keep the mob busy while you revived it.

      I've used all of those and they've saved my ass more than once.

      For PvP, the only issue with Stampede that made sense was the extra CCs from multiple pets. But isn't that what the diminishing returns is supposed to handle? They just nerfed all the pet CC CDs anyway... They could have put shared cooldowns on the pet CC or simply disabled Stampede in Arena. There are other abilities that don't work in arenas; this could have just been one more on the list. It could have easily been solved without making Stampede completely useless everywhere.

      A great quote from the EU forums was:
      40 yd range
      Instant 5 min cooldown
      Requires level 87
      Summons a flock of fluffy teddy bears to fight your current target for 20 sec. Your fluffy teddy bears deal insignificant amount of damage while summoned this way, questioning why you summoned them in the first place."

      Zarhym just keeps copy pasting the same BS response on all the posts about Stampede though. The response doesn't answer anything...

      The Blink Strikes nerf made complete sense. I'm not sure how they didn't see that as a problem during testing.

      The potential change to Arcane shot on the PTR just makes me scratch my head. I have no idea what they're trying to accomplish with that.

      I hope Frostheim and/or Zeherah are on the Hunting Party Podcast this weekend to talk about this stuff. A top PvP hunter would be a good guest as well to talk about it.

    5. @ Roo

      The changes are because they are trying to balance PvP. All in all even if hunters are extremely under represented in PvP in the hands of a good player they are very good. The reason they are good is they have some power and lots of control. They are trying to remove that.

      I still do not understand why they have to keep messing with PvE however. They could just adjust things to work differently when targeting a player.


      I read that stampede description on the forums and loved it. While their response made sense I did not agree with it. The thing is, what we want doesn't matter. They will do with us as they please. I guess there is good and bad to that sometimes. Focus worked out well and most hunters did not want it. Although there are still times I miss mana.

      Blink strikes should have never worked on the pets summoned by stampede. That is why stampede became an issue again. 5 pets you could not escape. Could they have just made it that the pets called by stampede did not use blink strikes?

      I think they are trying to make arcane fire off less. Probably for proc reasons. I do hope that we get a buff to more than just arcane however. While 50% cost for 50% damage seems like it would make sense math wise and keep it the same I read someone explain how actually it won't. It will turn out to be a DPS loss and a significant one at that.

    6. Right, I'd still like SiS to be baseline for all hunter specs but it was the only talent worth taking in that tier, in my opinion, so something had to change there. Sure, there's nothing wrong with good talents as long as the alternatives aren't crap in comparison. When they are, it's easier to move/fix/change the overly good one than to improve the two bad ones. Would you prefer if the 3 choices in that tier were Silencing Shot, Ice Trap and Misdirection? That would make for an absolutely viable choice for utility depending on the fight/group comp but I don't think I'd want to give up IT and MD as baseline abilities to do it. You'd need abilties of that calibre moved to that talent tier to actually compete with Silencing Shot.

      My point wasn't that Stampede hasn't been a utility button, I meant to imply that perhaps that wasn't the INTENTION when they made it... a side effect that they've decided was too good to leave intact. And sure, in some (or even most) cases it might be a small dps loss, but it'll be a SMALL dps loss. If necessary they can always buff ArS and CS/StS by another 2% or whatever is required to take it the rest of the way so it's actually a small buff. Would that be enough to get you guys to change your tune on this? This kind of over-reaction is why Blizz is so hesitant to give us anything interesting in the first place, if it doesn't work out and they have to backtrack the vocal public response is ridiculously overheated. A lot of people (and bloggers) were originally asking for a button to push that would send all of their pets out at once in a Stampede... with this change, they still have that. Hunters didn't lose anything that they had before MoP hit. They tried the previous implementation, it impacted balance too much, so they forced it back to match the original request... a button to push that would send all of their pets out at once.

      "Support classes"... I do like a good Frostheim reference in the morning. :)

      I'm expecting the problem is that the rest of the classes don't have any innate DR... I remember back in early Cat when my hunter was my main that one of our healers decided he'd stop healing me because I was taking so much damage. Not due to any issue on my part, but just because my hunter was the only dps in the raid that didn't have natural DR so while everyone else would get knocked down to 20% health, I'd get knocked down to 5%. The healer was an idiot, sure, but it's still a valid observation. If anything, I think the only classes that should have natural DR are MELEE ones... but as you'll notice from the list I mentioned, the ones who had it were all RANGED. Far as I'm concerned this is a good change from a balance perspective and that hunters actually get to keep 10% is somewhat surprising. Probably because it's a talent and because hunters have minimal to no self-healing.

    7. I guess you are right. It is easier to move the one good ability out than it would be to make the other two more attractive. Perhaps I just disagree with removing it and not making it baseline. The fact everyone overwhelming decided to take it shows it is something we all want, doesn't it?

      If they buffed arcane and cobra/steady 15% instead of 10% it would most likely even out to be equal DPS. Just guessing numbers here however.

      For me, as I mentioned, it is more about the utility of the ability I am complaining about. If it was not their intention they should have changed it in beta, or 5.0, or 5.1, or 5.2, or 5.3, you get the idea.

      They knew about how it was being used for as a utility ability since beta. I wrote posts about it here and 100s of other bloggers did as well. There are forums all over the internet and on about the utility. It is not like this was some secret they just found out and had to react to. They knew the utility and they had no problem with it. Saying they did not intend for it to be that way is just a bullshit answer that has no basis in fact. If they did not want it to be a utility ability it would have been changed a long long long time ago.

      Nice. You picked up where the support classes came from. ;)

      I think in DS it had more to do with needing to be at range. If you did not stack correctly so hunters could still do DPS while being in the healing the hunters would always take more damage. The removal of minimum range which allowed hunters to stack with everyone else did help a fair bit. But yes, it did seem, and even with the 15% still seems, hunters take a lot more damage than other classes. I have noticed this as a hunter and as a healer. I have no proof but I would guess there is an armor error in the hunter coding that is the reason for that more than anything else. It seems hunters just take damage as if they attract it, even if there is no damage going out.

    8. I'm half expecting that we'll see a Blizz response to the Stampede changes that "we've been aware that it caused some imbalances for a long time but usage as such was relatively low at first, once it became common enough that it was impacting balance for a large enough portion of the population we decided that we finally had to act by removing the utility functionality and making Stampede a dps-only cooldown."

      Might have been BRK originally but Frostheim is certainly the latest in the line. :)

      I'd switched away from my hunter by DS, Magmaw is the fight that comes immediately to mind (Healer: "Stack up, hunter!" Me: "No, then you'll just bitch about my crap melee dps making the fight last too long." Healer: "You betcha but I'd rather bitch about your dps than to have to keep healing your squishy way-out-there ass."). It was a general issue on any fights with AoE raid damage, though. When the first MoP class notes came out I was actually more excited about the 5% Chimera Shot heal than Ironhawk... just the idea of a rotational heal was fantastic, even for a spec I didn't much enjoy playing. I might take a bit more damage but damnit, on Chimaeron, I'd actually be able to help keep myself a live a tiny little bit! Of course, they haven't come out with a mechanic like that since. :)

    9. I still would not buy that if they said it. I still do not understand why they can't just tell the truth. "We changed our mind." We would all still complain but at least they would be being honest instead of handing us a steaming plate of dog poop and telling us it was a steak dinner.

      I hated magmaw because I would target him when I walked in the door. I would target him when I went to eat a feast. I would target him when I clicked for lock rocks. I always had to keep my back turned because I might accidentally pull him because I could not click anywhere on the screen where I was not targeting him. Glad to say I never pulled him once but that was really annoying for that reason as well.

      I just read a post about the issues with pet balancing. Not about wow in general, just pet classes. It is a very difficult situation for sure and it does leave me to ask, just to make life easier on themselves, why not offer a petless option for each spec? It would be easier to balance and when they make changes like that, people can just go petless for a while until they get over it.

      I personally don't think I will ever get over it. I do not want to lose the utility of stampede. I've soloed so many things and done things I thought I couldn't all thanks to stampede. Not as a DPS boost but as a utility ability and I want it back. No ifs ands of buts about it.

    10. Late follow-up that I'm not sure anyone will see but Blizz did address the DR changes in a couple of posts, included here out of order since I believe it reads better this way:

      To give some insight as to where we're headed, we wanted to chill out on some of the passive damage reduction in favor of moving to more active sources of mitigation. It just doesn't feel very good to have certain players in your raid (for example) who always take more damage from the big hits than others, even though neither player is doing anything special. We'd rather the players themselves be more in control.

      This change (along with the other passive damage reduction changes) is something we're going to balance around. We're just extremely early in the PTR cycle at the moment, so that balancing hasn't taken place yet.

      Q: You took the reduction from shadow priest and moonkins but not hunters? any reason hunters get love?

      A: We did lower the passive reduction from Aspect of the Iron Hawk a bit, but since it's a talent, it wouldn't make much sense to remove it entirely. We're okay with the passive effect in this case since it's a choice (and we're hoping that this change will help make the other talents in the tier more attractive).

    11. I had read that. It made a fair deal of sense when explained that way.

      The recent PTR change to spirit bond upping the healing to 3% from 2% actually means I believe that becomes the talent of choice. Lowering passive damage reduction in place of giving us an option to heal for a little more, even if only 1% every 2 seconds, seems to balance the two talents better.

      Even with that said, I still think hunters are way to squishy. I play and tank and heal on all classes and I can say with certainty that the hunter is without a doubt the worst class when it comes to damage taken in PvP from melees at least. Even clothies have a better survival rate. I think that is because the agility to dodge factor was removed back in cataclysm.

      I think if they just added back the agility to dodge factor they would not need the damage reduction for PvP and it would greatly increase of value of spirit bond.

    12. Yeah, I'd expect Spirit Bond to become the default pick but I'd still go with the 10% flat DR for a progression fight like, say, Ultraxion, that has constant and scaling incoming damage. Choice!

      I missed it earlier but Blizz did provide some follow-up comments to the Stampede change, not particularly close to what I said but it seems perfectly reasonable (we'll agree to disagree, as always ;) ):

      Patch 5.3 resulted in Hunters feeling a bit stronger in PvP than in 5.2, where we feel they were in a much better place overall. Stampede in particular has been proving troublesome. We originally designed it with an “empty your stables” theme primarily for flavor–we wanted you to be able to see all of your favorite pets. In practice, it turned into more of a “deck building” mini-game, where Hunters were managing their entire stable to bring as much crowd control, raid buffs, etc. as possible. That’s opposite of our intentions with the Mists stable redesign; we want you to be able to pull out whichever pet you feel is ideal for your current situation. If you’re instead filling your stable based on whatever’s ideal for Stampede, you lose that entirely.

      Furthermore, this min-maxing led to Stampede being a bit stronger of a DPS cooldown than we’d really like, especially for Beast Masters (who are already quite bursty in PvP). The hotfix lets us tone Stampede back just a little, and once again allows Hunters to keep whichever pets they like in the stable.

    13. Nothing wrong with disagreeing. That is the wonderful thing with opinions. Everyone can have their own and none are ever right or wrong, just how you feel.

      I read that but still dislike that we lost the ability to use stampede as a cooldown like we were used to. It was not all about the DPS, it was about the utility and I want that back more than anything else.

      I would even be happy if it became so bad it was a DPS loss to use it but it returned the utility of it. I want that back.

    14. I think the only way that COULD work is if they made the buffs from Stampede self-only... everything I'm seeing tells me they're concerned about the balance that giving a full set of buffs to a group of people is what's too powerful, maybe if they somehow changed it so they were hunter-only it could work. Not sure if that would satisfy your need for utility, though, or if you want to be able to buff a 10- or 25-man raid group.

    15. As utility, that would be fine with me.

      I also use my stampede as a defensive cooldown often. For it to be of most use in that way the pets NEED to growl. Not growling is killer for me. I want that back too for utility.

  8. I want my stampede back plain and simple this change makes no sense and affects far more than PvP especially for us Hunters who dont PvP at all I dont think Blizz thought this one through at all

    1. The sad part is I think they did think it through and just don't care.

      Same here, call me selfish if you will, but I want my utility ability back. They can find another way to fix PvP, leave my PvE abilities out of it.

  9. @GE - d'uh. You didn't read my posts on my blog.... Yes, we know it is for PVP. But how many, I would like to see numbers, how many hunters really PVP. Is it 10% of the total of pvp'ers on a server? is it more than 55% - a majority? It is isn't the majority, then don't fuss with hunter abilites or talents for PVP.

    You know a simple fix - take 1 spec from each class and make that the mandatory Raiding spec, the mandatory PVP spec, and the mandatory PVE spec.

    Then if changes have to be made because of crybabies, change that fookin' spec. For example if you are BM, you can't PVP, only PVE. But if you want to PVP, then you have to be (or switch to) SS. MM would be the raiding spec.

    And armour if it has pvp power on it, will change to something else if you are pve, or raiding or pvp. Yes, Blizzard can program this - heck they are getting ready to release armor add-ons that can scale and change in 5.4.

    Thats my two cents.

    I never take silent shot because 1) I dont raid and 2) never seem like it worked quite right in PVE, so that doesn't worry me, but I can understand how others like it.

    Blizzard did not release what the replacement talent, but I can say it will be a somewhat old tiger with no teeth and no claws (i.e. it will be highly pvp-other-classes-friendly and very lackluster for hunters)

    1. Every time I try to add your blog to my feed it errors for some reason. :(

      I actually did read it after you mentioned it. I went there to look.

      As for how many, someone made a post last week where they did a break down of all classes at 90, raiding at 90 and PvP at 90. Hunters seem to be the highest (percentage wise) class to be at level 90 but show a significant drop in end game PvE and an even larger drop in end game PvP.

      Wouldn't you think using actual real hard fact numbers and seeing that hunters are really low in the PvP and PvE areas, only one lower in some cases (again percentage wise) were monks and they are new, that they need buffs and not nerfs?

      Apparently blizzard never looks at these numbers and just listens to a few people complaining on the forums that a hunters doggies bit them. Boo hoo.

      If hunters were really that OP than how come when talking about end game PvP is the only class that has less than them the brand new class to the game?

      Hunters are not overpowered in PvP.

      As for making a spec for PvP if you look at all the changes lately it seems they are trying to push PvPers to use MM.

      The replacement talent is binding shot.

    2. Did't we have binding shot already?

      hold on a sec - looking it up

      Oh yes we did - they took it out and put in intimidation back last big patch!!! Yes, yes, so the old is coming back as new. OMG, what brilliancy (such a word) Ghost Crawler has at times! I am impressed....

      TY for reading the blog. Not sure if I make sense or not in my posts, but I try. I am not on google+, maybe that is what the problem is? Or maybe I don’t have a switch turned on?

      [switching gears here]

      Yes, if someone at blizzard would make their data or read the data that others prepare on pvp, endgame, pve, etc, then it will be obvious where and what changes need to be made.

      I can understand the drop in endgame. When I have a hardtime downing a PVE elite mob area boss by myself, that’s on me, but it does show the lack of something (not sure what, but I know it is something). (NOTE - I take full responsibility for my lack of not doing LFR, Instances, Scenarios, and Raiding. I am not crying about it. I am elvl 450). And also, the drop in raiding. I really hope that the new flexi raiding will help fix that.

      However, it will not fix PVP.

      You remember Druids and a few others took it in the shorts the last big revision and patches. I should know, I still do not play my druid outside of making living steel because I just cannot survive. I am not a bad player- I have raided and PVP and done instances (yes, I have a pug!) on both MM and BM hunter; Combat and Assassin Rogue; Fury Warrior; and Feral Druid. I just prefer not to do them anymore for I can’t even bring 70% much less than 100% to a raid or a group these days.

      Heck with 5.4 Lockies (whom, I guess, many pvp’ers bitch about even more than hunters) are losing some abilities.

      Not sure, but I would hope that Blizzard - ghost walker and the others do gather data, look at said data, analyze said data and really, really, think and discuss any kind of changes to all classes.

      [changing gears again]

      It is getting tiresome to hear (like you said) “it wasn’t working as intended, so we are changing it”. WTF, why put it in the live game. Put it on the PTR and watch people play! Make more data, analyze the data and discuss before changing one thing on live game. Don’t let the highly rated people on the PTR. Make it a cross section to get a better selection of players to watch. Send out questionnaires to everyone who plays (all 7+ million subscribers. The other 5 to 8 million+ are Chinese farmers - joke). Make them fill it out before they can log into the game. And if you have to bait it, give a vanity pet.

      I remember one friend of mine who had 5 accounts and when TBC came out and the changes to the lore of War Craft, he quit and has not been back. I know tons of others who have quit because of changes to their class (not hunters, these be druids, warriors, mages, etc) who have quit over the years.

      Wish I could - It’s just a life for me. :D

      stay frosty...

    3. Yes, it was a talent, then it as MM only, now it is a talent again but in a different tier.

      I am sure they are looking at data but I think it must be data we don't know about or can't even conceive because some of the changes are really out in left field.

      People hate change. People hate changes that feels like nerfs even more. It causes people to leave. Even GC himself said that the biggest complaint they get from people that quit are that they change things too much. That should have given them a clue.

  10. They are taking away my BM's only interrupt? WTF? I was pissed it moved from hunter standard to a talent choice. Now it's spec only? *Every* class and spec I play has an interrupt of some kind, why are hunter's not supposed to have one?

    1. Scatter shot is about all we can use now, but need to be close and it doesn't work on everything, like the dinomacner on horridon, scatter will not interrupt, only silencing does.

      I really hate they are removing it too. Every class should have an interrupt. There are just way to many spells being flung around all the time in everything you do. All classes need a way to deal with it.