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Elendril

Upcoming Hunter Changes

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I'm gonna be seriously offended if this goes live without Glyph of Steady Shot being fixed at the same time :(

There's nothing wrong with the Glyph, Speccing into Marked for Death stops it working though.

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The steady shot portion of the changes was overkill. It was readily apparent to anyone with a clue that read that list.

I made a "think twice" post the other day trying to urge them to make sure they considered things like cotw and how much a huge impact it had on some fights before going crazy with base damage.

I'll be surprised if BM hunters aren't falling behind after the changes go through. MM is eating the steady shot and the rake/scorpid nerfs too so... I'm curious to see where we end up.

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In my opinion, they should just go forward with the Call of the Wild/BM tree nerfs and save the Steady Shot nerf for a little while. See where we're at then, and if they still think we're too high then try it out. All these nerfs at the same time is going to skew the data, especially with both pet AND hunter damage being lowered.

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By not adding more AP (and certainly by not taking any away) we further gimp our main attack, Steady Shot. It seems like it is going to be necessary to add as much AP as possible to not only counter the Steady reduction, but the Kindred Spirits nerf.

Stacking AP specifically to "keep steady shot good" doesn't really make sense. (That's like blowing TBW during Viper to 'still do good damage' -- but you're ignoring the opportunity cost of using cooldowns at a time when your damage isn't depressed by half). Steady shot scales half as well with AP now, which changes hunter scaling with all stats, and makes AP somewhat less valuable. There's no reason we should be married to the idea of steady shot doing X damage and run off to get Y more attack power to bring steady shot back into line with what it was before. The mix of damage will change, and steady shot will be a smaller part of that. We still scale with all the same stats and there's still no single answer to what to stack.

The interesting effect, to me, is that as AP totals climb, steady shot will fall further and further behind other attacks. If we're not there already, eventually there will be a point where it's worth using arcane and multi-shot in a rotation as a BM hunter, even though it decreases time to oom, because the damage gained by replacing a steady with a higher damage shot will be greater than the damage lost during extra viper time spamming steady. That's a more interesting rotation, to me, and gives us a 'high dps, poor efficiency' and a 'medium dps, good efficiency' rotation -- which is a good thing in many fights that have different phases where dps may be more important in some. When your most efficient ability is also your highest dps ability, your rotation is trivially obvious and there's very few choices.

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I agree hunters were "little" bit too strong.

However, after this (Call of Wild nerf) I wonder, why to take BM hunter to raid (if BM DPS won't be above the roof anymore).

First of all, retribution paladin is, IMO, better choice then BM (buff-wise).

Secondly, there is always danger pet will be killed. Yes, with all healing flying around, it's not really problem in the most fights, but yet... And with killed pet you have crippled player (even if hunter is MM or SV). Not to mention pet is soaking heals which could be "used" by player.

Yes, I know, sky is not falling and there will always be hunters in raids, but, seriously, why slowly turning BMs into range version of TBC rogues?

Steady Shot - I just don't see logic behind this. We have just started playing WotLK. Why nerfing scaling part and not static? I know this won't be the best case to support my question, but do you remember Spriests & Affli locks at Kara level back in TBC? They lost their power later as they didn't scale with crit (as far as I know, that was one of problem). Similar thing is with BM - pet's are not scaling properly with master's crit. And no, Cobra Strikes and GftT are not "pet_wanna_scale" talents. Well, CS could be if it would effect auto attack, but in this state (well, that's my opinion).

Volley - Thank you lord. Hunter is not AE class. We are strong range DD dealers. If they want make Volley special, my idea is too merge daze talent into it, but, seriously, spell caster should be AE classes, not hunters.

Reediness - Ok, this change we could see from mile away, but, on the other hand, what's the point of this 21-t p now?

It's like Preparation resetting only Fan of Knives & Deadly Throw. Maybe idea is to make Reediness reset pet's special as well or something. It's pretty useless talent now. Almost (if not the same) as Aimed Shot in TBC.

KS - Hmmm... DMG wise talent which is weaker then T3 talent? I don't see logic behind this. However... In TBC, I read one article where Cat's swiftness (DMG wise) was better then pure +12agi. WTB some theorycrafting! :]

Call of Wild - welcomed change, but here I would like to rise one other issue. With Scorpid & Cat nerfs - "Hi, Blizzard, I'm cunning pet and I would like to be used somewhere." Ferocity will be only raiding tree.

Oh, and one other thing. One of thing why Reediness was so strong was broken AotB (+21% (not sure!) instead of +10%). Why not first fix broken math?

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Stacking AP specifically to "keep steady shot good" doesn't really make sense. (That's like blowing TBW during Viper to 'still do good damage' -- but you're ignoring the opportunity cost of using cooldowns at a time when your damage isn't depressed by half). Steady shot scales half as well with AP now, which changes hunter scaling with all stats, and makes AP somewhat less valuable. There's no reason we should be married to the idea of steady shot doing X damage and run off to get Y more attack power to bring steady shot back into line with what it was before. The mix of damage will change, and steady shot will be a smaller part of that. We still scale with all the same stats and there's still no single answer to what to stack.

The interesting effect, to me, is that as AP totals climb, steady shot will fall further and further behind other attacks. If we're not there already, eventually there will be a point where it's worth using arcane and multi-shot in a rotation as a BM hunter, even though it decreases time to oom, because the damage gained by replacing a steady with a higher damage shot will be greater than the damage lost during extra viper time spamming steady. That's a more interesting rotation, to me, and gives us a 'high dps, poor efficiency' and a 'medium dps, good efficiency' rotation -- which is a good thing in many fights that have different phases where dps may be more important in some. When your most efficient ability is also your highest dps ability, your rotation is trivially obvious and there's very few choices.

Ok, I understand what you are saying. Steady Shot will become less and less attractive of an attack as gear (including AP) scales. My point is that AP should not be discarded en light of this change. AP still provides value above and beyond just Steady Shot and as a BM hunter that will still continue use Steady Shot as its main attack having AP fall into the same catergory as Haste pre-WotLK release. I am not suggesting we stack AP to achieve the same damage output from the nerfed Steady as we do currently, since that would obviously subtract from other critical stats. What I am saying is that AP for a BM hunter still going to be just as valuable since it affects our pet and other shots also. AP doesn't have a soft cap like haste and shouldn't been ignored as a viable stat because we recieve less value from our Steady attacks.

I posted earlier in this thread the idea of incorporating Arcane Shot into the rotation if this nerf makes it live. If that concept came to fruition then AP would be just as valable again in order to boost damage from Arcane Shot, especially to justify using shot that has a higher mana cost.

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I'm having deja vu of my ret pally a couple months ago. On one hand, Ret was handed a slew of nerfs that seemed like they would be really painful, which ended up not being completely horrible (I'd still appreciate some of my mana back though).

On the other hand, it reminds me of the total backhand that Survival got in Beta. Everyone was running around with lol-lockandload/explosive shot until the AP scaling was nerfed, and suddenly is was barely viable.

I worry that there is some underestimation regarding scaling nerfs, and I hope they tread carefully. Its really a 2 edged sword in my mind; adjusting the percentages can be a great way to tune damage, but it really has a drastic impact for seemingly small amounts. Plus, poor scaling classes are rather drab. Blizzard has been finding ways to make classes like shadow priests scale better, this goes away from that. The flat pet % damage nerfs, great, steady shot . . . well we will see.

One thing I think is great about it however, is the increased appeal of other costly shots (arcane I'm looking at you), which makes mana efficiency more of a DPS factor, and talents like invigoration possibly more interesting. This is a good thing. Mana management has become a rather large variable in WotLK DPS management (as opposed to TBC, where it was get 100% DPS talents, spam mana pots and go), which is one aspect in which Blizzard seems to really be succeeding. Alot of specs have to gage their mana efficiency vs. their damage abilities to max out their DPS - I think of Moonkin, where you have 4 talents purely toward mana management in potential specs, all of which can be dumped into damage talents mana permitting, and part of maxing DPS is figuring out how much mana efficiency you can do without, which I feel is very nice design.

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Reediness - Ok, this change we could see from mile away, but, on the other hand, what's the point of this 21-t p now?

It's like Preparation resetting only Fan of Knives & Deadly Throw. Maybe idea is to make Reediness reset pet's special as well or something. It's pretty useless talent now. Almost (if not the same) as Aimed Shot in TBC.

It still should reset rapid Fire, traps, freezing arrow, misdirection, chimera shot, arcane shot, deterrence, disengage, feign death, mongoose bite, raptor strike, tranquilizing shot, viper sting, aimed shot, kill command, scatter shot, flare, intimidation and wyvern sting. The only reason it doesn't affect explosive shot is because you can't have both.

Just because something isn't useful on patchwork doesn't mean there's no point to it.

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I think if the goal is to bring hunters down to the same level as most dps classes and specs, these changes will likely succeed. However they'll also need to do a similar treatment to the other problematic skills and talents like frostfire bolt and deep wounds.

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I suppose it depends on how you interpret what he said... When I read the original post by GC, I read it to indicate that the talent will now only affect the pet, and if this is the case, it's a pretty significant nerf.
This is my major question moving forward. If SS is no longer affecting the hunter, it's going to drastically change the stat priorities for BM.

Edit: And GC answers my question... World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Upcoming Hunter Changes

Sorry for the confusion on Serpent's Swiftness. We are not changing its effect on the hunter at all. The nerf just applies to the pet attack speed increase. Hunter 20%. Pet 10%.

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I'm with the majority in that I think most of these changes make sense but that the nerf to steady shot was probably a bit overdone or simply not warranted. The nerfs to readiness/wrath and overall pet damage is an obvious attempt to make BM hunters actually want their 51 point talent. However, I'm not really seeing a corresponding buff to that talent to offset the overall nerfs to non-exotic pets. We've all seen the older dev posts mentioning a 10% boost to overall exotic pet damage or special ability damage but I haven't seen it mentioned again.

Devilsaurs and spirit beasts should be balanced to be clear winners over scorpids and cats and, at bare minimum, spirit beasts should be equal to devilsaurs in damage output.

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I'm with the majority in that I think most of these changes make sense but that the nerf to steady shot was probably a bit overdone or simply not warranted. The nerfs to readiness/wrath and overall pet damage is an obvious attempt to make BM hunters actually want their 51 point talent. However, I'm not really seeing a corresponding buff to that talent to offset the overall nerfs to non-exotic pets. We've all seen the older dev posts mentioning a 10% boost to overall exotic pet damage or special ability damage but I haven't seen it mentioned again.

Devilsaurs and spirit beasts should be balanced to be clear winners over scorpids and cats and, at bare minimum, spirit beasts should be equal to devilsaurs in damage output.

Well, I'm not sure I agree that the Spirit Beast should be beating out other pets. It's just too rare. The Devilsaur? Maybe if it wasn't so annoying... The scorpid is always being broken, we've been here before, and I think we all knew it would happen again.

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So in one page I've read at least three posts saying the exact same fucking thing (which was also mentioned in both Elendril's and my walls'o'text). Steady nerf potentially bad, we get it.

To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

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Devilsaurs and spirit beasts should be balanced to be clear winners over scorpids and cats and, at bare minimum, spirit beasts should be equal to devilsaurs in damage output.

I agree, and find it troubling that the developers haven't announced any plans to make the 51 point talent more worthwhile.

In regard to spirit beast vs. devilsaur, even if they were capable of equal damage output, I would still choose spirit beast over devilsaur because of its smaller size. There are too many encounters in which the size of the devilsaur is the cause of its death.

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So in one page I've read at least three posts saying the exact same fucking thing (which was also mentioned in both Elendril's and my walls'o'text). Steady nerf potentially bad, we get it.

To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

I've seen suggestions regarding making Beast Mastery apply a higher scaling to all pets so BM hunters aren't "pigeonholed" into using exotics. I don't think this would happen as Blizz seems intent on making Beast Mastery revolve around 4 extra pet talent points. To that end, the only thing I can really see is redoing the top tier of the pet trees so it's actually worth using those 4 points. As it stands now, a little extra survivability doesn't make a lick of difference in raids.

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So in one page I've read at least three posts saying the exact same fucking thing (which was also mentioned in both Elendril's and my walls'o'text). Steady nerf potentially bad, we get it.

To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

I'd like to see more group utility. Give them a significant reason to be around. I know there's various armor debuffs, and you can talent out your pet for some stuff, but perhaps the exotics need their own tree that contains a group-wide version of CoTW or similiar types of abilities.

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So in one page I've read at least three posts saying the exact same fucking thing (which was also mentioned in both Elendril's and my walls'o'text). Steady nerf potentially bad, we get it.

To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

I would suggest amending the pet talent tree to only allow Call of the Wild reachable by the four extra talent points, or adding one or more new talents only obtainable for an exotic.

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So in one page I've read at least three posts saying the exact same fucking thing (which was also mentioned in both Elendril's and my walls'o'text). Steady nerf potentially bad, we get it.

To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

Give me some more interesting places to put those 4 extra talent points. Even without 51BM, I can get all the really important damage increasing talents.

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The issue with CotW is that it promoted the sort of raid/group stacking behavior that so many design decisions in WotLK were made to address and avoid. Group only effects should be few and far between and not promote stacking the way CotW did - Mana Tide is an example of a group-only ability that you're not encouraged to stack, while CotW (in particular because of its stacking % buff) was exactly the sort of ability Blizzard is trying to avoid.

edit: as for ways to make the 4 extra points useful, there needs to be a DPS boosting component to all three "ultimate" ferocity pet talents...I haven't tried it myself, but Lick Your Wounds seems pretty terrible compared to the other options, and certainly isn't giving a meaningful net benefit to pet DPS.

My personal perspective is that this is the way to go with making the 51 BM talent attractive - finding a way to make those 4 talent points matter rather than just boosting exotic damage, because I think one of the attractive things about being a hunter is how you can personalize your character with your pet, and having BM hunters feel pigeonholed into using a Devilsaur or whatever because it's strictly better than any other option seems lame. I've had the same white tiger pet since I was high enough level to tame Bangalash and hate feeling forced into using another pet, because I feel my pet choice is part of my character. It's an intangible, but I think player taste is enough of a reason to try to fit the extra damage into the bonus pet talent points than graft it onto the exotic pets themselves.

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To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

Other than buffing their damage there really isn't anything worth thinking about to make them viable for DPS, unless Blizz made the bosses more susceptible to stuns, interrupts, slowing casts, etc... Then exotics might be a little more appealing from a utility standpoint, but DPS is the name of the game for us, right?

Beyond exotics, Readiness overall seems pretty lackluster without BW tied to it now. Picking up 5/5 Imp Tracking and 3/3 Longevity makes more sense for DPS than having Rapid Fire and my shots CD reset every 3 min. It seems maintaining 5/5 Mortal Shots for any build is necessary to make sure we are getting the most from steady Shot now. Also, the possibility of sliding Arcane Shot into the mix is an option pending a justification of the extra mana consumption making us also look at a build that picks up Invigoration.

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The issue with CotW is that it promoted the sort of raid/group stacking behavior that so many design decisions in WotLK were made to address and avoid. Group only effects should be few and far between and not promote stacking the way CotW did - Mana Tide is an example of a group-only ability that you're not encouraged to stack, while CotW (in particular because of its stacking % buff) was exactly the sort of ability Blizzard is trying to avoid.

Ok, big what if. What if CotW was made raid wide and given similar restrictions as Bloodlust/Heroism? That would kill any sort of group stacking. Obviously, numbers would need to be tweaked, but this would kill two birds with one stone. First, it would give Beast Mastery a reason to use those 4 extra points. Secondly, even if CotW was watered down to be even 50% of the dps increase of Bloodlust/Heroism, it would give an alternative to said class exclusive raid buff.

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Beyond exotics, Readiness overall seems pretty lackluster without BW tied to it now. Picking up 5/5 Imp Tracking and 3/3 Longevity makes more sense for DPS than having Rapid Fire and my shots CD reset every 3 min. It seems maintaining 5/5 Mortal Shots for any build is necessary to make sure we are getting the most from steady Shot now. Also, the possibility of sliding Arcane Shot into the mix is an option pending a justification of the extra mana consumption making us also look at a build that picks up Invigoration.

But is longevity worth picking up? Is cobra strikes? Is it worth going for aimed shot, or for survival instincts? It's worth running all the numbers, given how far down pets will drop (especially in a 10 man, sans windfury).

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Ok, big what if. What if CotW was made raid wide and given similar restrictions as Bloodlust/Heroism? That would kill any sort of group stacking. Obviously, numbers would need to be tweaked, but this would kill two birds with one stone. First, it would give Beast Mastery a reason to use those 4 extra points. Secondly, even if CotW was watered down to be even 50% of the dps increase of Bloodlust/Heroism, it would give an alternative to said class exclusive raid buff.

Bloodlust/Heroism are defining class abilities that were given their particular restriction rather than reworked because of that. Having my cat give the entire raid a "Doped up on Catnip" debuff so they can't benefit from CotW again for 5 minutes is a bit heavy handed - it's easier to redesign the ability. Hunters already offer attractive group buffs, between Ferocious Inspiration, Trueshot Aura, and Hunting Party. A pet ability doesn't have to be one of them.

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Without running any tests, it almost looks like the hunter directly will take more of a damage reduction than the pets. The pets will attack 10% slower and do 5% less damage with the talent nerfs. While this is a nerf, 5% pet damage isn't going to put the pet into obscurity, as well as with all the haste effects it already gets, the 10% it loses won't be as big as 10% sounds.

Also, depending on how much these "small changes" to rake and scorpid poison do, pets will still do a large amount of damage. Having 3/3 Longevity means you can use your Bestial Wrath every 110 seconds (with glyph), as opposed to every 140 seconds (again, with glyph) means over the course of the fight, you will use Bestial Wrath roughly 3 times for every 2 times a hunter without it does.

I'm thinking that as soon as the PTR comes up, I'm gonna try this build: 52/15/4

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To shift a little, what could Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make them worth taking over Readiness?

I believe that this question could be alternately phrased "What can Blizzard do besides buff exotics' damage to make beast mastery worth taking over Readiness?"

My answer would be rearranging the pet talent trees. Make beast masters be able to get a flat 10% more awesome out of any pet they choose, and let them choose their pet based on the family special they want. For example- ferocity pets would have 10% more dps, tenacity pets would have 10% more threat per second and health, and cunning pets could have a boost to resilience that made them 10% less likely to get popped like a balloon animal in PvP.

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