On our last two podcasts, I’ve had the fortune of speaking with, respectively, two raid leaders and one of the most accomplished raiding hunters in the world. It’s been very enlightening. Their opinions on the level 100 hunter talents and Mythic raiding were particularly interesting to me. Let’s look at a few of the issues raised.

Also, before we begin, here’s a refresher on the talents themselves.

Where Do the Buffs Go?

One of the more alarming questions to come out of the discussion about With or Without You was…what happens to pet buffs when we’re in MM and SV with this talent?

Now, again, this is an optional talent. We don’t HAVE to lose our pets. But the question still lingers, and can severely affect your choice of talent if you’re in a 10M raid team. I am literally never able to bring just any old pet in my guild’s 10M raids. This problem largely goes away at 25M, but remains a concern for many hunters.

Of course, there are ways to compensate for this, or ways to simply replace the buff via other means. But we have yet to see such a solution.

Mythic Raiding – THE SKY IS FALL…oh wait, no we’re ok

I had some reservations about the new 20M Mythic raiding, which is replacing Heroic as the hardest raiding difficulty. These fears were echoed by Darkbrew and Flint on a recent podcast.

But then I talked to Michele and Dielhelm, both raid leaders. They were largely unconcerned. It wouldn’t affect their long-standing guilds, and the slight variance in raid size would be something they could all adapt to.

And RogerBrown raised the relevant point that there will no longer be any debate between 10 and 25M for world first kills and content progression. There will only be one standard. This has the potential to bring back many skilled players who were turned off by that dichotomy. As far back as Wrath of the Lich King, I remember complaints about one being more difficult than the other, even among casual guilds. Along with flex-raid capabilities for normal and heroic modes, this has the potential to eliminate all such complaints forever.

Talents Get a Thumbs Up

I’ve heard no major gripes about the level 100 talents; at least none that seem to generate any consensus. They don’t contribute to button bloat, they each serve a unique purpose, and at least two (“Snipe” and “With or Without You”) have the potential to greatly affect the way we play in ways that I think can be positive. Bola Shot’s similarity to the old Explosive Shot is a true-enough gripe, but it at least seems to serve a different function than the other two.

RogerBrown also mentioned that the lack of a pet may be beneficial on certain fights where pet mechanics cause pets to do less damage. And on some fights, pets don’t inherit the same in-fight buffs that hunters do. So there are potential dps gains based on fight mechanics. The problem of pets not inheriting everything that we do is another old, old complaint. This isn’t a cure-all solution, but will give us an additional helpful option on such fights.

The PvP Question

Whether or not Bola Shot’s AoE explosion will break CC is a big PvP question. Because Snipe doesn’t allow for movement…it’s clearly designed for PvE hunters who can efficiently manage their movement in fights. If the AoE on Bola breaks CC, it too looks like an unattractive PvP option. That leaves a single talent. I can see use for all three of these in PvE…the fact that they are all potentially useful is a BIG draw for me. But what about PvP hunters? Will they enjoy the same choice?

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  1. Garfurion says:

    I hope we’ll still see some changes to the level 100 talents. PvE SV/MM hunters can be forced to choose a talent they do not want. If they want to play with pet “With or Without You” is undesirable. If it is a single target fight Bola-Shot is sub-optimal and Snipe forces you to change your rotation and is not always viable.

    “With or Without You” can also be used by Blizzard as a workaround for pet pathing issues. We’ve seen before that as long as there is a single viable talent/spec Blizzard is in no hurry to fix other specs/talents.

    • Arth says:

      My thought here is that Bola won’t be suboptimal even in single target. I see it as a AoE buff, not a single target nerf. So I do think there will be options for SV/MM.

    • Guinnezz says:

      The talent with no pet is completely useless for pvp. It essentially takes you spirit bond and poops on it

  2. Argent says:

    I know they said they wouldn’t be doing a total hunter revamp, but it does look like some really significant changes are on the way. The thing that interests me most is that all of these abilities are passive or buffs to current spells and I can’t help but hope that most of our other talents will see changes like that too – that and the fate of aspects, but I understand it’s too early to speculate.

    With Or Without You may be the one with the most obvious impact, but Bola Shot interests me most. You said yourself, Arth, that it looks like a variation on Explosive Shot and I highly doubt Blizz haven’t paid attention to the spec differentiation complaints, so what exactly does this mean for Survival? Will we be getting a spec that actually does help us “survive”? Or is Bola just a placeholder for something else just as Beast Trap was?

    On a related, but considerably more rambling note: I really, really hope that if they do make changes, they make AMoC like the discarded Rumba talent of old (three snakes with every cobra shot, BM, pre-beta Cataclysm if memory serves).

  3. Eeta says:

    Blizzard has it pretty rough. Take With or With Out You. They give us hunters what many have wanted for a long time, and do it in the best possible way, ie optional, and yet there is still so much qq over it. Not so much on this site, you guys take a much more rational and reasonable approach to discussion, thankfully. I for one am very happy with the options, though agree Bola is weird in that it is what ES used to be.

    I expect more changes to help differentiate the specs, and am really looking forward to it. As for Mythic, I couldn’t be happier. On a low pop realm with one real raid team. I’m a rarely used reserve on the 10 man team, but already been given a raid spot when the switch to 20man occurs. WoD can’t come fast enough!

  4. Correctionbot says:

    …the answer to your last question is “no, definitely not.” This entire tier is a disaster for PvP, unless you’re BM, in which case you will take WoWY. SV and MM have nothing–the utility of the pet is too much to give up, Snipe takes away our ability to kite, and Bola Shot breaks CC (potentially, and even if it doesn’t, another AoE ability isn’t helpful/useful in PvP).

    They could fix it: make WoWY be the same for MM/SV as it is for BM. More pet utility in PvP? Yes, please. For all specs.

  5. Purcy says:

    Exciting times!

    I’m still deciding how much I do or don’t like these talent choices, but I did want to pipe in on this idea of PvP bashing these talents already.

    Stand still and long cast to regen focus? On the surface, obviously not a PvP ability. However, depending how hard it hits and depending on the battleground you’re in, even this one might be situationally taken by PvP-ers.

    The seeming backlash against WoWY is surprising. It’s not Grimoire of Sacrifice. You don’t have to click a button, after making a decision, to change the way you do damage by sacrificing your pet in some demonic ritual. If someone peels your pet and kills it, your damage goes up. To me, this is clearly THE PvP talent in this tier. Losing your pet costs a lot in PvP. Hell, it costs a lot in PvE, even for MM/SV, and on some fights it’s gonna happen. (Walls in Dark Shaman fight?) Many hunters will not res their pet because of the dps loss of standing there channeling the rez. This is more costly for MM/SV than it is for beastmastery, since standing still and not shooting is less costly to BM, and it’s a MUCH bigger benefit to them to have the pet back. For MM/SV, that channelling time comes at the cost of several seconds of nearly my usual dps, to bring up a pet that is less likely to make enough dps contribution to pay for its rez.
    Instead, I’ve taken WoWY as my level 100 talent. Now, I’m penalized dramatically less when my pet dies. This is a huge boon in both PvE and PvP.

    Who knows? It may turn out to be an actual dps gain/loss to simply run petless all the time, but no one can know that for some time yet, so opining would be useless at best, and rather pretentious at worst!

    @Flint: Taking WoWY does NOT take your pet away. The talent is WITH or without you. Just sayin’. The talent doesn’t take away anything at all.

    I can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in the pipeline. :)

    • Sev says:

      “Taking WoWY does NOT take your pet away. The talent is WITH or without you. Just sayin’. The talent doesn’t take away anything at all.”

      Unless the damage buff is greater than the loss of potential pet damage. Since it’s a straightforward dps buff for BM hunters, I suspect this will be the case.

      About fights with buffs that don’t benefit pets: I’m not keen on the idea of everyone being funneled into a particular talent (particularly one that removes a fundamental part of the class) just to compensate for a design flaw in the raid. It’s not an intentional raid mechanic: the devs did not sit down and decide “pet users should do less damage on this fight”.

  6. Dielhelm says:

    I’m flattered, but I’m hardly “one of the most accomplished raiding hunters in the world”. :P

  7. Dibbler says:

    I still expect Bola Shot to be replaced before we go live. The other two are strong enough as concepts to work with some tweaking (as noted, particularly WOWY needs plenty of it in order to make the ~6 other talents that depend partially or completely on pets still work, and other abilities like master’s call), but Bola Shot just feels like something is missing. Arcane shot does some AOE damage 1 second after it hits? Is that really interesting enough for a level 100 talent?

    Plus, considering WOWY as it stands will be a monster AOE damage boost for survival/MM whose pets currently do no AOE damage (compared to single target where it will probably be a small DPS boost), Bola Shot isn’t even filling a unique niche in the tier.

    Add in the very serious PVP concerns and I think it’s pretty likely we’ll see a completely new talent in that slot some point down the line.

  8. Guinnezz says:

    Heres the Talent i would take in a heart beat for PvP

    (Not creative with names so wont try)

    Increases your movement speed while Camouflaged to 100% speed and reduces its CD by 30 sec.