Ghostcrawler on Hunter Buttons

Posted: by Frostheim

Over at WoW Hunters Hall Tabana has a nice collection of recent Ghostcrawler tweets about too many hunter buttons. I highly recommend checking it out.

Ghostcrawler basically says that hunter rotational buttons are okay, but they have too many situational buttons — but every time they remove them some portion of hunters beg for them back. He does note that they might try to reduce rotational buttons by putting a passive ability (similar to TotH, which alas is a far worse option than the other two that tier for single target dps) in the same talent tier as A Murder of Crows.

I disagree with this to a decent extent. He noted Eyes of the Beast as something that hunters complain about losing. But abilities like that aren’t the problem that we’re talking about: you can give hunter another dozen buttons that are just used for fun — that doesn’t hurt those of us that don’t want them!

But by putting so many dps buttons and cooldown into our rotation, the actual dps contribution of all those abilities starts to be forced closer and closer and closer together. We’ve already seen issues with this in MoP.

So I would definitely like fewer combat buttons — but hey, if you brought Eyes of the Beast back, that wouldn’t detract from my play experience in any way. Those kinds of buttons are fine. Just reduce the ones that make all my combat abilities blend together — a change like that will result in a clearer dps advantage to executing an optimal rotation.

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  1. ZBob says:

    I guess “too many buttons” is a matter of point of view. I’d concur the BM opener is a senselessly long litany of shots and CDs… but I find SV gameplay to be mind-numbingly simplistic and MM to be just right. My value judgements are, of course, immaterial… but isn’t “too many buttons” a value judgement in and of itself?

  2. Arth says:

    Shot damage homogenization is my big thing, which relates solely to rotational abilities. I’m actually at a loss as to how our “other” buttons are too many, especially since they’ve all but done away with Aspects. Outside of 1-2 abilities like Disengage and FD, none are used in PvE outside outside of extremely situational circumstances. Though I suppose there might be something to be said in PvP, where there’s 4-5 more CC-style abilities hunters can weave in.

    But still, I think this is a rare instance of GC missing the point. Pruning situational abilities won’t do anything the vast majority of the time, nor curb the dozen or so rotation and/or cooldown abilties we have to manage constantly.

  3. Flint says:

    The problem is with no CLEAR rotation helping other Hunters gets a bit tedious. It becomes more of a here is how I do it than a start wit this and keep going. Yes there is a priority based system but even that is cloudy depending on the vast number of situations.

    • sheppo says:

      There hasn’t been a clear rotation for a long time. It’s all about shot priority – which ability does the most damage considering practically every new ability is insta-cast

      My problem with the way things are now is that none of the new abilities are fun, aside from stampede. They’re all instant cast, offer no/ very little utility, offer no procs or interesting mechanics so we ultimately end up choosing between X Damage, and Y Damage.

      In fact, all hunter specs are feeling very stale at the moment.. a few months in it doesn’t feel like MoP really did a lot for hunters.. apart from Stampede.

  4. Bramman says:

    Ghostcrawler also mentioned abilities like Rapid Fire and Readiness. In my opinion something like Rapid Fire (and I’d add BM Focus Fire) doesn’t add a lot of fun and it’s not particulary interesting. It does add some raid utility, you can time usage for burst phases and of course you can time it to optimize DPS synergies. However I wouldn’t mind seeing an ability like that go away and the DPS get baked into our other abilities (ideally buff the power of our long cool down abilities so we still get the raid utility).

    Readiness on the other hand, has much more fun and utility associated with it and I would hate to see something like that go away. The way it can combo for burst or for defensive abilities makes it much more interesting to me.

    • Skarn says:

      I don’t particularly like Readiness because you almost have to use it for offensive DPS purposes. I don’t find it all that interesting to pop Rapid Fire, Crows, Readiness, Rapid Fire, wait 30s, pop Crows. That’s about all Readiness amounts to. Double the duration of Rapid Fire and up the damage of Crows a little bit and BAM, almost the same effect. You also get one extra Explosive/Chimera/Kill Command every 5 minutes, which is nice, but not very exciting and not much of a damage boost. In AoE situations, the extra Barrage can be pretty helpful, but that’s the only interesting offensive use for Readiness I’m seeing.

      As an offensive cooldown, Readiness is pretty lackluster. It’s much more interesting as a defensive one. The ability to double up situational abilities like Silencing Shot, Deterrence, traps, slows, Binding Shot and so on is quite a bit more interesting. Defensive use allows for specific situations where you wait for the right time to use Readiness. Offensive is very nearly “pop it on CD, unless you are waiting for a trinket proc/damage boost phase.”

      I would prefer to see it only reset defensive abilities or be removed entirely. I don’t think Readiness adds interesting offensive gameplay. Related, Rapid Fire is a dull damage cooldown. I miss Call of the Wild, which actually boosted ALL my damage, made my Explosive hit harder and comboed well with Ancient Hysteria for a good damage boost. Rapid Fire isn’t as cool or useful.

  5. Rangus says:

    I’d love to find out which devs thought adding FOUR buttons to Hunter’s single target ‘rotation’ would be ‘fun’.

  6. Mechakisc says:

    I recently got my hunter leveled to 90 after main switching for Dragon Soul.

    Compared to the Rogue rotation, the hunter rotation seems downright frantic.

    I haven’t set up my Weak Auras for the hunter yet, which is how I track cooldowns and dots and etc on the Rogue, and that will help, but I think what puts the hunter “rotation” over the top for me is glaives/powershot/barrage and Fervor/Dire Beast. Basically, they’ve added two rotational buttons (plus Readiness) to what I remember from Firelands.

    And as far as Readiness goes – the contrast to the Rogue Prep is really interesting. Readiness resets dps cooldowns, while Prep does not. This means you guys have to open hard – twice – before you can settle into your “rotation”. Meanwhile, Rogue can save Prep for double-vanish (and/or whatever they use it for in PVP).

    Honestly, I think hunters are kinda getting screwed with Readiness resetting dps cooldowns. I say that as someone who mains on a support class now, but that’s what it looks like peering back in. Of course you haven’t got anything quite as useful as Vanish on your Readiness…

    (Also, we need to find another word than Rotation. Priority is the right concept, but doesn’t feel like the right word. For now I keep putting rotation in quotes and that’s also silly.)

    • Jork says:

      Instead of rotation we should call it Damage Priority System or DPS…wait that acronym is already taken.

  7. Shae says:

    I’m one of the naysayers I guess. I like having a whole lot of buttons to keep track of. The abilities have wildly different cooldowns, so it’s not like you’re going to be force to choose between them very frequently. It’s a bit like tracking dots, except that instead of trying to figure out which of the various 1/8″ purple squares is about to expire, you get big 1/4″ squares down near your feat where you can actually see to move out of void zones.

    • sheppo says:

      agreed.. I don’t mind having more buttons to press. Especially not to the point where I’m troubled and confused about what to press. Each to their own I guess.

      I’d just like more fun up in my abilities. They’re all pretty meaningless, other than doing an amount of damage with an amount of time to wait on cooldown. That to me doesn’t smack of fun and interesting gameplay that Blizzard were hoping to achieve with the talent system redesign.

  8. Oxix says:

    Strangely, I love having so many buttons to click. MoP system of hunterism is pretty great for me – you have to really work for your dps, tracking everything you can track, measuring everything you can measure. Big improve after WotLKs MM playstyle of “1, 2, 3, spam 4, repeat”. Or, God forbid, BC Beastmastery.

    Our current rotation feels more complex, but also more rewarding. I recently started enjoying the new Shado-Pan trinket, which procces over 8k agi. Small thing, you can ignore it as a simple “increase of dps”, but if you take your time playing around with it you can get a nice, satisfying feeling of awesomeness. Proper popping potion, waiting for trinket, popping Dire Beast at the right time, RF at the right time, setting Black Arrow, bursting 2 Powershots back to back at riddiculously increased damage, finishing with 3 Explosive Shots – the smell of computer overheating from the numbers on your recount is purely awesome. And that couldn’t be achieved without “too many buttons”.

    Well, waiting to get normal Renataki, additional 13k agi with the burst strategy of above could pretty much create a new life form.

    • SweetMrsGibs says:

      The problem with the Renataki trinket (if you can call it a problem), is that it stacks from 1.3k to 13k agi over 20 seconds, then drops off. That makes it more complex to line up with our offensive cooldowns, like Rapid Fire. For example, Rapid Fire lasts 15 seconds, so – in order to maximise it’s usefulness – you’d have to wait 5 seconds AFTER Renataki proc’s, then use it. However, the Shado Pan Assault trinket gives a straight up 8.8k agi over 20 delicious seconds. I’m guessing there’s not much in it tbh; it just seems to me slightly more convuluted to try and marry up RF with Renataki so I’ll probably wait for the Shado Pan trinket to Proc.

      My big question, and one I’ll find the answer too tonight, is can both trinkets proc at the same time? If so, and they reliably proc within a few seconds of each other, then – hell yeah – I’ll delay Rapid Fire 5 seconds.

      As for using Powershot whilst under the influence of one (or both) of the above trinkets and Rapid Fire, that does indeed sound awesome. Not sure I’ll use it on Horridon though, think the tanks might get annoyed if the adds are flying all over the place… actually saying that, there aren’t any adds at the start of the Horridon fight. And at the third gate, keeping the adds off of my fellow raiders might actually be a good thing. Damn it, this is the why us hunters are both blessed and cursed! The choices we have are awesome AND mind-boggling!

  9. Oricc says:

    What a Cogent and well written post. One of the best I’ve seen on this site for a while. Thanks for continuing to bring relevant, intelligent and well-thought-out insight to the hunter community frost!

  10. Jaeger says:

    I did an investigation before on this, but I thought I’d try it again now with higher gear levels.

    iLvL 501 BM hunter. FemaleDwarf predicts about 103K with full buffs/debuffs. If I drop Glaive Toss, Readiness, Lynx Rush, and switch Dire Beast to ToTH, my theoretical DPS is still 90K with a much simpler priority list.

    These extra buttons aren’t really that valuable over our standard abilities.

    I’d make Readiness only for Defensive abilities as others have suggested and change Glaive Toss to be a proc off of Arcane Shot. Then just buff a couple things to compensate for the lack of Readiness.

    I know people say to use AMoC, but I use Lynx Rush since it has no focus cost and lines up with other CDs so I macro Rapid Fire, Rabid, etc with it, which reduces the number of buttons I need. It could be changed though so that our pets just proc a stacking bleed on mobs and it could work with Beast Cleave for BM to give the AoE dot effect. AMoC has a cool animation but I don’t find it a very compelling ability. I never really use it, so don’t have any good suggestions for how to change it.

  11. says:

    I want the fun buttons back. If you run old dungeons, hunters in them still have the old abilities. Kinda cool seeing old abilitiies. But think they need to streamline our shots. Being BM, i have a string of opening shots. And if its a moving fight, my rotation is in the crapper sometimes, when there is lag.

    Ive always said kill command should be a pet ability. It should be on the pet bar. That way it can either be automatic, or turned off and used my me only. With readiness, they could make it like my pally and be able to use the abilities it effects 2 times, but only within the cooldown.
    They should combine both focus, and rapid fire together. Just give us a buff to it.
    Tranq and widow shot should be combined.

    These are just off the top of my head, and only BM. Im not experienced enough for the other 2 trees. Its where we are going higher level, they add more shots, and our rotation is getting bigger. I would love a rotation between my hunter bload and pally tank. I dont even use my whole bar on my pally. It can be done, but it will take yet another tree redo for us.

  12. ZeroUm says:

    I’m one of those who abandoned BM spec because I couldn’t keep up with its rotation and large amount of buttons to push.

    I use F1 to F12 for abilities with large cooldowns(usually macroed in one single button), Shift+# for traps, CC, situational abilities, Ctrl+# for pet handling, and 1 to 0 for rotations, except that I only use them up to 6 or I get really discomfortable. I refuse to rebind the QWE row.

    Now I’m SV, and it is so much more manageable.

  13. Ðynamic says:

    I would hate to see hunter PVP suffer because of a perceived PVE button bloat. Getting rid of readiness would be an example of this.

  14. nunya says:

    I lost the ability to raid because of all the new buttons and me not being an expert player, can no longer do progression-worthy damage even in normal mode. Im sorry id give my bank’s contents for a 1 2 3 4 repeat rotation if it meant i could raid for real instead of derp along in LFR. Not everyone can perform at high levels. It used to be tuned good enough that a guy like me could do acceptable damage and some expert timing trinket procs could still be exceptional. I want to be able to concentrate on raid mechanics more than shot priority. Add back in fun buttons and take out about three dps ones.

  15. Clin says:

    Gotta agree with Nunya here. The current BM rotation is horrible, I hate it, and especially the opening shots – there are fights when the raid leader is calling for Hero and I’ve got like 3 buttons still to go on my intro. I love BM, I love my spirit beasts, *sobbing* but I can’t compete, I’m exhausted, my fingers are bleeding, doing 75k while so-called support classes in our raid are easily doing 90k+.

  16. Onslaught says:

    I’d like to see Crows somehow become passive and useful in pvp. I dislike Blink Strike and Lynx Rush because they rely on the pet.

  17. Valmordang says:

    I miss mana. In pvp, fighting any other class I always seem to be focus starved no matter what I am doing. Then I look over at that pally just casting heals like a soft wind has been lightly stoking his cape and he/she has full mana. After his warrior partner stun locks me and I die. I look at the overall damage done and see that again I am top and my healing Druid partner is top over all in heals. But we are dead and the others are the victors. This is why I miss mana because it just appears that hunters are really the only class with a true resource to manage.

    • Sazda says:

      You would be mistaken. Just ask Rogues or DPS druids… or warriors. Maybe shoot less Arcane shots?

  18. Chevonne says:

    I don’t use all the buttons but I love having them. May come a time I can/will incorporate them into my rotation. I just hate to lose stuff – we don’t get options as to what they take from us.

    And just to whine a little, I miss volley. Still. Way more selective than Multi-Shot is. I’d love to see a minor glyph turn your MS into V.

  19. Shannon Spencer Fox says:

    (This is something I posted on the official WoW forums that I’m reposting here.)

    Don’t get me started. I could be wrong (although I did check), but I’m almost sure Hunters are the only class to have half of their talent-choices be damage-related abilities that are meant to be used as part of our normal rotation… and then when you add in class-wide abilities like Rapid Fire and, for BM, Focus Fire, it just gets to be a mess.

    I can only assume nobody at Blizzard actually, y’know, tried playing through the class in endgame content during the MoP beta, since they’d realize rather quickly that it was a very, very deeply stupid idea. It’s personally why I don’t play BM, even assuming it wasn’t all that great for ToT right now… and I used to really love BM, at least before it got pretty much killed back in Wrath.

    (On a related note, why in the endless hells does Murder of Crows have a Focus cost while the rest of the talents on its tier don’t, and why didn’t they set the bleed-DoT component of Lynx Rush to 18 instead of just 9? Why?)

    Also, I personally love how Ghostcrawler babbles about ‘We tried to remove some [abilities] before but still get “Bring back Eyes of the Beast!” requests.’ As if we needed more evidence of his utter cluelessness.

  20. canardo says:

    I’ve got a problem with every ability that has a cooldown between 10 and 61 seconds
    Less than 10 seconds is ok, it’s part of the rotation
    More than 1 minute is ok, it’s a situational omfg press all your cooldowns now or it’s a wipe kinda situation.

    Antything in between that’s a dps increase….please remove/replace it (talking pve here).