Friday, January 1, 2016

A Moment of Greatness, A Realization of Sadness

In a recent reply to someone that posted here I was reminded of a mythic dungeon pug I did a week or two ago when I had one of those moments where the stars lined up right and I didn't screw it up so I did something pretty cool on my hunter.

One of the best things about being a hunter is when one of those moments happen.  When you get rooted and there is a huge effect about to hit the area you are in and you are quick enough, smart enough, or even lucky enough, to stumble across your masters call to free you and move just in time.  Or when you are doing heroic lich king and get picked up and you know death is seconds away but in a desperate last attempt you try to time it so you spin and disengage back on to the platform and stick a perfect landing, alive and well.  Or when you are fighting the last surviving member of the klaxxi and you are the last surviving member of your raid and being he will not move from the middle and keep firing projectiles at you, which being you can attack while moving you can avoid, so you solo him from 100% to 0 all by yourself.

There are a a million and one examples that I could give you that are great hunter moments.  Anyone that has played a hunter long enough has managed to have one of their own, or even if you do not play a hunter you have surely seen one of these amazing hunter feats over the years.  It is the little things, those special things, those magical moments where knowledge, skill and perhaps even a little bit of luck all seem to meet together and you pull something off that others would think impossible.

That is what it means to be a hunter, that is the beauty of being a hunter, that is why I love being a hunter.  I live for those moments, that one second in the thousands upon thousands I play, where I am the top dog and I did something pretty darn awesome, my own personal moment of greatness, even if only for a fleeting moment, I live for that being a hunter and I love being a hunter and being able to make them happen for me.

In that mythic I mentioned I had one of those moments of greatness and I would like to share the story because it very well might be the last one of its type I am ever able to share.  What I did was something any hunter could have done.  I am not tooting my own horn here, it is not a me thing, it is a hunter thing.  And truth be told, any hunter could do it and it is the reason why some people play hunters, to have moments like this.

I entered mythic Auchindoun with a pug and after the first boss it became clear, while we would clear this, it would be mostly on the fact I was pulling high numbers.  The tank was not using any cooldowns giving the healer both fits and mana issues left and right, enough that she asked to mana up after every single trash pull.  And the damage dealers were poor by mythic standards, but not horrible by any means.  We would fight our way through without a doubt, but the pressure was on me to do as much DPS as I could as the other damage dealers were not contributing enough and the faster the boss went down the better chance we had.  If it went on too long the healer would go oom and the tank would go down and it would be a wipe.

We actually did wipe on the first boss because of that exact reason.  I did not go balls to the wall with all my cooldowns and we wiped because of it.  The healer ran out of mana because of the tank not helping themselves, and we all died a painful death.  So I knew that each and every boss would mean I needed to even pre pot and use stampede.  Which honestly I was not used to doing.  Normally the runs are so fast I can only use stampede it once per run so I use it on the third boss.  Sure I could use it on the first and forth in those runs, but I choose to wait for the third.  With this group it seemed I would easily have it for every boss, and I would need to use it on every boss.

And speaking of the third boss, that is when my moment to shine came.  The moment when it is all said and done you say, I love being a hunter and feel absolutely fantastic about yourself, your class, the game as a whole, because moments like this are why we play.

A group of 5 walked up to Azzakel and only the hunter walked out alive, and it was awesome fun.

We started out good, burst was high on my end as well as the other two DPS, we got him down to around 20% before he took off into the air and the add phase began.  I ran to the back to pick up one of the large imps and burn him down fast.  In pugs I never trust people to get the far away imp so I make sure to handle it, always.  In that short time however the rest of the group imploded.  The tank died, due to his lack of using cooldowns on the large felguard, and then the felguard took out the healer and the other two DPS.

It was only by a matter of luck that he did not come for me before the others.  Perhaps because they all stayed in front while I went to the back to kill the large imp back there.  I was not on his aggro chart, or at least no more than a blip because I never touched him and I was nowhere near him.  Because of this choice to go to the back to get the imp that landed there it was me versus all the adds, alone.

Time to go into hunter extreme mode.  I could do this.  Every time something like this happens my mind starts to look at my surroundings.  What is around, where is my health at, where is my focus at, what cooldowns do I have.  Can I do this.  As a hunter you have roughly half a second, not kidding, half a second, to make the decision to go for it or feign death and mass revive the group.  After a fast survey I thought I could do this.  My hands shook a little bit, but I had I plan and I knew if I could keep it together I could get it.

I had two large imps left in close proximity to each other, the large felguard, and a whole mess of little imps bouncing around that I would need to handle, as I know that I would need to kite and those little imps would be the death of me.  One stun from them getting close and it was all over.  Who would have thought they were put on the top priority list for me.  Most people would say the large imps were top priority.  Not me.  I knew exactly how I was going to handle them and they would be no problem what so ever.

I started to do what it is hunters do but I forgot to mention, I only had a few more seconds before the boss would come back down too and I would have him to deal with as well.  But I was at full health, and I had a plan in my head on how to manage this.  Now was the hard part, putting that plan into action.  It is so easy to make a mistake.  For every awesome story I share like this where everything worked out fine there are probably 100 where it didn't.  Oddly, even the ones where it didn't were stil fun.  Just to try and do it, to know you can, if you do everything right.

First things first, I fire off a concussive shot on the felguard to slow him down, then fire a few thrill powered aimed shots off at some imps, which thanks to being a fairly decent high item level for this content I was able to one shot them both.  That set the stage for what I needed to do.  Slowed the big guy who could destroy me and killed two imp where I needed to head.

I then turn to where the two large imps are, both coming close to starting their cast again, which will destroy me.  Item level or not, they hurt.  I start running toward them firing a binding shot between the two of them and do a jump shot spinning in the air and hitting the felguard with another concussive shot as he closes on me.  I keep a keen eye on the cooldown on concussive.  It lasts as long as the cooldown is which means when it is coming off cooldown, I need to make sure I use it again.  Then I fire another aimed shot to kill one small imp behind me, as I plan to head there in a second, spin and disengage.  I have the talent to give me the speed boost after I disengage, which gives me exactly what I need as the boss is coming down now.

Now to finish what I started with that binding shot and I figure I have exactly 2 globals to do so as they both started casting again.  I fire a chimera shot hitting both large imps and then fire off an glyphed explosive trap knocking both imps back.  Back also happens to be away from the binding shot which, thankfully, stuns both imps and interrupts both casts.

The boss lands and I bolt away firing one aimed at a small imp, still 2 left as I see it, and finishing off one of the large imps while they are stunned.  I turn and hit the felguard again with a concussive shot and I am being forced into a corner with a small imp and no focus, so I can not kill it.  So instead I trap it.  A CCed imp is as good as a dead one right?  For this situation it is at least.

I then turn my attention back to the larger imp and start building focus on it with steady shots, interrupting it as my counter shot is now off cooldown from when I used it when the phase first started.  I then finish off the large imp and turn my attention back to the boss.  He is at 20% health.  I have my mirror trinket off cooldown.  I can not kite him and get the most out of it because the mirrors, while doing solid numbers, do not move with the target.  I would need to stand him in the mirrors if I want them to work right.  I need to face tank it if I want to get the most out of it.

I kill the last small imp, forgetting about the trapped one completely, keep the concussive rolling on the felguard.  And keep running, waiting for my disengage with its speed boost, to come off cooldown.  It is what I need to set up the do or die moment of this fight because I need to get some distance so I  can stand still with only the boss on me and not both the boss and the felguard.

I disengage and get as much distance between me and the felguard as I refresh the concussive on it.  This would be the last one I hit, I will either kill the boss in those 8 seconds or die. Six seconds for the concussive to wear off, and I was figuring two seconds for the felguard to catch up.

The time comes, I hit my second potion and my mirror trinket and unload on the boss, screw the felguard, if the boss dies he goes away.  I had full focus I was saving for this point, and I let the boss catch me with the trinket, the potion and a face full of aimed shots I let loose.  Kill shot, kill shot again and he goes down back to the depths of hell from where he was summoned from.


God I love being a hunter.

How can anyone not enjoy the moments like this, the moments where it pays off to be a hunter, to know your toolbox, to be capable of effectively using it. These are the moments every hunter lives for.

I said to a friend on voice chat after it was done about what I did and then something occurred to me and I followed it up by saying, And this is why I hate the idea of legion and I am not looking forward to it.  Nearly all the abilities I used there, and many more that I had in my toolbox that I just didn't need for that specific encounter will all be gone.  I will never be able to do something like that again.  I will never be able to be a hunter again, a real hunter, like they are supposed to be.

I went, in that very instant, from feeling as if I had experienced a moment of greatness to the point were it was a realization of sadness.

The hunter I have played for soon to be 8 years, the one I have practiced on, the one I had worked with just to be able to do things like I just did, we being removed from he game.  Never again would I have an experience like that.  Never again could I pull victory from the jaws of defeat like I did.  Never again would I truly be a hunter, at least not the hunter I've known and loved for so many years.

I am losing my class, it is gone, removed from the game.  Everything I have worked for, everything I have trained for, everything I have learned over the years was all for nothing.  I am not exactly sure if I even want to buy legion any more.  I am a hunter.  I live to do things like this, they are my excitement in the game.  The moments things like this happen come few and far between but I know there is always the chance that maybe that next time will come soon.  In this random, out in the world with this mob, or in a raid on that boss.

The hunter I am, the one I have played all these years, looks forward to those moments because he knows those moments could come without notice.  I did not walk into that dungeon expecting what happened to happen, but it did, and at any given moment it could.

It makes me question, once all our abilities are removed, once we are no longer hunters as we know them.  Will it even be worth playing?  One thing is for sure.  The next time something like that happens, I will not be pulling out any surprise ending, I will not be saving the day.  I will be dead or feigned because I won't be a hunter any more.  At least as it stands how there is no chance for greatness like this in a future that has legion in it, I see none.  Not when the hunter I've played all these years is being removed from the game.

It is a sad turn of events for long term hunters.  It really sucks to have everything you have known for all these years stripped away from you leaving you a shell of what you previously were.  I don't want legion to come, ever.  I want to keep my class as is.  Fun and always with a chance for greatness to come when you don't expect it around any given corner.


  1. Great story to read, and sorry that they "ruined" your class (quotations are only because I am not up to speed). I haven't played WoW since 2013 and I was really sad when they took away everything that made a Shaman cool - the different totems, the one offs where you never had it on your bar except for that one boss fight and only if everything went to crap... and still didn't use it. But it was fun and nice to know it was there. Once they started homogenizing the classes it just became a lot less fun, and unique. Sounds like legion is taking that to the next step.

    1. They surely are taking it to the next step. I know exactly what you mean about the shaman and that totem that you might, maybe, use once in a blue moon. That is what makes classes great. Knowing those little things and having that rare but useful utility for those that know the whole tool box so they can use it when they needed it.

      I was in MM spec during that fight. These are only some of the things I used that fight that I will no longer have.

      Main rotational abilities gone: Chimera Shot, kill shot, stampede.

      Main rotational ability enhancements removed: Trill of the hunt aimed shot.

      Utility abilities removed: Freezing trap, explosive trap, and by process the glyph that enabled my explosive shot to act as it did,

      Abilities that I "might" not have as they are decisions now: Camouflage or binding shot, so perhaps I would not even have blinding shot if I choose to take camo which used to be baseline.

      Those are just a few of the things being removed. MM will also lose their pet. Yes, no pet for a MM hunter. This means by process, no spirit bond, no masters call, no tank, and no buddy that is always with you when you are solo.

      Oh, and survival, no ranged any more. It is now a melee spec.

      Yeah, they are removing the class as we know it. Removing or changing an ability or three here and there would be fine but doing that they are doing is not. Not by a long shot.

      Glad you liked the post.

      Oh, the hunter resource of focus, maybe you might want to look into shaman again if it interests you. Because hunters focus now works more like energy for BM and SV and both enhancement shaman and elemental shaman now have a resource that works like focus did. Some abilities build it, others spend it.

      I don't mind change, not at all. I do mind removing the only class I really enjoyed playing for no reason other than "to try something new". They did not even leave one hunter spec that will play like hunters do now. Maybe if they only dismantled one spec I could be okay with it. But they dismantled all three leaving no hunter specs left.

  2. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    Honestly I can't say I was surprised to read your account of a moment of glory. I have seen you do that type thing to often in the past to be surprised by it. It is what you do.

    Maybe you don't mind change until it affects your whole class identity, but I sure do and did and will continue to do so. My class of choice was Shadow Priest, until change made it unplayable for me. It is something Blizzard does, from time to time and called for or not, rebuilding something that was already working perfectly fine.

    They are sure and certain that leaving something alone is the wrong thing to do. They make changes not because it is needed or necessary but because they have not made a change in that particular area recently. It is sort of like the joke about the weather, don't like the way Blizzard does something, wait a few minutes and it will change.

    For folks that are tactically brilliant, the strategic vision of Blizzard is sorely lacking. They see the trees to well to ever notice the forest. That is why Blizzard seems so inept in the last few expansions, despite each expansion having some things that are brilliant in them.

  3. I play MM and live for those moments, blizzard really needs to rethink what their doing.

    1. The only thing I would have done differently is bring out my turtle on the boss, Another thing MM is losing.

  4. This needs to be required reading for the Blizz class devs, and especially for whichever project manager is making the hunter decisions. There is still time for them to turn this around, but I am sure they will not. There simply cannot be anyone left at Blizz who plays -- I mean really plays and loves playing -- a hunter, because if there were, they could not possibly destroy the class like they intend to.

    I have been trying my very best to get excited about maining another class in Legion, but my heart is just not in it. Like you, I love playing a hunter. I am a hunter. And you are 100% right, those of us who have played and loved the class have all had triumphant adrenalin-filled moments like you describe so well. Remember all those hours you -- and all of us -- spent learning that turn around jump shot?

    I, too, am seriously questioning whether or not I will even buy Legion, and I am a dyed-in-the-wool fangirl of the game. Change is one thing, and I am not necessarily against it, but completely destroying an entire class is another. Blizz of course owns the game and can design it any way they please, but there just seems to be something fundamentally wrong with what they are doing to hunters. In my opinion it is a breach of faith with their customers.

    Honestly, at least they should have the decency to not call the class hunters any more, be up front and admit they are deleting the class and replacing it with something else.

    Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling ever since the Legion changes were first announced.

  5. and believe it or not, that is exactly my thinking about "legion" too. I haven't bought it. And I have bought everything when they went on pre-sale. But this having a weapon I have to do raids for and losing my abilities. nah. I lived thru it from vanilla to TBC to RoTLK to Cata to Panda to WoD. But I am not sure about Legion. SO like everyone else above me said, "This should be require reading for Blizzard and thanks for putting the words into my feelings.

    semper fi.

    -roo with his first ever horde hunter lvl 100!

  6. And that was a pretty cool read. As a healer our moments of glory never sound as good as that of a damage dealer. Thanks for the read, Grumpy.

  7. I know exactly how you feel. I had my Waterloo when Blizzard split Feral into Bear and Cat. I had my moments of glory a few times when both tanks went down, all battle raises spent and I had to tank the boss for the last 30s :)

    I have 3 suspicions.
    a) They want to reduce the complexity - both for themselves and "new" players
    b) they are making changes to make changes. As you want to keep your job and complain about "too much work"
    c) Changes that sound exciting on paper might be good selling points for people NOT playing WoW. I know how big companies work. You are asked "what are our big selling points" and the class department answers "100 new class features and 1 new class" - "that is not enough, we need more" - when the new developer throws in "we could make melee hunters and pirate rogues".

    The problem with c ... no one ever checks later if you lost more buyers because of the changes or despite the changes.

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. before he left, ghostcrawler revealed that a lot of people who quit list the reason being they can't keep up with the pace of change. so Blizzard knows.

      Now whether they are gambling that they will attract/keep more new players than the number of old/returning players they cause to quit from too much change, I don't know. And whether they will retain more or not, I don't know.


    2. There's also plenty of players who moan they haven't seen any big changes to classes since Wrath. I know, it's not even true, but forums are littered with garbage like this and these are customers too.

  8. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    There seems to me a tendency on Blizzard's part to revise the various class/specs whether or not they are in need of such revision. Somehow this qualifies as "good" game design, continually re-inventing the wheel.

    It is not good design. It is lazy design, pretending to be oh so concerned with fairness and balance. Pick a basic class design, add a bit for every 10 levels gained, spread out over those ten levels. Extend the class all the way to the foreseeable future of WoW, say up to level 1000 and forty or fifty expansions and do it once and done.

    Now take all that extra developer time and effort and put it to creating something new in terms of mobs and terrain, something new on the story, and most importantly new innovative things to add to the game. Things like flying or Looking For Group/Raid, transmogrification, void storage, and a long list of other things and systems that have been bolted onto World of Warcraft. To my taste, that is where development should be going by now. After all, Warcraft has had over 10 years to perfect the paladin, etc.; should be about done by now.