Hunter Spec and Class Balance

Posted: by Frostheim


Today over at WoW Insider, I have a big breakdown of hunter balance, including what we’re seeing right now from World of Logs, what Blizzard has said, and some of the other factors that go into it.

Last week, Ghostcrawler, WoW’s lead systems designer, stepped in with a post to let the players know what Blizzard was looking at in terms of class balance. Hunters had the privilege of being the only class that had all three specs being mentioned in the post. He acknowledged that BM and MM DPS was too low and were in need of buffs. He also pointed out that SV single-target damage looked too high (along with DKs) and that AoE damage might be too high, as well.

Responses from the hunter community have been pretty divided. A lot of hunters are saying no, SV is not too strong, while a lot of others agree that they are a bit too high. Still others argue that hey, someone has to be on top — why not us? And then there’s the crowd that says it’s too soon to tell. But everyone agrees that BM and MM need the buffing.

Today, we’re going to take a look a hunter balance. We’ll delve into raid parse data to see if we can find out just what Blizzard is seeing, we’ll talk about hunter spec balance, and finally, we’ll talk a bit about how current bugs in the game are affecting our DPS. Join me after the cut for an in-depth rundown of hunter class balance at the beginning of CataclysmRead More.

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  1. Valilor says:

    Interesting. My guild haven’t been raiding yet but I am the top DPS at the moment but not by a very large margin ahead of a Rogue (not sure which spec) and a Frost DK. We’re all pretty much equally geared (346 level) and this comment is based strictly on heroics and that Tol Barad boss. I feel a 10-15% nerf would put me below both classes, which doesn’t sound very fair. Saying that, I’m not sure of what the raid situation is yet (we start this Thursday).

    If your analysis could be split between single and AoE fights it might provide some more interesting results as some of the meters might be skewed due to AoE situations – if we’re not as far ahead on single target then I have no problems with just the AoE part being nerfed.

    • Wintermute says:

      That’s what I’ve never gotten. Somebody has to be on top of the meters, often it is locks and DKs, but if SV tops the meters, a hunter calls for nerfs to hunters. Because I guess it’s “unfair” to other classes that we top the meters…that if we don’t gratefully fall on our own nerf-bat like Frostheim, the Blizz powers-that-be will note that we’re not being conciliatory enough and “nerf us to the ground”.

  2. Tullwinden says:

    Well, I say let it be like that and buff BM and MM. I was a former MM hunter but SV right now does good DPS. I have run with my guild and in pugs several heroics and you need that high DPS in those dungeons. I would like also MM to go back again because of the benefits of raid buff that the class offers, and the chance to use Chimera shot which was great. And BM focus is something that with a good spec, can be really good in fights using your pet.

  3. Thornagol says:

    Very well done, sir. I think some modifications can be done as SV (coming from a SV/MM player) and the other specs can get buffed. However, I think that there is something (mastery maybe) that is affecting the other classes as well. Assuming that the gear is balanced between all classes, I think that there is some mechanic or stat that is not living up to the nature across the field. When a MM does less damage than a SV by a large margin, something is wrong with the specs. When a Hunter can do more than 4K more dps than another pure dps class in the same raid group then there is a bigger issue at hand with the overall balance of dps.

  4. Bakedtatters says:

    As a MM hunter in PvP i’ll be the first to admit MM is a little weak right now, still loads of fun to play mind you, but a little weaker than some some classes dps wise. I can’t help but wonder though if a change to the wonky aimed shot mechanics to an instant cast might be in order as well. It would be really nice to be the long range assasin i was before patch 4.0. On the whole though, I’m having as much fun playing my hunter as I ever have and much thanks to OutDps and WHU for being there to help us though the rough times and being a resource all other classes envy :)

  5. hillbillyhatfield says:

    I don’t get the Nerf at all. We are (from the chart) less than 1k ahead of the top 5. 1k is a one sidestep or avoiding a area damage spell. We can drop 1k if we mess up a rotation only slightly. And that calls for a Nerf. God forbid a pure dps class is with no self heal or dot remover somehow becomes #1 in damage. And some hunters are asking for a Nerf. I think some have Copenhagen syndrome.
    I could see if the charts showed higher than 3k+ difference between 1 and 2 but it’s 1k between 1 and 5. And I’m not even going into PVP. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel there. Our class is represented less than 5% in arena top teams. And BG are only average if we have a large group to back us up in. Survival is the only pvp spec we have, and it’s lacking alot.
    Yea survival is tops and all 3 specs should be viable, but out of the 5 years playing, there has only been 1 spec at a time. It has NEVER be balanced unless they are all nerfed down to average damage. But then we will lack from other classes.
    When you look at the hunter look at both PVP and PVE. Before asking and thinking of a nerf, make sure there other in need. If I had my way I would make surv. PVP spec and BM, and MM PVE. It would solve alot of headache. And I could go BM my favorite spec in raids. And use the increased health and MAGIC damage in PVP. Instead we actually have people who are practically asking for a nerf. Incredible.

    • Frostheim says:

      By which you mean there’s a 2k difference between #1 and #5, not 1k.

      We don’t care if number 1 is really close to other specs that are overperforming — we care about the distribution from the median. Either those top specs need to come down a bit (and the bottom up) or all the bottom and middle specs all need to come up to bring us in something approximately like balance.

      • hillbillyhatfield says:

        yea I caught the math. It;s shy of 2k difference. Sorry just got off working nightshift and was doing some bill paying and reading the article. But if you try to balance all, you run into the hybrid being equal to pure dps. It doesn’t make sense like the mana argument, survival should do normal instead of natural (magic) damage if it did. To get balance like that all classes would have a choice of have to either tank/dps, or heal/dps(duel spec). Balance would and will hinder the pure class(us). If you want to damage be a dps class, if you want the more options of heal, tank, or dps get a hybrid(and expect to do less of all because you can do all. jack of all trade. DK are becoming what pally were, and should be in the middle). It can not be balanced. Pure classes have to be the top of there fields. If not then why have them. If hunters were deleted tomorrow, we would not be missed. Other classes can do our CC. Only thing we have is our damage that others don’t.

        I’m not a fan of survival. Never had, and probably never will. I’m a BM since the last part of vanilla. (I only raid in the best spec.)I like the idea of the buffs, but the nerf hurts us, and hurts us really bad in pvp. All I’m saying is fix the mechanics and talents before the bat comes out….

  6. nekomancer says:

    Seriously, MM is in a broken shape for pve. It is used for pvp (because it has Readiness and Silencing Shot, that is – self heal from Chimera helps too) – but Steady is not useful there. I would say it really needs revamp – Improved Steady Shot and Aimed Shot mechanic is too fragile (latency, movement, etc.) and Aimed Shot is bad in itself.

    Regarding nerf – I would say problem here is new stat system. Mastery needs big refinement for many classes. Gear stats are beyond broken (primary stats weight has to be nerfed) – currently pvp gear is nearly better for pve than actual pve gear, just because of huge primary stat bonus. Game is missing enchants (bracer 50 primary stat) and in addition to broken pvp system (Tol Barad Honor Lotery) it creates big imbalance.

    Regarding SV hunters – talents itself would not be OP (% AGI bonus) – but if you consider current primary stat weights, they are…

  7. nekomancer says:

    Cataclysm’s release really feels 1 or 2 months too early…

  8. hillbillyhatfield says:

    I do the same or better damage in my PVP gear in raids. I don’t because I don’t want to listen(and possible boot from group) from whoever is inspecting gear and finds all the resl stats. They are still thinking in LK mindset of PVP gear not good for PVE. I think our talents in the tree(especially the talents points we have spend to advance on abilities we don’t get for 20lv), and huge primary gear stats, and lacking 2nd stats.

    Whoever worked on the hunters for Cata, needs chewing out. They didn’t think us through very well at all.

  9. Eidotrope says:

    Thanks for all the work that went into this post.

  10. Xyriin says:

    Good analysis of all the parse data and noting potential margins of error with the data.

    I will mention the following fights as melee-unfriendly that will favor ranged dps…
    Chimaeron – has a single target AoE dmg on random raider that also leaves a hit debuff (ranged can easily spread out to ensure only one person hit, tougher for melee and they usually suffer more hit debuffs)
    Chimaeron – last part of the fight is a burn phase where he starts one shotting raiders due to a -99% healing debuff on the raid (this ping-pong zerg at the end favors ranged dps especially since the boss also takes 10% more damage during this phase)
    Maloriak – during the Red Vial phase (3 rotating vial phases) melee must shift to the front of the boss with melee losing the advantages from attacking from behind, this results in a dps penalty for melee for 33% of the fight until the boss reaches the final burn phase at 25%.
    Maloriak – during the Green Vial phase (3 rotating vial phases) the adds that are spawned must be burned down quickly, AoE damage boost with usually an extra 11 million health to pad meters with
    Atramedes – 80 second ground phase and 40 second air phase so melee suffer a dps loss for 33% of the fight
    Nefarion – the Onyxia phase is all ground but Nefarion has an air phase as part of his mechanics favoring ranged dps again

    On top of this Magmaw is an AoE heavy fight with the parasites.

    The top 40 representation in BWD for most of the bosses is a direct reflection of the fight mechanics. Probably the most balanced is Omnitron.

    Looking at Omnitron top 40 you see a different story…
    Mage 35%, Warlock 25%, Priest 17.5%, DK 10%, Druid 7.5%, Hunter 2.5%, Warrior 2.5%
    Rogue 0% (Mages are probably only high on this fight due to the ability to spell steal Power Conversion)

    • Xyriin says:

      Ascendant Council Heroic World First Kill by Paragon
      “The second day of year 2011 brought us Ascendant Council 25-man heroic mode kill. This was one of the fights we were most looking forward to after beta testing. It was a huge letdown for some, but others enjoyed it. Somewhat bittersweet.

      Also, a big thank you for the melee DPS’ers who play in the guild. They had to pass up spots again for alts, simply because the encounter design is incredibly punishing for any melee. It’s a pretty glaring oversight when bringing in more than one or two of them results in ridiculous increases in damage taken in the last phase due to non-stop chaining chain lightning. Dropping out melee characters in favor of ranged ones has been a recurring theme throughout this whole raiding tier, but we hope that it’s over now with only the end bosses and Sinestra left.

      Here’s to hoping next tier of raiding won’t favor ranged by design. Maybe even go wild and give some incentive to bring in melee, too.”

  11. Itukaaj says:

    The discussion should be about best way to balance. GC has spoken so for single target it is a done deal. However, SV is the most playable spec and a overnerf in the name of fairness can be a dangerous line of thought. I read in many comments hunters focusing on AOE and talents of ISS and Serpent Spread. As well as looking at our nature damage bonus. Personally, I would prefer some tweaking around agility. 1) because it would be across the board and minor. Also, if mastery viper gets changed then gear balance may become an issue and we become a class/spec like others where mastery just plain sucks and is broken. 2)we shouldn’t be masochistic about AOE maybe the adjustment comes from serpent spread BY 1 SECOND Only. We should be an AOE class and SV should be the AOE build. But I would still like to enjoy my talent tree and feel that I got some advantage for choosing a spec. 2) I will repeat myself if the viper mastery gets targeted it can impact gear scaling and have unintended consequences. I would rather see what the balance is if others get buffed and see if people feel strongly about SV hunter damage in 2 months.

  12. Skeets says:

    Once again, Frost, I am overwhelmingly impressed with your contribution to our class and gameplay. Thanks for a fair and – impressively – unbiased look at what Ghostcrawler and the others are seeing. Truly well done, sir.

  13. ravensghost says:

    Frostheim – Thank you for your thoughtful approach to all things Hunter. With the release of Cata, I made the decision to be a different kind of player. Leveling my hunter during the early days of Wrath, I felt that a hunter’s job was to wait for the tank to group up bad guys and go crazy. At the end of the fight, I would check recount and chase gear.
    Since the release of Cata I have been keeping track of changes, reading your site and others to better understand stat interactions and class mechanics. I have also changed my play style. I am less concerned with topping the DPS charts and more concerned with some finer points. I would like to see how many CC’s hunters are using, how many CC’s we are breaking and how much damage we are taking because we are staring at recount instead of the stuff we are standing in.
    I look at this way… research your build, understand your stats and work your rotation. The top of the DPS chart will be there. Being team members, it is in our best interest to play savvy, have our heads on a swivel and use all of your tools. Let the number crunchers worry about buffs and nerfs. I have enough room for improvement in other aspects of game play to keep me busy.

  14. JamesButabi says:

    Looking at the current trees from the perspective of what Blizzard was trying to accomplish you might be able to see what went wrong is practice over theory.

    The major issue seems to be the proficiency of the wilderness agility bonus in comparison to the other two trees passive buffs(AP and Auto Attack Damage). BM retains the AP bonus but loses the crit bonus of each agility attained from the 15% (as well as the 100% of this crit that applies to the pet). Also the bonus to auto attack damage is less than the benefit of agility as it only applies to one form of attack.

    It appears they intended to even this in different ways including mastery rating, but either missed intangibles, or players are not yet scaled appropriately into other categories.

    BM appears on the surface capable of extremely potent numbers from pet attacks. The extra 4 points in the pet talent tree either gives your pet 6% increase on all attacks and 50% damage increase on base attacks (over 50 focus), or 3% on all attacks and 120% damage increase on base attacks. Mathematically, this creates a significant advantage if we can keep our pet >50 focus. Mastery rating @1.8% increase also APPEARS to be better for our class due to the previously stated bonuses in pet. However, In practice it is difficult to keep pets over half focus. Also they are severly hindered in dps due to semantics of a good portion of raid fights.

    MM hunters mastery rating also appears to be superior due to the non limitation of ranged attacks in its use.

    Survivals mastery rating while only affecting what should be a significant minority of damage could be unintentionally strong (due to aoe damage).

    As BM and MM try to pull out all of the stops to try and compare, it stands to be recognized that the agility bonus of Wilderness (along with Hunting party 2%) combined with the abundance of the stat scales too well in comparison to the other talent trees.

    The easiest fix to this is to tweak the mastery ratings of all three classes taking into account the instangibles mentioned. This also would not create any unintended consequences in PVP.

    • Itukaaj says:

      More eloquent than how I tried to say it. If changes are to come without unintended consequences I think you detail the best options. I am concerned about maintaining effective AOE and PVP performance. Also, as BM I am concerned about pet bugs so some DPS may be lost by conservative pet management. One thing BM could use would be something that helps a pet target switch and also not having them attack unintended targets. I think the actual BM Hunter rotation plays smoothly. I myself specced it but don’t like waiting on my pet so to speak.

  15. browning2 says:

    The one thing I would like to see (not sure if it would be an overpowered tweak) is to allow our pets to be able to “kitty charge” when we enact Kill Command. If your pet is out of range (within regular ranged attack distance) it would leap to the target and Kill Command would be cast. This would allow us a little DPS boost for those target switching encounters

    • Kalven and Hobs says:

      I like this concept.

    • Xyriin says:

      An even easier solution would be to make it like Intimidation which would allow the pet to cast when possible, but wouldn’t delay the hunter cooldowns.

      • browning2 says:

        This may cause issues if there are fear/

      • browning2 says:

        Ok darn phone posts…. this would cause issues when there are fear and/or pathingissues to the target. You could get KC on backlog- you can cast it but your pet hasn’t used the last “charge” from (from a previous KC cooldown). That would almost be as bad as it is right now. (Almost, but it still would be better)

      • Xyriin says:

        Stacks would alleviate this and are common place for many mechanics that need to ‘store’ charges.

      • browning2 says:

        Storing would never be implemented (even before they buffed KC) because you could just “store” X charges of KC and then align it with all your buffs, creating a HUGE DPS spike that blizz is working hard against having. Besides, if warriors can jump around in fights to get into melee range, why can’t our pets?

  16. Kalven and Hobs says:

    Suppose the Improved Steady Shot buff was extended to 12-15sec. Would the MM rotation become less fragile?

    Also, wouldn’t it make sense for Careful Aim to instead increase the damage of signature shots, including Aimed?

    I think the BM rotation is smooth, and just needs it’s DPS buffed.

    I agree with those saying SV agility buffs are high. I think that’s where the overall DPS reduction can come from while keeping both single-target and AOE DPS.

    Tweaking mastery ratings to balance each spec would increase BM and MM difficulty and drive the value of SV mastery to the ground.

    • Jaeger says:

      I can agree that the BM rotation seems pretty smooth to me and I do pretty good DPS with it at least for my guild and my crappy gear (327 equipped). I still need to figure out how to better handle movement heavy fights but it seems others need to as well. I definitely don’t like fights where you have to get in melee range. I did the VP heroic last night and Ertan kept me from topping the charts… but I got the dragon mount drop!!!. After the Ertan fight, my guildies were like “What do you mean you have a minimum range? That really sucks man. No wonder your DPS dropped in that fight.”

      Anyway, thanks again Frost for the analysis. I’d love to see your spreadsheets.

  17. Arcazua says:

    Excellent write-up, Frost. Assuming that’s all accurate, it’s an eye-opening look at how Blizz likely looks at stuff. I do wonder about AE vs non-AE, and even speculate at why SV should end up top on single-target and AE when I have always loved it as a utility tree. (It’s woefully lacking in utility now, even if Wyvern Sting is handy in a pinch.)

    But if we’re going to pit hunter specs against one another, the first and most obvious question to ask is how they picked the 15% bonuses. As the previous poster pointed out, there’s no contest between 15% AP, 15% agility, and +15% auto-attack. The AP is at least competitive since that is the bulk of agility’s benefit, but AUTO-ATTACK? C’mon now…

    We should not be looking, in terms of general balance, at mastery effects as a way to buff or nerf since that greatly affects the value of the stat. If we nerfed Essence of the Viper, survival hunters would eschew mastery completely. As it is, they aren’t really interested. Each mastery’s base bonus is 8 times the per-point value, so they theoretically should scale proportionately. It seems like MM gets the advantage where mastery is concerned since 14.4% increase to most of your damage is far better than 8% increase to slightly less of it. BM looks balanced with SV, so MM’s seemingly-superior mastery helps make up for a crappy passive bonus. Don’t mess with masteries.

    What we really need to fix is that the talent trees themselves are devoid of meaningful choices, and we’re often forced into burning a point on…well, nothing at all. I favor utility much more than most PVE hunters, and even I have a hard time seeing the point of spending to 31 in each of the trees just to reach the terminus. In particular, MM needs some real help here, as the effects are too niche and in some cases a little too ridiculous. BM needs some better boost toward the hunter proper as well. We can do without talents like Crouching Tiger, Kindred Spirits, Marked for Death, and Resistance is Futile.

  18. hillbillyhatfield says:

    I been thinking about BM, since I love that spec most. Why not put kill command on the pet tree, and let it use it’s focus, and even make it auto like it’s basic and special abilities. It would make sense, we are not doing the attack the pet is. That would also give us more focus for burst damage. That would help out BM pvp as well. Then bliz wouldn’t have to buff it and give all 3 classes the benefit, instead buff BM shots, or red kitty.

    And I think we should get a actual useful lv85 ability. Only time I use is trap launch, and flag capping. Both are super utilities, but no damage increase. Maybe if bliz put a damage increase when attacking from it. We got the short end of the stick on reaching lv 85

  19. Wisent says:

    MM AoE damage can easily be fixed by increasing Multi-Shot damage through the bombardment talent.

    The Improved Steady Shot buff duration could be increased by 2 secs or so. Additionally it should be possible to refresh the Improved Steady Shot buff with a single steady shot while in Aspect of the Fox.

    BM AoE damage could be fixed by improving the Chimera’s Froststorm ability, by giving spirit beasts an AoE ability or by making Worms ferocity pets.

    SV AoE and single target damage could be adjusted best by reducing the base portion (8%) of Essence of the Viper. This would reduce both single and multi-target damage without affecting scaling or influencing play-style. Another option would be to reduce the critical damage bonus from toxicology so serpent sting and black arrow do less damage.

    • DarkDragoon says:

      i actually have a better idea on how to fix bm’s aoe. instead of one or 2 specific pets doing the aoe, why dont they either put a talent in or add on to one of the bm talents to give them a new ability. that way you will always have consistent aoe, can use your normal pet, and bm will simply remove volley from their bars, much like they do steady shot once they get cobra.

      they already have the code to make an attack the hunter uses come from the pet, so something like a swipe would work fine. they could even make it cool like the mobs that do that flurry of attacks to everything nearby running around attacking things, give it that animation but hit everything within say 8 or 10 yards of the targetted mob.

      • Wisent says:

        A new BM hunter AoE ability (to replace intimidation as mastery ability) would be nice but it may not be easy to come up with an ability that makes sense for all pet families. It’s ok for bears and cats to swipe but it may be weird for turtles or spore-bats.

  20. Iiwi says:

    Frost,
    You’ve lamented before that these blood, sweat and tears articles don’t get as much love as the off the cuff articles do, so I’m here to say that I (and I know many others) appreciate the hard work you have put into this. As some one who teaches statistics at the college level (well community college) I understand the frustration of trying to get across how a larger number of points (data) provide a more accurate picture of what is going on then “I was out dps’d in this one instance by a shadow priest”.
    Based on the comments at wow.com, I lament the scientific illiteracy of our populace, but that is a whole other issue and one not for a WoW website. You did an excellent job arguing why you used the data you did (and yes, there is an argument against the WoL data, mainly based on the fact that it is self-selected and not truly “random”, but then there are methods to deal with that so it is really moot). So, after being overly wordy, I really just wanted to say that I love these types of articles and appreciate the amount of work you put into them, and I wanted to make sure you knew that many of us read them and re-read them and really enjoy them ( and can I make an even longer run on than that). Anyways, cheers.

  21. Bahzob says:

    Thanks Frost, much appreciate the work that must have gone into this, hope it didn’t restrict holiday beer intake..

    I’ve got overall comment/concerns and these are:
    - Is there in fact a clear goal in terms of class and spec balance?
    - If this exists is it possible to achieve?

    I think there needs to be a reasonably clear view on this in order to have a debate like the one here.

    The implicit assumptions from GC and here seem to be:
    A) All classes that can DPS (i.e. all classes) should be capable of “similar” DPS given equivalent gear (skill???). (say for example that “Similar” means, say, no more than a 10% spread low>high on a variety of encounters with full buffs.
    B) For “pure” DPS classes all specs should be capable of doing “similar” DPS.

    If both the above are goals then both will cause problems if realised in practice.
    A) DPS is only one component of what makes a class playable/enjoyable. If hybrid classes can DPS at a rate equivalent to pure DPS then they will most likely have a clear advantage in other areas like PVP due to healing/damage mitigation abilities that DPS-only classes lack. (btw they can also gear up their DPS quickly by healing/tanking in LFD…).

    Best unbiased advice to anyone starting WOW would be to choose a hybrid class, it gives you everything with no disadvantages (OK well looking like a refugee from Hair if you happen to be a tree, but that aside). Do we/Blizz want this?

    B) The fact that there has pretty much always been one spec or other that beats the others seems to show empirically that getting spec DPS balance is a bit like chasing a rainbow. One spec will always dominate, its just a question of which one.

    Indeed you could argue that a) and b) are in fact mutually exclusive.

    If you achieve both and hunters can do similar DPS in any spec to any other class/spec then what would we as hunters do?

    Answer: many players would change specs as well as pets depending on fight, say BM for single target/high player move and SV for target switch heavy. As a result and by definition hunters (and some other DPS classes esp ranged) would then leap ahead of those without this flexibility so we would be back where we started.

    Really, before going into the details of this class/spec/ability or that GC and Bliz should get back to some basics of what they want to achieve.

    FWIW my view on this would be along the lines of:
    > Every class should be in similar demand for both PVE and PVP.
    > Within classes specs will vary and not all will be capable of doing all roles. For hybrid classes this is self evident. For DPS classes at least one spec will be specifically biased for PVP to allow some tuning/equalisation with hybrid classes.
    > In PVE a class spread of x% (say 20?) in average DPS for similarly geared players across raid bosses is to be expected.
    > In general pure DPS classes can be expected to be above the mean and hybird classes below in this spread.
    > That said the player skill component will mean that each spec is likely to have a range in the order of y% (say 30%) for equivalently geared players.
    > So in practice a well skilled DPS in similar gear in best DPS spec should be capable of more DPS than an less skilled player, regardless of class.

  22. Painbow says:

    Did you forget the podcast already? Kripparrian said to your face that he doesn’t think SV is overpowered by the 5% you suggested. He doesn’t even seem to think they’re overpowered at all and you didn’t dispute him. I like how you didn’t say that his comments were anecdotal and shut him up with your statistics. You waited to say it on wow insider because you didn’t have the guts to tell him he was wrong to his face.

    I told you in whispers two weeks ago that I don’t think they’re overpowered and shouldn’t be nerfed and I stand by it.

    • Frostheim says:

      Right, and remember his reasoning? He said that DK’s and Warlocks are close on our heals, so hunters are that far ahead — the data backs that up… but those are the other classes that are slated for nerfs! And I believe I pointed that out on the podcast at the time.

    • Itukaaj says:

      I don’t think it is appropriate to call out Frost on a podcast. I think Frost responded to the facts and context. I think also guests also bring in a wider base of knowledge and opinion. I would not want guests to be challenged outright. Kripparrian has a reasoning for his comments and should express them. We are served with variation in opinion. Inclusive of your opinion as well. The podcast serves the community beyond the information that is already presented in their respective blogs. I would always want guests who may feel differently then the people hosting them. Not that it has to be the case.

  23. nekomancer says:

    As has been already mentioned, current tier is rather melee unfriendly, might be the reason for ranged ‘dominance’?

    • Frostheim says:

      It may indeed contribute to ranged in general doing better than melee. That would, however, tend to highlight DKs position up on top even more — and of course it doesn’t explain why hunters and warlocks are doing so very much better than the rest of the ranged.

      • Xyriin says:

        Easy answer…the encounters that hunters and warlocks dominate are encounters with an AoE fest to pad meters which are already noted by Blizzard as having potentially high AoE.

        I’ll highlight some of the Warlock/Hunter preferences again from above in the fights swamped with the two classes on top.

        Maloriak – Top 40 full of Warlocks. 1/3 of this fight is an AoE burn phase. Hunters and Warlocks have an extreme advantage for 1/3 of this fight since they surpass the AoE capabilities of other ranged DPS. Also smart hunters use an Ice Trap for the extra 6% crit and reglyph Serpent Sting for this fight (swapping Arcane Shot) further exploiting the AoE gap.

        Atramedes – Top 40 full of hunters. 33% of the fight is an air phase. Not only is this an air phase its also a survival phase as it requires pretty much non-stop movement. Oh yeah, I should mention Aspect of the Fox > all for this.

        Chimaeron – Top 40 full of Hunters. Last part of the fight is a burn phase where he starts one shotting raiders one at a time based on his threat table. In addition the boss takes 10% more damage. Hunters take advantage of the ability to shed threat to ensure they never die early (otherwise highest dps tend to be highest threat and die first). On top of that hunters get a major dps boost at the end with Kill Shot being active and this is only magnified by the extra 10% damage the boss takes.

        These three fights are the ones everyone points to and screams “Nerf Hunters and Locks!” yet if you analyze the fights and experience them its pretty easy to see that the fight mechanics hand the fights to Hunters and Warlocks on a silver platter. The fight mechanics are the reasons Hunters and Warlocks appear so dominant. Removing just those three fights would provide a noticeable shift in the class representation.

  24. LaP says:

    I don’t have any problem with MM dps right now. Yes we are lower than we were in wrath but i’m able to top 4 baradin hold 10 men without too much effort with 12k dps in ilevel 333 and 346 not enchanted gear using green gems (i even had 2 ilevel 325 pieces).

    In wrath with ilevel 264 and 277 gear and 1400 armor pen MM hunter was too strong imo. I often saw ICC pugs dominated by 3 or even 4 MM hunters in the top 6-7 dps.

    My problem with MM is the mechanic. Aimed Shot is a signature shot. Yet we use it once every 20 sec at best. It takes on average 8 steady shots to use it. It would be like asking Moonkin to cast 8 wrath to be able to use Starsurge. Master Marksman talent should proc from steady, arcane AND chimera so we have access to aimed more often. Would be a great change for both pve and pvp.

    Aimed is also too weak right now. I’ve see it crit for 15k at best in pve (while chimera crit for 22k). Not bad but not gamebreaking. I would like aimed to be a little bit closer to chimera like it was in wrath having 1400 armor pen. They are both signature shot and aimed procs so rarely it should be a bit better. Aimed should be so good MM hunters should yell in vent when it procs. Right now it’s meh since anyway with my ilevel of gear it’s closer to arcane damage than chimera damage.

    The steady buff is great but the duration is too short. At the end of a boss fight when we use Rapid Fire and we can fire Kill Shot we have enough focus to spam arcane in between Chimeras and Kill Shot. Few steadies are needed at this point. Arcane does better damage than Steady when the boss is under 80% health if i’m not mistaken. So to me it’s a broken mechanic to require the MM hunter to use Steady to apply a buff when he could use arcane cause he has enough focus.

    That buff duration should be longer or it should require one Steady only to be applie.

    Overall i think the MM is way too much tied to Steady Shot. The purpose of this should should be to regen focus only.

    Termination could use some work too. I think the guy who designed this talent forgot that Kill Shot doesn’t require focus.