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Mists of Pandaria: All Specs

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I'd expect them to address the problem by making Transmorph Trap share a cooldown with Freezing Trap (or all traps), rather than compensating with damage changes.

I think that's unlikely. During the class balance Q&A they said that the point of Transmorph Trap was to have a CC that wasn't on the same CD as Freezing Trap, which is why they made it a nature school trap.

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With the official talent calculator out we can see what abilities are now granted as spec passives as you level up. Also worth noting is as of yet kill command isn't listed as a spec ability for BM but that's probably an oversight. It's easy enough to see which talents are sticking around; I'm more interested in which ones are getting cut. Here's a quick list of talents I've noticed are missing from the spec list:

Marksmanship:

- Efficiency (and baseline focus cost for chimera/arcane shot is listed as 50/25, so it hasn't just been integrated)

- Go for the throat and sic 'em

- Improved steady shot (very surprised here, this was a defining feature of MM)

- Piercing shots

- Rapid killing and rapid recuperation

- Post haste (the talent does not include the rapid fire cooldown reduction, so it seems MM will have a 5 minute rapid fire)

- Termination

- Resistance is Futile

Beast Mastery:

- One with nature

- Improved kill command

- Bestial discipline

- Pathfinding

- Improved mend pet

- Longevity

- Killing streak

- Ferocious inspiration (this seems like a mistake, or maybe it's granted for choosing the spec at level 10 but isn't listed?)

Survival:

- Imp serpent sting

- Hunter vs. Wild

- Pathing

- Survival tactics

- Point of no escape

- Counterattack

- Mirrored Blades

- Resourcefulness

- Toxicology

- Noxious Stings

- Sniper Training

As far as I can tell, the only thing we gained is focused aim for all specs (pushback reduction on steady/cobra shot), and otherwise nothing is particularly different about any of the things we did keep. I'm fairly sure this extremely far from finalized, since basically every spec lost a number of major, even spec-defining features such as improved steady shot, improved serpent sting, and ferocious inspiration, in addition to the obvious things that just reduced cooldowns or lowered focus costs.

Maybe some of those things are candidates for new prime glyphs. I suppose it would be slightly more interesting to have a prime glyph that gave the improved steady shot effect than one that just increases steady shot's damage.

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Newly released Mist of Pandaria Talent Calculator which not only has the previously known talent selections, but also the base class and spec talents learned while leveling.

Obviously, it's not finished so take it with a grain of salt, but still I noticed a few things missing. For example, all hunter specializations no longer mention the passive buffs of Animal Handler, Artisan Quiver, or Into the Wild. Also, taking out Pathing will be a 3% Haste loss for all specs since right now everyone takes it. With the removal of Ferocious Inspiration, BM doesn't bring a raid buff other than the Exotic Ability buff from Exotic pets. Also, the loss of Longevity means longer CD on Bestial Wrath (probably balanced with possibility of Readiness). Markmanship no longer has Improved Steady Shot or Piercing Shots, both of which will drastically change the play style and potentially eliminate Aimed Shot hardcasting. Also lost the Rapid Killing/Recuperation synergy for AoE (probably balanced with possibility of Thrill of the Hunt, but still painful for leveling/solo questing). Survival no longer has the Sniper Training mechanic to manage. However, it lost Improved Serpent Sting, Noxious Stings, and Toxicology for AoE and Resourcefulness for trap and Black Arrow CD reduction.

Hunter Base Class:

-[Removed from Game]-

Dual Wield (Note: Possibly just an omission or oversight)

Raptor Strike

Parry

Wing Clip

Disengage (Note: Definitely an omission error since it is mentioned in talent choices)

Widow Venom

Aspect of the Wild

-[New Additions to Talent Choices]-

Frozen Arrows

Arcane Arrows

Venom Tipped Arrows

Evasiveness

Exhilaration

Aspect of the Iron Hawk

Flash Freeze

Black Ice

Transmorph Trap

-[New additions to Base Skill]-

Focused Aim

Beast Mastery Specialization:

-[Removed from Game]-

Animal Handler

Improved Kill Command

One With Nature

Bestial Discipline

Pathfinding

Improved Mend Pet

Longevity

Killing Streak

Ferocious Inspiration

-[Moved to Talent Choices]-

Intimidation

Spirit Bond (Note: Now doubled periodic healing effect, but no longer gives 10% increased healing received)

Fervor

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

-[Remains in Specialization]-

Frenzy (Note: Same as having 3/3 currently)

Cobra Strikes (Note: Same as having 3/3 currently)

Focus Fire

Bestial Wrath

Kindred Spirits (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

The Beast Within

Invigoration (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Beast Mastery

Mastery: Master of Beasts

Marksmanship Specialization:

-[Removed from Game]-

Artisan Quiver

Go for the Throat

Efficiency

Rapid Killing

Sic 'Em!

Improved Steady Shot

Piercing Shots

Termination

Resistance is Futile

Rapid Recuperation

-[Moved to Talent Choices]-

Silencing Shot

Readiness

Posthaste (Note: Now increases movement speed by 60% instead of 30%, but no longer reduces cooldown of Rapid Fire)

-[Remains in Specialization]-

Aimed Shot

Careful Aim (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Concussive Barrage (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Bombardment (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Trueshot Aura

Master Marksman (Note: Same as having 3/3 currently)

Marked for Death (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Chimera Shot

Mastery: Wild Quiver

Survival Specialization:

-[Removed from Game]-

Into the Wilderness

Hunter vs. Wild

Pathing

Improved Serpent Sting

Survival Tactics

Point of No Escape

Counterattack

Resourcefulness

Mirrored Blades

Toxicology

Noxious Stings

Sniper Training

-[Moved to Talent Choices]-

Thrill of the Hunt (Note: Now works for any focus costing and restores 100% of focus instead of 40%)

Wyvern Sting

-[Remains in Specialization]-

Explosive Shot

Trap Mastery (Note: Same as having 3/3 currently)

Entrapment (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Lock and Load (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

T.N.T. (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Hunting Party (Note: No longer increases player's Agility)

Serpent Spread (Note: Same as having 2/2 currently)

Black Arrow

Mastery: Essence of the Viper

Edit: Mericet beat me to the punch =p

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...

Hunter Base Class:

-[Removed from Game]-

Dual Wield (Note: Possibly just an omission or oversight)

Raptor Strike

Parry

...

Counterattack

Given that Blizzard stated that hunters would be restricted to wielding ranged weapons only (in exchange of getting rid of the dead zone), the removal of Dual Wield and other melee-related skills seems logical and not an omission. Also applies to Wing Clip which wasn't listed so far.

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Hunter Base Class:

-[Removed from Game]-

Dual Wield (Note: Possibly just an omission or oversight)

Raptor Strike

Parry

As for these, it is, by what we have been told, absolutely logical, and not an oversight or omission. Remember, when 5.x hits we will lose the ability to equip a melee weapon, thus dual wielding, raptor strike and parry go the way of the dodo, since they would require the use of a melee weapon.

As to the rest, what I'm mainly seeing ar positive removals - the more "Buffs you X by Y" that are in, the harder it is to balance the effects of X across all three specs. I am fairly certain that the straght damage, agility or AP boosts will stay out and the class will be balanced around them not being there, instead of balancing around 10 agility on an item in reality is 11.22 agility for SV (translating to 25.91 AP with raid buffs), and 10 agility for BM (translating to 28.88 AP with raid and spec buffs) and just straight 10 agility for MM (23.1 AP with raid buffs) who then get a boost to their auto-attacks. The AP variance from agility is, right now, 25% from MM to BM, which is a lot when all our abilities scale off AP somehow.

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Okay, new talent calculator is out. Not a lot of changes, but I'll sum them up here.

Level 15

Gone are the ammo talents, which , in my opinion were actually interesting, and they have been replaced with the previous level 45 talents, Posthaste, Evasiveness and Exhilaration

Level 30

Unchanged, Silencing Shot, Wyvern Sting and Intimidation.

Level 45

The previous level 60 talents have been moved down here, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera, Aspect of the Iron Hawk and Spirit Bond

Level 60

Again, the talents here are the ones that was one tier up last time, Fervor, Readiness and Thrill of the Hunt

Level 75

The former level 90 talents, all about traps; Flash Freeze, Black Ice and Transmorph Trap

Thoughts:

So far there is nothing new, its all been shifted, except for level 30, and the previous level 15 talents are gone. The new stuff comes next:

Level 90

Glaive Toss

You hurl two glaives in front of you 30 yards, dealing 1,X damage to all enemies and reducing their movement speed by 50%.

The Glaives will return back to you, also dealing damage and snaring targets they hit.

If Glaive Toss hits at least 2 enemies in both directions, the cooldown is reset.

Powershot

You wind up a powerful shot, dealing 1,X damage to all targets in front of you withing 20 yards (width).

The damage done is increased on targets further away:

15-30 yards: Double damage, Stunned 1 sec

30-50 yards: Tripple damage, Stunned 2 sec

Binding Shot

You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 10 yards to the landing arrow. Increases all damage they recieve from you by 15%.

If they move 15 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 10 sec (5 sec PVP)

Thoughts

First thought, these are all 3 new, and interesting mechanics. Powershot is an ability that is badly designed as it is right now - hitting all enemies in a box (from how its worded) 20 yards wide and 50 yards long in front of you stunning everything thats 15+ yards from you? Thats overpowered in PVP, almost regardless of the amount of damage (just imagine a hunter on the bridge at the alliance base in AV), and for PvE, with the doing away of minimum range this takes it in the directly opposite direction - stay as far away as possible? Add to that that the "normal" shots still have a max range of 40 yards, and something is hinky here. The blues did say that "For shaman and hunters, we still have a ways to go with the revamp of talents, and this latest calculator doesn’t have some of the changes that we’re currently working on" so lets hope they do give this another pass.

Binding Shot is also an ability that seems a bit OP or PVP - especially combined with multishot and SV getting Serpent spread as a spec bonus (at level 68). It does seem like a possibly good tool for PVE on add control, which, were I to guess, I would assume it was designed for. I like the ability, but I think there is a big possibility that it can be OP in PVP.

Glaive Toss is clearly an AoE ability, and I like the idea, this is the go-to aoe ability (if you have it picked up) as long as at least 2 mobs will survive both passes - the snare on this and Binding shot seem to indicate that the current design thoughts for PVE are headed in the direction of more add control needed - the question then remains what kind, is it Gluth zombies, or Valithria Dreamwalker type adds. Either way I'm excited abot getting tools that indicate that we get to do more than just stand still (and move a bit) and mash buttons.

All in all I like the thoughts of the current level 90 talents more than the previous ones (which are now level 75), and it seems like the class designers are pushing the envelope on actually making interesting - and possibly hard - choices for at least some of the tiers. I still think the (now) level 60 talents should go the way of the dod for something else, they are far too theorycraftable and susceptible to being moot - as I went into some detail with in my first post in this thread. I am definately looking forward to the next set of changes for hunters, as I like where we seem to be headed, despite some issues that I call bad design or design flaws, and overpoweredness - the latter can be tweaked on one ability, and the other (powershot) in my opinion has to go for something else simply because it works against the way hunters are headed in general.

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There are some changes for SV as well.

Lock and Load:

You have a 100% chance when you trap a target with Freezing Trap or Ice Trap to cause your next Explosive Shot to cost no Focus, trigger no cooldown and deal double damage.

Black Arrow: (40 Focus; no CD ?)

Fires a Black Arrow at the target, dealing x% Weapon damage as shadow damage to enemy target.

In addition, Black Arrow deals x damage over 20 sec to the target and any other enemy within the path of Black Arrow when fired.

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The chenge that excites me is:

Camouflage - Can now be cast while in combat. Lasts for 6 sec if cast in combat, otherwise, lasts for 1 min.

Also, In general I wouldn't state that something is OP before it even hits beta testing. We have plenty of time for mages to chip away at hunter talents without doing so ourselves before the code is even testable.

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for PvE, with the doing away of minimum range this takes it in the directly opposite direction - stay as far away as possible?

Doing away with the minimum range is a more QoL thing for players and developers - in that neither side needs to come up with solutions for stacking bosses to work around it - but I think the developers would steadfastly argue that Hunters are still a ranged class that's not intended to be stacked in the melee pile all the time. With that taken into consideration, I would expect having a talent like Powershot - PvP balancing issues aside - that reminds and encourages Hunters of their place as death dealers who keep their distance while someone or something ties up their target is not necessarily contrary to design goals.

Meanwhile, In those situations where keeping distance is bad/stacking is required, under the new talent tree design you just swap to option two or three and rock on.

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Also, In general I wouldn't state that something is OP before it even hits beta testing. We have plenty of time for mages to chip away at hunter talents without doing so ourselves before the code is even testable.

I'm saying I think it is overpowered because there ae no limits - the cooldown on this would eithe rmake or break it if there is one, but even then, adding a CD would just create a need to make the ability even more powerful when it hit (damagewise). As to what specific other classes want to chip away at the hunter, I'm not going to entertain notions of knowing what "classes" want (personally I play 7 classes at 85, some more, some less), and yes I think about being on the recieving end of an ability as well as using it.

I would much rather call it out as OP now, at the beginning, when it can still be changed enough that it can be useful, than wait and be quiet about a - to me - obvious problem and get hit with a harder nerf bat - I want my hunter to be able to be my main (again) come MoP without having to defend it being taken - been there, done that, and even as an officer where I could guarantee it, it was not fun.

I would expect having a talent like Powershot - PvP balancing issues aside - that reminds and encourages Hunters of their place as death dealers who keep their distance while someone or something ties up their target is not necessarily contrary to design goals.

While I agree on the higher plane of design thought - in practise hunters won't be allowedd to stand 30+ yards away from the boss unless it is required by mechanics, just to use our awesome-shot. In addition, we would feel nerfed everytime we would have to stack on the boss because our awesome-shot just became our sucky-shot. There is a reason Sniper Training was changed to standing still, rather than standing 30+ yards from your target, and I'd rather not go down that path once more.

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The value of Evasiveness depends on how it will work. Wheter you can use it like deterrence while fighting Ragnaros to completely avoid trap damage or just to avoid targeted projektile damage in fights like Hagara.

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I would much rather call it out as OP now, at the beginning, when it can still be changed enough that it can be useful, than wait and be quiet about a - to me - obvious problem and get hit with a harder nerf bat - I want my hunter to be able to be my main (again) come MoP without having to defend it being taken - been there, done that, and even as an officer where I could guarantee it, it was not fun.

While I agree on the higher plane of design thought - in practise hunters won't be allowedd to stand 30+ yards away from the boss unless it is required by mechanics, just to use our awesome-shot. In addition, we would feel nerfed everytime we would have to stack on the boss because our awesome-shot just became our sucky-shot. There is a reason Sniper Training was changed to standing still, rather than standing 30+ yards from your target, and I'd rather not go down that path once more.

I think the larger point, though, is that not only is the calculator not telling the whole story in terms of specific talents (some are bugged and don't show CDs, the numbers are wrong, etc.), there's no context for some of the larger changes either -- other classes are getting abilities that may also be powerful or may counter some others. Some things probably can't be declared OP without numbers, to boot. At best we can talk about the concept of certain talents, taking care not to rely on assumptions that aren't supported by current data.

For example, Powershot will in most instances be a 1 sec. AoE stun, because most targets won't be more than 30 yards away. It's also a controlled stun, and based on other comments (in threads about rogue stuns) it seems that diminishing returns on controlled stuns aren't going anywhere. Wasting DR on a 1 sec stun (2 max) isn't the no-brainer that it might seem at first. Moreover, Destro locks have an AoE 3-sec stun right now (albeit with a smaller range/radius, assuming we can trust the calculator's numbers). Finally, the damage multiplier suggests a mechanic similar to ice lance, where the base damage is hardly threatening.

Similarly, Binding Arrow has the same issues with running into stun DR, and seems to act only as a pseudo-control to "corral" targets into an area without actually forcing them to be immobile or otherwise controlled. The 15% damage boost might be significant, but it seems to only apply to a single hunter, unlike say, the methods that unholy DKs and Affliction locks can spread the +spell damage taken debuff to multiple targets without any restrictions other than duration, and while the debuff is half as powerful, there's no limit to the number of people who can take advantage of it.

So far, the talents seem more exciting than overpowered (that's without numbers we can trust, of course), which I imagine is what the developers were going for when they introduced the "concentrated coolness" mantra.

As for hunters not being "allowed" to stand far away unless the mechanics require it, I would rephrase that to say that hunters won't be allowed to stand far away if the mechanics prohibit it. That's a smaller list.

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I'm still sort of surprised that Exhilaration isn't lowered or changed since 15% is pretty sizey a heal to a 15 second cooldown, no resource ability that gets you out of harms way with little to no hamper on DPS, if Evasiveness works akin to say Cloak/Bubble it would both as you describe Arash. The issue with the Ammo talents was that they were too DPS influencing, especially if the dot one was affected by Survival Mastery, and Arcane Arrows heavily fed focus to Beast Mastery to do more Arcane Shots. I doubt it would have felt like a decision in the long run.

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I'm still sort of surprised that Exhilaration isn't lowered or changed since 15% is pretty sizey a heal to a 15 second cooldown
There are several other dps specs that get more than 15% healing over 15 sec (rogues, dks, rets, etc.). Plus, we have no form of absorb and no way to remove debuffs unlike most other classes.

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The chenge that excites me is:

Camouflage - Can now be cast while in combat. Lasts for 6 sec if cast in combat, otherwise, lasts for 1 min.

Why does it excite you? When reading those news think about when you would use it in the current content - I cannot think of one situation you would use this. You still will be hit by all aoe abilities from bosses (like in pvp camou gets broken by aoe spells) and you normally don't take any direct hits because you are no tank, and in most fights you cannot simply stand there for six seconds useless because when you do anything camo will break.

EDIT: Oh ok pvp would be an idea I didn't think about because I only play pve, sry.

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I think the problem with trying to determine the OP-ness (teehee) of Powershot is that we don't know its focus cost or its cooldown.

Also, what do you guys think of Symbiosis?

Here are some examples of spells gained through Symbiosis. The spells shared focus on utility, cooldowns, and survival. (Adding Fireball to a Moonkin’s rotation sounds cool on paper, but wouldn’t actually be fun in the long run.)

Balance: Chains of Ice, Mirror Image, Mass Dispel

Feral: Feign Death (Play Dead!), Frost Nova, Soul Swap

Guardian: Ice Trap, Fear Ward, Consecration

Restoration: Ice Block, Hand of Sacrifice, Leap of Faith

Hunter: Dash

Warlock: Rejuvenation

Holy Paladin: Rebirth

Arms/Fury Warrior: Enrage

Enhancement/Elemental Shaman: Solar Beam

Obviously this isn't the full or final list, but I hope there's more than just Dash. I can see that being useful in PVP, but not so much in PVE. I can't see too many feral abilities being particularly helpful (since they are melee attacks) unless they go to the pet instead of the hunter. Tiger's Fury or Omen of Clarity would be very nice though.

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I can see that being useful in PVP, but not so much in PVE.

Keep in mind that FD isn't very useful in PvE either. It seems that a Symbiosis on a hunter is more of a PvP utility. Feral druid getting a way be removed as target / get out of combat, hunters getting a speed increase to easen our positioning, which still is an important thing seeing that we will be gimped when LoSed.

Also, about the general thoughts of our last tier talents:

OPness seems unpredictable. They do seem like very 'big' abilities, but mind that other classes are getting abilities of the same size. It won't neccessarily make us OP, it'll just mean that there are 'bigger' attacks from all classes to watch out for in PvP, more 'pewpew' and epic magical effects happening in PvE.

I think that this last tier of talents is just an attempt to make everything more "Woooww, that looks epic!", make the game a bit more attractive :)

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I will just make a comment about OP distinction in my posts.

I am not looking at powershot and saying hunters will be OP, I am saying I think the ability is overpowered (almost regardless of cost or CD) - I haven't looked analytically a other classes, and I don't think its necessary to analyze hunters. While we don't exist in a vacuum, whether or not another class has overpowered or underpowered abilities doesn't change how we work after all.

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Even if I understood the distinction (and I don't), I don't believe the responses are inconsistent with what you said. The argument is that you can't make a judgment about whether an ability is overpowered (even as distinct from a class being overpowered) without considering how it stacks up against other abilities that are available, including existing pre-MoP abilities. That still requires an accurate understanding of what the ability actually does (and costs, and how often it can be used).

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The distinction I'm making is that I'm not comparing hunters to other classes - I don't find that interesting at all - I am looking at the specific abilities and considering how they will feel or where I could imagine using them - and then I consider the implications of said usage.

For Powershot I first look at the requirements for boh stun and damage, and see; If I want to use this optimally I need to be 30+ yards away from my target(s). Then I think about how much of a bother it has been over the course of my hunterdays to be forced to be a given distance away from my target - be that minimum range meaning we can't stack in melee, or an ability like Sniper Training in the old incarnation. I then look at the doing away of minimum range and call out a completely new ability that goes in the completely opposite direction for being a counter to the very clear design descision.

Further I look at where I could imagine using the ability to the best, and as I've mentioned a few times, standing at one end of the alliance bridge in AV would be a perfect example of how OP the ability can be - I hit everything in a 20 yard wide 50 yard deep square and deal damage (significant damage to the furthest targets since its tripled) and stun them all. Being able to singlehandedly stop a nondetermined amount of players in PvP (even if its only for a second or two) is simply overpowered. This could be remedied with a cap on number of targets, a change of the area of effect or numerous other tweaks, but then it impacts the ability's usefulness in other situations.

So while I may have been a bit shortwinded on it before, I will also make sure to be specific about calling out powershot on 2 points, 1) its overpowered (in my opinion, for the reasons stated above) and 2) its going against the called for and clear design changes for hunter range.

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The term "over powered" is relative, not absolute. Stating that something in and of itself is OP without the context of the metagame is pure speculation at this point.

I'd keep the discussion centered around the design issue rather than whether or not someone believes something is OP at this stage of development. There is no evidence supporting one position or the other at this point and there will be plenty of time during non-production trials to provide feedback regarding not only how this specific spell performs on it's own but also how it performs in the metagame.

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Without belaboring the point any further, I'll simply say that if every healer had access to group stun immunity or even high resists, then AoE stuns go from "overpowered" to "almost useless". I am not remotely suggesting that will happen, but it's the kind of thing that drastically changes your assessment of the ability, which is why people keep saying that you probably need to have some idea as to what else is out there before making a declaration. The same goes for triple damage. You can't conclude that the triple damage is "significant" without knowing what the base damage is. If the base damage is "insignificant" then the triple damage might be insignificant too. Finally, I'm at a loss as to how the ability to stop a group of people on the AV bridge for 1-2 seconds is overpowered. I've been stopped on that bridge with existing AoE CC's that last for significantly longer. It's annoying, but it's the other team's job to do annoying things that keep you from your objectives.

The design direction point is more interesting, but ultimately I think it too is crushed under the weight of unnecessary assumptions. I don't think it's safe to say that the removal of minimum range means that the design direction is for hunters to never care about how far away they are from their targets. As a threshold matter, I'm less convinced that hunters are going to obsess over getting 30 yards away to maximize the ability, because the key difference over the status quo is that the ability still functions at melee range up to max range.

All we can infer from the removal of minimum range (and melee weapons) is that the designers didn't want hunters to be cut off from using the overwhelming majority of their abilities in melee range, and that they also didn't want hunters (or anyone, in light of changes to thrown weapons, etc.) to rely on two different weapon types based entirely on the distance that they were from their targets. Powershot doesn't change that in the least -- it still works (ostensibly) in melee range, so it's consistent with the design that hunters should be able to use ranged attacks in melee range.

If anything, I agree with earlier posts that the ability emphasizes that there is some advantage to being far away, or in the case of runners, that being far away isn't a free pass to escape that it might currently be, because the slightly longer stun gives the hunters' teammates more of a window to catch up. In a world where the hunter's ranged advantage was eroded away, an ability that makes hunters more dangerous from range seems worthwhile.

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Hit and Expertise

According to Ghostcrawler's most recent blog (Dev Watercooler – Mists of Pandaria Stat Changes - World of Warcraft) Hunters will be required to cap both Hit and Expertise in Mists. This is a significant change to our mechanics, as we currently benefit from a reduced requirement in capped stats. At 85, all spell casters require 1742 Hit while melee requires 961 Hit and 781 Expertise, total 1742 capped stats. Hunters need only reach 961 Hit for the Hit cap, and our pets are automatically Expertise capped.

As somebody that has only played Hunters and Healers, I'm not entirely sure how the Expertise mechanics function. But, my gut feeling is that this is being done more to put Hunters in the same boat as everybody else than to make gear sharing easier. While I want to think that reforging will become more complicated with this change, it will still probably boil down to using a reforging website. Come to think of it, reforging and the related websites are the reason why capped stats seem particularly cumbersome and uninteresting. I suppose that they are remaining for Mists in part to provide a throttle damage output.

Another point about this change, which I saw first on WHU, was that this change might impact Hunter soloing. Due to current mechanics, our pets are never able to be dodged or parried when we are at 961 Hit. If pets inherit just our Expertise, then the changes will push dodges off of the combat table, but still leave our pet attacks prone to parries. This reduces their damage output and threat generation. That said, I find it quite hard to speculate about anything pet related until we get more news about how pets will be handled in Mists.

Other Information

All abilities will start with 2.0x modifier for critical strikes, Serpent Sting, Black Arrow, and all other abilities still on the 1.5x modifier will receive a slight buff. Additionally, it seems likely that Aspect of the Wild will be removed (perhaps replaced) because spell resists and spell penetration are being removed from the game. The spell pen change is sure to have positive PvP implications, as it means traps will no longer be able to be resisted.

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I doubt pet damage output, or hunter damage output, is affected by the change. The reason they're adding it is, that with smaller item pools per raid tier, we get in some awkward positions. Since we, hunters, are in the pool with Enhancement shamans, who need expertise, that would make it easier. Exp/Crit boots would be somewhat decent for the shaman, while it'd be good for the hunter; and so forth.

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As somebody that has only played Hunters and Healers, I'm not entirely sure how the Expertise mechanics function.

From what Ghostcrawler said, the Expertise mechanics are going to be changing enough that any current experience with Expertise won't be very valuable anyway.

Here's what I take away from Ghostcrawler's message:

* Ranged attacks will presumably have the same chances to miss and be dodged as melee attacks.

* Against boss-level targets, your base chance to (melee/ranged) miss will be 7.5%, and your base chance to be dodged will also be 7.5%. (Your base chance to be blocked will be 7.5% too, but we assume we'll usually be attacking bosses from behind where they can't block.)

* Just like today, it will take X amount of Hit Rating to completely negate your chance to miss.

* It will take the same X amount of Expertise Rating to completely negate your chance to be blocked.

* Finally, spell miss. I'm guessing there might be some Hunter abilities (arcane shot? serpent sting ticks? flame traps?) that use the target's Spell Miss chance instead of its Melee Miss chance. Your base chance to miss with spells against a raid boss will be 15%. The good news is, Hit Rating reduces your Spell Miss chance, and Expertise will also reduce your Spell Miss chance. Thus, if you have X Hit Rating and X Expertise Rating, your melee/ranged miss chance will be 0, your chance to be dodged will be 0, and your Spell Miss chance will likewise be 0.

Basically, instead of just worrying about keeping your Hit Rating knife-edged balanced at X, you'll have to worry about keeping BOTH your Hit Rating AND your Expertise Rating knife-edged balanced at X. (Melee DPSers already do this all the time, so it's not too hard.)

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