Thursday, May 22, 2014

Distracting Shot Returns, and Gives Me Some Ideas

In the most recent alpha build for warlords one of the hunters abilities that were removed is coming back and let me be the first to say I am glad to see it return.  Distracting shot is now labeled as a new ability that does the same thing the old ability did.  So it is like it never left and for us, being we never experienced a world without it, it didn't.

I was upset to see this go because there were many fights were having distracting shot was huge, at least while soloing.  Patchwork 25 is one that comes to mind.  At least until this expansion where we got some real beefy health numbers and a new glyph for healing our pet really nicely, our old buddy patch used to put a hurting on my poor turtle.  Like what did he ever do to him?

I used to have to use a trick to solo him back in cata where I would bounce patch between myself and my pet every so often so my pet could catch up with healing some.  I would hit our stitched friend with a distracting shot while my turtle had a few seconds to play catch up in the health department and then I would feign death to drop aggro and let my pet have him back.  I do not honestly believe I would have been able to solo patch 25 in cata if it were not for distracting shot.  10 was okay, but for 25 I needed to use some hunter trickery and that trickery was called ping pong with distracting shot.

That was not the only case where I found a use for distracting shot, not even by a long shot.  Over the years there had been dozens of occasions where I used it while soloing and even a few where I used it in a raid to great effect.  I've used it to peel pets and minons off my healer in PvP even if for just a moment because sometimes it gave them the breathing room they needed.  Distracting shot was a solid ability.  A solid, extremely situational ability.

Unlike when they tried to remove concussive shot in the mists beta where I, and many others, put up a real big stink, myself and many hunters that had complained then basically let this one slide.  As much as we want it all, if we are going to put up a stink, we have to pick and choose our battles and while losing this was bad, we had to save our outrage for something more important that they might try to remove, at least that was my way of looking at it.  For the most part at least.  While I know I did not like seeing it go I was willing to accept that it was something I will miss that is lost but in the same sentence I am very happy to see it has returned.

See, this is where blizzard and I have a philosophical difference.  They believe that distracting shot is part of the button bloat problem and wished to remove it because of that and I believe that distracting shot is not part of the problem because it is so rarely used.  Either way, it is back and that is all that matters.

However, it got me thinking of a better way to handle all these extremely situational abilities that blizzard seems to want to remove because they, falsely, believe it is part of the button bloat problem.

The glyph system gives us our answer here.

Remember at the beginning of cataclysm were they gave us three different sets of glyphs?  It was returned to only two different types in mists but I think they might have been on to something with the three different types but the idea just came at the wrong time and that is why they might not notice the answer to partial button bloat (as they see it) is right in front of their eyes.

Adding a third set of glyphs called "Ability Glyphs" is the answer to everything and is not really something new or exciting and never done before.  There are a fair deal of ability granting glyphs in the game already and I believe it would be the perfect answer to those extremely situational abilities.

Hunters already have fetch, an ability granting ability, and that is exactly what I am talking about.  A glyph that adds an ability.  It should not be a major glyph or even a minor one.  Leave majors for things that have a major effect on the standard rotational abilities (like making aimed capable of being cast while moving) and leave minors to be adjustments to minor abilities (like cheetah no longer dazing) and cosmetics stuff (like pets lesser proportion).

Hunters are not the only ones that get new, usable, abilities through a glyph so it is not like this would be something just for them.  Priests have the glyph of holy nova that teaches them that ability and confession that teaches them that ability.  While one might have great use for them, like holy nova and the other is more for fun, like confession, they would be given the choice of which abilities they want to have.

So adding three slots for ability glyphs would be an exceptional idea for skills like distracting shot that were on the chopping block for a while there.  They could have added it back as an ability glyph and we, the players, could put it on when we needed it.

Every class surely has abilities that can be compared to a hunters distracting shot.  Something we like to have but not something we would use all that often.  Heck, I would be hard pressed to even name 100 different situations I have used distracting shot in.  Doesn't mean that I would ever wish to lose it, even if I do not use it all that often.

Ability glyphs would be perfect for abilities like that, the ones blizzard calls bloat and we call useful but only in certain rare situations.  Let us choose which three "bloat" buttons we want.  I am sure sometimes those abilities might end up falling into that non four letter four letter word mandatory for certain fights however it would be more acceptable this way, well, in my opinion at least.  But hey, what do you expect, it is my idea, of course I am going to like it.

I am glad distracting shot is back, no doubt about that, but I also would have been perfectly fine if it had been added as an ability glyph.

In other hunter news we have a new level 100 talent choice to sink our teeth into.

Taken from the front page of MMO-C

Exotic Munitions (New) Allows you to modify your ranged weapon to use exotic munitions: Incendiary Ammo Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 60 min. Each autoshot deals 20% additional weapon damage as Fire to all enemies within 8 yards of the initial target. Poisoned Ammo Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 60 min. Each autoshot deals 0 additional Nature damage over 16 sec. When this effect is refreshed, the remaining damage will be added to the new effect. Frozen Ammo Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 60 min. Each autoshot deals 40% additional weapon damage as Frost and reduces the target's movement speed by 50% for 8 sec. Only one exotic munition can be active at one time. Hunter - LvL 0 Talent.
To me it just seems more like we are ranged rogues with being able to coat our arrows the way they coat their daggers, but it does seem to offer us, as hunters, way more options.  This one ability would actually be three new abilities when you choose it and you could, presumably, switch your munitions between fights to better suit your needs. 

Normally the three options here would show up as the three different talents on one row.  Giving us the option of AoE damage, a DoT or a Slow and even if these three were on the row as three separate talents it would be a solid row but all three as one thing might give this ability some bite.

Being it is on a DPS increasing row however, no matter how great it might seem and whatever utility it offers, it means nothing really.  The vast majority of hunters will just take the one DPS increasing ability that is the top DPS increasing ability which means this is either our best new ability or an ability we will never use.

I am not entirely sure I agree with DPS increasing abilities at all in the talent section because it only offers the illusion of choice.  There really isn't any.  The best will always be the best.  Either way, this seems like a nice talent just for the fact we get three things for the price of one talent point and it does not change your rotation at all in any way as it only adds something to your shots.  Sure sounds nice on paper, can't wait to test it out on the beta soon.  And that is soon, without the tm.


  1. Didn't put up a fight about Distracting Shot? Some of us did:


    1. I am saving my fight for masters call. :D

      But I am really happy that it came back. Shows that the blues have no clue how the game is played when someone complained about it and they said "your pet has growl". Yes, it does, but how exactly does that help me get it off my pet? I swear the people at blizzard do not play the game.

  2. Interesting idea. You should try and get it to their attention.

    1. I'd be afraid they would ban me from the game if I contacted them with as much as I complain. :P

      Thanks. I am glad you like the idea. It came to me when I saw distracting shot being added back. I think it would be a great idea, but I am bias of course.

  3. I think the Exotic Munitions might actually add some slight utility variable only because the Frost damage + slow seems like a pvp choice to me. The other two obviously being the raid choices and like you said, which ever does the most is going to be the most logical choice and will render the latter obsolete. I like it though. Especially if you're able to switch mid-combat, pvp wise, it throws in a ton of options. Raid wise probably only Incendiary for trash and poisoned for boss fights, maybe. Still gets me excited. Have to brush off the old hunter for that one :)

    1. It is nice having 3 different tools in one ability, you could move from a boss fight (poison) to farming some world mobs for drops (AoE) to some PvP (slow) all with the same ability. That does have a fair deal of possibility. It is why I think it is an awesome ability on its own. But like I said, for raids, highest will be used, no matter what.

      I am looking forward to the slow for PvP which is beyond awesome, between that for slows, concussive shot and those new no cooldown disengage boots and the glyph that heals you when you disengage a hunter could very well enter god mode in the new PvP zone.

  4. I never pick my talent abilities or glyphs because "others" say they are the best. I pick them because that is what I want to use and it looks interesting. :-D

    us Clan Tamhaises play to a different drum!

    Be good


    1. For the most part many of the abilities are like that where you can go with which ones you like. Unless you are a raider trying to get the maximum out of your character you are fine with any of them. None are actually bad choices.

  5. Solid idea and could really add some choices to glyphs. Would be a good place to put missing old spells like eyes of the beast. Two thumbs up

    1. Thanks, this is one of my better crazy ideas I think. Now if only someone at blizzard would quietly come over here and read this and steal the idea we could get eyes of the beast back.

  6. Loving the exotic ammo addition, first time I've seen this. As a hunter engineer though I still feel the loss of ammo and wish they could have brought back exotic ammo as a consumable item for raids...but I fear the ammo ship is long since sailed.

    1. I was thinking originally they might have added something cosmetic to let us have something that looked like ice projectiles, or fire ones, or what have you. Actually I am surprised they never went this route. They seem to be heading toward more cosmetic stuff lately, so maybe it will happen but I would not be surprised if it did happen if the projective skins were something you had to buy from the shop if you wanted them.