The latest news from the PTR for patch 5.1 is that Steady Shot, Cobra Shot, and Barrage will be able to be cast while moving. This is a huge change, and one that is much desired for hunter PvP. There’s no indication yet on what’s happening with Aspect of the Fox, but we have to assume it will be either reworked or removed.

Personally, I suspect we’re only seeing the attractive tip of the iceberg here, and we’re not actually getting the ability to just do full damage while moving. Blizzard has been very clear that your DPS while moving should be substantially lower than standstill DPS. Moving is supposed to hurt your DPS, and while hunters are better at dpsing on the move than most other classes, I highly doubt Blizzard is just going to let us do top damage with no downside.

Here’s what Ghostcrawler said in the recent past:

Movement should be terrible for a ranged spec. Full stop. All of the various mechanics we put in from Spiritwalker’s Grace to Aspect of the Fox are to make moving less terrible, but it should still be pretty terrible.

My point here is I don’t want the hunter world to get all excited based on this small bit of datamining, and then be pissed off when they don’t get everything for nothing. We gotta wait and see what the price of this casting on the move is.

The other notable change datamined thus far is that Lynx Rush will no longer do direct damage on each attack, but will instead apply a 10-second bleed with each attack. The bleed effect is stackable, so the ability is still good on just one target, but the damage contribution is less bursty and more spread out.

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  1. Gib says:

    I don’t really get it. We already have AotF, which lest us shoot while moving and has a downside of losing the attack boost of AotH, there is even a skill component on managing your aspect correctly.

    It feels like they’re trying to fix something that’s not broken, but there may be another angle to this.

    • boomerang says:

      The issue is that macroing fox and hawk to your shots is superior to any other gameplay. It’s both annoying to the rest of the raid (“caw, caw, caw, CAW!!!”) and completely removes the intended gameplay mechanic.

      Aspects haven’t had any gameplay value since Cata. I applaud Blizzard for deciding to try out a change on the PTR.

      Ultimately I think we’ll see some ability like “sniper training” which will buff the damage from shots (perhaps just CoS/SS ?) while NOT moving (thus reducing damage while on the move). I’d prefer if it just impacted CoS/SS and not all shots, but Blizz is serious about re-imposing movement penalties on ranged classes (and they should, as it imbalances melee vs. ranged otherwise).

      • Kodiakbrujah says:

        “The issue is that macroing fox and hawk to your shots is superior to any other gameplay. It’s both annoying to the rest of the raid (“caw, caw, caw, CAW!!!”) and completely removes the intended gameplay mechanic.”

        This mindset is part of the problem…it is NOT in any way superior to macro your aspects into your shots, it is a dps loss. The reason is that if you macro fox to CS or SS it still puts you in fox even when you can safely stand still and thus you lose the attack power bonus from hawk on your CS or SS AND on any auto shots that fire during that period when you could’ve been in hawk. The loss isn’t terribad huge but it is a loss and managing your own aspect switches are one of the major things that seperate decent hunters from truly skilled ones, both in pvp and pve.

      • Ril says:

        @Kodiakbrujah: it is not, if you make two macros for CS/SS: one with hawk, one with fox. the latter is obviousely only used during movement situations.

      • Jaromor says:

        Couldn’t this be solved by making Aspects non-instant spells? If the cast time was just 0.01s one would have to use /castsequence to put it before Cobra/ES, and therefore you would have to do two keypresses. Wouldn’t that make the whole thing uncomfortable enough?
        And 0.1s is also short enough not to interfere with the way Aspects are used “legally”.
        I personally don’t like the idea of AoF going away.

  2. Kheldul says:

    For PvP you basically have to macro (!)AotF in with your shots. That’s not a desirable game mechanic from Blizzard’s view.

    For PvE, it’s a lot less desirable to do that for most fights.

    • boomerang says:

      It’s still more optimal to macro hawk into your instants and have two buttons for SS or CoS (one macroed to hawk for turreting, one macroed to fox for movement). It removes any human error by not having to interact with that gameplay mechanic.

  3. Nagrenol says:

    I agree, people are all OMG AMAZEBALLS.. but I’m more.. why are they doing this? As per the quote above this seems in line with blizz making us think there’s going to be a great buff when in fact they just nerf us. Will fox be removed and stead/cobra take a big ass nerf because of it.

    I have to say I would not be surprised in the least bit, I was honestly sickened when they nerf hunters ‘healing’ in pvp yet they let locks and the like run rampant with it. I’ve said it many times over the years but its amazing how the wow community bands together when hunters get anyway powerful and the nerf comes so fast, yet other classes go through seasons like this without anything happening. Really goes to show imo that the hunter stigma since vanilla is alive and well.

    On the other hand maybe this is there way of ‘making it up to us’ because of that nerf.

  4. Masa says:

    too bad aspects are macro cast-able. i have my hawk and fox keybound to what i feel is appropriate for my play-style. i actively change stances and i feel that it is an appropriate challenge to know what stance to be in and for how long to be in it without macroing the shit out of it or having it all be built in to our shots. too much has already become *ez mode* already.

  5. Lumberg says:

    Hunter dps on the move is literally the last bastion of the class. Those who think we’re just going to get a free lunch after that comment from GC, will be sorely disappointed. Unfortunately when they do “balance” this change, I’m afraid that’s the last straw for me. Hunters will officially be mediocre at everything. Getting our ass’ kicked in multi-dot/cleave fights is just a nice cherry on top of the pile of poo the developers have left us with.

  6. Helfarch says:

    Iron Glove in a Velvet Fist….I can’t see anything other that both Cobra ans Steady getting a pretty hefty nerf :( It would make poor old MM even more unattractive.

    The other option might be a glyph like the Shaman one – it would allow us to cast those shots on the move, but with an increased cast-time/reduced damage. At least then we’d have a choice for heavy movement fights.

    I’m worried it’ll be the first, though :(

  7. Kodiakbrujah says:

    I’d look for the ultimate solution to be more like the shaman one where we get an increased cast time while moving. If they nerf the damage of CS and SS accross the board it will effect our overall dps too much and we’ll be unbalanced toward the lower end of the spectrum…and last I looked we were already at the low end for all hunter specs, BM is on top among our three specs but still low on the overall as far as what we are capable of putting out when played flawlessly.

    On a side note…BM is so much friggun fun to raid with.

  8. Lotusblack says:

    10g says we will get a cooldown which allows us to cast on the move for a limited time only.

    • Ironthumbs says:

      Providing they handle this delicately I think it’s a great change. There is no gameplay in aspect switching, you either macro it into shots or macro a fox->hawk button which Isn’t fun or engaging. You already make the decision in your head to move and fire, you shouldn’t need to press a button to tell the server to penalise you for moving, it should just be baked in. I’m all for replacing my hawk->fox macro with a hawk->cheetah one. I think it’s much more compelling to decide on more damage or faster movement.

      I understand the worry that some people have, that we’ll be needed into the ground, but I personally don’t expect that to happen.. Blizzard are simply making a play style that so many hunters already use (aspect/shot macros) automatic.
      Lose fox and change/replace it with something actually interesting – a higher baseline focus gain aspect or something really suited for pvp.
      Honestly – a small part of me secretly enjoys hitting fox back to hawk perfectly during a fight, but with even the smallest lag it can be frustrating. If we are worried of being over nerfed, be vocal on the wow forums, just none of the unhelpful ‘fix blizz u no read huntah forums, k thnx bye’ bullshit :)

  9. Ril says:

    i wellcome this change, simply because spamming aoth with every single instant was extremely annoying.

    however i hope they preserve some kind of mechanic that we’ve got to adapt our playstyle, choose what we do, before we move. up to now, we had to pick the correct macro. i’m much in favor of a change in how CS and SS work. instead of them making the same thing for different specs, leaving one of them useless, i’d love to see something like SS being our high damage, high focus standstill focus reg, while CS is our less efficient on the move shot.

    • Kodiakbrujah says:

      You still don’t understand…..you shouldn’t be doing this, no wonder you’re annoyed. Make a macro that switches you from hawk to fox and vice versa on press and manually control your switches. Its no different than having an extra bind so you can have two for CS…..except you don’t macro it to your shots and hence don’t get “caw, caw, caw, caw ,caw ,caw”.

      • Ril says:

        oh yes i do understand. if i have the option to cast a cobra on the move using one button (a different one than when standing still yes, but still, i’m pressing only one button=, opposed to three (fox, cobra, then hawk again for the next instant), then guess which one is the optimal solution. guess which one is more prone to mistakes, ie because the instant was fired before hawk was back in, or vice versa. guess which playstyle gives you more room to concentrate on your environment and on the encounter.

        on top of this, it’s not like we (BMs) need more bloody buttons to spam.

  10. Tibbelkrunk says:

    I’m not a fan of casting on the move. I do think it’s a better solution than Aspect of the Fox, but I also think there are better solutions out there.

    One of the potential solutions I like is having more than one focus generator — one which is instant, so usable on the move, but which generates less focus and does less damage than a cast-time shot that isn’t usable while moving.

    I don’t know, maybe I just like the idea of having a situational shot priority while on the move, rather than just doing the same rotation for less damage.

  11. Calaran says:

    I don’t know all of the nuances of the mechanics (that’s why I come here), but couldn’t they maybe have you’re hit rating drop while you move. Lower hit means more misses, which affects dps – it is a lot harder to hit a target while moving. Standing still gives you your full hit rating. Yes, you can compensate by stacking hit till you are capped over the penalty amount, I could see this in pvp or movement intense pve fights, but you would be doing so at the loss of another spec that would likely be better. The aspects could be purely for flavor (ie. speed with cheetah, etc). This could be used for all classes, even mele classes should be penalised for moving while casting. This would put everyone on similar ground even in pvp, you want to burst dps, stand still, you want to live longer, move.

    Just an idea. I think there are better ways they could do this without us having to push an extra button before and after moving. How many other classes are penalised for moving.

    • Purcy says:

      All ranged classes, and healers, are penalized for moving. Melee, too, is hurt by movement that takes them off their target, even if only for a second or two here and there. Arguably, hunters are one of the least penalized classes, in this regard, certainly the least penalized ranged class.

      As for the change… I’ll wait for more than this raw, mined data, to form an opinion.

  12. Itukaaj says:

    Lynx Rush is going to be useless in PVP. Give hunters stuff get them to buy expansion nerf bat under 30 days. I am glad beta is more than marketing and propaganda. But sadly people are so used to beating hunters that if hunters beats them it is fill the forums and twitter. I get that the bars didn’t know how to use fear or defensive CDs on Stampede. But lynx rush? Really? This is an overnerf to burst. Hunters need burst because of the current state of healing. I am too used to bait and switch to get worked up about it though. One more expansion of more of the same.

  13. Ichigothehunter says:

    Anyone seen the patch notes as of today? Could this truly be too good to be true? Aspect of the Fox is removed.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yeah AotF is removed completely, in addition to being able to cast SS, CS, and Barrage on the move. However, they’re nerfing BW again, and it’s now a trinket for your pets too- it no longer grants cc immunity to them, as if taking away cc immunity for the hunter under BW wasn’t bad enough….and linx rush is getting the nerfbat too. So AoTF being removed isn’t exactly so awesome when you compare it with what they’re nerfing.

    • Telluria says:

      I don’t PvP, but it does feel like a loss of something iconic – “your beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed” has been there for an awfully long time.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll bet you that they will still keep that on the tooltip for the ability. As an ironic reminder of what it once used to be.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Patch notes on mmo-champ here:

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/

  16. Cloudbuster says:

    In a recent blue post:

    “Bestial Wrath change will have a ripple effect on how the spec is played overall. ”

    I think that there is no way they could adequately predict how this change will effect the spec. and I think it is misguided for reasons I don’t think I’ve seen explain this way:

    For BM spec., the pet is, in a very real sense, one of the hunter’s “weapons.” Any time you CC a BM hunter’s pet, you’ve pretty much disarmed him: a large amount of his dps and many of his abilities no longer function: Intimidation, Kill Command, Lynx Rush, Blink Strike, pet special abilities, Roar of Sacrifice, Rabid, and so on. Even Master’s Call won’t function through a full loss-of-control effect on a pet, as it only removes movement-impairing abilities, so if you stun the pet, you’ve also made the hunter extremely vulnerable to follow-up snares and roots, and you can stun and focus the hunter after the pet CC wears off without invoking diminishing returns.

    Thus, the 10-second CC immunity component of Bestial Wrath was a way of preventing, at least sometime, every pet CC from being a partial disarm. It was a way of recognizing that the pet is a much more important component of BM’s damage and strategy than other effects.

    I hope (though don’t expect) that PTR testing will show that this is too severe a hindrance to BM play.

    • Itukaaj says:

      This

    • Kodiakbrujah says:

      Cloud is right. They believe BM has too much burst at the moment. I don’t know if that’s neccessarily true considering what some other specs are capable of. I do know that this is not the correct way to mess with that. Our pet is directly a weapon….and honestly should be immune to CC period. Unless they wanna give us an ability that turns off half the dps and abilities of all other classes with no diminishing returns….cause that is what this is effectively doing.

      • Anonymous says:

        The change to linx rush, I understand. That should help with the “too much burst”. The BW change however, will effectively nerf BM into the ground. Chain cc’s to the pet, and BM hunters will be laughable in pvp- arcane shot, serpent sting, and cobra shot will be the only things we have, until a minute later, when BW comes off CD…and by then, we’re probably already dead. Even in pve, it’ll be fairly miserable if a mob fears/stuns/etc your pet, right after you pop BW. I bet they didn’t think about that part when they made the nerf.

    • Ril says:

      it will turn BW into a reactive, defensive cooldown. we won’t choose when to use it to put pressure on the target.

  17. Jimmyr says:

    You are wrong about Lynx Rush. The bleed only stacks to 9, so it is a slight nerf in our ability to use lynx rush after readiness, which will make it harder to stack with the second BW if we don’t delay it by a small amount.

  18. bahzob says:

    This isnt a PVP site so you dont understand how Blizzard have again screwed hunters hence the need for changes.

    BM atm is just stupid. The simple way to get a high arena rating is just stack hunters. You dont need a brain, just one finger. See here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNoeCnDycsw

    and here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODspg56MXRM&list=UUXHuFRvv0yhXtZBUVf2hsHw&index=1&feature=plcp

    (gz to Zumio for showing some hunters can play)

    This is not good news. it is just sad. If you play BM you are even more than before labelled as a huntard who can only hit one button.

    We who PVP dont want hunters to be OP just as we didnt want hunters to be a fail class. All we want is balance.

    Also sad is that it was so obvious the moment MOP was previewed and that Blizzard dont have the knowledge of their game to avoid it and just react.

  19. Anonymous says:

    When asked if hunters will get another penalty for movement instead of Aspect of the Fox, Ghostcrawler twittered: “We might reintroduce Sniper Training if hunters never stop moving, but not for 5.1. “

    • Anonymous says:

      Another GC Tweet: “Definitely worried that moving will be too good for hunters, but it was better than Aspect twisting.”