Tuesday, November 10, 2015

These are Not the Hunters You are Looking For

Based on the original concept of a hunter in the warcraft game and how the class has been designed and played throughout its history the current incarnation of hunters come the release of Legion look nothing like what we have come to know and love as the hunter class.  No more are they the fast paced ranged physical damage dealing class with a pet in all three specs, heck, not even one spec meets that description any longer.  These are most definitely not the hunters I am looking for, that is for sure.  As a matter of fact, I don't even know what they are any longer but they surely not not the warcraft hunters that I originally fell in love with.

I am not throwing in the towel even if hunters are no longer the hunters we have come to know and love come the next expansion, at least from what we have seen with the early previews.  Be warned however to take everything we saw and everything I say here with a very large grain of salt.  As things are still subject to change and my opinions here are based on the extremely limited information we have and also based on what will most likely not be the finished products we see when the time comes.

We have been through a great many changes as a hunter.  In fact more than any other class has ever had to deal with as the only class that had their main resource changed a few years back.  All classes go through additions, removals, redesigns and what have you but no class has ever had it entire identity turned on its heels like hunters have had in the past and have even more so coming with legion.

Don't Wanna Be Your Beast of Burden

Beast Mastery hunters once again seem to have the fewest changes of all the hunter classes.  From mists to warlords they seemed almost identical, which made a lot of people very happy with the BM class.  They do not get away with such a light touch this time around but they still seem to change the least.  And being they changed a lot, that means something.

Beast Mastery will be more reliant on pets, more so then ever before and it does make sense for the spec as they are the masters of beasts are they not.  Blizzards idea, at least as it stands now, is for you to spend more time micromanaging your pets and less time on your hunters rotation.  To help push this agenda along they removed the focus generating ability from beast mastery hunters completely.  Now you just have to sit and wait there for focus to regenerate naturally, or with some talents, as I am sure will be added.  Effective making beast mastery hunters ranged rogues with a pet as focus, for BM will act more like energy than like focus does without a generating ability.

While BM does seem like it will be a lot of fun and you will often be running around with multiple pets instead of just one, it does lead to make concerns.  One major one being blizzards horrible track record with fights where pets will bug out and not attack at all.  There are a few this expansion, one of which I even reported on beta, that have still not been fixed.  This could effectively make using the spec a liability.  Being nearly all your damage is pet based through multiple pets and multiple pet talents, one bugged boss means you are completely useless and all that time spent leveling that BM artifact gun will mean nothing when you could switch to MM or SV with a completely leveled weapons and do better.  Lets hope, for once, blizzard has not pet unfriendly fights or BM is screwed and anyone that spent all their time working on their BM weapon is screwed.

Even with all the changes to BM, and there are a boat load of them. BM still remains the least changed spec, at least that is how it seems.  More reliance on pets, more pets, more requirement to micro manage pets, and no focus generator, but at least you are still a ranged damage dealer with a pet.

Losing a Spec and Gaining a Spec

For all intents and purposes hunters become the first class to ever lose a spec since the game was originally released.  The ranged spec known as survival is being removed and replaced with a melee spec of the same name.  I really wish they would change the name as this is not the survival spec we have all come to know and love.  They changed the rogue combat spec name to outlaw and that did not even go through a change like survival did, so why have survival keep the same name, it makes no sense to me.  But do not make any mistake, hunters lost a spec.

This is different that just changing a rotation, adding or removing some abilities, or changing our resources.  One spec and all identity it had is being removed from the game.  No class has ever had to deal with this and I would not wish it on any of them either.  It is a horrible thing to happen to someone that might happen to love their spec to see it removed from the game. 

How do you think someone that has been tanking on their warrior since vanilla would feel if warriors suddenly woke up and could no longer tank, or someone that has been healing as a holy priest since they started was told nope, if you want to heal as a priest now you need to be discipline because holy is now a white magic DPS spec.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy so needless to say I do not like it happening to my very own class, even if I was never a fan of survival to begin with.

I will admit from the early previews that our new spec, also named survival, does seem to have a lot going for it.  It looks, at first glance, to be something that might very well be fun, even if it is melee instead of the ranged spec we were previously used to.

Adding some potential for burst by chaining mongoose bites together as each bite increases the damage of the next bite within quick succession and by adding a cooldown named snake hunter that grants us 3 stacks of mongoose bite so we can string 6 together for some serious gives survival something it has been missing all expansion, and that is burst.  If you can manage to weave in other abilities, focus allowing, and proc even more bites the potential for long term burst is very attractive.

In melee with a pet will be something that will take some getting used to but from the early looks of it, it might also be fun because it is adding parts to the game that survival, the ranged, did not have all throughout warlords, such as burst.  I just wonder why they could not fix survival the ranged instead of removing it and adding survival the melee.

Survival will also be the only spec that will be able to utilize traps come Legion, which is a huge loss for both beast mastery hunters and marksman hunters. Oddly, it makes less sense for the melee class to have certain traps than it does ranged.  I would think the ranged classes would have a great deal more use for frost and ice trap, but traps were always intended to be more of a survival specialty and now it seems that is being made to happen, like it or not.

Even if the redesign to melee seems to at least be something that could be interesting and powerful the fact that hunters needed to lose a spec to get it will always be a hard pill to swallow for some.  No other class has ever had to suffer this indignity of having a spec removed, hunters should have not had to either.

I Don't Want to Play the Waiting Game

My biggest complaint about the information that was released is that two of the specs are losing focus completely.  Both beast mastery hunters and survival hunters are losing focus and getting energy instead.

No no, it is still called focus, but it now acts like energy instead of focus.  The beauty of focus, at least for me, was the fact that it was a never ending resource.  You spend it, you build it, you spend it, you build it.  It made for a very rapid style of game play, the style of game play I love.  As a matter of fact, that is one of the reasons I never switched classes to another class to DPS with.  Because hunters were the only ranged class that had that rapid fire mentality that melee do, but without the need to wait on resources to do things.  It made for an incredibly fun and fast paced play style which I loved.  Hunters controlled how fast, or slow, they took things.

Beast mastery and survival will no longer have a focus generator, or at least that is how it seems from the early preview.  So their focus will generate on its own, which effectively makes it energy.

There is a reason I do not play a feral druid or any type of rogue, and that is energy.  I really do enjoy the rapid "idea" of both classes, but they have to pool their responses for a bunch of quick fire moves and then wait to go through it all again.  I am not a fan of the waiting game.  It is also why I routinely call myself the worlds worst rogue despite the fact that rogues have the easiest rotation in the game.  It is because I am not good at waiting for resources to build.  It is why I suck as a rogue, and it is why I would suck as a beast mastery hunter and a survival hunter.

I will miss the old style of being a high speed class that required people to act in a manner that was always doing something.  Sure you could do fairly well as a hunter just hitting things as fast as you could but the real skill of being a hunter was hitting the right thing and never, ever, even wasting a tenth of a second.  I remember some years back when I did a post where I logged target dummy damage doing quick hits and doing hits delayed by 0.1 seconds, and the DPS difference was insane over a long fight.  So while everyone loves to say hunters are "easy" they never quite understood that to be a good one, you needed to be fast thinking because even a 0.1 second delay could be 10% of the damage you do over the course of a long fight.

That is my style, that is the way I like to play, that is one of the reasons I have always loved being a hunter and that is gone from two of the tree specs, as only marksman has a focus builder.

I Now Only Have One Spec, And I am Not Even Sure I Like It

I'll be the first to admit that as soon as I saw lock and load moved over to marksman as a passive and when it procs I get two instant aimed shots free of cost I smiled from ear to ear.  I mean what hunter, no matter what spec you play, hell what class, no matter what class you play, wouldn't like 2 instant cast and resource free powerful abilities going off?

Then there is the fact that marksman still has a focus generator, even if it is now arcane shot instead of steady shot.  It is also an instant focus generator, which is pretty sweet if you ask me.  So I still have a class that works on the rapid fire, fingers moving as fast as I can move them, style of game play that I love so much.  Plus one for marksman here.  Which at the moment seems to be the only spec worth playing in my mind.  At least as they have been presented to me.

But not all is well and good in marksman land.  Lone wolf is now baseline which sucks for solo play because I like having a pet out while questing and soloing and the such.  I personally believe that marksman should have a reverse option to what lone wolf used to be.  Where lone wolf gave you a bonus when you had no pet out, maybe have a version were you could have a pet out but you do less damage?  Just an idea.

At the moment the fact I can not have a pet, ever, is really a huge turn off to me as a hunter.  Even if I was never an avid pet collector on my main hunter I still love my pets.  I level every expansion with Fang, my first ever pet.  He does not see much play time, only when leveling, but he is always there for me when that time comes and he is ready to go.  The fact that I would lose that if I play marksman really upsets me, maybe in a mildly unhealthy way, who knows, but I do not mind raiding without a pet, but otherwise, I want my pet by my side.  It is what a hunter in warcraft is known for, in the great original cinematic, the dwarf and his bear, that is what a hunter is in the mythos of warcraft.  Marksman hunters need an option to have a pet.  Somehow they need to add it.

Two Fixes Could Make For a Happy Elf

Again I will state things can change and we do not even know everything they have out there yet for hunters, but there are two very simple fixes they could make to hunters that will make all the changes that much more bearable, for me at least.

One, add a focus builder back to BM and SV so they can become their rapid fire, always hitting something, selves once again and feel like real hunters once more instead of being rogues with energy.  Two, add an option for marksman to have a pet.

Really, it is as simple as that, those are the things I am most hung up on with the changes we have seen mentioned.  I can deal with ability changes.  I have lost things I liked before like volley.  So that is a roll with the punches sort of thing.  But removing the focus builders from BM and SV and the pet from MM is not rolling with the punches, that is getting punched in the nuggets.  And trust me, no one likes that feeling.

What's an Elf to do With no Viable Options?

Sorry if viable is a loaded word, but I could not think of another to use in my summation.

Survival is melee, which I do not enjoy, beast mastery does not have a focus generator and basically uses the slow waiting game with energy now, and marksman can't have a pet even if they were willing to sacrifice DPS to do so.

I am not sure what to make of it right now.  The hunter class has three specs and none of them look anything like the mythos of what we have known being a hunter is throughout the history of the game.

Fast paced rapid fire game play with a pet from ranged.  That is the warcraft hunter.  We no longer have any spec that fills that.  So what now?

Artifact Weapons "Could" Ruin it All For Me

Right now my intention is to raid as marksman, solo as BM and quest as survival.  But being we need to level each artifact weapon as an individual that will not really be an option.  Sure the tri spec and being able to switch between all three specs on the fly will be nice and all, but with the need to level all three weapons I will be forced into playing only the spec I raid with, at least until I top out my weapon for raiding.

Now all can be thrown away if BM or SV ends up being the top raiding spec, and my bet would be that SV will be the top raiding spec because they will make it over powered to try and stem the damage they did to the class by removing the ranged spec in favor of a melee one.  So if they make it really strong less people will complain about it.

The bottom line is, having to level three weapons if I want to play all three specs is generally not appealing at all.  Not even in the slightest.  There is still time for this to change, and I hope it does, but blizzard should listen to me and make it so you level up your artifact ability levels up.  Not have it so the spec you are in levels up the weapon for that spec.  So, for example, if I level as survival and get my weapon to level 7 (example) then switch as soon as hit 110 to marksman, by MM weapon is also level 7.  That is the appropriate way to level artifact weapons and allow people to switch specs.  I just do not have faith in blizzard to do this the correct way.

If All Else Fails...

I guess I will just be a tank next expansion.  I level in tank spec for all the tanks I play so no artifact weapon issues here.  Or I could roll a demon hunter which you know will be insanely over powered and being a demon hunter tank will be like taking the easy route to awesome.  Not to mention tanks all have those rapid fire rotations, and being that is the style of game play I like, it fits well enough.

Either way, the most appealing hunter spec to me at the moment, is being a druid tank.  As a hunter, that makes me really sad.  Lets hope that changes.


  1. I think what it all comes down to is yield vs cost. Clearly, these revamps are costing hunters a ton. If what you get in the end, doesn't measure up to the cost, you are going to be dissatisfied. As a MM I'm losing pet and trap access to name just two large costs (there are other costs to, but these are just examples). That means, my CC'ing ability could be gone. My ability to adventure with my pet and effectively level as my preferred spec is harmed. I want to know what I gain outweights the cost I am paying. I see some hints, that we might have that with the interactions between expanded talents and artifact abilities, but with just preliminary information, I cannot really form an informed opinion on if we gain enough for what we are giving up.

    The only thing I think we can know at this point is that we are paying a whole lot of cost for promises of a good return. I want to see more development to show me what I'm getting for losing two (and more) core aspects of my identity as a hunter.

    1. I do not see any gains. All DPS will "try" to be balanced so we will not be doing more DPS because we lost that stuff, so that is not part of the equation.

      So we lost a bunch and get nothing in return. Unless they have some surprises up their sleeves, which I hope they do, I see all the changes as a net loss for hunters in general.

      I am sorry if in the end I do not think they can really offer anything in return that would compensate for losing our identity as a hunter.

      It would have been nice if we had one spec remain as the core hunter from the game should be. Sad to see none did.

    2. If it helps I've fleshed out my thoughts a bit more for Celestalon as part of the feedback.


    3. Very good post and gets to what you were saying.

      The last major change of this magnitude hunters had was the change to focus, but at least with that there was a reasonable exchange for the cost of what we lost.

      We lost mana, which meant we lost the ability to be massively front loaded burst machines, but in exchange we were given focus. Sure we could not fire 20 high cost shots in a row, but we could go on forever and never get forced into viper where we did less damage while regaining mana.

      It was an exchange, we lost something (mana) and we gained something (focus). Sure, not everyone was happy with it. There are still some people I know that have not come back to hunters since ditching one back then, but at least we got something in return.

      I see these changing being an issue because we are not getting anything in return for what we are losing. And no, you can not count new damaging spells or abilities, as they will try to balance that out to the best of their ability, so getting a new one of that means nothing, it would be the same DPS in the end have it or not.

      What are we getting for BM losing a focus generator and traps, what are we getting for MM losing a pet and CC, what are we getting for SV losing ranged?

      Nothing I have noticed... yet.

      Lets hope they have something in mind, because right now it seems we are losing a lot and getting nothing in return.

    4. Which is the exact reason for the post. I hope it resonates with some of the developers and reinforces the importance of the cost vs benefit analysis.

      It is a lot easier for them to dismiss a quick analysis of BM's loss of active focus generation with "You don't understand that we've buffed the passive regen by 67%." than the overall idea, you are taking a LOT away from us, and so far are not providing gains commensurate with the losses.

      Guess that's all we can do. Say our peace and hope.

    5. The thing is even if they buff passive regeneration by 67% it still changes the "feel" of the class. I do not think everyone is really that adverse to change, I think it has more to do with them not liking the "feel" changing.

      Like I said, I like the fast paced always hitting buttons action, and this change removes that. It is a feel issue, not a change issue.

      But that is all up in the air, we still need to use it in beta to really fully understand. Right now we are just guessing based on the little information we have.

      I hope I get a beta again because I sure as hell do not want to "learn" on live. I want to learn before it makes it into game.

    6. Removing the focus-generator and making it passive removes control from the player, which is exactly the opposite of what they said they intended for dps classes.

      This change, more than any other, is one that need to be reverted.

    7. The "control" you mentioned is part of what separated the good player from the bad one. When I have issues with my numbers one of the first things I look at is how I am handling my focus. Am I capping? Am I too low when the big move comes off cooldown? Do I over spend? Do I not cast enough smaller stuff? Blah blah blah. Handling focus, for me, is the difference between doing 100K on a fight or 70K on it sometimes.

    8. Grumpy, I'm not sure if you saw this or not but Dire Beast is the focus generator for BM (it will be a core ability)

      Per the notes about Dire Beast:
      Dire Beast

      40 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
      Summons a powerful wild beast to attack your target for 8 sec. Each time the beast deals damage, you will gain 4 Focus.
      Summoning a beast reduces the remaining cooldown of Bestial Wrath by 15 sec.

      Actually, I like this change for BM in how we generate focus "and I for one welcome our new insect overlords"! But anyways, yeah I think BM looks promising enough that I will level it. Though, I might regret that once raids come out. Time will tell.

      MM looks fun for sure. Still not seeing that instant focus dump - makes me sad. But, at least there's L&L that gives me 2 instant cast AS's. Sucks that Aimed Shot is a 1.5 Cast that cannot be cast while moving. Honestly, I'd rather them keep Sniper Training as it is now and let me cast AS's on the move than punish me with a movement impairing ability. I mean, if I wanted to play a Mage, I would... but I don't.

      As for SV? No thanks! I think people are overly glorifying the days when we couldn't shoot something right in front of our faces and had to be a melee Hunter (at least while leveling). I don't long for those days of being a melee Hunter while I was leveling - those were not fun times for me. If I wanted to play Melee I'd play my DK as my main.

      "And that's all I have to say about that..."

    9. Dire beast has always generated focus. What I am talking about is a focus regenerating ability that I, the hunter, uses when I need focus. Was cobra shot, now it will be nothing. So they are removing the focus generating shot. That is why I did not mention dire beast. It gave near nothing before, it will still give near nothing now.

      I like that aimed is now 1.5 instead of 2.5 and unlike most people I do not mind I need to stand still for it either. Seems like a more than fair trade off to not having to worry about that stupid sniper training any longer. I hated sniper training.

      As for SV, there are too many melee in game as is. There was not need to add 2 more, in the SV hunter and demon hunter. I dislike the change, not because I don't like it but because the game did not need it.

    10. True. But now DB is a core ability and not a talent. I don't think 4 Focus per attack is enough. But it's up for 8 seconds and it has a 10 second CD so it sounds like we will just have DB up pretty much constantly. I do agree though, I would rather have an ability I can use on demand to generate a known amount of Focus instead of DB, but the idea sounds interesting. How well they implement it and how well it works has yet to be determined.

      I actually like the ST mini-game LOL! Not too happy about having to stand still for AS - just too used being mobile.

    11. I agree, 4 per attack will be nice, sure, but it will not be much in the long run. That is why I did not even consider it as a focus generator.

      It will all be about the tuning, if it turns out that DB is indeed the focus generator, they will either tweak their attack speed or increase the focus you get from an attack to make it work.

      I actually got to be pretty okay at it, keeping ST over 90% most of the time and in the upper 90s many fights. But just because I got decent at it doesn't mean I found it fun.

  2. Did I miss something in the notes? All I remember hearing is that LW is now baked into MM only.

    LW (currently) is "+30% when no pet is active and you provide whatever buff you want." Meaning just what you are asking for. Less dps when pet is active (as that's the theoretical dps of the pet). Granted we're still VERY early in the "what's what" of the Legion game and it's entirely possible I missed a note somewhere where they said they were changing LW to mean "Unable to summon a pet."

    I'm crossing my fingers that I didn't miss a patch note, because I love having LW on my MM hunter. I solo with a tank pet and do dungeons/raids without.

    1. Also, it looks like Dire Beast with be the BM focus generator.

      It also looks like it's going to be the equivalent of "Wild Imps" from Warlocks. You'll quickly wind up with an entire zoo as an entourage.

    2. They actually said at multiple points that marksman hunters will no longer be able to summon a pet. LW is baked in, in the theory that you play without a pet, but not in the spirit, where if you have a pet you do less damage. You will not have a summon pet option as a marksman hunter.

      I saw the 4 focus per attack from the beast but that was always part of the beast attacks. When I say no focus generator I mean no cobra shot that builds focus. No ability to spam when you have no focus that builds focus. That was removed.

      BM seems to be designed around the idea of having multiple pets out now, which could be fun for the hunter, and a nightmare for melee. lol

    3. Sorry, huge typo in above deleted comment.

      What I said was I kind of hope it turns out to be a disaster for the melee space, it would serve Blizz right for what has been an inexplicable set of decisions in my opinion. Melee was already a difficult crowded space to play in, so they added two more melee specs and what could turn out to be whole herds of pets? Who could possibly think this was a good plan??

    4. I deleted your deleted post, to remove clutter. :)

      Not only did they add two more melee, one being a hero class that you know everyone will want to play, but they made BM and demo be the masters of all beasts and demons which means even more bodies in melee range.

      Yeah, I do not see this turning out well. If anything they should have kept survival as ranged and made one warrior spec ranged and one rogue spec ranged. That would have made a lot more sense.

  3. Not sure what to think about the MM changes. One of the fun things about being a hunter in a dungeon was when the tank goes down. Call my turtle out to tank, throw a trap to save the healer and save the day. Now I just get to watch a wipe happen? not cool at all.

    1. I would do that all the time even as a lone wolf hunter. Tank goes down, turtle comes out, hunter saved the day.

      I am so upset I will no longer be able to do that as a MM hunter. It is just wrong. Blizzard said "being it seems all MM liked LW we are making it standard and MM will no longer have pets". I wish someone would tell blizzard that people didn't "love" LW because it had no pet, the loved it because it was the best talent for DPS on that row. Blizzard needs to learn to understand information first before processing it.

    2. Of course we love lone wolf for the DPS, but having a pet or trap in our back pocket to save the day is what hunters are about. If they screw this up , I may be done

    3. Blizzard just (as usual) read the data wrong. They saw MM was not using a pet and took it to mean that MM hunters did not want a pet instead of reading as what it truly meant. MM was the best spec, and the best ability on that row was lone wolf. It had nothing to do with people not wanting a pet. It had everything to do with people wanting to play with the best theoretical spec and talents.

  4. I am trying very hard to be optimistic about the hunter changes, but like you I believe Legion will destroy the class as we know it, along with the fast-action play style that drew many of us to the class in the first place. For all of Blizz's blathering about a clas "fantasy", the fact remains that what has defined a hunter for almost all of the game's history is just what you describe -- fast paced, mobile ranged damage with a pet. From what we know so far about Legion, no hunter spec will have all those attributes -- the true hunter class "fantasy".

    I think the changes you suggest would restore some of the true hunter play style, but unfortunately history has pretty much shown us that once Blizz even hints at major changes like this, there is no going back and even no significant modifications, no matter what serious, thoughtful players may reasonably suggest, no matter what beta tests may show.

    The most inexplicable thing to me is why hunters have been singled out for destruction. I read the mage class blog yesterday, and honestly there ARE NO MAJOR CHANGES AT ALL. Mages have remained virtually untouched for several expansions, they are apparently the untouchable Social Security and Medicare of WoW, no one dares to change them in any way. But hunters have undergone major changes in nearly every expansion -- so significant that we have had to pretty much relearn our class and spec from the bottom up every time.

    And sorry, no "special eagle ride" for hunters in Legion can compensate for what Blizz has done to the class.

    1. Sadly the options for fast style of game play left for me are either tanks or healers. So it seems if I wish to play that way any longer I will need to switch to one of those support classes. :(

      The changes I suggest would not actually be that much of an issue to add. I see them having no issues with including them. It is not like I am asking for something that is not already in game. Focus generators for two specs (that currently have them) and a pet for one (that current has it). So I do not see why those changes can not make it in. So I will try to hold out hope.

      Hunters have long been the class that underwent the most changes, not because they have something against the class, but because the class is (was) such a great class. Usually when something is at the top they will do whatever they can to rip it down, and that is what keeps happening to the hunters. People love the class, they love the fast game play, they love the pets, so they are doing everything they can to try and make them like every other class. I don't agree with that. If people like the class, let them play it. Hunters are not the best in DPS, they are not the best in soloing, they are not the best in PvP, they are not the best in CC, they are not the best in anything. They are just good at everything. I don't know about you, but the game needs a jack of all trades class and the hunter is (was) it. It worked for me, and apparently, many others.

  5. I updated my SV post to include some specifics about Focus and how much downtime (25% with the abilities they have shown in the preview).

    Also, they changed a few things (blizzard = sneaky) in the hunter preview, if anyone hasn't read it today, there are differences (and I doubt I noticed all of them).

    1. Now I have to go back and read it again.

      Do you think the comments from around the community might have spurred them on to make some of those stealthy changes?

    2. I hope so. I don't know how much of blizzcon you watched, but the Q&A this year, there were a lot of "yes" responses. That is, people saying "hey, could we do ___" and they'd actually say yes. I imagine part of that was because they prescreened most of the questions. But it did make it feel like they were taking a lot more community input into account (see account wide xmog, tri-specs, etc).

      Some of the changes (like the flanking strike) were just that people were misunderstanding what they were trying to do, i think, so they clarified it, and it looked like a change, but was probably their original intent.

      This doesn't have much of anything to do with this post, but since we're talking about responding to the community, I just want to mention how much I love Jeremy Feasel / Muffinus. I dont' think his job has much of anything to do with combat, but the parts of the game he works on, he seems to really listen to, and deliver on what we really beg for (he headed up the gara quest, and the 6.2 fel rangari fight for the fel wolf tame). And I've seen him recently asking for suggestions and talking to hunters re: new pet possibilities in Legion.

    3. I watched it all, or listened would be more like it, as it was on in the background. But I did not catch everything.

      It seems like this expansions is very heavy on the fan service end of things. Which makes me wonder why they would go out of their way to dismantle many specs and completely change many more, when this is seems to be an otherwise fan service expansion.

      I think people did not understand flanking strike because they did not know what flanking is. I am sure many people understood exactly what the ability was meant to do. At least I did.

      Muffinus does seem like one of the good guys there and with all the people craving for interaction right now he really seems to be pretty active in a time when you know things have to be hectic for them. I give the guy a thumbs up for sure for the work he has done.

    4. PS. Regarding the new Lock and Load: you're looking at maybe 1 proc per minute. I imagine the point of that portion of the ability is just a nod to the old lock and load. The only significant part should be the explosive charge. Unless they up the percent chance to proc.

    5. The only time I think I ever liked survival was in SoO with the 4 piece set when you could get lucky and string 15 or 20 explosive shots in a row because of it. Stuff like that is "fun". Wish blizzard would realize that. One minute chances to proc, that always seem to proc at the wrong time or when you can not do damage, or just as the mob dies, is just not fun for anyone. I think once every 20 seconds would be much better. Just my opinion of course.

    6. Multistrike SV during Highmaul was pretty fun too, sadly it didn't last. Seeing how strong MM is, the nerf wasn't justified. I hope for this playstylo to come back.

    7. They over nerfed it. But now we see why. They over nerfed it so no one would play it and then people would "hopefully" put up less of a fight when they were switched to melee.

  6. They could easily let MM call out a pet that is just a threat generator/taunter. It wouldn't need to do any dps. So it'd be of no use in group content but would still let you have a pet in solo content.

    I really hope they go back on some of the BM changes. I don't think BM needed major changes. SV definitely needed some reworking. I was ok with it going melee as long as BM and MM weren't going to be totally changed as well, but now...

    I feel like these class previews are the perfect way to just piss everyone off. I'd rather they didn't tell us anything until we have beta. There's so much missing information that it's pretty pointless.

    If there is no hunter spec in Legion that is the "fast-paced ranged spec with a pet" playstyle that I've enjoyed for years, I will probably just quit the game. Blizz has pissed me off a lot over the last couple years and this would be the final straw.

    1. I would be absolutely fine with a pet for MM that did nothing but generate threat and did no damage. As long as it could out threat me and I could MD to it if need be.

      It does not need to do damage, it just needs to be there to assist me. For spirit bond, for masters call, for holding aggro. Things like that.

      You sounds like me, but don't quit, try something else. I find tanks and healers to be the only other things in game that have that fast paced game play. Sure they are not ranged and with no pet, but maybe you can find some fun with them. I do understand however. If I could not play my hunter, even if I might switch to do something else, I would leave soon too. I want my hunter back, not this aberration they left in its place.

  7. A dev commented on twitter today that one of MM's talent options is to have a summonable temporary pet. Still not terribly impressed. As it's been pointed out none of the specs are "a ranged damage dealer with a pet" anymore and the class is becoming almost unrecognizable. They really should've gone easier on BM at least given what they are doing to survival.

    1. They should have not completely redesigned all three specs. Mess with one, tweak around the other two, but do not completely redesign all three at one time and leave none even remotely resembling the class as it once was. I, personally, would not have minded as much if at least one spec was left being the hunter I have played for what, 8 years now.

  8. As a purveyer of no alts, I found this a rather heartfelt and sad read as you described the decimation of your main class.

    I had read the survival hunter class changes and thought "Oh I remember some of those funny melee talents like wing clip" and thought it was interesting that they were bringing it back to the game.

    For me, I look at pure DPS classes like hunters, rogues, warlocks and mages and think the classes need to be drastically different. I know you probably don't like hearing that, but all the specs of my class are vastly different and now they crossover will be narrower with some of the beast talents being removed from the animal specs (and hopefully cyclone removed from those beast specs as well). However, I feel like I have to disagree about focus.

    It annoyed me that hunters can constantly do damage without having to wait, and that doing damage made their energy come back. How come I don't get mana back when I land a heal on someone? I have to ration out my healing when it's a finite resource and play smarter and more efficiently to make the most of what i have. It bugs me that warlocks and boomkins never seem to run out of mana despite constantly casting.

    However, the removal of traps is a massive change. I am not sure how to take that. I think that it's so foundation shaking that many hunters would be horrified at the changes and not want to play the class anymore.

    I will see what people say after they play it, I suppose. But don't forget, my view is simplistic and from a healer point of view, not from someone who plays a hunter so from an outsider's point of view, I did feel that changes to the class needed to be done somehow, though perhaps not so drastically.

    1. Oops typos. I mean that pure DPS classes with tri spec need to have specs which are vastly different. Also, I meant to write that the beast talents were removed from the caster talents. Ugh I wish I could edit my repliess. So hard to reply from phones.

    2. The ability to constantly be doing something is one of, if not the, reason I love being a hunter. I like a very active play style. I do not like the sit and wait approach, I do not like the long cast time approach, I do not like the wait on things and pop everything at once approach. I like the fast paced make a decision quick approach. It is what makes hunters such an attractive class to me.

      It is also why if my hunter goes bye bye, as it sure seems to now, I would most likely go full on tank or healer. As those are the only other play styles that have that split second decision making game style. I might lean more toward tank because as least they do not have cast times.

      I don't so much mind that hunters are undergoing changes again, we have experienced more than any other class ever has already so I am used to it, but the fact that not even one spec resembles the hunter that has been in game for over 11 years thus far is what is disheartening. At least one spec should still play like the hunter I have come to know and love.

  9. If Hunters didn't already exist and this was a completely new class, I would love the design and different identities of the three specs.

    But it is not a new class and all of the many, many hunters who already love their class are going to have a hard time with this many changes.

    Blizzard have risked alienating a massive number of players with these changes and I don't have a lot of faith in them pulling it off.

    On the plus side my main, Elemental Shaman, has gained Maelstrom (basically focus) so the playstyle you want might be there instead ;-)

    1. I agree, if this was something completely new, it looks good. But because it is changing, and effectively removing, what is already there. I am not so keen on it.

      I was thinking about that with the shaman. I just finished switching my shaman from elemental as an offspec to enhancement. Now I have to go back again. ~sigh~

  10. I've never tried survival on my hunter. But I never actually thought they'd go through with making it melee. I don't like melee dps at all. Also, they're adding another melee dps (Demon Hunter), they're pushing holy paladin into melee once again, they're making the survival hunter melee... what's up with that, how many melee can you have in there?
    Survival hunters will not fail - they will either be OP in pve or in pvp, they have to, to justify the change.

    That being said, I'm very skeptical about everything Legion. I think I no longer trust Blizzard to try to balance things. For them it's perfectly fine to have just one choice of a class for a certain activity.
    I'm looking at all these changes, even to my own class and spec and I don't get the changes. I don't get how they can take one class that they say is most aligned with their vision of all the classes and completely change it. And they do this thing - they remove things from one class because reason X and then they give it to another class. Why do they do this, why isn't everything aligned, have some sense?
    I feel like I'm being played for an idiot. Just look at holy paladin, a healer that's supposed to be in melee but not do anything in melee like hitting the boss or anything. I'm not sure how it'll work out, but I'm thinking on how I healed my team in pvp with one ranged and one squishy melee, I can't stick to any of them, I can't run between them, it's suicide.

    I don't get Blizz anymore. Wait, no, I don't trust them anymore. In the past, I've always trusted them to make changes that play out well in the end but this trust is no longer warranted. They mess up classes and specs and they leave them that way for an entire expansion.

    And yeah... artifacts... Ii'm really not sure, I really want to keep doing what I did up to now, have a great pve tank spec and a great pvp healing spec...

    That's all I get out of Legion - more of a plea - I want to play like I've been playing for years, I don't want to be told it's wrong. I don't want them to tell me I should roll a different alt for pvp. I don't want them to tell me how I'm supposed to play my alts. I just want to play the way I want. Sigh.

    1. And you forgot they are adding more pets to demonology and beast mastery will usually have at least 2 pets out, maybe even more. So add all that to holy paladins, survival hunters and now demon hunters in melee and an already over crowded area is going to get worse.

      Forgive me for saying this, but what the fuck is blizzard thinking, I mean really.

      If you feel like you are being played like an idiot, how do you think us hunters feel? No one, not even people at blizzard, has a clue why they are doing this to all the classes. None of it was needed. Changes, some, tweaks, surely, but not overhauls on all classes.

      Artifact weapons could end up being a huge mistake, at least as they are released as announced. If something is not done with them it will be the "garrison" of legion. People with one character or one spec will love them but people with alts will hate them.

      I agree with you, I just want to play the way I like playing, but sadly that no longer seems an option. Blizzard is now sending people on the path they want them to take and we no longer have options.

  11. My first max level toon was a BM hunter and it's hard to imagine the spec not having a spammable focus generator whenever you need it.

    In WoD I have mained as destruction warlock, and the warlock post essentially reads: Overall we are very happy with how destruction plays. So we are removing the execute ability, changing the secondary resource, and adding more RNG to how you generate that secondary resource. Have fun.

    I hope all this gets fleshed out more as we see more talents and artifact abilities, and I especially hope they take beta feedback seriously and make significant changes as needed.

    1. Hunters used mana when I started, I never thought I would get used to focus after having used mana for my entire time playing a hunter. As it turns out, I ended up loving focus. Took some getting used to of course and it still has its downsides compared to mana, but it ended up okay.

      I am really hoping that this turns out to be another case like that. Were it sounds scary but isn't as bad it we make it out to be. But this time around it is not just the resource changing, it is the entire class changing, and that is, well, scary. It makes me feel like I am losing the class I love as no spec will ever play like what I have been playing for years. Even the change from mana to focus at least a hunter still was a hunter.

  12. I fulky agree with your 2 suggestions for fixes. MM should keep pets (LW being max dmg in raids would be wellcome) and focus should never be passive. Focus management is a big part of our rotation and handling priority targets, and I'd like it to stay this way pretty please. Let's hope the hunter community gives lots of feedback now and during beta.

    Regarding SV, I'm not sad and dom't feel we lose anything. We're much more going back to the roots, but now featuring actual, non laughable damage!

    1. Focus management is usually were I lose DPS when I screw up. It is the key to doing well. It is the fun part of the rotation really, at least to me.

      I only wish that survival would have been a tanking spec so we could get instant queue too.

  13. I'm sure that you are aware, Grumpy, but for the sake of others, I wanted to note that The Thrill of the Wild blog has a great first look at all three specs.


    He details many of the problems that you've noted. I always appreciate his take on hunter-related WoW systems and on WoW generally.

    1. He does a fantastic job outlining thing and he does so from a math standpoint which I love. He looks at both feel and practicality. Can't beat that.