Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some Hunter Buffs are Coming. Are They Enough?

The announcement of on the next PTR the hunters are getting some buffs is welcome news to the ears of this elf, but looking at them I noticed while thankful for them I still have some concerns.

Incoming buffs:
  • Arcane Shot additional damage increased by 21%.
  • Lynx Rush damage and AP scaling increased by 30%
  • Kill Command base damage increased by 33% and AP scaling increased by 16%.
  • Aimed Shot weapon damage increased by 12.5% and additional damage reduced by 2%.
  • Explosive Shot damage and RAP scaling increased by 8%.
Those are some nice changes, now to the questions.

Where, again, is the buff to marksman's signature shot?  This is the 4th or is it 5th time we have seen a buff to aimed shot this expansion yet the marksman signature shot remains unchanged.  We all know that marksman is like the red headed stepchild of hunter specs right now and basically has been left for dead but why even pretend to be buffing marksman when you are not buffing marksman's signature shot.

I think someone needs to send ghostcrawler a friendly reminder that while we welcome the buff to aimed shot, it is not marksman's signature ability and perhaps he should consider buffing marksman's signature ability.  Maybe they can also point out that if he wants to make aimed shot more important to the hunter rotation they need to fix the fact it clips auto shots. (at least last I checked it was still doing so)

Second question is if they are trying to kill beast mastery hunters?  I mean with a buff like that all the excitement is going to send blood rushing to their heads to the point where they will explode.  I think there are some hunters out there right now reading this giggling uncontrollably like a school girl.

Don't be alarmed if we see a tiny nerf to the kill command buff before the patch goes live.  While I would love for that to be an upgrade we keep it would effectively make hunters a one spec class and I am pretty sure they do not want to do that.  I could be wrong however.  At top gear levels beast mastery was already the only choice to begin with.  I do see them cutting down on the base damage increase to 20% before they would buff the other specs to catch up to beast mastery.

I can't wait to see what the theory crafters do with the new numbers to see how much these changes actually effect us.  In the end, and only doing basic napkin math, it would only move hunters from the bottom of the middle of the pack to the middle of the middle of the pack.  So a buff, a nice one, but nothing close to what we should have.

What should hunters have?  We should be where mages, warlocks and rogues are.  At the top of the pack, and even more so being we still bring absolutely no utility to a raid.  So middle of the pack, while looking nicer since this changes, is not where hunters belong.


  1. I tweeted Ghostcrawler about Aimed shot vs Chimaera shot. No idea if he'll respond but anyway...

    I think BM got that buff because BM was more impacted dps-wise by the removal of Readiness than the other specs.

    Zeherah added the changes already to FemaleDwarf. I'm getting a slight increase(+850dps) now instead of a loss (was -2.5K) with the PTR changes.

    1. Yeah, with the old changes simming with BM I lost 10K DPS and simming with survival I lost only 1500. So BM lost more so it needed to get more back. Makes sense.

      That increase still seems huge and I would not be surprised if we see another slight tweaking downward. I would prefer for the others to be tweaked up to BM but we know we could never get that lucky. They will bring BM down.

      We will still need a fair bit of buffs to get competitive in higher item levels. It needs to be done on the scaling end by making the value of secondary stats better over time. That is why we scale so badly.

      For normal modes hunters seem to be closer to being in a nice place, not top, but somewhat better. But once people start to gear up we will fall behind thanks to bad scaling.

    2. I was going to make that same comment about Readiness being more of a hit for BM so they needed a bigger buff to compensate.

      As James says below as well, regarding the MM "signature" shot, Aimed Shot and Chimera Shot are both MM-exclusive shots, does it really matter which one gets the buff? DPS is dps. I'm honestly surprised they're making the changes to Aimed Shot since that's more likely to result in an actual change of playstyle if they get the tuning wrong and Chimera Shot can never be higher priority than it already is... but either way, as long as the numbers work out, not sure it really matters.

      Just bear in mind that they're presumably making the changes based on the entire tier, not just today's gear... so a less than stellar increase today doesn't mean hunters won't be higher on the charts in a few months even without any further changes. And yes, I know it also doesn't guarantee that hunters will be higher at that point, there have been disappointments before. :)

      BTW - leave rogues alone, they aren't anywhere near the top of any dps charts right now. :) Mages are getting hammered, though, and rightfully so.

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    4. It does matter which one gets buffed. It matters a lot. Buff something that is used for 20% of the fight or something that is used for 100% of the fight. Don't know about you but I would rather have something I always use on cooldown buffed.

      I think they are trying to make aimed more useful the entire fight.

      Also, yes, a less than stellar change now means they will be worse later in the tier. Hunters scale horrible with gear, it is why there is always a hawk buff late in the expansion, to cover for dreadful scaling.

      They did make some scaling changes, but not enough for it to mean hunters will develop as they get more gear like other classes. That is still a long way away and will need a complete redesign that we will have to wait until the next expansion to get.

      Mages are getting hammered from being #1 by a HUGE margin to #1 by a small margin. Not exactly what I call a bad nerf. #1 is still #1, and they scale well with gear which means as soon as they gear up they will do just fine and have that #1 by a huge margin again. Sure it sucks to take a nerf no matter what but I would rather be #1 and be nerfed down to #1 then where hunters are any day.

      I did not ask for mages and rogues to be dragged down, I just asked for the only other pure class to be bought up to be at least close to mages, warlocks and rogues. I do not believe that is much to ask.

      Doesn't everyone want to be competitive? At least I am not asking to be #1, just asking to not be last place in my favorite spec (MM).

    5. As MM you don't use AiS throughout the fight? (sorry, been a while since I ran MM) Assumed it was still a proc that you'd hit through the entire fight. Looking at the 100th ranked player on WoL for Meg, 13.4% of his damage is ChS, 7.7% is AiS and 5.9% is AiS! which is 13.6% combined... so they're basically tied. I really don't see that it matters based on that data. Still, I'd buff ChS, too, since it's on a CD... easier to control/tweak on their end, I'd think.

      Also, responding to the thread below, that's actually another reason why I thought they would avoid tweaking AiS, if it resulted in a change of rotation... they normally seem to avoid making those types of changes when they'll result in an actual rotational change. Maybe that is their intention but I'd expect them to clarify that if that was the intent. Guess we'll see when the patch hits.

      I just mean that hunters are already better than rogues, not really fair to lump rogues in with mages and warlocks in the "need a nerf" pack. :)

      Maybe we just need to buff Agi classes in general. I'd be okay with that... 2.2AP per Agi? Maybe more crit conversion from Agi? My monk wouldn't mind those either. ;)

    6. I have not used MM this expansion yet. But as far as everything I have read, no, you do not use aimed unless under haste effects or it procs. It is not used throughout the fight as a focus dump.

      Perhaps that is what they are trying to change.

      You bring up a nice point about the chimera as well. It is on a cooldown and thus easier to tweak. That is another great reason to buff it. It is controllable whereas aimed can become a luck boost.

      The secondary stats need to have more weight for hunters if they want them to scale better.

      In the end, in theory, hunters are not in a bad place, but as people get more gear they fall behind because of bad scaling. And that is where rogue got put with mages and locks, as they do scale well with gear. At least in comparison to hunters.

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  2. I have this hunter. She used to be BM till my not-ex-at-the-time convinced me to make her MM. So i stuck with MM ever since. If you would have asked me to name signature shot, i would've said aimed shot. I don't even know, do the other specs have this one?

    1. I can easily see why people think it is aimed shot as it is given when you choose the spec at level 10. But it is chimera shot. That is an MM only shot just like aimed is. The difference is aimed, unless extremely geared, is only used at the start of the fight and chimera is used the entire fight. So chimera is the signature shot.

      It is bad design to make people think aimed is the signature shot when it is a rarely used ability. But seeing as they keep buffing it I can only take two things from that.

      1) They are trying to convert aimed shot to the signature shot.


      2) They no longer have anyone on the design team that actually knows anything about hunters.

      I'm going to guess it is #1 but the way they act sometimes sure seems like #2 is true also.

    2. Buffing aimed shot actually make sense now.

      I'm playing MM from time to time, and can already easily get aimed below 1.4 sec cast, making it a better focus dump than arcane shot.

      With gear increase and the 2 and 4 p bonuses, I can easily see it becoming a sub 1-sec cast most of the time this tier, so MM will probably start to spam aimed with some chimera in between. In this case buffing aimed is a bigger increase than buffing chimera.

    3. Well... I cast Aimed Shot when it's instant and sometimes even hard cast it, if I'm bloodlusted or something. I look at Chimera as the bleh shot which makes me not need to refresh sting. Aimed seems much more marksman-y.

    4. If aimed can get to a 1 second cast I can see it taking over for arcane as a focus dump. But it is still not the signature shot. It is the focus dump. Huge difference.

      Even if buffing aimed is more than buffing chimera it still falls into the category that we had when arcane was first buffed. The focus dump ability should not do more than the signature shot.

      I am not saying I do not like the buff, I love it, buffs are always welcome, but why not buff the shot that really needs it most?

      As James said, he sees chimera as a blah shot. It should not be that way. Chimera should be thought of as something you really want to hit every 9 seconds and never delay it because it is huge.

      That is why chimera needs a huge buff.

    5. Well that just show how different the view on a spec can be.

      I've been playing MM for most of cata (had to switch in DS to SV, hated it) and I've always seen AiS as THE shot for MM. The one shot that you have to know when and how to use to get a big hitting trunk.

      Since the removal of the additional effect of chimera depending on sting at the end of LK, I really don't see much reason for chimera to even exist, except to have a shot other than arcane being instant.

      IMO for MM they really should try to figure out how to make AiS more usuable withou being too spammy.

    6. I think that has more to do when you started playing. Aimed is not the MM signature shot to anyone that started playing before this expansion, and as you seem to show, before last expansion too.

      Chimera used to be the only move that refreshed serpent sting and the sting was not dynamic like it is now. So you would try to apply your sting when under as many boosts as you can and keep it rolling with chimera.

      Cobra did not exist and there was no way for BM or SV to refresh serpent sting, that was a MM only thing and that was all thanks to chimera.

      That is why chimera is the MM signature shot.

      Chimera needs to be boosted, big time, to once again gain its status as the signature shot for MM, to return to where it belongs.

      What you said about it just supports me argument that chimera needs the love, not aimed. Aimed is a focus dump and something you hit for the beginning of the fight and then only when it procs. Nothing else. And it should be treated as such and the love be given to chimera.

    7. Or maybe the dev want a change for MM.

      I did play at the end of LK (up to 9/12 HC in ICC), I know that chimera was the highest prio back then, and AiS was a instant (sharing CD with MS IIRC).

      Thing is I really think that with the removal of stings, chimera lost his reason to even BE. Back then chimera was refreshing your current sting and adding and effect depending on the sting, that what made chimera so awesome for me.

      Come cata chimera was just the sting-extending shot for MM. It doesn't have the feeling of powerful shot it had anymore.

      IMO for MM they should get rid of AS and CS. Keep AiS as a big-hitting signature shot and add a new shot for focus dump.

      As I said it's just different way to view the spec, you see CS as the shot that define MM, I see it as a relic of the LK-cata transition that really have no reason to be anymore.

    8. Like I said, all these buffs to aimed shot seem like they are trying to change MM because aimed is not the signature shot.

      I think better design is changing chimera back to being what it used to be, awesome. I agree it is blah now and that is why it should be the thing getting boosted. I also believe the old healing debuff that used to be part of aimed should be part of chimera now. It seems that they are trying to groom MM as the PvP spec and adding that to chimera would work with that in mind, in my opinion at least. Chimera just needs more damage and more purpose.

      If they are going to make aimed the new signature shot they need to completely redesign it. First off it should never become spamable with haste (and focus). It should not have a cast time and instead a cooldown (6 sec or 9 sec). It should not be better 20% of the fight and should be the same powerful ability all the time.

      I think the best bet for aimed shot would be to use it to make chimera better. Aimed shot should apply a guaranteed bleed, and when the target is bleeding from an aimed shot the target takes 50% (or some percentage) additional damage from chimera shot.

      I am just not willing to throw away what was once the most kick ass shot a hunter had, chimera, because it is no longer unique. Remake it to be unique again. Why just throw it away like the developers are doing?