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Cataclysm Hunter Changes


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#21 Keldin

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:50 PM

Well, not all hunters have played a rogue so focus will be quite an experience at first for a number of us. It might look or feel awkward now, but once you get used to it, it might not be a problem after all. The biggest change focus will bring is that we wont mash the keys to hit that perfect timer.

Regarding the rotation - if I recall correctly devs mentioned during/after last years' blizzcon that they don't want to change our rotations much, only our resource system. Plus they did mention smaller cooldowns on abilities, not completely off the CD. If this stays true we might still be keeping the priority list we have now, only with a couple of minor changes. We still fire the hardest hitting shots first and instead of having to spam steady at some point we'll weave it in between when necessary. Yes, this is me speculating much, but it looks like the most probable situation based on the info we have.

#22 Esoth

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:50 PM

If they were to remove the cooldowns though, I can't imagine why we'd want to use both of say, Aimed Shot and Chimera shot unless they cost different amounts of focus. If they have the same cost and GCD and no cooldown, we'd always use the one that does more damage (perhaps switching which that is depending on our current amount of ArP Mastery, or target debuffs).

I think it could make sense if the cooldowns were removed on some abilities but not all. For instance, imagine Aimed had no cooldown, while Arcane/Chimera/Explosive did more damage but did have a cooldown. You could build up enough focus for aimed while making sure you will have enough focus for Chimera when it comes off cooldown. This is all just speculation, but that playstyle sounds like it might be interesting. If they removed all cooldowns or removed no cooldowns the system sounds boring for the former and broken for the latter.

#23 Oroblram

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

Also consider that while casting a single SS or cobra shot we will be getting back 12 focus plus whatever focus regen is cooked into talent trees. Also haste will increase focus regen. So we could be looking at anywhere from 12-20 regen from one shot.

#24 Bullshot

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:04 PM

The first thing that really stuck out to me as being awful is the Focus cost of Disengage and similar cooldowns. Those are not abilities you want to be unable to use due to resource starvation.


I wouldn't be too concerned about the focus costs of abilities just yet. There's still a long way to go for the expansion to go live and plenty of time to tweak the costs. GC confirmed in the preview thread that defensive ability costs will be looked at and possibly made free if deemed necessary.

#25 MizarAlcor

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:18 PM

I don't see how it's any more awkward than a rogue keeping 25 energy around to Kick a spell. Though I'd agree with Midnight's sentiment that the urge to maximize dps would keep one from having enough focus in an unscripted/emergency scenario where such a cooldown would be beneficial.


As long as the focus cost is tuned well, I don't think there's a big concern with offensive CDs and CCs (Tranq/Conc/Silencing etc) costing focus to apply. However, requiring focus for defensive CDs (Disengage/Master's Call/hopefully not Deterrence as well) seems to be very harsh and unwieldy for the skill itself, even compared to our "energy"-using would-be-cousins.

Take rogue for example, almost none of their defensive CDs : Cloak/Vanish/Sprint/Evasion requires any energy. Same with DK, a large majority of their defensive CDs don't require any rune spending (AMS/DP/Lichborne/IBF). They do require RP to use, but DKs are often times rune-limited rather than RP-limited anyway.


Also, I noticed that the Trap launcher's CD is planned to be 1 min. Is this an indication that trap CD (non-launcher ones) will also be extended to 1 min? I don't think they would make launcher's CD separate from the trap's CD itself, otherwise double or triple-trapping 2 targets is very possible.

I'm also interested on the Arcane part of the "Elemental damage" Survival tree's Mastery bonus. I hope it won't just be as a help for leveling hunters who have yet to get Explosive Shot.

#26 Ketari

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:45 PM

The way I'm reading trap launcher is that it's a buff which allows the next trap you cast to be "launched", rather than a trap cooldown per-se.

#27 Relwin

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:08 PM

The way I'm reading trap launcher is that it's a buff which allows the next trap you cast to be "launched", rather than a trap cooldown per-se.


That would seem to be the proper way to read it as it also mentions that it does not incur a GCD, thus allowing you to macro a trap launch.

#28 bule

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:28 PM

It would make more sense as I believe its a way to boost SV dps with traps with the new passive mastery being Elemental damage, along with the many trap talents in the SV tree.

#29 Grogzor

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:47 PM

I hope the fact that they didn't list traps as having a Focus cost means that they won't. Which would be really nice.

Also, I think I jumped the gun a little with my previous post. With Arcane Shot costing the same as Chimera and Explosive, it seems that they are intending for that to be the BM shot to be used with Cobra Strike giving us each 3 real abilities to weave.

BM - Cobra/Arcane/Multi or Aimed
MM - Steady/Chimera/Aimed
Surv - Steady/ Explosive/Aimed or Multi

The way I think they could best make it and have the cooldowns taken off of cooldowns would be to make it so that Aimed and Multishot hit harder then Chimera/Arcane/Explosive but still have there be an incentive to use those 3 shots. Like saving the GCD from reapplying stings with Chimera is your reason to use it because your overall damage by doing that goes up moreso then if you just used Aimed Shot in its stead. Obviously they would have to tweak Explosive Shot and add something to Arcane to make you want to do that but its not something that should be out of the question.

Another thing I want to see is what is going on with Viper Sting. Will it have a cooldown, how long will it last? Cause depending on how things go, it might supplant Serpent Sting for MM who may be able to keep it up all the time.

And lastly, with it looking like we are going to be stacking Haste much more so then we are now...maybe pets will scale with it somehow.

#30 Namarus

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:26 PM

Right now looking at the break down of abilities it seems rather lopsided towards SV.

A SV hunter would be using Explosive Shot, Serpent, Black Arrow, Cobra for single target dps. All of which would be boosted by the SV masteries for elemental damage and increased critical damage. Furthermore sunder armor is also being reduced by 8%, which makes SV attractive, SV regains focus back when they crit, which further compounds how SV is frankly looking very attractive. Factor in lock and load (if they keep it) for focus free explosive shots.

BM on the other hand without information on issues like pet scaling is looking like it will be dead last in damage, and interesting rotations.

With regards to MM, without information on ability co-eff, it is going to be hard to see at the moment where MM is going. Obviously the MM mastery double shot is replacing wild quiver. If you are using chimera shot, is it going to be worth investing in aimed shot? If SV gets increased critical damage does this mean that mortal shots is going to be removed from the MM tree?

I figure that tranquilizing shot is going to work along the lines of how rogues have to pool energy for kicks.

I'm not particularly happy that defensive cool downs cost energy. I'd probably end up just removing the abilities from my bars since really who would have the energy pooled to use them.

#31 MizarAlcor

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:48 PM

Might be weird, but I'm hoping for some buff/revamp to Arcane Shot's mechanics and usefulness. Due to bad scaling and also the overwhelming domination of ArP in current gear, it is not used a lot especially in PVE, and only as a burst filler in PVP. In the past, Blizz has shown interest of not letting Arcane goes to waste in PVE, going as far as not buffing BM through Arcane Shot buff for fear of buffing MM's damage even further.

As for BM, there is quite a bright future of Arcane's usage. With the absence of ArP gear in Cata, Arcane's lifespan might be significantly longer for BM. Heck, they even go as far as to make BM's main shot magical-damage based. We can safely assume that Arcane is going to be BM's main focus dump shot (not only our pets have focus dump now :P)
As MM however with ArP as MM's Mastery bonus, without a better scaling, I'm afraid Arcane's lifespan in Cata won't be that far compared to Wotlk, i.e. only used during the first couple of raiding tiers before better gear (due to more Mastery points -> more ArP) is attained. It will probably used even less in Cata PVP environment due to the fact that we will be more focus-limited rather than GCD-limited.
As for SV, I'm quite interested on the "Arcane" part of the Elemental damage SV's mastery bonus. It might just be as a help for SV hunters in the process of leveling or a minor damage buff for SV's Volley, but I kinda hope that Arcane will be unlinked from Explosive (SV's PVP might end up too bursty though).

And lastly, with it looking like we are going to be stacking Haste much more so then we are now...maybe pets will scale with it somehow.


Even without pet scaling directly with haste (i.e. pet attacking faster, etc), pet can be made to scale with haste somehow by giving BM some other proc-on-ranged-attack talents that has no ICD. After all, Blizzard wants to make haste (and crit) desirable stats for all DPS classes, going as far as to allow DoTs to scale with haste and crit automatically. This also reminds me, both the usefulness and opportunity cost of choosing Viper Sting over Serpent Sting will be higher, due to Serpent Sting scaling not just with crit, but also haste.

#32 MizarAlcor

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:01 PM

A SV hunter would be using Explosive Shot, Serpent, Black Arrow, Cobra for single target dps. All of which would be boosted by the SV masteries for elemental damage and increased critical damage. Furthermore sunder armor is also being reduced by 8%, which makes SV attractive, SV regains focus back when they crit, which further compounds how SV is frankly looking very attractive. Factor in lock and load (if they keep it) for focus free explosive shots.


Depending on how the Mastery number is going to be fine-tuned, looking from the Mastery bonus alone, it might not always be biased towards SV. It can be fine-tuned such that the actual number gained from SV's Elemental Damage mastery bonus be on par with say, the actual number gained from MM's Armor Penetration 2ndary talent effect.

The focus cost-reduction and focus-restoration talents however, looks a bit lopsided. Unlike today where mana-return talents is not as crucial, looking at our rogue comrades, these focus-related talents may be key for most builds. We haven't yet to see how they will fine tune Rapid Recup and Efficiency in MM though.

That would seem to be the proper way to read it as it also mentions that it does not incur a GCD, thus allowing you to macro a trap launch.


I see, that would probably be the most logical way. However, I wonder what will happen if Launch CD is ready while the trap is still on CD (have to retrap before 1 min Launch CD is off, for example). We would probably need some modifiers if we want to macro Launch and a trap together.

#33 ttyl

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:13 PM

I'm afraid Arcane's lifespan in Cata won't be that far compared to Wotlk, i.e. only used during the first couple of raiding tiers before better gear (due to more Mastery points -> more ArP) is attained.

I don't know where it was, but I remember reading that mastery stat on gear will only affect your spec's 3rd unique mastery (Double Shot for MM). This is consistent with the original preview.


edit: World of Warcraft - English (NA) Forums -> Mastery System Preview

The third bonus will be the most interesting, as it will provide an effect completely unique to that tree -- meaning there will be 30 different bonuses of this nature in the game. This third bonus is the one that will benefit from the Mastery rating found on high-level (level 80 to 85) gear.



#34 Esoth

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:37 PM

Obviously the MM mastery double shot is replacing wild quiver.

Do we know that is how double shot is going to work?

Double Shot: The hunter will have a chance to launch a free attack off of the global cooldown for 50% damage.

Mention of the GCD doesn't make sense if it is just auto attack procs. I thought it might mean that you do a special ability after this procs, either automatically or manually.

#35 bule

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:40 PM

I was thinking the double shot would work much more like a LnL proc, where if we get the proc, we get to shoot a free 50% Chimera/AiS/SS but still keeping the normal SrpS nature damage.

#36 Tuftears

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:28 PM

My thought on not spamming highest DPF ability all the time is that they might design it so certain abilities don't do as much DPF but will buff following shots. For instance, they could make Aimed Shot buff the next shots from the hunter in addition to its 20% healing debuff. Now, even though it's more expensive, it becomes desirable to rotate it in. They already mentioned such a mechanism being used for priests' Mind Spikes, in which the first Mind Spike applies a debuff increasing follow-up Mind Spike damage.

No evidence to support this but I doubt Blizzard wants hunters to just hit two keys to achieve optimal DPS. Probably stings will still be wanted, as well.
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#37 Mustacheride

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:46 PM

Looking at all the changes it strikes me that had we still had mana. Our preview would have been a huge success with very little to contemplate or worry over. But thats not the case, I find all of the focus values way too high and apply to far too many things but then again its very early and we only have a tiny view of the class. Especially with GC saying that values are high and well go long periods with out a steady. As long as I dont feel like im playing a rogue at the time of launch I'm fine. I dread the sight of "not enough focus" through an entire fight.


Edit: Maybe not huge success, it seems to me that an obvious function of trap launcher would be to have the trap launched on to the target(with none of the current travel/activation times) should you have it targeted or on the ground with a reticle if nothing is targeted.

#38 Cranch

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:08 AM

Arcane Shot/Chimera Shot /Explosive Shot: 45 Focus.


If Chimera Shot maintains its 10 second cooldown, hunters will have to manage both cooldown and focus, with no corresponding benefit (e.g., no combo points.)

If Chimera Shot becomes an instant shot, then it's by far the highest DPF shot so there'd have to be adjustments made to arcane, chimera, and explosive shots.

Both alternatives seem suboptimal for obvious reasons. I'm sure Blizzard sees that and will insert yet-undescribed mechanisms of interaction between our damage spells.

#39 KraxisSingular

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:23 AM

No comments on Rapid Fire? Hm.

Well let me start it then.
Haste is obviously going to boost our focusregen, the big question is if ranged Haste also boost it. If so then Rapid Fire will kick out a lot of focus (depending on how much extra regeneration we get from Haste of course). Which would be highly odd considering it costs focus to begin with (the cost itself feels silly at this time and I expect it to go to 0 like the Rogue DPS boosters) and the RR instant 60 focus is similarly convoluted. You have to have focus to get focus. :confused:
But if we suppose RF does grant increased focusregen (and I think it will), then the focus will most likely overflow madly if we have the current CDs on the shots, and I doubt Blizzard will make that kind of mistake.
If it doesn't, then the question becomes, is it worth it? With RR it will be of course since you end up with at least 60 focus, but the autoshot DPS gained might not even be that much, though if we do get the 1 second GCD (which I see no reason not to) then the Haste to Steady/Cobra will make it worth it. At the moment Rapid Fire has a lot of hanging points. Personally I want it to be a good cooldown for all three specs again. Having a baseline DPS tool that just isn't terribly great is poor.

Going back to RR 60 instant focus is considerably weaker than the current value of mana (20%), something like 100 extra focus regenerated over the duration would be better and less clunky. 60 instant focus can be an issue with cooldowns as I mentioned. But thankfully no numbers are set yet.
Related, the preview once more specifies that DoTs (and HoTs) will be affected by Haste and Crit, so I wonder if perhaps Viper Sting gets the same treatment. While I can see some PvP implications, both Mana Burn and Drain Mana gain from Haste at least. This could lead to some interesting focusregeneration on fights where it can be used (if it remains a manaburner and not a pure focusregenerating ability).

And I agree that Survival appears to be the most 'balanced' spec from what has been shown to us. It just looks more efficient, more internally at balance (abilities combined with Mastery) and it might very well retain LnL since such talents are exactly what Blizzard wants to gravitate towards. And I agree LnL is considerably more fun than Lethal Shots for instance. Making the spec appear more intuitive and fun, while MM and BM looks to be 'watch focus and use hard hitters able'. Hopefully they get some nice procs that aren't just passive damage (Imp Steady Shot I'm looking at you).

The defensive CDs won't retain the focus costs, it will just punish people too hard. And the PvP implications aren't nice either (which currently might be the reason for the costs, to lower burst). And as mentioned, similar resource classes have got negliable costs or none in general. But it might take until the Beta has raids and/or 'real' pvp.

The pets appear to be more even out, once again. And the pet racials will actually be really cool for utility. Lack some nice debuff/buff? I have a pet that can handle that. Just like I sometimes get my Wasp out for 10-mans. That should make us a relatively attractive class for raids.

Trap Launcher is something we asked for ever since... well a long time. And on a leaked PTR build it was supposed to supplant Trap Mastery in Survival (when it was the 41 pointer). So it is hardly surprising. It is certainly going to be interesting on AoE. Trap Launcher + Explosive Trap -> Volley. Already that is a powerful combo, but harder to pull off. Which bring me to Volley... What will that cost. 50-60 focus seems to be most logical, making the cost 10 focus per second. Though that will drain us in only 2 casts back to back... And unless they change Rapid Fire it still won't affect Volley. Focus/energy/rage doesn't really work very well with channeled abilities (interrupted and you have lost a massive amount of damage due to needing to recast sooner, a problem manausers won't have unless it drags on for a long time). So I can imagine a heavily modified Volley, or it being completely removed and us relying on Multishot 100% (with unlimited targets and no or much lower cooldown, similar to Whirlwind).

Camouflage is harly going to be very intersting in raidformat, but I can see it being good in 5-mans where patrols etc might aggro us. But that is still a pretty cheap 85 ability. But I guess Camo-MD will be the way to go for pulls.

Careful Aim seems pretty strange. Not in the explaination, but in the shots used. The bonus damage will have to be pretty hefty, or the difference between Cobra and Arcane/Aimed be relatively low. It is an obvious opener, meaning the Hunter has full focus, so if the Camo buff only lasts one shot this opener is counterintuitive if you can use a focususing ability rather than one that generates it. I guess it could be used in PvP after the start against a caster (immune to his casts), but then you risk losing camo to AoE or something. It is mainly for PvE.

To me at least, it is clear that there is a long way to go on the actual structure of Focus, but for PvE I like it, but then again I have been wanting to be free of Paladins ever since I first experienced the difference between having JoW and not having it in a raid.

#40 Guest_alienangel_*

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:28 AM

If Chimera Shot maintains its 10 second cooldown, hunters will have to manage both cooldown and focus, with no corresponding benefit (e.g., no combo points.)

If Chimera Shot becomes an instant shot, then it's by far the highest DPF shot so there'd have to be adjustments made to arcane, chimera, and explosive shots.

Both alternatives seem suboptimal for obvious reasons. I'm sure Blizzard sees that and will insert yet-undescribed mechanisms of interaction between our damage spells.


This is getting rather speculative (although that's hard to avoid with how little information is available), but I imagine that in addition to all the talents and interactions that would add depth to the rotation, most of our shots will receive a major overhaul to put them where Blizzard wants them to be, similar to the treatment they got in 2.0 and to a lesser extent in 3.0. For example if the listing of Aimed Shot as having a higher cost than Chimera is intentional, it's likely the cooldown-limited, high DPF nuke, while lower cost chimera/explosive/arcane are cooldown-free lower DPF abilities preferred by different specs to be used as filler when we have more focus than for just steady spamming, but can't fire an Aimed yet.




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