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Upcoming Hunter Changes


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#1 Elendril

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:30 PM

:megaman::megaman:Relwin edit: Any QQ-ing in this thread earns you a week off at minimum. Constructive criticism of the changes is welcome and encouraged, especially once we have a PTR available for gathering data points.:megaman::megaman:
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I wanted to create a thread to talk about upcoming changes for hunters in general, though at first this will involve discussion of this particular set of changes. I'll update the OP as new rounds of changes come out to discuss those as well.


From World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Upcoming Hhunter Changes

Hunters of all specs, and particularly Beastmaster, are doing too much damage in PvE.

We tested this a lot internally in beta and knew hunters were high but we hoped other classes would be able to catch up in a way they have as yet been unable to do. We want to be careful not to hurt hunter dps too much in PvP, so we’re taking most of the damage out of Steady Shot and Volley. Beastmaster hunters are in addition losing some of their pet dps. We still want BMs to have the best pets, but pet dps numbers are a little high at the moment. We are also still concerned about hunter survivability in PvP and taking the opportunity to jazz up Deterrence into something that looks and plays a little more interesting.

These are not all of the changes we are working on for hunters, but those changes we feel are ready for testing. We hope to get these changes up on the PTR so players will have a chance to test them out and respond before they go live.

1) Steady Shot – now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).
2) Volley – reduced the damage by about 30% for all ranks. Note that AE damage from many classes is very high right now and we are looking at all of them. Volley in particular had reached the point where some hunters were using it to the exclusion of most other attacks.
3) Readiness – no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.
4) Deterrence – has been completely overhauled. It now allows you to deflect 100% of incoming melee or spell damage for 5 seconds, but prevents you from attacking while active. You still must be facing the attacker to deflect the damage (this is a limitation we are trying and might end up removing). 60 sec cooldown.
5) Kill Shot – cooldown reduced to 15 sec (from 35 sec).
6) Kindrid Spirits – now only grants 3/6/9/12/15% pet damage.
7) Serpent’s Swiftness – now only grants 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to pet.
8) All hunter pet abilities with a cooldown longer than 30 sec have been moved off the global cooldown.
9) Growl— threat generation increased by 20% (same for Voidwalker Torment).
10) Call of the Wild – now benefits only the hunter and his or her pet.
11) Rake and Scorpid Poison – slightly nerfed to bring them into line with other pet abilities.
12) Spirit Strike – reduced the period on the dot so it will work better with Longevity.
Improved Tracking – now benefits damage to all included creature types as long as you are tracking one of them. You don’t have to swap around what you are tracking as much.
13) Aspect of the Wild – now raid-wide.

#2 legomyegolas

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:40 PM

After looking at some raid logs over the last few weeks I have to admit that I can't really argue with these changes. I'll admit that as MM I'm not getting hit as hard though. Also, I would like to see call of the wild's CD reduced a bit now that it's only for the hunter and their pet.

#3 Mattaos

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:51 PM

A majority of the current raid encounters are relatively short fights, which is what gave the BM Readiness build such an advantage. I can understand the Readiness change, but I am still trying to justify the Steady Shot nerf. The Readiness build was more of a pet enhancement than a hunter enhancement and the changes to Serpent Swiftness & Kindred Spirits (plus Cat and Scorpid nerfs) would have more than reduced BM hunter DPS.

The Deterrence change is nice for both PvE and PvP and glad to see it. The reduction to Kill Shot is also a nice change for PvE and PvP.

#4 Zerlu

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:54 PM

After looking at some raid logs over the last few weeks I have to admit that I can't really argue with these changes. I'll admit that as MM I'm not getting hit as hard though. Also, I would like to see call of the wild's CD reduced a bit now that it's only for the hunter and their pet.


GC stated at one point in time, that they were looking at Steady Shot for a potential nerf to damage for PvP reasons as well. He said that they would probably buff our instant shots to help give us some better burst damage (outside of Chimaera Shot) so as to boost us in PvP, without making us even more overpowered in PvE.

I'll see if I can dig up the quote.

EDIT: Found it. It't not the original, had to copy from another site though.

We definitely don’t think it’s a good design to inflate a whole class in PvE if they are weak in PvP or vice versa. If hunters are weak in PvP, as many of the hunters suspect, then we want to handle that as a separate issue. A Steady Shot nerf for example, would have less impact on PvP than reducing dps across the board, and we would certainly be prepared to compensate hunters in other ways for PvP.

Again, we have not announced any changes. There is no hotfix incoming. We don’t think this is a hotfix worthy issue. Standard caveats to all that apply.

- Ghostcrawler

#5 Elendril

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 05:58 PM

To reply to myself to maintain the OP for future changes:

It is obvious that hunter damage is currently too high, especially damage dealt by BM hunters. I've raided primarily as Marks this expansion and have consistently been near the top of damage meters, although universally trailing behind BM hunters. I feel perhaps slightly overpowered but not drastically out of line. BM hunters, on the other hand, are far and away the highest DPS available, due to massive pet damage and the synergies of Bestial Wrath/Readiness with other cooldowns like Bloodlust.

Anyway, to comment on the specific changes:

1) Steady Shot – now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).

This change concerns me. This fully halves the primary scaling component of the primary DPS skill for all hunters, including those who are not doing extremely high damage like MM and poor cousin Survival. While this change may keep hunters at a reasonable level now, I'm concerned that the nature of the change (reduction in scaling) may bode poorly for hunter damage in the future. I'd prefer to see a reduction in base damage here, or perhaps a change in the way in which ammo contributes to steady shot damage.

2) Volley – reduced the damage by about 30% for all ranks. Note that AE damage from many classes is very high right now and we are looking at all of them. Volley in particular had reached the point where some hunters were using it to the exclusion of most other attacks.

A reasonable change. Volley AOE is completely bonkers right now - I hate the fact that against even 3 targets I'm always pressing Volley instead of anything else (and, in fact, moved my Volley bind to R because of how often I was using it)

On the subject of Volley - it would be fantastic if somehow the durability formula could be modified where volley is concerned. My weapons have multiple times now broken mid-instance when the rest of my gear isn't even yellow because of the amount of durability lost from volley ticks.

3) Readiness – no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.

Good change. Readiness/Bestial Wrath was just too powerful and synched too well with other cooldowns. Maybe we'll actually see some exotic pets now.

4) Deterrence – has been completely overhauled. It now allows you to deflect 100% of incoming melee or spell damage for 5 seconds, but prevents you from attacking while active. You still must be facing the attacker to deflect the damage (this is a limitation we are trying and might end up removing). 60 sec cooldown.

I'm not sure I like this combination of conditionals - can't attack and must be facing. Unless this somehow mitigates stuns as well, it's going to be useless against melee, because we're simply going to get stunned and melee will move behind us.

5) Kill Shot – cooldown reduced to 15 sec (from 35 sec).

Good change. Cooldown was too high. Also, Kill Shot has a minimum range bug that really needs to be fixed (tooltip says 5 yard minimum range and it is unusable when other ranged attacks can be used)

6) Kindrid Spirits – now only grants 3/6/9/12/15% pet damage.
7) Serpent’s Swiftness – now only grants 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to pet.

There's a lot of BM damage reduction here, and I can't say for certain if all of it is necessary. It certainly is true that BM pets were doing way too much damage, especially because they have so many scalar effects (and get Windfury now), and it's not clear if hitting the talents rather than reconsidering the T7 set bonus and other pet % effects is the right direction.

8) All hunter pet abilities with a cooldown longer than 30 sec have been moved off the global cooldown.

Excellent change. Waiting for the GCD after Readiness, in particular, was very annoying.

9) Growl— threat generation increased by 20% (same for Voidwalker Torment).

Incoming pet tanks. Fine change - especially helps non-BM hunters soloing, which is annoying right now.

10) Call of the Wild – now benefits only the hunter and his or her pet.

Good change - group stacking changes in WotLK had ignored hunters because of this pet ability.

11) Rake and Scorpid Poison – slightly nerfed to bring them into line with other pet abilities.

Probably a good change - pet diversity is always nice to see.

12) Spirit Strike – reduced the period on the dot so it will work better with Longevity.

I'm assuming this keeps the damage of the DoT the same - if so, good fix.

Improved Tracking – now benefits damage to all included creature types as long as you are tracking one of them. You don’t have to swap around what you are tracking as much.

Unclear what this means - % increase vs any trackable target while you have a tracking type active? So as long as I don't have Track Flightmaster or Find Minerals active I get the bonus? If so, great change for multi-type mob fights and forgetful people like me who realize they have track humanoids on halfway through Naxx.

13) Aspect of the Wild – now raid-wide.

Fine change.


Overall, seems like a solid set of changes, though I'm still quite concerned by the Steady Shot scaling and future implications. Deterrance change seems largely useless in that model in PVP because of the facing requirement - if that's removed, it's a great change. Now if only we could see some answers to Ammo concerns...

#6 Mattaos

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:09 PM

Improved Tracking – now benefits damage to all included creature types as long as you are tracking one of them. You don’t have to swap around what you are tracking as much.

Unclear what this means - % increase vs any trackable target while you have a tracking type active? So as long as I don't have Track Flightmaster or Find Minerals active I get the bonus? If so, great change for multi-type mob fights and forgetful people like me who realize they have track humanoids on halfway through Naxx.


It appears your interpretation is correct and is an excellent change for hunters using mods like AutoTrack or even a macro that auto switches Tracked mob types. The Tracking ability triggers the GCD and would almost always block my Hunter's Mark from casting when I used my Petattack macro that cast MH. I am thinking a simple line added to the Petattack macro that switches to say 'humanoid tracking." to ensure Imp Tracking is active. Of cource, this would still require a double press of the macro to trigger the Tracking and HM. I will work on it.

#7 Ironchefboyardee

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:10 PM

While nerfing the BM damage that is out of line when compared to other classes may be a fine plan, it seems like a bad idea to nerf the specs that aren't a problem with that Steady Shot nerf.

Is it possible that more MM and Surv hunters will bail on those specs as their dps gets nerfed from average to below par?

#8 Septus

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:12 PM

Is the steady shot nerf enough to finally make arcane shot worthwhile using so BM hunters actually get a second damage ability to use?

#9 mako

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:12 PM

It looks like the goal for BM hunters is to bring pets down from doing half or more of a hunter's overall damage. Depending upon how much weaker rake and scorpid poison are, it could become viable to spec into exotics, since TBW is off readiness. MM and BM should be on even footing if these changes go through, although I'd wager survival will still need work.

The deterrence change is a bit awkward. It sounds like it will be much more helpful as a PvE "oh shit" button in this proposed form than it will be a type of useful PvP defense - unless the facing requirement is removed.

Allowing Kill Shot to be used more frequently is a welcome change. Increasing our opportunity to deal more damage in "execute range" should help offset the other changes a bit.

Pet abilities over 30 sec off the GCD is also fantastic. No more headaches trying to macro trinket/tbw/call/etc, and improved tracking and AotW are both plesant fixes/changes.

The Steady Shot scaling is the only change that worries me. While it's understandable that the intent is to weaken all hunters by some amount, cutting scaling in half on our primary shot might be excessive when we move into the next tier of raids. With any luck PTR testing can have this adjusted to keep us competitive
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#10 noth

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:17 PM

(in response to Ironchefboyardee 3 posts above:) I wonder if the opposite will happen... a Sv or MM spec where 1/3 your damage is explosive shot or chimera shot is more insulated from these damage reductions. I wouldn't be shocked to see MM be the new big dog.

#11 FaustoWR

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:26 PM

Clearly this cannot be the case, but with regards to deterrence --

Assuming it would work against bosses, imagine reflecting a 120k frost attack during the flight phase of Sapphiron?

Steady Shot change has to be the biggest one that i'm worried about. Nerf the pet, or nerf the hunter, not both. Especially when future content's gear will scale other classes better than hunters (pets will certinaly not keep up with player scaling from t7-t9), I hate to see a scaling attack percentage get dropped on a main DPS ability.

EDIT: deflect != reflect

#12 legomyegolas

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:28 PM

A majority of the current raid encounters are relatively short fights, which is what gave the BM Readiness build such an advantage. I can understand the Readiness change, but I am still trying to justify the Steady Shot nerf. The Readiness build was more of a pet enhancement than a hunter enhancement and the changes to Serpent Swiftness & Kindred Spirits (plus Cat and Scorpid nerfs) would have more than reduced BM hunter DPS.

The Deterrence change is nice for both PvE and PvP and glad to see it. The reduction to Kill Shot is also a nice change for PvE and PvP.


Please be gentle as I'm new to wow maths and I know I've probably screwed something up.

With the old system the average steady non-crit would look something like this:
(weaponMin+weaponMax)/2 + (Ammo * weaponSpeed) + (AP * .02) + 252
So with 6k AP, the drake mounted Xbow, and terrorshaft arrows it would look something like this
(290+436)/2 + (46.5*2.9) + (6,000*.02) + 252 = 1949.85 avg non crit

The new system will look like this:
(weaponMin+weaponMax)/2 + (Ammo * weaponSpeed) + (AP * .01) + 252
So with 6k AP, the drake mounted Xbow, and terrorshaft arrows it would look something like this
(290+436)/2 + (46.5*2.9) + (6,000*.01) + 252 = 1349.85 avg non crit (ouch!)


#13 Elendril

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:29 PM

Deterrence is damage "deflection", not reflection - it's a poor choice of words on GC's part, but it just means that you're preventing the damage, not dealing it back to them.

#14 GSH

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:31 PM

Assuming it would work against bosses, imagine reflecting a 120k frost attack during the flight phase of Sapphiron?

GC says "deflect", not "reflect". It will probably work very much like a paladin bubble. Stuff that goes through a pally bubble (Shatter, etc.) will probably still hit you.

#15 Shandara

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:32 PM

After plugging these new values into the spreadsheet I saw a ~500 DPS loss for my 50/21/0 spec with a scorpid (Note that I don't know how much Scorpids are getting nerfed yet).

This includes:
* Steady Shot change
* Kill Shot change
* Kindred Spirits/Serpent's Switfness
* Readiness
* Bestial Wrath off GCD

Both hunter and pet lost about the same amount.

Pre-nerf: Hunter: 1980 DPS, Pet: 2383 DPS
Post: Hunter: 1729 DPS, Pet: 2123 DPS

Obviously numbers will be different for 25-man (this was with my 10-man usual buffs).

#16 Tsook

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:36 PM

8) All hunter pet abilities with a cooldown longer than 30 sec have been moved off the global cooldown.

Excellent change. Waiting for the GCD after Readiness, in particular, was very annoying.


It says 'pet abilities.' So it means all of the pvp-related cunning pet specials, call of the wild, rabid...

#17 kernall

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:37 PM

I have a feeling the net result of these changes is going to result in MM/Survival the more impressive spec. BM took some huge hits. Between Kindred Spirits and Serpent's Swiftness, I'm not convinced there's a significant reason to stay BM.

Who knows, we'll see what lives through the PTR though.

#18 Elendril

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:38 PM

It says 'pet abilities.' So it means all of the pvp-related cunning pet specials, call of the wild, rabid...


Oh, oops, I read that wrong. Hrm - weird. Still a good change, but Readiness really needs to be off the GCD too...

#19 Soulcow

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:39 PM

11) Rake and Scorpid Poison – slightly nerfed to bring them into line with other pet abilities.
12) Spirit Strike – reduced the period on the dot so it will work better with Longevity.


I really hope these changes don't make those annoying Devilsaurs by far the best pets. And I think that people reported that just fixing Longevity was not enough to make the Spirit Beast competetive.

#20 KraxisSingular

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:40 PM

I understand the Readiness change, and I accept it. It should happen. Same with Volley. Volley will remain a very good AoE, so we will likely use it a lot still.

My fear is Steady Shot and Serpent's Swiftness. BM Hunter damage isn't terribly great at the moment. Weakening that seems like a poor choice from my PoV. And Steady affects MM which is good but nothing stellar, and unfortunately also Survival which is just not worth a raidslot even now. I can't imagine this change will go through unless Survival gets a massive boost along the way.

Deterrance is obviously meant as a PvP boost, I'm not certain how effective it will be in that regard. 5 seconds is nice against a paintrain, but does it do enough in 2v2? I think it will be more PvE than anything. Nice for popping just before a massive boss AoE for instance.

Kindred Spirits was already an odd talent sice it did the same as a tier 3 talent. Now it is effectively the same just worse. The speedboost I have found no obvious use for yet. Can we hope for a Hunter boost in the talent now? Like 5% Hunter damage to make up for the already weak (and now weakened) personal damage? I hope so.

The pet changes are interesting and most good. I just fear that when they say slightly, it means Scorpids will remain top dog, while Cats might lose out to Devilsaurs. Spirit Beasts DoT will likely become just below the Longevity CD of the application, if not then it is pure fail in trying to fix it. I wonder if that would make them viable, and not just more viable (definately not the same). It still can't crit and the ticks aren't that powerful either.

I guess they have finally made T7 looks good to Hunters without actually improving it. Impressive. :rolleyes:




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