Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hunter Changes for Legion I'd Like to See

I will start this off with the given, I would like to see the one change we know about not changed.  I do not believe you should every switch the focus of a class which means a ranged class should stay a ranged class.  With that said, I would like to see survival stay ranged.  I am a firm believer that if they wanted hunters to have a melee spec they should have added a 4th spec and not changed one that is already in game.  There are people that love survival, have played it for years and even still play it even if it is in a horrible place right now.  They play it because they like it.  While I never was all that fond of survival I sympathize with them and agree with them 100%.  They should not have their spec stripped away from them.  If blizzard really wanted hunters to have a melee spec, they should have added a 4th spec, end of story.

But for this post I am going to work with the idea that like it or not, survival is melee now and I am going to base the things I would like to see from the different specs based on that fact.

1) Aspects Return... More so for Survival.

I would like to see our aspect bar return, no matter what form.  Put pack and cheetah back on the bar and give us some extra ones.  Perhaps something along the lines of the old viper, except it now greatly increases the generation of focus for a reduction in ranged attack power.  It would be very situational of course, but I could see there being a place for it.  It would bring a tiny bit of a micro game back into it.  When there is a downtime between phases switch to viper to refill your focus bar.  Maybe shoot those steady/cobras with viper so you could switch back and do more aimed shot/kill commands.  Would it be worth it?  You be the judge.

I'd like to see fox make a return too.  Was it really being abused by some people so much that warranted its removal?  Nope, it wasn't, a blue said so much.  Was it being used so little that they figured it worthless?  No one has said so much but being we know it was not being abused this is the only other reason it could have been removed for.

Let me explain something simple to blizzard.  Abilities like this, even if very rarely used, are what gives classes flavor.  Removing these abilities in the name of removing bloat is a mistake.  Abilities like this are not bloat, they are flavor.  "Bloat" abilities are abilities that need to be used all the time on a regular basis.  Remember the old affliction warlock 14 abilities rotation?  Yeah, that is button bloat.  Having an extra "tool" you use on rare occasion is not bloat.  Bring fox back as a raid cooldown.

But what I would really like to see done is two aspects added for survival.  So they could use it like a warrior uses their defensive and gladiator stances.  Lets say we bring the old aspect of the beast back, with its attack power bonus in melee, for when the survival hunter is DPSing and we add another aspect of the turtle maybe?  One that increases dodge and parry by 30% and converts agility to dodge and parry.  Something along those lines, so survival can tank or DPS.  Oh yeah baby, I would dig that and I might actually start liking survival.

2) Survival as a Tank Spec.

Lets face it, we lost a ranged spec, nothing is going to change blizzards mind.  But I would like to see them do something like I mentioned with the aspects that allowed survival hunters to be like protection warriors, where they can either tank or DPS depending on which stance/aspect they are in.

What is the least represented role in the game?  Tank. 
What is the most represented class in the game?  Hunter.

It does not take a rocket scientist to put two and two together here.  If you give the most represented class in the game the ability to fill the least represented role in the game even if only a tiny amount of said hunters try out tanking it would have a major impact on filling that most needed role.

Lets add to the fact that there are already too many melee specs in the game and too few reasons to bring them to a raid.  And then add to that they are already adding one melee class, which is a hero class next expansion.  They do not "need" survival to be a melee DPS, but it surely could not hurt to have them as a tank or DPS.

If blizzard is going to force a ranged spec to switch to melee, at least let them be in melee doing something that is needed, tank.  And lets face it, from a very selfish standpoint, I would love to have an instant queue on my main.

3) Instant Aimed Shot.

I really despise blizzard for their handling of marksman this expansion, or the warlords in general but that is another story.  I firmly believe that blizzard knew that aimed shot should be instant but because they could not think of any tier set ideas they decided to give it a cast time thinking they could use the reduction of cast time, or removal of it, as a tier set bonus.

I do not like the idea that you "need" a tier set for your rotation to feel natural.  I want to see aimed shot become instant as a base line.  They already used the "bonus" factor of it I do not think that seeing an instant aimed shot for MM next expansion is out of the question.  Many times things we see in tier sets end up base line in the next expansion, and this is one I would like to see.

4) Volley Return.

I can see volley making a return for either survival or marksman.  Albeit I would prefer it to return to MM and it become a viable way to AoE as MM really has none, it does seem like it could be something that might very well fit with survival, depending on how they design it.

Could you imagine vollry for survival being an AoE that roots everything in its radius?  Yeah, I can really picture that.  A survival hunter running after his prey and it keeps getting the jump, or is that blink, on them and getting away so he throws a volley in the air and arrows come down pinning the enemy so survival and pounce on them and do what they do best, go for the kill.

Okay, it sounded like I enjoyed that a little too much, but that is because it sounds cool.  Be is a survival catch up thing, that also does some damage or a viable AoE source of damage for marksman, I would really like to see volley make its return.

5) I Want to Keep my Toolbox.

Okay, I am going out on a limb here.  We have not heard anything yet but I have a pretty good track record of predicting things like this.  We are going to be losing most of our toolbox, the fun stuff that makes being a hunter so damn awesome.

The change I would like to see is one that doesn't change our toolbox.  Be assured that we will be losing concussive shot, masters call, freezing trap, ice trap and flare.  Maybe we will be losing things like disengage and deterrence too.

I do not want to lose these things.  That is the change I want.

With the advent of having a PvP leveling system were you unlock PvP skills blizzard is going to be removing a lot of abilities from class that they deem to be PvP focused abilities.  This means things like concussive shot and masters call are on the top of the list of things we will be losing and no longer have available in our general toolbox.

I am certain that some of my favorite abilities, and yours too maybe, will be moved to the PvP tree and gone forever from PvE use and I dread that.  Trim other classes if you must but hunter always have and always should be known for their massive toolbox.  I want to keep my toolbox.  So the change I want here, is to not change, but being I am sure they already removed that stuff, the change I want is for it to be given back to use for PvE uses.

6) Marksman to Have a Pet.

I am all for MM being the petless spec.  An archer class has its place of course.  However with the advent of these artifact weapons that means most hunters, myself most likely, will level as BM and most likely switch to MM (if MM is doing well) when we hit max level and these weapons will screw everything up.

If I level as BM that means I will level my BM weapon.  So if I reach 110 and switch to MM I will be entering dungeons that first day with a level 100 weapon not upgraded.  Sorry but the prospect of that is not very appealing.

You think we hunters have it bad?  How would you like to be a healer and leveling in a DPS spec and then try to heal your first dungeon with a level 100 weapon.  Not very appealing, and in our case not as bad as the poor healers that level as DPS to switch to healing at max level, but still an issue none the less.

Unless blizzard does the right thing, and when have they ever been known to do that, and have the weapon level with the player so all specs level together, if I intend to play MM at max level I would like to level as MM and I would like to do with with a pet.

I know they plan to have MM be the petless spec, but I really want an option to have a pet out if I so choose to have one.  Hunters, at least in warcraft, have always had the option to have a pet and I want to keep that option.  But blizzard already said screw hunters by changing a life long ranged class to a melee for some odd reason so it makes sense they would also say screw what people like and remove the option to summon a pet completely for MM under any circumstances.

Perhaps this is more a change I want to artifact weapons than one for MM.  But if artifact weapons are not fixed so I will not need to level it multiple times for all specs, then the next best thing needs to happen in my opinion, and that is let me have a pet as MM.  Poor healers would still be screwed that way however.  This whole situation does not look good for blizzard to begin with.  Perhaps I could make an artifact weapon post and what I would like to see happen with them.

Well, those are some of the things I want to see, the things near the top of my want list for hunters in legion.  What do you want to see for your class?


  1. I want a glyph that lets me dismiss my pet faster when I need to hop down a level in a dungeon so my pet doesn't pull mobs following after me the long way since it still refuses to just jump.

    1. Have you seen the new Dark Legacy comic? If not I suggest taking a look, I was laughing, it is great.

      Being the reason for it being so long was for PvP reasons and them trying to separate PvE and PvP a lot more it might be possible for something like this to be added.

      However I do not think it ever will. They consider hunters being able to dismiss their pet quickly is a major advantage for hunters in PvP and being world PvP can still happen I do not see them allowing that to happen. Not saying I agree with them, I don't, but just explaining why we have such a long dismiss pet timer.

  2. If Hunters turn out as you predict them here then mine will stay at level 100.

    I've just read the preview notes for 6.2.3 and I'm slightly more optimistic for Legion than I was, but Blizz have a long way to go to convince me they've learned from their mistakes in WoD.

    1. Blizzard has a very poor track record of learning from their mistakes. So I don't expect them to learn much.

      They will most likely continue their pendulum design of moving too far in one direction or another instead of doing something balanced. Like removing all dailies because people complained about a few dailies being gated. So instead of removing gates they just removed dailies.

      Sadly I am a bit more then jaded when it comes to trusting blizzard to learn. I've been shown they can't too often.

  3. Not relevant to your column today, but Blizz announced a new patch - VALOR IS COMING BACK, although only to upgrade your current gear. Still, it is a start!

    1. It is long over due. Just posted a post about that and all the other things.

      Still not exactly sure why they removed valor to begin with. It was a great motivator for people to do things. I mean after day one there was no reason to do dungeons. Something like valor kept people doing them all expansion long, so why remove it?

  4. It is apparent from reading the new PTR patch notes that there must be a very large drop off in player participation in LFR and very low participation in Timewalking and Mythic dungeons for them to add another carrot to the stick. In addition Mythic dungeons may drop 715-725 gear now. This cannot be a catch up mechanism as there is nothing to pursue as we are done with raids. They are adding a mount if you kill heroic Archy also. So perhaps inserting this gear in dungeons is to try and push more people into heroic raiding to pursue this mount (another carrot on a stick)?

    1. Of course there was a huge drop off to LFR and dungeons. Without a motivating factor once you got out of it what you wanted there is never any need to return. It is why I always questioned their removal of valor. It made no sense when they announced it, and maybe they finally realized that.

  5. It would be awesome if Blizz listened to your suggestions about hunters, and since they seem to have listened to you about valor(!!), I have hope about the hunter things ;-)

    The 3 things I most agree with are the instant aimed shot for MM, pet option for MM, and retention of the toolbox. (I am still bitter over removal of Hunter's Mark.) It seems like some of the worst gutting of hunters over the last couple of years has been in the name of PvP, and I am getting tired of it. I thought when they announced a separate talent tree for PvP, maybe that would help hunters, but if they still raid the hunter PvE toolbox to set up pvp, then that seems just almost vindictive, as if someone at Blizz has a plan to destroy the class completely. It should not be a zero sum game.

    So would like to see a return of Hunter's Mark for at least Beast and MM. I also love traps, so I say bring back a viable snake trap.

    And to be really honest, what I would love to see is icon-shattering changes to every WoW class in Legion. Take away ranged Boomkins from Druids, make affliction locks and arcane mages melee, make all healing specs cloth wearers, ensure that whatever class you play each spec has a different artifact weapon. Make everyone else as angry as we Survival hunters are! Schadenfreude rules!

    1. Just made a post on 6.2.3 being that is all everyone is talking about, lol.

      They did announce there would be a separate talent tree, but did not tell us what it is. They might very well remove talents they consider PvP talents so they have something to give us for PvP.

      I am hoping that we keep those talents and they just modify them for PvP through talents to make them better in PvP. We can all hope right?

      If they did a game wide "survival" change they would kill warcraft instantly. We are a test, as the most played class. If we "grin and bear it" and stay playing, we might see them do something with other classes. But if hunters revolt and they see a massive drop in people playing hunter, they will leave the other classes along. That is what my thinking is at least.

  6. Looking at the patch notes mentioned above, it appears WoD will be with us for at least 6 - 9 more months as Blizzard also announced there will be a third season of Arena in WoD. I predict a release of Legion in May-June. Hope you all enjoy HFC - you will be seeing it for quite awhile.

    1. We all knew that HFC would be around a year, at least, so it should not come as a surprise. If HFC lasts 9 months total I am fine with that as the last raid, but I am not as optimistic as you are with it coming out as soon as May. I would not mind it however.

  7. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    The use of aspects to vary the survival spec between DPS and Tank is a good one, one that I sincerely hope Blizzard picks up on. Why, because after all my highest level hunter still is ground bound and I certainly don't play a hunter as my main?

    The why is simple. You would become our main tank on your main character and I can see only good coming from that. Don't try to deny it. You know it is true. What is more, you would be good at it...damn good.

    I may not be raiding anymore, but I still care about our success as both individuals and as a raid team. Moving your main into a tanking spot and still retaining the same class would be such a win win for both the guild and for you. It would also be a win for the game as a whole, increasing the number of tanks which always seem to be in short supply.

    Actually thinking of how a melee hunter would play in general, you will already be used to being in a mobs face from leveling. Add a few tanking tools and that would quite easily become a standard thing for at least some hunters, and greatly add to their versatility. So yeah, I can see you having the chance to tank on your real and true main. Maybe it won't happen, but if it does I think it would be very good for the game.

    1. I would love to be able to fill in as a tank if needed without having to switch characters to do so. So yes, it would help a lot for that reason.

      I do think giving the most widely played class the ability to play the most in demand role would be nothing but good for the game. If blizzard wants to force a change to hunters down our throats, might as well make it one that seems to have the intention of bettering the game instead of one that makes no sense what so ever.

  8. If Survival could both tank and dps, I'd probably give it a lot more consideration. As it is now, I might just try it for novelty purposes; like like I'll try a demon hunter.

    I'll probably only play BM again, but I agree that MM should have a pet option. It can just be a taunter/threat generator for solo content; it doesn't need to do any dps.

    1. I will probably level a survival hunter to see what it is like. It will be weird, exactly different than it used to be.

      Remember you were melee when leveling (basically) until you trained how to tame a pet at level 10 or so? Then you started to stay at range more often. Now it will be the exact opposite. You will start at range and with a pet until level 10 when you decide to be survival and then move into melee and lose your ranged weapon.

      Weird. They have to fix that.

  9. I agree with Aimed Shot. I'm playing exactly a Marksmanship Orc Huntress, and I'm always feeling that I'm on cooldown.

    Frost Mage and DK, Pally, Boomkin, Monk, Fury and Gladiator Warriors, Afli Warlock feel just right to play, their rotations have their distinctive vibe and are perfect now.

    My Enhancement Shaman didn't suffer many button reduction in WoD, and I would prefer to cut the enormous amount of her abilities (totems mostly). I don't have enough space on my panels for her.

    1. I did a challenge mode this weekend, where tier sets are disabled. It totally screwed me up having to deal with the cast time again. I like the instant feel, just seems more natural for the spec.

      I think windwalker monk is probably one of the best designed and most fluid rotations in the game. So much so that even without reading a guide on how to play one I can see people getting it at least close to right on their own. That is good design if you ask me.

      I have not played enhancement since early cataclysm but had always liked it. The one issue I ever had with it back then was there was something missing. It was fast paced (as I like it) bang bang bang and then wait for a second and start it again. That "wait for a second" thing in the middle of the rotation always annoyed the hell out of me. It is also why I can not really ever get good at, or enjoy, a feral druid or a rogue. They have to wait on purpose to get the best out of their rotations. No thank you, I want to be pressing buttons as fast as possible. Wait times for anything kill the fun for me.

    2. I now understand that I hate the main, single target fire totem.

      Other totems are situational, so they're convenient to use. Even the lava aoe one. But this fire totem is something you waste your precious seconds for. You have to check if a boss or a mob are within the reach of it. You have to check if it's gonna be over soon and choose the exact second to renew it to keep its uptime at best. It's more trouble than any pet class! Always keeping your eye on the totem, worrying it's not around is the thing that simply kills all the shaman's joy of happy elemental axe-play.

      One thing more, is that there are up to 6 different burst abilities - here's -6 buttons on the panel. Wolves, Bloodlust, speed buff, another speed buff, elementals... Why so many? It's a hell of a job to calculate when they are to be used.

      So, trying to play an enh shammie well means there's constant math going on in your mind.

    3. I can under stand that one. As least a pet follows the boss but if the tank is forced to move the mob you could end up with a totem doing nothing. And then the decision, waste a spot in the rotation to drop a new one, or maybe it is not worth it. Totems are lot dots, an annoying dot that does not stay attached to the mob it is on.

      There are some classes out there, like hunters and rogues, that would love to have those "burst" buttons there but they have none really. Makes you wonder if indeed it is design to give one class so many and other classes seemingly none at all.

      The math you mentioned was part of the fun of playing an enhancement shaman. However, even if I am good at numbers, it is one of the reasons I was never topping the charts on it. I went for a more "fun" play style when I played one.

    4. Well, my hunter has this crows ability and this speed buff which are exactly burst buttons. Besides, I may hold up barrage a bit if I know there's a ring, flask or bloodlust buff coming.

      2 bursts for a hunter are ok then. 3 are nice. 4 and more are party killers :)

    5. I guess they are "bursts" in the sense that they are damage increases, but I am greedy, I want more. I think stampede is the only true burst but being they spread the damage over 45 seconds now it is not as bursty as it used to be. It used to be a ton of damage in a short window.

      I think that is why I like MM. The top 20% and the bottom 35% all feel like minor burst phases. And it is darn fun taking out adds sometimes with 2 shots, an aimed and a kill shot.