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Upcoming Hunter Changes


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#21 Relwin

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:46 PM

Similar breakdown to Elendril's, copied from my BB post:

Unless they do make exotics a big notch above normal pets 50/21 will still be better for raiding, to say nothing of 5man utility or PvP. While a number of the nerfs were expected, the Steady Shot change feels the most heavy handed. It looks a bit like nerfing Sinister Strike because rogues are too good in PvP and has ramifications larger than just BM hunter DPS. While I'm unhappy that I won't be defaulted #1 on the Patchwerk DMs after some of the proposed changes most of the nerfs were expected and warranted. Quick breakdown below:

1) Steady Shot – Change effects damage too much in PvE, especially for SV which was already miles behind.
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. - Hunters using Volley in exclusion to most other attacks? On what, single targets? Who cares about trash DMs anyway.
3) Readiness – no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath. - Yeah, this is probably needed. It'll certainly make BM much less attractive for PvP, but that's only because of the huge control you gain by speccing something else. BM should still be baller for 5s.
4) Deterrence – Ok, whatever. Doesn't effect my damage so I don't care.
5) Kill Shot – Umm, sure. I guess I get 2-3 KS's per boss instead of 1-2 depending on length of fight and Readiness cooldown.
6) Kindred Spirits – Good change. This is exactly the area they needed to hit BM in and I feel just the right amount.
7) Serpent’s Swiftness – Overall this isn't a huge change since pets get WF anyway and haste has a natural tendency to balance itself out, especially with larger, on-crit ones.
8) All hunter pet abilities with a cooldown longer than 30 sec have been moved off the global cooldown. - Convenience changes are cool I guess.
9) Growl— Another whatever change.
10) Call of the Wild – Ability that encouraged group stacking when Blizzard said they wanted to move away from that idea? Yep, needed to go.
11) Rake and Scorpid Poison – Rake change means exactly nothing since it's a smaller portion of Cat damage. Scorpid Poison has been problematic for a long time and was fixed back in TBC, they just rebroke it.
12) Spirit Strike – Exotics are still useless.
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. - Another convenience change, cool I guess.
13) Aspect of the Wild – I do not remember the last time I used this Aspect.


Obviously there needs to be some numbers testing on the PTR when it comes up, but I feel the proposed changes will be softened a tad once we have some data. The main reason hunters are absurd DPS currently is that we get two sets of raid buffs, one for us and one for our pet. Raid buffs don't scale and pet scaling through gear is mediocre. We already had someone post that fluff numbers graph that shows the expected curve for different pure classes and hunters will certainly slow down a fair bit once we move beyond the first tier.

#22 H0mez

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:46 PM

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



How do the changes make T7 attractive? Haste still sucks, unless it makes all the BM hunters go MM.

#23 Shandara

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:47 PM

The problem with the Steady Shot nerf is that Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot may look more useful but our mana expenditure will go up quite a bit by using them. We will probably spend more time in Viper if we add them to our rotation (not to mention our rotation becomes quite a bit more complicated), which leads to a damage loss. Whether it is a net loss remains to be seen.

#24 Tsook

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:47 PM

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


It doesn't say anything about nerfing the haste on the hunter from Serpent's Swiftness, just the haste on the pet.

#25 Whitemane

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:51 PM

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

#26 kernall

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:52 PM

It doesn't say anything about nerfing the haste on the hunter from Serpent's Swiftness, just the haste on the pet.


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.

#27 Har

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:52 PM

After plugging these new values into the spreadsheet I saw a ~500 DPS loss for my 50/21/0 spec


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.


Shandara, what benefit is 50/21/0 now that readiness doesn't reset the cooldown on beastial wrath? A more fair comparison would forgo readiness and take other DPS increasing talents. Soulcow, it looks like the devilsaur and spirit beast will be equally good now... devilsaur was overshadowed by cats and scorpids and the spirit beast never had its dot working properly, however with these changes, it looks like the only non-enlarging pet that does top DPS will be the spirit beast.

#28 Shandara

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:55 PM

Shandara, what benefit is 50/21/0 now that readiness doesn't reset the cooldown on beastial wrath? A more fair comparison would forgo readiness and take other DPS increasing talents. Soulcow, it looks like the devilsaur and spirit beast will be equally good now... devilsaur was overshadowed by cats and scorpids and the spirit beast never had its dot working properly, however with these changes, it looks like the only non-enlarging pet that does top DPS will be the spirit beast.


You can imagine this yourself. What does Readiness do for BM after the change?
1) Reset Rapid Fire
1) Reset Kill Command
1) Reset Multi/Arcane

That's it. All 3 are minor DPS increases compared to the extra Bestial Wrath time we had.

#29 legomyegolas

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:56 PM

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.


That's how I read it as well. It just seemed to fit bliz's mentality of "fixing" through nerfs.

Honestly, could it get any easier to fix hunter itemization than giving haste value to BM hunters by nerfing the talent that devalued it in the first place?

#30 Har

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:59 PM

Unless they do make exotics a big notch above normal pets 50/21 will still be better for raiding, to say nothing of 5man utility or PvP.


You can imagine this yourself. What does Readiness do for BM after the change?
1) Reset Rapid Fire
1) Reset Kill Command
1) Reset Multi/Arcane

That's it. All 3 are minor DPS increases compared to the extra Bestial Wrath time we had.


Now that readiness doesn't allow us to enrage twice in a row, what's the benefit of 50/21? Do all the talent points leading up to readiness provide as much DPS as points in improved tracking or some other DPS talent?

Shandra, that's exactly why I asked this question. Since readiness no longer gives us the bang for the buck we once got, 50/21 is no longer a desirable allocation of points. Going back to the basics (51/15/5, for example) looks like it would be a better comparison.

#31 XereX

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:01 PM

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


maybe it is my English but i don't understand that. the Dot ticks faster or what? and what dose this mean for Spirit Beast DPS. well it is going to be better but by how much?

Now that readiness doesn't allow us to enrage twice in a row, what's the benefit of 50/21? Do all the talent points leading up to readiness provide as much DPS as points in improved tracking or some other DPS talent?

IMO after theses changes, 50/21 wont be any good, Improved Tracking + Survival Instincts would be a better build.

#32 Har

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:04 PM

maybe it is my English but i don't understand that. the Dot ticks faster or what? and what dose this mean for Spirit Beast DPS. well it is going to be better but by how much?


Currently, spirit strike is losing DPS for the hunter if they take 3/3 longevity. This is due to the fact that the cooldown and the duration of the DoT are both 10 seconds, however only the cooldown is shortened by longevity.

#33 Soulcow

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:04 PM

maybe it is my English but i don't understand that. the Dot ticks faster or what? and what dose this mean for Spirit Beast DPS. well it is going to be better but by how much?


The probably make the dot tick after 5-7 seconds, regardless of having Longevity or not.

#34 TrevvyTrev

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:07 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?


The poor performance of MM and SV specs relative to other dps classes is a largely untested assumption at this point, because with BM is significantly further ahead, comparatively few hunters are raiding with those specs. Just because MM and SV lag behind BM doesn't mean that MM and SV lag behind affliction locks or frostfire mages or fury warriors or whatever else.

The idea that MM and SV do terrible dps becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy -- once the word is out that all the "good" hunters go BM for raiding, a larger proportion of the remaining hunters are those who aren't min-maxing for whatever reasons (ranging from skill to plain old indifferences). This is not to say that MM or SV hunters are uninformed or unskilled by default, but rather that the samples will be skewed as more of the hardcore (for lack of a better term) players bail for BM.

In other words, many would-be MM or SV raiders are less concerned that they are 500dps ahead of the ret paladin and more concerned that they are 500 dps behind the BM hunter (numbers just made up, for illustration, btw), and that is what gives them the perception that their dps is bad. We actually don't have sufficient evidence yet to determine that it's bad compared to everyone else.

For example in this WWS parse The top three spots belong to hunters, with #1 and #2 being BM, and #3 being MM. What is noteworthy is that #2 and #3 were very close in damage. The top hunter smoked everyone but we don't know all that's going on there. Another interesting point is that all 3 hunters (MM included) dominated everyone except for the mages. The rogues, moonkin, shadow priest, warlocks, retadin and deathknight weren't even close.

#35 Rosamonde

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:14 PM

7) Serpent’s Swiftness – now only grants 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to pet.


Current tool tip reads: Serpent’s Swiftness -- Increases ranged combat attack speed by 4/8/12/16/20% and your pet's melee attack speed by 4/8/12/16/20%.

I read this as reducing the pet's increase while leaving the hunter's intact. I can see the other reading as being valid from a grammatical standpoint, but the nerf would be too huge to make sense -- I hope! I suppose it would be better to ask for a clarification than to debate the semantics here.

Also, if they are going to nerf cats and scorpids so the exotics perform better in comparison, then something needs to be done about the selection of exotics. If they take away my cat, what am I left with? Ticking off my whole raid by bringing a huge, noisy, annoying corehound or devilsaur, or spend the next few months of my life trying to tame the one and only spirit beast in the game, along with every other hunter on the server...

We will either need more exotics to choose from, or an improvement in the "raid friendliness" of the current choices.

#36 Har

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:18 PM

I read this as reducing the pet's increase while leaving the hunter's intact. I can see the other reading as being valid from a grammatical standpoint, but the nerf would be too huge to make sense -- I hope! I suppose it would be better to ask for a clarification than to debate the semantics here.


Actually, I believe that this is their answer to the general disdain BM hunters have been heaping on haste rating. Currently, our steady shot is haste capped because of this talent, and after the changes, it won't be.

#37 Elendril

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:21 PM

It seems pretty clear that the Serpent Swiftness and Kindred Spirits changes impact only that portion of the talent. They're not taking away 20% hunter haste from Serpent Swiftness in addition to 10% pet haste.

#38 Gjorn

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:22 PM

GC made some additional comments later in that QQ fest of a thread.

I did say these are not all the hunter changes we're working on. Some we haven't quite worked out yet and others (one exciting one in particular concerning ammo) won't be ready until Ulduar or so.

We think MM was too high and BM was way too high. Survival is probably a little low. We are looking at buffing Survival, possibly through Explosive Shot, but we haven't finalized that yet.

The Deterrence change is defintely something we'll need to see in action on the PTR.

I don't want to do a disservice to all the good PvP feedback by attempting to boil it down too much. However, in general a lot of hunters were concerned about being able to do damage as much as they were concerned about being able to survive damage. We don't expect the Deterrence change to solve the former problem obviously. We're still working on that one, but we wanted to go ahead and announce what changes we have now so that you guys can be chewing on them.

Nerfing classes is never fun. It means that our initial tests and estimates didn't play out in the real world, which is a failing on our part, not anything the players did wrong. While buffing is a lot more fun, we think we'd get to crazy land too quickly by trying to make current BM dps the new benchmark. That would mean touching virtually every other class and spec as well as many encounters. While it might produce more positive PR in the short-term, it's a ton more work in the long-term that we would rather spend on new content or other problem areas.

Also, the sky is not falling. We're posting here so we can get feedback. Threats of rerolling or that sort of melodrama aren't really giving us any information we need. I can understand while you might want to vent a little bit, but posts with nothing but QQ aren't helpful. :)


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#39 Mattaos

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:39 PM

The problem with the Steady Shot nerf is that Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot may look more useful but our mana expenditure will go up quite a bit by using them. We will probably spend more time in Viper if we add them to our rotation (not to mention our rotation becomes quite a bit more complicated), which leads to a damage loss. Whether it is a net loss remains to be seen.


After reading the changes the thought of incorporating Arcane Shot into the rotation for BM immediately came to mind. Mana consumption was the initial concern as you mentioned, but I think this might be a respectable consideration to explore deeper (awaiting PTR). Some possibilities could be switching out say the Glyph of AotHawk or Bestial Wrath for Glyph of Acrane Shot. The Steady nerf obviously strengthens the necessity for using the Steady Shot glyph, which means Serpent Sting is always going to remain on the target anyway.

10% of Base mana every 6 seconds with 20% of that cost being refunded. Sound potentially viable.

1 full rotation = 8xSteady Shot, 2xArcane Shot and Serpent Sting refresh. Repeat

8xSS = 2016 mana used
2xAS = 1010 mana used (810 using AS glyph)
1xSrS = 656 mana used

3682 mana/rotation (3482 mana/roation glyphed)

Old rotation = 10XSteady Shots and Serpent refresh. Repeat.

10xSS = 2520 mana used
1xSrS = 656 mana used

3176 mana/rotation ... 506 more mana using Arcane Shot (306 more mana glyphed)


EDIT: Additional thought

#40 Ryas

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:41 PM

I understand the pet nerfs, I saw those coming a while ago. Its the Steady Shot nerf that really bugs me, Hopefully with some PTR testing, they'll see that the nerf to Steady is way too much.
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