5.4 Developer Manifesto

Posted: by Arth


Patch 5.4 drops on the 27th, so we have just over a week to prepare for it. The following is a long post from the devs concerning hunters in 5.4. It addresses many of the changes we’ve seen, and the reasoning behind them. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, a lot of it makes sense from a design or balancing perspective.

We had three main issues we wanted to resolve for Hunters this patch: Silencing Shot, Readiness, and Stampede.

The problem with Silencing Shot is it’s just too powerful as a talent. No self-respecting Hunter is going to choose any talent but Silencing Shot, especially in PvP, but in PvE as well. At the same time, we think Hunters, especially Beast Mastery, have proven really powerful in PvP this expansion—and frankly the game has too many blanket silences already, so we didn’t want to just give Silencing Shot to all Hunters. Our decision was to give Silencing Shot to Marksman, who needed a PvP buff anyway. We did give all Hunters a base interrupt with the new Counter Shot, which can interrupt a spell being cast, but can’t pre-silence a caster.

Readiness has been another problematic ability for us to solve. It started as a talent, but was too good compared to the other choices. We ended up giving Readiness to all Hunters, but we were never happy with this implementation. For PvP, it made Hunters really difficult to balance with the ability to reset so many offensive and defensive abilities. For PvE, we felt like Readiness wasn’t doing anything interesting besides making the opening attack sequence twice as complicated as it needed to be. If Readiness was an ability that a clever Hunter would bust out at a clutch moment, then you could argue it would be an interesting ability, but of course it was never actually used that way. Given that Hunters already have a lot of cooldowns, situational abilities, and just buttons in general, we didn’t think Readiness was worth saving. We did make small buffs to Deterrence and Disengage and we will make sure DPS is where it needs to be (which, if I had to guess, will be relatively higher than it was in Patch 5.3).

We felt like Stampede had been nerfed too much in PvE for PvP reasons. It’s the intent that Stampede is a potent cooldown for Hunters, so we increased its damage back to an exciting level and just had it do less damage in PvP. Finally, we made a change that some (though to be fair not all) Survival Hunters had asked for a long time, to remove Explosive Trap from Lock and Load (and therefore from the shared cooldown with Black Arrow) so that they could use Explosive Trap (typically with the knockback glyph) without interfering with Black Arrow/Lock and Load.

Hunter talents were in a pretty good spot overall after a bit of iteration throughout MoP. We did nerf Aspect of the Iron Hawk, because as with Shadow Priests and Balance Druids, we felt like the damage reduction was just too potent. We changed Narrow Escape to be dispellable as a PvP nerf. We buffed Spirit Bond, which has felt particularly weak, and we buffed A Murder of Crows.

Certainly Readiness will be missed by many. And I’d take issue with the idea that it was ONLY used for complicated opening dps. But their point about balance and rotation complication is well made, and we have been compensated in our dps so that, overall, we should be a bit higher in 5.4 relative to other classes than we were in 5.3.

Stampede still packs a PvE punch (sorry PvPers), and the addition of Counter Shot to all specs should adequately make up for the loss of Silencing Shot as an ability than any spec can have. It’s not as good as Silencing, of course, but it doesn’t leave us entirely out in the cold.

For PvP, it seems our time of dominance is at an end. Though it’s also likely we won’t be nuked entirely back to the dark ages of Wrath and Cata. Hunters still have a diverse toolbox for PvP, and we’ll likely see things get a bit harder for us, but it will also be more fair to other classes.

Facebook Twitter Snailmail
  1. Mike says:

    Cata Hunters were great in PvP season 10 and 11. It was probably the best state Hunters have ever been in.

    • Arth says:

      Hunters were viable then, but it was also before they abolished min. range. That’s what kept a lot of people from joining the party.

      I’d also be skeptical that we were as good as, say, 5.2, when nearly 10% of the 3′s comps at 2200+ in the game were Holy Pally, Arms Warr., and BM hunter. Given the hundreds of potential comps, and dozens of strong ones, that number is staggering, and the next best comp. wasn’t even close.

  2. Noxxana says:

    “For PvE, we felt like Readiness wasn’t doing anything interesting”

    Fine. Then just don’t touch it. I never felt that way :)

    • Lirithiel says:

      What’s the saying? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…words Blizz should live by!

      • Arth says:

        It was arguably broken in PvP. And Blizzard never wanted us to have the crazy complicated openers in PvE that Readiness created. Unfortunately, it may have indeed been broken respective to their intent. I’ll miss it, but I don’t entirely disagree with their reasons for removing it.

      • Anonymous says:

        There was never anything crazy complicated in the opener using readiness, that I have ever experienced. It was a very simple, logical use. Maybe others experienced something different.

      • ur'kidding says:

        Maybe Blizz should just create a PvP spec and quit messing with the other specs wholesale to make up for it? I WILL miss Readiness it was great for burst damage in PVE, (I don’t play and don’t care about PvP, not even a little bit) if damage isn’t buffed (I have heard this tune before) I know which button I will be pushing (Cancel – my subscription…)!

      • Noxxana says:

        Arth, what exactly made it “crazy complicated” for you? I just try to understand. I just enjoyed having all ready a second time (not necessarily exactly back to back with the first, depending on the fight).

      • Arth says:

        As a response to a couple of you here, it wasn’t necessarily crazy complicated for me personally. But there were a lot of buttons and cooldowns, so much so that no one was able to maximize it fully, and so that there existed several dozen different opinions on what our best opener is/was.

        Make no mistake, the intended nerf to burst was the main reason behind removing Readiness. But the “hit ALL the buttons” mentality of PvE openers as a result of it didn’t help.

    • Ril says:

      we’re better off without readiness, at least in PvE. the new charged det allows for WAY more flexibility than readiness did (too bad they didn’t add charges to disengage too, i’d expect much fun there). we never had the option to use readiness as a defensive option anyways, as ist was an important dps cooldown, so no choice involved here. the damage loss has been compensated pretty much (AMoC, stampede) so our dps won’t go down because of this change. yes our DPS needs further tweaking but not because of readiness, but the rather bad scaling in general and i guess the KC/ES/CS/AS and cobra shot numbers are not set in stone yet.

      • Ril says:

        PS: the opener wasn’t particularily complex… it took a little time to get used to the button mashing and to learn the best opening sequence, but in the end it is basically two BW back to back. with the usual shot priorities.

      • Noxxana says:

        @Ril
        What do you mean by “we never had the option to use readiness as a defensive option anyways”. Talking about raiding? Yes. Readiness = burst twice. Agreed. But PvE is not only raiding. It’s soloing stuff, too. Maybe I got a bit lazy lately but I remember lot of “oh shit” situations were the “double” feign death, traps, deterrence, silence, scatter, disengage, masters call, etc. were very welcome and very life saving. There are plenty of abilties that would need charges now to compensate that much lost utility! Yes, I’m aware that’s exactly what they DON’T want for the sake of goddamn PvP.

      • Garfurion says:

        @Ril

        The opening rotation for BM still is not smooth, it’s now just a little bit shorted since there is no repeat with readiness resetting all cooldowns. It seems that the mains arguments against readiness were because of the “complex”opening rotation. What people seem to forget is that the 2nd application of readiness during a boss fight gave us a lot of flexibility and actually some choices to make. Use it for burst DPS or use it for staying alive (which tends to improve your overall damage done ;)).

        Apart from that readiness +det+feign death has saved me a lot of repair-bills :)

        AMoC cannot really be seen as compensation for the readiness nerf since you need to compare it to the other talents of the same tier.

      • f0nZi3 says:

        I would like to remind you (and everyone) that the Stampede “buff” for 5.4 ONLY returns us to what we lost during the “hotfix” of 5.3 that nerfed (and nerfed not using a bat, but a sledgehammer) Stampede to what we have currently. Also, the “buff” to Stampede in 5.4 STILL does not fully compensate us for the loss of our pets casting their special abilities when summoned. So, IMO, anyone that considers the “buff” to Stampede in 5.4 as compensation for the loss of Readiness in 5.4 has short-timers disease. It puts us partially back to what we lost during the initial nerf Stampede… nothing more.

  3. Lirithiel says:

    Blizz can nerf us all the way down to China just so long as they do the same to all the support classes. Getting two-shotted by the likes of warriors and locks are becoming pretty tiresome.

    So by the way, has Silencing Shot not been around since the start and if so, why is it that hunters are the only class to be feeling the pinch?

    I’m happy (for the moment) that we are getting some sort of interrupt but I don’t buy Blizz’s reasons for removing Silencing Shot from our toolbox (I say ‘our’ because I play BM and will not spec MM just to have access to it).

    • Arth says:

      Apparently Silencing was just too good in PvP. I won’t miss it personally, but I also don’t PvP.

      • Lirithiel says:

        Apparently. Silencing Shot was so OP that hunters pwned healers. Lockdown for 4 seconds. Every 24 seconds. Yes too good for pvp…

      • Noxxana says:

        Actually it’s 3 seconds. This is far too powerful for the majority of very vocal folks out there. Though I’m not sure about what skill level we’re talking here.

      • Jaf says:

        Must have changed this expansion to become OP? I seem to recall it operating the same ever since I started playing a hunter, back in November 2005. It hasn’t been a problem since then from all I can recall.

  4. Ril says:

    The changes looked okay until the newest Arcane Shot nerf. We will lose damage on that one. Now we need a bump to all relevant damaging spells (bar stampede) in order to remain relevant in high end raiding. Otherwise we’re okay single targeters and bombers but dreadful multidotters/cleavers. So no reason to bring us in that state in 25m, different story in 10m where individual utility is much more important (mobility/deterrence/binding shot).

    • Zetora says:

      Its nerfed on the ptr yes. But that doesn’t mean its a nerf overall, look at the bigger picture, double focus, ‘almost’ double dmg, half the GCDs … that means more cobras, more focus to burn and more arcane shots fired … or at least could do depending on other abilities.

      Don’t scream nerf until it goes live … at least thats my thoughts on it.

      • Ril says:

        i am not screaming nerf and am fully expecting more changes. i’m just comparing the newest ptr developments to live.

        i was referring to all changes together. we’re definately not better off with 5.4. we lose readiness and arcane shot costs 50% more focus but does only roughly 25% more damage. opposed to this, AMoC got compensated for the readiness change and stampede does quadruple damage, which is very sweet and probably fully compensates for the loss of our big opener, which was also due to readiness. so, all in all, we got roughly compensated for the readiness change but the arcane shot change is now a net nerf, resulting in a nerf to our dps at worst, or maybe no change at best. however, we do have some glaring dps issues (lack of niches, other classes just have more boom and strengths), so clearly hunters need more tweaking before 5.4 hits live.

    • Arth says:

      Ril, I think the hope is that the signature shot buffs will compensate us, since they’re fairly significant. You may be right, though.

      I also thinking not bringing any class gets overstated most times. I’ve never seen data to suggest a significant number of groups refuse certain classes. Even if we’re middle of the road in most aspects, or slightly below average, the threshold for being refused to even competitive groups is quite high, and depends WAY more on the player than class balance. After all, even “badly” balanced classes/specs are still almost always within 5% of each other.

      • Ril says:

        riiiight. i forgot about the sig shot buff. well, it might prove me wrong after all, i hope so anyways. forget my blah blah then. :)

        on a side note however, my point about not bringing hunters fully depends on how the encounters work out. lots of 2-3 mob bosses (at worst, they are standing apart, like council) or target switching? too bad for us. lots of movement, single target or bombing, along with a few big hard hitting abilities (eg lei shen H, we’re pretty good there)? great, hunters will rock. overall, i think our strenghts and weaknesses are balanced farily okay although or AOEing ability is too limited in the light of our not-quite-top single target dpsing abiligy and nonexistent cleaving/multidotting. but generally, we are fine. however, if we encounter a majoritiy of bosses that don’t cater to our strenght, our advantages are useless. what’s more, while we can shine on 10m quite often, in 25m it is totally watered down and often all that counts is dps.

  5. Beergasm says:

    Meanwhile, rogues will still be stunlocking and battering down all players in a matter of seconds. But hey, nerf hunter burst dps.

    • Arth says:

      Rogues were one of the worst-represented classes in PvP in 5.2, while BM was one of the best. I don’t know the numbers on 5.3 just yet. But I didn’t think rogues in particular were the problem. I may do some additional research on this out of personal curiosity.

  6. Ute says:

    I know that for me (Ute – Mal’ganis), I’m seeing an ~ 2% dps loss going from live to ptr settings on femaledwarf.com (for SV). I’ve seen others post losses as large as 6%. It doesn’t seem like they have completely compensated us for the loss of readiness, and it certainly doesn’t seem like we have received the buff we expected when devs admitted that hunter damage is low.

    • Arth says:

      You might be right. Worst case scenario, as I see it, is that we wait a couple weeks for them to realize their error and buff us additionally. There’s an explict intent on Blizzard’s part to make sure our dps is competitive.

      • ur'kidding says:

        Competitive? As in mage type smoking guns DPS type competitive? We’ll see, right now it looks like we’ll be going backwards based on the latest PTR settings vs live. Competitive would be nice, let’s hope that Blizz lives up to the “explicit intent” and actually delivers…

      • dethstalker says:

        Seriously? Blizzard went into these changes knowing they needed to tweek our DPS given the loss of Readiness.

        “We did make small buffs to Deterrence and Disengage and we will make sure DPS is where it needs to be (which, if I had to guess, will be relatively higher than it was in Patch 5.3).”

        Now we are expected to hope that Blizzard will recognize their oversight? You are kidding… right?

      • Arth says:

        To deth and ur: Some of this is still premature. We’re not necessarily comparing 5.4 hunters to 5.3 hunters. For example, Mages (Fire, iirc) were very much on top and received their own significant nerfs. We’re not comparing our new dps to 5.3 mages, then, but what they’re about to become. Same with numerous classes.

        On trusting Blizzard, one of the easiest things to do is become cynical toward them. But frankly, and I’ve said this for years, their concern for player input and monitoring of major issues is almost unprecedented in gaming. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s something. Further, hunters have had “good” and “bad” patches in both PvE and PvP. But we’ve never been among the most maligned classes or specs (in PvE at least). We always have at least one raid viable spec for competitive raiding, and sometime two (as we do right now). Not being on top is not equivalent to being the lowest. And as always, player skill accounts for way more than the scant few percentage points we’re discussing in regards to class balance.

        Blizzard will continue to tweak, and it won’t be perfect, but they ARE aware our dps is low compared to other classes. There’s no reason to think we won’t see a slight relative bump.

      • Dethstalker says:

        I guess my major concern is that Blizz ends up breaking a good thing.

        I know things are not perfect for our class but I currently enjoy playing BM. Like you said, we have two viable raid specs (BM and SV). I rather like the fact that we have a choice. MM has been left out in the rain and for those that enjoyed MM and long for it’s return, you have my sympathy.

        If choice on play style is removed I fear WoW will lose more players.

      • ur'kidding says:

        Arth, you’re correct it could be a little premature, I’ll take a wait an see attitude, although I am not holding out much hope, been playing this game for a long a$$ time, I’ve heard this music before… many times. Frankly I will be pleasantly surprised if they actually do anything constructive with respect to DPS. As far as competitive DPS, don’t even get my started, the very best hunters in the world rarely rank even in the top 10. Should skill matter, absolutely, does it? Not one damn bit at the moment! Check out World of Logs and have a look, 4 or 5 hunters in all of 10, 25 normal, heroic and LFR… I started playing a hunter at the beginning of all this and it is still my main, but our DPS flat out sucks, Blizz has expressed an intent to address it, so… show me!

  7. Aadyn says:

    Am i the only SV who feels jipped by yet another pvp change. Removing L&L from explosive trap a free cast that procs l&l from multiple targets which is a lot more useful during aoe than black arrows which cost 35 focus applies to a single target and if that target is killed first u lose your L&L procs.

    All for the sake of a pvp gylph essentially. If that glyph is soo important can we make L&L proc off snake traps? Something aoe related that wont eat up all my focus.

  8. Quandth says:

    So Lore responded one of the threads at the official forums regarding our status at the PTR for the coming 5.4 Patch and the response really doesn’t surprise me at all..

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9677848321?page=16

    This is going to be one long patch, reality is ism really getting tired of waiting and waiting for something to happen, it is really disappointing.

    • Arth says:

      I’m not sure which parts of his post are demoralizing. It’s pretty much what we already knew, yeah?

      • Quandth says:

        Yes I know, It was more of a reality check, I really thought that they were going to implement a few more changes before the patch, but instead of that got the “We’ve already made all of the adjustments we had planned in the wake of the Readiness nerf”.

  9. Valmordang says:

    Ptr woes. Deter cool down can only use once both charges have recharged.
    Disengage. Can be interrupted, therefore you are going to be stunned mid
    way through it.
    Interup. shot only interrupts spells, where silence was usable on any cast bar
    Dps is low
    Cool downs on CC too high to kill Panda rares unless BM.
    Warriors can charge out of binding arrow with no effect to them.
    Pet Health seems low, and have no aoe damage reduction

    I can not post on forums, account inactive. There are many more issues. I place them as tickets.
    Love
    Val

  10. Garfurion says:

    Silencing shot is too powerful as a talent ? I would argue that the other talents are just too weak. When is the last time we trapped anything in a raid or dungeon ? If we don’t need CC then anything else is more useful.

    Readiness didn’t have to be a talent. It could have been a MM only ability like it was for years. The combination of readiness and BW was a known problem, and surprised a lot of hunters when it was announced. They didn’t make BW
    a baseline ability or talent did they ?

    Also, if readiness makes the hunter opening rotation twice as complicated in PvE…then why not make sure the opening is not “complicated” ?

    They felt stampede was nerfed too much in PvE for PvP reasons. So who nerfed stampede into the ground during a hotfix without any testing ? Although I hate the readiness change the whole stampede hotfix nerf worries me more. Why didn’t they nerf stampede just for PvP in the first place ?

    The change to explosive trap dumbs the game down even more for SV. There used to be choice; black arrow or explosive shot ? Now there is none. Worst of all it again makes hunter specs more similar.

  11. Jaeger says:

    I wish Blizzard would comment more freely on how things are getting balanced and why they are making certain changes. It really seems like there have to be 100s of posts on the forum before they actually comment on something. It’d be really helpful to see a comment for each change from the dev who implemented it: why, what, how kind of things. Right now, all we get is a what and maybe after a lot of bitching we get a why. I want to know what their internal testing is showing; I want to see the data that they claim to be using to make all these decisions. Give more information for the theorycrafters to actually theorycraft.

    Regarding our dps, it seems that we were hit hard by the rppm change, but hopefully all classes were effected the same way.

    Blizz keeps claiming that everything is within 5% but all the data and sims we have never show that. Blizz always just says “trust us, our data is better than yours”…

    • Pichu says:

      Blizzard already said a few times why they do some changes, and why they don’t do others.

      the main issue here is that Hunter is the most represented class in MoP in every aspect of the game: PvP, social players, and raiding. And the % of the people playing hunters that actually care about it enough to visit this page, mmo, not to say to follow the PTR or try by itself is really marginal, I would bet dollars to donuts thats not even a 5% of the hunter playerbase.

      Now, hunter performs incredibly good in early PvP and casual raiding(I.E ppl who aspires to complete the content in normal, and the skill difference between players makes by far for the class unbalance), in top of that it is a very attractive class by design, as it resembles a lot of pop culture icons (legolas?).

      Even for most of the guilds that can clean the HC content in a given tier before next patch, Hunters will still do just fine, since the limitation for those (like mine) is the amount of time invested. Even in those type of guilds (top 300 to top 1000 in wowprogress) skill is still a big factor in how a class performs against others.

      Now if you look at the top 100, or even for the 10-20 guilds that fight for the top ranks and the world firsts, Hunters are one of the least desirable classes, both in 10 and 25 man. It is worst for 25 mans were you will usually balance your raid setup around max DPS with all the possible raid CD needed. The only 2 classes without a defensive/offensive raid CD are mages and hunters, but then mages are a guaranteed top DPS spot. Then hunters become gear soakers, hoping that a 10 ilvl advantage in early progress will make up the class deficiences, but it won’t.

      With all that in mind, there are 2 possible approaches from blizzards perspective:
      -From a “game only” perspective, they could balance all the game from the top to the bottom, assuming that becoming the best possible player is what should drive anyone in a game, or a sport. That would reward the best players, those putting more effort and commitment. That would outrage the majority of the playerbase, as balancing hunters (with their current design) around top players would mean that hunters would need to be really OP for the lower skilled non hunter players. But again from an e-sport game point of view, thats good, since it is a L2P issue.
      From a bussiness model perspective, balancing the game like that would be a complete bankrupt. They need to catter to the 90% of the playerbase, which are the ones who maintain their bussiness, and for whom hunters are fine

  12. Mostynaideen says:

    My 2 cents.

    I never felt using readiness on the pull was a complicated matter. Run your opening rotation, hit readiness, and repeat then switch to normal rotation. I’m even a clicker and did not feel lost in this opening rotation. If you know your shots and learned the right opening rotation, then there should not have been any issues.

    I found myself using it on the pull, but waiting to use it again after it came off of cooldown. Normally, its the last few % of Boss encouters where things go bad. Having readiness online has saved me and the raid in a few occasions. So I feel a clever hunter who knows their rotations and when to use their cool downs will benifit from readiness.

    Mostyn

    • Lirithiel says:

      I think it totally depends on your talent choices. Using Readiness in my pvp spec was hardly complex but it became slightly more difficult to manage in my pve spec with Dire Beast and Lynx Rush in the equation. Of course its nothing that a macro won’t fix but I chose to forego that route. It definitely felt like I was playing whack-a-mole when using Readiness for pve openers but it was hardly what I would call “complicated”.

  13. Xeran says:

    We are in a sad state and most Hunters will probably all be running the “benched” spec for 5.4

    I have fond memories of being a Hunter and I love the WHU, but good god are we in desperate need of a warlock-level overhaul. I haven’t even been playing my Hunter lately because design and dps-wise we are the worst class in the game.

    Too many shared spells, too many pet bugs, and too many nerfs without being properly compensated.

    • Noxxana says:

      @Xeran
      I agree there are a lot of problems (and more to come with 5.4). But we’re certainly not the worst class in the game (5.3). I’m doing a lot of solo stuff and I enjoy raiding as MM. Yes, MM. Just for the fun of it. Even that’s competitive with other “top specs”, event compared to the other BM/SV hunter in our 10m raid (about the save item level / skill, or lack of, if you want *g*). By competitive I mean top the meters most of the time. I’m having a damn hard time to achieve. That’s the fun part of it.

      • Mostynaideen says:

        Noxxana,

        I agree. I have had guild issues ever since MoP dropped. They either didnt raid or all stop playing, so I have had to run LFR for many months now. I got up to Il520 and I normally fall within the top 5 or top of the meters. It is always a challenge to out DPS other hunters who are better geared and other classes who are suppose to rank higher on the meters. However, it is achievable and I have had success at it.

  14. Xeran says:

    I refuse to run MM because of the dps loss, and the theme/niche of the spec. If its supposed to be about being a sniper, why does it use a pet, and why does its main shot deal nature damage?

    Case in point for our class needing a Warlock-style overhaul. Only BM makes any sense and plays with any fluidity.

    • Noxxana says:

      @Xeran

      What pet? That’s my furry spotter!
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sniper_team)

      ” and why does its main shot deal nature damage?”

      Well… since you don’t fire any projectiles anymore (ammo removed since Cata) it may deal chocolate damage as well ^^ The funny thing is… if you start to think about realism in this context, you may end up somewhere here:

      In late WotLK I used to have 8 stacks of ammo in my pockets (1000 bullets/arrows each stack, so 8,000 in total). Every sane person will agree that it makes sense to feed your gun with bullets (hi Frost!) and to shoot arrows from your bow. Let’s just call that “realistic”. Though as hunter you’d probably use more appropriate ammunition for actual hunting — the hunter role in WoW as I see it is rather some kind of soldier/archer at war. Let’s just optimistically assume we’re using a rather lightweight 5.56×45mm NATO round, it’s about 12 g. Each. This sums up to 96,000 g or 96 kg for 8000 (about 212 lbs). No magazines, no ammunition belts, no box, just 212 lbs of ammunition in my pockets (!). That’s way more than my body weight. No gear (mail!), no gun, nothing, just the ammo. We haven’t even discussed the _size_ of my pockets… Anyways, 212 lbs of ammo. Naked! (sorry kids, just the WoW naked, still wearing my Kevlar bra). Now imagine the ready check. Not ready. “What’s up?” – “Just a minute…” – “Alright, let me know when you’re ready.” – “Aye!” … “You ready?” – “Nope…” *raidleadergettingimpatient* “What’s wrong with her?” – “Dunno, guess she carries her ammo from the dungeon entrance to the first trash pack” – “… Anyone knows a good shaman?” At this point you may have come to the conclusion that’s “unrealistic” (I agree). Someone at Blizzard thought the same. ‘How do they disengage with so much ammo to carry? Hmmm… they don’t. Let’s remove ammo!’ That’s the true and only reason for the removal of ammo. Fore the sake of making it more realistic. You know. Bullets spawning right out of the Nether into your rifle’s chamber. Anyone ever tried to weigh Magic? It has no weight. Zero. That’s amazing. And it ain’t less realistic then the movement you make when you pull an arrow from the nonexistent quiver that you don’t carry on your back. Well, you may actually pull an arrow out of your back that someone else carefully placed there before, but not very often…

      Got headaches? Don’t worry. Once upon a time, when the world was young and more or less innocent an ooold and wiiise man, it might have been Confucius (don’t quote me on that) described exactly our problem: “More cheese, more holes! More holes, less cheese! Wait… more cheese, less cheese!?”

    • Ril says:

      numbers aside, i think that pets fit MM quite well, but not as a dps source. pets shouldn’t be part of the dps (apart from buffing) but stand guard and have the hunter’s back. i think it would be a good solution for everyone without creating complications like how to compensate for the utility loss (pet buffs).

      however, we won’t see any change of this magnitute until 6.0, so don’t get your hopes high. currently it is more important to have at least one viable spec, dps, utility and niche wise, for most parts of the game.

      • Noxxana says:

        Ril, how exactly do you expect this to work? I can’t imagine a no-dps (or nearly no dps) guard. Well, okay, I can imagine all MM hunters raiding with a turtle. Or speccing all MM pets to tank for the buffs? Hm…

      • Ril says:

        it’s just a vague idea of mine. basically the pet would sit beside the hunter, be unattackable, and give buffs, work for stuff like masters call and maybe support the hunter escaping and controlling those who dare to come too close. the sole direct dps source would be the hunter’s casts.

  15. Ot says:

    so will BM still be top in single? and SV in aoe? are the MM changes good enough to go MM in pvp?

    • Ril says:

      BM AoE is roughly equal to SV’s at the moment, especially with a haste > mastery > crit build, and there’s no reason to expect changes for this. in fact BM will be even better off since the beast cleave range will be buffed.

      the big difference is how the respective aoe mechanics work, which aoe-multidot vs direct hits 10y around the pet, so in some situation one mechanic is much better than the other.

  16. Garfurion says:

    Some recent tweets by GC regarding some of the changes in 5.4:

    “Getting rid of the LnL trap swap was a really common hunter demand. Felt more annoying than skilled play to me personally.”

    I must have missed the hunter outcry regarding LnL proccing from explosive trap and hunters having to make a choice between BA and explosive trap in the middle of a fight.

    “We’d consider letting all hunter specs bring any pet buff though.”

    This could be nice, but I guess we won’t see it before the next expansion.

    “Along the way we had given lots of small PvP buffs that became OP in MoP, probably because of the min range change.”

    I’m glad to hear it was not just BM hunters that were OP in PvP because of readiness+BW but MM and SV were OP as well. But then I wonder why they gave MM hunters an extra CC ability if they were already OP.

    “Removing Readiness was intended to be a nerf to PvP defenses. Took us a long time to get hunters PvP viable, but they are now.”

    I hope with “now” he means “now on the 5.4 PTR” rather than “now in 5.3″. I guess we’ll see although I’ve personally given up on PvP a long time ago.

    Regarding aspects he tweeted:

    “They were never that interesting IMO. Keep pack as a toggle and lose the rest I say. #notanannouncement”

    So, I guess we can say Bye Bye to aspect of cheetah :( Maybe that is the reason for aspect of the lean pack..to have a glyph so we can choose between cheetah and pack aspects :P

    Regarding the removal of “Eyes of the Beast:

    “We have mixed feelings about that one.”

    Could it be that they actually start to realize that it isn’t abilities like Eyes of the Beast which are a problem in terms of button bloat. I still don’t expect we’ll ever see it again though :(

    • Noxxana says:

      @Garfurion
      “So, I guess we can say Bye Bye to aspect of cheetah :(”

      Another step to further “deflavor” the class. I don’t like the idea for that part, BUT… it may just turn out they bake it into the class as seen in other games. Kind of you’re 30% faster out of combat, no aspect switching, no penalty when you get damge, period. Who knows.

  17. Venadin says:

    I found the way the treated to the removal of readiness and its compensation to be a bit disingenuous. But I think part of the issue was Lore may have put out his initial answer on the compensation earlier than intended by Blizzard. We’re not in horrible state for PvE going into 5.4 just not where we should be. We really have to be careful on how we express how we want to reduce button bloat for we will keep getting changes like we are about to get without balancing.

    I am really concerned how they will handle aspects at this point. The original aspect system(pre-focus) had a ton of utility along with the multiple stings we had. We used to have a mana drain, a disarm, and a pet damage boost. I would love to see aspects used to give us better tanking or even healing capabilities maybe through using traps to heal like guild wars.