Friday, August 9, 2013

Ideas for Hunter Raid Utility.

As a hunter main I spend a great deal reading hunter related things.  Real surprise right?  I've read it all from people complaining hunters are the worse PvE class now to hunters are OP if you know how to play them right.  I've heard some stuff that was so far fetched I don't think I would believe it if you paid me too and read tons of numbers that could not be argued with because they are facts and not opinions or stories.

No matter which side of the fence these people are on, love hunters or hate them now, they all seem to come back to the same thing.  As if it is a single unifying aspect about hunters that all hunters can get behind.  Hunters would like to have some sort of raid utility to bring to the table.

I decided that I wanted to have a little fun with that and make up some hunterrific ideas for some sort of raid utility we can bring.   Not saying my ideas would be great, but its fun to think about what could be done which would allow us to bring a little more to the table in a raid environment.  More than just the fact that we are the best class in the game and we were collecting pets before it was the big thing for all the cool kids to do.

Aspect of the Pack:

First up on the hunter utility list is one utility we already have that could use a change.  Remove the daze straight out.  Lower the 30% speed boost to a 20% speed boost.  And there you have it, a flat 20% speed boost while it is active at the expense of the hunter sacrificing their own personal DPS.

Too strong, perhaps?  So add a 15 second timer to it.  Switching to aspect of the pack will give all raid or party members a 20% speed boost for 15 seconds.  After 15 seconds the hunter will return to their previous aspect and will be unable to reactivate pack for 30 seconds.

There you go, a little raid utility.  Not great, but it makes pack a lot more useful in the raid environment.  The decrease to 20% from 30% is to keep it from being too powerful in PvP being there is no dazing factor now.  This is also the reason why it will only last or 15 seconds and then put itself on a 30 second cooldown from being used again.

Call of the Wild:

This would be a new hunter ability, as if we did not have enough already right?  This ability however would be off the global cooldown and as such can be macroed into another shot.  Thus not adding to button bloat.  At least for the people that know how to make macros.

Call of the Wild:  Whenever a hunter triggers a signature shot (kill command, chimera shot, non free explosive shot) a stack of wild call will be added.  Wild call lasts for 1 minute and stacks up to 10 times, refreshing.  When there are 10 stacks of wild call the call of the wild ability can be activated.  Activating call of the wild will give all party or raid members a spirit animal that will duplicate all actions they take for the next 6 seconds.

Is six seconds enough?  I think so, any more and it could be too powerful.  It would be something that could be held for a burst moment or hit on cooldown so you can start building stacks again.  But every time a hunter triggers it for 6 seconds the entire raid gets better.  Healers cast double heals, damage dealers do double damage, and tanks split damage taken with their spirit beast.  This effectively makes call of the wild a healing, damage dealing and tanking cooldown.

Perhaps some tweaking would need to be done as the three signature shots all have different length cooldowns and it would effectively mean that you would be asked to play the spec that could trigger it more often.  So perhaps it could be something like 10 chimera shots (90 seconds) when in marksman and 15 kill command or explosive shot (90 seconds) when in beast mastery or survival.  There, that works much better.

Now the fun part, what spirit animals would represent each class and spec.  I could make a post on that all by itself and I think it would be fun to think about.

Now that we worked that out.  I WANT THIS!


They gave us back some of the damage we lost from stampede but they never returned the minor utility it had.  I hated losing the utility of the ability more than I did the damage.  I can deal with the lower damage, maybe I would not use if it if were too low, but the utility was a beautiful thing.  Even if I used that utility more while soloing than for raid uses, but that does not mean that a different type of utility could not be added to them.

Stampede:  While stampede is active all damage done to the target of the hunters stampede is increased by 10% from all party or raid members.

Glyph of stampeding spirit bond:  Decreases the damage boost all party or raid members get when stampede is active to 5% but all party or raid members will gain 3% of their total health every 2 seconds while stampede is active.

Glyph of stampeding revival:  Your party or raid will no longer receive any damage boost but all party or raid members that are dead will be revived at full health as uncontrollable NPCs that will attack only for the duration of the stampede.  When stampede ends all party or raid members will return to their previously deceased state. (that sounds fun doesn't it? can you imagine that 1% wipe when you were the last one left and you hit it and watch 24 of your temporarily revived teammates go for the kill while you are safe in the back after hitting FD?)

Level 45 Talents:

This could be the raid utility line of abilities just by updating all the abilities from being a you only thing to a raid wide this.

Exhilaration:  Instantly heal yourself for 30%, your party or raid members for 15% and your pet for 100%. 2 minute cooldown.

Aspect of the Iron Hawk:  Ranged AP thing + reduces all damage you take by 10% and all damage your party or raid members take by 5%.

Spirit Bond: While your pet is active you and your pet will regenerate 3% of your health every 2 seconds and all party or raid members will regenerate 1% of their health every 2 seconds.

Now all three level 45 abilities have a benefit to the entire raid.  I could see hunters being taken along, at least one of them, just for the blanket 5% damage reduction to the entire raid.  Maybe it is a bit much to give hunters that much raid healing however when they are not even a healing class so this doesn't feel that right even if it does seem like it would be some decent raid utility on the small scale.


A beast mastery only talent that could become something baseline that would be an amazing raid utility.  In its current state invigoration has a 15% change to regenerate 20 focus whenever your pet hits with a basic attack.  Having an ability like this baseline for utility would be better, but also having it offer so much in return to an entire party or raid would be way to powerful.

So perhaps a second ability like this, different however, would be more fitting.  Lets call it Invigoration 2 because of a complete lack of creativity at the moment to name this new ability.  So invigoration would stay beast mastery only and invigoration 2 would be a baseline.

Invigoration 2:  Every time your pet lands a critical strike there is a 25% change that it will instantly generate 2% mana, focus, energy, rage, or runic power to all raid members.

Aspect of the Rhino:

Following the design of aspect of the pack, set forth above, there could be another new aspect that would work for a short time, 15 seconds, and then return you to your previous aspect and put itself on a 30 second cooldown.

Aspect of the Rhino: The hunter takes the aspect of the rhino hardening the hunters and all party and raid members skin reducing all physical damage taken by 20% for 15 seconds.  When aspect of the rhino expires it will start a 30 second cooldown and turn the hunter to their most previously active aspect that is not currently on cooldown.

Aspect of the Beast:

While we are at it, lets add one more aspect and pile it on to make us the master of utility and raid cooldowns.  An old friend returns, without a glyph and in a different forum.

Aspect of the Beast: The hunter takes on the aspect of the beast increasing the attack prowess of the hunter and all party and raid members by increasing attack power and spell power by 10% for 15 seconds.  When aspect of the rhino expires it will start a 30 second cooldown and turn the hunter to their most previously active aspect that is not currently on cooldown.

Remember, you might think the aspect ones are a little too powerful and could be chained to run through an entire raid with 3 hunters in the group but that would mean three things.  One, excellent coordination would be needed so only the most skilled would manage it correctly and should be rewarded for doing so.  Two, the hunters would be sacrificing their own DPS by not being in hawk and rotating aspects for the benefit of the raid.  Three, a debuff could be added that people can not benefit from an additional raid wide aspect while any raid wide aspect is on cooldown effectively meaning that only one could be active for 15 seconds every 45 seconds, so adjusting it would not really be an issue, it would be a choice of the raid leader on which is needed.

What ideas would you have for adding some utility to hunters?

I am not saying we should get them all.  Hunters are pretty awesome as it is, but any one of two of them would be welcome addition and offer us at least some minor utility.

I don't know about you, but I want call of the wild now.  Pretty please blizzard, with sugar on top.

Now off to brain storm about what animals each class/spec/race would get when we call the call of the wild.  This should be fun.


  1. (I'm taking raid utility as things that benefit the raid, not necessarily things that directly benefit everyone in the raid)

    I think hunters are fine utility-wise as it is... can bring almost any buff in the game, Trueshot, Pack (even in its current incarnation), targeted AoE slow, best single-target CC in the game, one of the best kiting classes and can do full rotation on the move while doing it, Misdirection, taunt, stun, interrupt/silence, Tranq, Feign (for mass rez), single-target slow...

    And those are just the normal utility actions. Emergency pet tanking... Roar of Sacrifice...

    Crazy utility, really. What class has even HALF that many?

    In the interest of actually adding to your list of raid-wide utility, though, I could see an active or even toggled ability that would sacrifice pet dps for raid healing... call it Frenetic Licking where your pet jumps around to injured raid members and licks some health back into them before jumping to the next target. Or if it's not worth giving up personal dps for raid healing, maybe instead of healing the pet will lick some secondary resources to raid members (rage, mana, energy, etc) so it increases raid dps rather than personal dps. Kind of like a better version of Stormlash from shammies with a bigger cost (shammies only lose a GCD) and bigger upside (Stormlash is a pretty small raid dps increase).

    1. Going to shoot down all that raid utility to start off. Not saying you are wrong, you are right, just saying it is all rarely if ever useful.

      Every buff is covered in a raid (25 man) so bringing any buff really does not matter. For a 10 man it is nice, but it is not make or break unless you are pushing heroic content and if one buff is really that much of a difference they would probably bring the class that brings the buff instead of you if their damage is above yours anyway. I will admit that with a bad group make up having 2 hunters in a 10 man is a good idea sometimes to get all the buffs.

      Pet buffs are a "tiny" option and only works if you have hunters smart enough to know their group makeup before they head to the raid. Lets face it, you know how many times I said, we need spell haste, does anyone have a sporebat and all I heard was crickets? The pet buff things only works if the hunters have the pets. It is useless otherwise.

      Trueshot is also covered by other classes, so not huge.

      Pack has extremely limited uses and even the few times it has uses more people screw up because of it instead of succeed because of it.

      Slows and CC mean nothing on raid bosses.

      In the day and age of threat generation as it is, if your tank losses aggro get a new tank, MD is not the answer.

      Pet tanking? Try to survive even one shot from a raid boss. There is no such thing at the moment.

      Kiting? When the the last time you kited as part of the fight? Naxx for me. Maybe Nef in BRD. Did Mal in BRD once just to see if we could one tank it with me kiting. Otherwise, that is it for the last 3 expansion. Sure, hunters are the best kiters in the game. There is just never a need for it.

      Interrupt, why would we interrupt? Melee have interrupts off the global cooldown and lose nothing from using it. We have to have a /stopcasting macro and lose a global to do it. Unless you are the last option, or the only dependable person in your raid, you will never be asked to interrupt.

      Distracting shot is oddly the one I have used to most of all those you listed. Tank goes down, I DS, someone gets a rez on the tank, he taunts back, we move along without any of the melee getting stomped because they were top on aggro. But for that to work you have to be perfect in your timing because one second late and you will need to revive a tank and a melee.

      Tranq is good and it is equal with what other classes could bring. In most cases a mage will want to spell steal anything that is worth tranqing so it becomes his job.

      FD is a personal cooldown and I don't know about many others but the people in my raid prefer to die so it resets their trinkets, and that includes me. It is handy sometimes however to save a repair bill and a long walk back. It is my favorite ability in game and I wish all characters had it, but it is not something I have ever considered a raid utility thing.

      Everything you expressed has its uses and I have used them all in a raid at one point or another. But their uses are extremely limited.

      Now, it might sound like I am shooting you down but I am not. Ask me which class is the absolute best in game with the best toolbox in the game and I will say hunters hands down.

      No other class has as many tools at its finger tips. Heck, you did not even name them all. What about masters call to get anyone out of a root or snare effect? Our tool box is so large that even knowledgeable (as you seem) hunters can easily over look the 1001 things we can do.

      Hunters have the best and biggest tool box in the game. That does not translate into raid utility however. We have the best personal utility.

      I've posted about a healing support pet before, it would really be an interesting idea I would love to see added to the game.

      Although I must admit the idea of a cat running around licking everyone back to health did make me laugh. I had my idea be a sporebat with spore clouds people stand in to heal. Not as funny as the cat licking people however. That would be priceless.

    2. The problem with most of the abilities you listed are a little bit less helpful than other class's abilities. I love silencing shot, but when raiding, let's say, horidon dispels on the second gate, I've got to team up with another person to interrupt one add, and I have to follow it basically in melee range, because it takes so long for the shot to get to the add if you're at normal ranged distance. I'm sure their have been times recently on raid bosses when I've used a lot of those abilities, but off the top of my head, i can't think of any. Tranq shot? Scatter shot? I'm blanking on when i last used those against a raid boss.


    3. Yeah, I usually interrupt myself because I know I can trust myself, but I forgot to even mention that hunters are the only class in the game that has a travel time on their interrupt. You can hit it in time, or appearing so, and still miss the interrupt thanks to that.

    4. Yep, that's a perfectly reasonable response, in most cases hunters are a fall-back utility player and some other class is a better fit as a primary. Thing is, I think that's an awesome role to have. If you add actual, required utility on top of that it would be an even harder class to play well. Hunters are really the only class where you'll almost always get SOME benefit to having one.

      As for my list being incomplete, true, I was only listing abilities that I can actually recall using somewhat recently (either on bosses, boss adds or trash (aside from progression bosses we usually have more deaths on trash than bosses, far as I'm concerned that counts).

      Kiting bosses? Magmaw was the last one I can recall. Our hunters and DK rotated responsibility for kiting the adds depending on who we were missing that week.

      Misdirection? I only value it for picking up adds, not as a threat transfer. I can think of lots of scenarios where this is awesome to have... anything with packs of spawning adds that have to be tanked. Tortos is a recent example.

      Tranq is more for adds than bosses... it's hard for them to build boss fights that you can survive without Tranq or similar.

      And yes, SiS having travel time is a personal annoyance of mine but on fights where I have to interrupt I just stand closer in than I usually would. It is more of a dps loss than having a melee do it but if you're under-meleed or are dealing with players who can't reliably interrupt (and if you aren't dealing with players like that, I envy you your raid group) I'd much rather have a hunter than a priest in that slot.

      As for missing interrupts, that's been an issue for me on melee toons the last while, too... unless I hit my interrupt with more than 0.8s left on the cast it doesn't get off in time. Makes no sense, my latency is a combined 0.25s or so, but I'll consistently make an interrupt at 0.9s and miss the same one at 0.7s. Travel time is a factor but something seems off right now in terms of interrupts that wasn't a problem a while back. I'm assuming hunters are experiencing a similar tighter timing requirement than they might otherwise have to deal with, beyond travel time.

    5. I totally forgot about magmaw. Goes to show you much stand out that was. lol

      I noticed some odd interrupt actions myself lately and wonder if it is a bug or by design of some spells. Like interrupting something, seeing it interrupt and the cast still going off. The biggest offender is that one scenario, crypts I believe, where you interrupt that sha and he still spews his smoke. You see it being interrupted, but he still does it.

      Hunters have it all, the best tool box in the game, but I still believe we are the back up for everyone. There is nothing we really do best. Except maybe kiting. Never met anyone that can kite like a hunter.

      I personally think as a pure damage dealer that does not bring anything more than just "back up" to the table hunters should always be the #1 damage dealer. But alas blizzard does not agree.

      So it comes down to me thinking giving us some sort of actual raid cooldown would be nice.

      But if I were given the choice of us getting a raid cooldown or a large boost to our damage output, I would prefer to stay as a "back up" for utility and destroy the charts, which as hunter is what we should be doing anyway.

    6. That fight was only memorable for me since that fight was the reason I raided on my hunter for the first part of Cataclysm... we didn't have a reliable DK (attendance-wise, he was solid when he actually showed up) so I was the backup kiter when he wasn't there.

      Yep, I think being higher on the charts (not necessarily #1 but it wouldn't hurt to be in contention) and being a designated backup for ... well, everything ... would be a nice niche to have. I don't want to see hunters being a must-have class (or any class, for that matter) but I like the idea that if you bring a hunter, you'll get SOME benefit, even if it's just being able to cover an important buff after someone dies. Jack of all trades, master of none. I'm good with that. And it could be worse... poor warriors.

      I think the interrupt thing is a bug... it just seems that interrupts aren't being processed on the server side quickly enough and I'm pretty sure they were not that long ago (pre-5.3, maybe?). For instance, I didn't even know the Horrible Visage ability from one of the rares out on the Island was interruptable... I'd tried a few times with half a second left in the cast, early enough to actually interrupt it, but I was being feared... it wasn't until I was doing it with someone else who DID interrupt it that I found out that it was possible. I've always interrupted casts as late as possible to maximize the time the mob isn't attacking (along the lines of hitting the Ultraxion button as late as possible, similar skill-/mindset). Now I just do it earlier. Not game-breaking but very annoying.

    7. I think doing it earlier is the only thing we can do now because you never know how long the server is going to take to respond and recognize it.

      I was on my hunter for that one, of course being it is my main, and I guess it just became "part of my job" so much that I forgot about it. It was not something special for me, was just something I did. Kiting the adds on Mal was something special, hence the reason it stands out for me.

  2. This isn't really responding to any of your particular ideas. But, utility-wise, one utility we used to have that I don't know whether or not blizzard ever intended for hunters, was protecting healers. No dps class could really step up and save a raid / dungeon from wiping the way hunters could when a healer pulled aggro from the boss or a random add. This was an amazing utility because it wasn't exactly something blizzard just gave us. Yeah, we got distracting shot and a pet with a growl, but it took a decent amount of skill and awareness to put those things to use at the exact mooment they were needed.

    Maybe other hunters still feel like that's the case, but I think with the crazy amount of threat generation that tanks have these days, healers rarely if ever pull aggro.

    So, I like the ideas of the short term aspects much better than, say, spreading iron hawk out to the whole raid. At least with the aspects it would require the hunter to have some raid awareness. And I'd love to see more dps classes have to make the choice to save the raid instead of padding recount.


    1. We still have that. I even stress it in each hunter I teach. In a 5 man more so, our job is to protect the healer. I remember that it was routine for me to place a trap at the healers feet, just in case, you know.

      It was the mark of a good hunter in my opinion when something went wrong. The good hunter would protect the healer. That is their job. At least it always was mine. I take pride in the fact that no healer ever ate dirt while I was capable of stopping it.

      The aspect thing is the perfect example of team play. I would love to see more team play things added to the game. Sure, raiding is team play but not in the sacrifice your own for the sake of others sort of way.

      It is why I doubt a buff class would ever go over all that well even if there were recent hints that one might be coming. Too many people are all about their own numbers.

  3. I always thought that since everybody hated hunter having readiness, readiness as a raid wide CD would be fun. Just think of the timing and coordination fun you could have a raid. It would bring new meaning to the term burn phase.

    1. Wow, that would make time warp look like an after thought. Readiness would be the new "big" raid cooldowns.

      "everyone blow everything, readiness being hit in 20"

      "10, 9, 8, ..."

      Then it resets all abilities from everyone. Wow.

      You are right, that would bring a whole new meaning to the burn phase.

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    1. Those are some funny ideas there. The locks little helper sounds more like someone trying t catch them to bring them to the asylum.