Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hyena: Not Impressive

Since switching to a build without the 51 point Beast Mastery talent I decided I should try the slowing capabilities of the Hyena, since I loved my Chimaera so much.  To get straight to the point, the Hyena slow does not compare to the Chimaera slow at all.

With Longevity it is on a 14 second cooldown (6 second slow).  So theoretically it should be up 43% of the time.  However, it is a physical ability and therefore can be dodged, blocked or parried.  This means against Rogues, Warriors and Feral Druids (melee classes), this slow will not be up reliably.  Against casters this slow will fare better.

Compared to other pet specials this is not a top ten ability.  The only real good thing going for the Hyena is that it is a Ferocity pet, which allows it to crit (with talents) reliably in PvP.  However, there are other Ferocity pets out there that are better than the Hyena.

Monday, October 27, 2008

1658 Hunter Rogue Arena

It may not sound like an accomplishment, but my Rogue friend and I just got above 1650!  Disregarding the OP Ret Paladins, I feel as though Hunter's are better off in the Arena than what they were before the 3.0.2 patch.  We still have a way's to go, but we are getting better.

It took us two big run ups to get past 1650.  This time however, we did vs some Ret Pally teams, and actually won half of the time (some of those Paladins were absolutely terrible, most of the good ones are probbly above 2k by now).

We versed a Warrior Warrior team and got 24 points (were very good against melee teams).  And then we versed a couple different Warrior Druid teams and got some good points to get us past 1650.  To defeat the Warrior Druid teams we blew up the Warrior and my Rogue would blind Druid at a crucial point and then stun him up and I was left alone to finish the Warrior.  With our burst we were able to down the Warrior decently easy, in about 15-20 seconds, and our gear isn't that great yet (burst is very high since patch).

When 3.0.3 goes live, I expect Hunter's to be in a better position (given the buffs to Hunter's and nerfs to Paladins).  I would expect to be able to get into the 1700's after the patch.  We will still be rather weak vs casters, which is unfortunate but with a Rogue, it is definitely not impossible to beat a good caster team.

Well, back to the honor grind for my new Guardian's Band of Triumph.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hunter & Rogue 2v2 Arena - 3.0.2

I 2v2 with my rogue friend.  We were a win away from attaining 1650 yesterday, but unfortunately we started queuing the Ret Pally teams, and we could not close the deal.

As a Hunter, I have zero defense vs. casters and therefore cannot engage them out in the open and hope to live to tell the tale.  There is only one reliable defense against casters: LOS!

Every game I find a pillar and stick on it, laying a frost trap by it and kiting around it.  My Chimeara helps kiting with Frostorm Breath.  The Beast Within can also help with kiting or damage depending on the need.

Most players trying to kill me will give up way too late, after my partner has already killed the healer or their other dps.  With nameplates in sight no matter where you are in the Arena, LOS'ing has never been easier.

This LOS worked incredibly well at defending me against mages, warlocks, priests, warriors, rogues and shamans.  It did not help in defending me against Paladins, because of Freedom, and it only helped a little bit verse Hunters, because of Pets.

There definitely is some sweet redemption to LOS'ing the same classes who use to LOS me in the past.

With the upcoming buffs to Disengage and Aspect of the Monkey, Hunter's will be in an even better position against Melee, while still lacking magic defense.  Unfortunately Arcane Mages will still be crazy bursty, as will Moonkins, but at least Ret Pallies might not continue their crusade of destruction.

I still think Hunter's are in the basement of the Arena class pool, especially if the better classes are casting classes (as we have no defense against them).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chimaera: Froststorm Breath + Wolverine Bite = Win

For the last week I have been absolute in love with one pet, a Chimaera (exotic pet).  There is nothing quite like seeing my pet Froststorm Breath someone from range in the face and slowing them down so I can stand there and unload.

Froststorm Breath is the special Chimaera's have.  The ability inflicts 30-40 Frost & Nature damage (scales & doubled in 3.0.3) and slows the target for 5 sec.  Froststorm Breath is on a 10 sec CD, but 3/3 Longevity make it a 7 sec CD (that's an uptime of 71.4%).

Even if Froststorm Breath were the only thing going for a Chimaera, they would still be excellent for PvP.  But there is an ability in the Cunning tree called Wolverine Bite.  This ability causes 355 damage, modified by pet lvl, that your pet can use after its target dodges, and cannot be dodged, blocked or parried.  It is on a 10 sec CD, but that's 7 sec CD with 3/3 Longevity.

My screenshot of the Wolverine Bite critting the Rogue in Warsong Gulch for 3.2k is evidence enough that this ability kicks some serious ass.

Here is some data that I have compiled after a long World PvP session in front of the Scarlet Monastery.  It is not entirely accurate as sometimes I would kill a few low lvl mobs in the way, but for the most part it gives us an idea about the Chimaera's abilities in PvP.

Chimaera Data

As you can see, the Chimaera being a Cunning pet, does not tend to crit often in PvP (Resilience blows).  The htis and crits are not anything special.

Bite crits a little more often due to Cobra Strikes.  It's damage is right around a melee hit.

Froststorm Breath:
Again, FB crits more often than Melee because of Cobra Strikes.  FB's damage is not very good.  However, when the damage is doubled it will do a little more damage, on average, than Bite or Melee.  That is pretty huge considering it also slows for 5 sec.

Wolverine Bite:
And last but not least we have Wolverine Bite.  It seemed to crit considerably higher than other special abilities and I'm not sure why that is.  As you can see the damage is amazing, average hits were 597, and average crits were 1147.  To get the much higher hits and crits with Wolverine Bite, Kill Command needs to be used (1492 hit, 2835 crit).

I have been completely surprised on how deeply I've fallen for my Chimaera.  In World PvP & BG's there is no other like my Chimaera.  In Arena's its a little more dependant on group makeup.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Anti-Melee Hunter & Hunter Glyph Guide for PvP

Over the last few days trying I've tried out a few BM talent builds.  I believe I have found one of the best Anti-Melee Hunter builds available at 70.

I have been able to easily beat all types of Rogues, Warriors and yes, even some Ret Paladins.

The talent build is 53/7/0 (the specific build can be found on the BM PvP page).

The key pet in this build is the Chamaera pet.  Its special, Froststorm Breath, decreases movement speed by 50% for 5 seconds every 7 seconds (with Longevity).

Combine Froststorm Breath with concussive shot (4 second daze) and your target can always be slowed from range.

It is also a Cunning pet, which has Wolverine Bite available.  Wolverine Bite comes into play after the target dodges, which will usually happen against a melee target, and it hits hard, crazy hard!

This was on a Rogue in Warsong Gulch, my buffs that created this monstrous Wolverine Bite crit are just Aspect of the Monkey, 200 AP Trinket, Bestial Wrath & Kill Command.

Another key point of this build is having the Glyph of Frost Trap (increases radius by 2 yards) and the Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey (after dodging while in Aspect of the Monkey your movement speed is increased by 30% for 6 secs).  This allows me to kite melee classes around my larger frost trap while most of the time running at 30% faster speed.

Bestial Wrath / Beast Within & Intimidation are some other essential tools available with this build (but I'm guessing your very familiar with them).

Disengage & Deterrence are some other major tools available that can be of excellent help in defeating melee opponents.

With all these tools in this build Hunter's can defeat and even dominate melee classes... now caster classes, that's a different story...

I also have posted a Hunter Glyph Guide for PvP.

Hunter Glyph Guide

Updated: April 15th 2009 (updated for 3.1)

Major Glyphs

A great glyph for Marks Hunters in PvE and PvP. 

Best glyph for Marks PvE

A great glyph for Survival Hunters in PvE and PvP.  Increasing the crit chance of Explosive Shot is never a bad thing no matter how much crit I have.

Best glyph for Survival PvE

Allowing ticks to crit is an interesting effect for trash mobs.  Still not sold on it, as volley spam is probably better.

Six seconds off of the cooldown on Kill Shot is a good DPS increase in PvE and could be situationally beneficial in PvP.

2nd best glyph for Survival PvE
3rd best glyph for Marks PvE
5th best glyph for BM PvE

A 20% damage reduction is always nice.  But the duration is only 3 seconds and only after a Raptor Strike.  This seems like a lot of work for only a 20% damage reduction.
However, Raptor Strike is on a 6 second cooldown, so theoretically I could have 20% damage reduction up half the time.

Realistically it is tough to use Raptor Strike when trying to get to range as it is a next melee attack move and not an instant like Mongoose Bite.

Increasing the range from 15 yards to 18 yards is merely okay.  I can that it is beneficial, but only by a small margin.

Used to be Glyph of the Monkey.  Now it increases healing done by Mend Pet by 40%.  Should be semi-useful for leveling and maybe okay for PvP, although Mend Pet is so weak in PvP that it might not matter.

A very decent glyph for PvE, for all specs.

2nd best glyph for BM PvE
3rd best glyph for Survival PvE
4th best glyph for Marks PvE

This is a very nice Glyph for PvE purposes.  It grants me additional time to use other high damaging moves if I am a Beast Mastery or Survival Hunter.  If I am a Marksmanship Hunter it does buff the damage of my Chimera Shot Serpent Sting portion by a solid amount, which is great for PvE and PvP.

2nd best glyph for Marks PvE
4th best glyph for BM PvE
5th best glyph for Survival PvE

With Longevity and Glyph of Bestial Wrath my Bestial Wrath cooldown becomes approximately 1 min 10 secs (70 secs).  This can be very useful in PvP situations and being able to use it again in a fight could make all the difference.

Best glyph for BM PvE

This is a lackluster Major Glyph for Marksmanship Hunters in PvE.  For PvP it is merely okay. 

6th best glyph for Marks PvE
Some Marksmanship and especially Survival builds are incorporating this Glyph with only 1 point into Improved Aspect of the Hawk.  So in effect this Glyph makes 1 talent point in IAotH equal to 3 talent points in IAotH.  This allows a Marksmanship or Survival Hunter to spend more time in the other two trees.

3rd best glyph for BM PvE
4th best glyph for Marks PvE
4th best glyph for Survival PvE

This may not seem like much, but when kiting melee classes that can hit you from 10 yards with their colossal weapons, every yard counts.

Reducing the cooldown of Disengage from 30 seconds to 25 seconds (17% reduction).  A great glyph for any Hunter spec in PvP.

Have not tried this one out, but it seems merely okay, as 30% is not a big reduction in speed compared to most slows.

Only a 6 second reduction now, terrible glyph.

This makes my level 80 Hunter's Mark apply 60 more attack power.

6th best glyph for BM PvE
7th best glyph for Marks PvE
7th best glyph for Survival PvE

This Major Glyph is only decent if I find myself leveling a pet by aoe'ing (volley).  It might also be useful if you are leveling a Hunter by aoe'ing.

Minor Glyphs

Reduces the cooldown of your Feign Death spell by 5 seconds.  This reduces the cooldown by approx 17%, which is very good in PvE and PvP.

This Minor Glyph is one of the best.

Your Mend Pet spell increases your pet's happiness slightly.

Before 3.0.8 it applied 20 happiness only at the beginning of Mend Pet.  After 3.0.8 it now applies 20 happiness for every tick of Mend Pet, making this Minor Glyph very useful for quickly raising your pets happiness in combat.

Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Revive Pet by 100%.

This might be semi-useful if you already have the Improved Revive Pet talent.

Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Scare Beast by 75%.

This might be semi-useful at more easily fearing Druids while being attacked.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beta Build 9095 Hunter Changes


Beast Mastery
  • Aspect of the Viper changed to - The hunter takes on the aspect of the viper, causing ranged and melee attacks to regenerate mana but reducing your total damage done by 50%.  In addition, you gain 4% of maximum mana every 3 sec. Mana gained is based on the speed of your ranged weapon. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

  • Disengage mana cost has been lowered from 14% of base mana to 5% of base mana.


Beast Mastery
  • Ferocious Inspiration now affects your raid.
  • Animal Handler now increase your pet's expertise by 5/10. (Old - Increased the chance to hit by 2/4%)

  • Improved Barrage now affects Aimed Shot.
  • Barrage now affects Aimed Shot.

Pet Skills
  • Swipe (Bear) focus cost reduced from 25 to to 20. Damage increased (60-84 to 90-126 for Rank 6)
  • Snatch (Bird of Prey) focus cost reduced from 40 to 20.
  • Gore (Boar) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20. Damage increased. (122-164 for Rank 6)
  • Rake (Cat) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20. Damage lowered. (From 59-83 + 21-27 over 9 sec to 24-34 + 22-28 over 9 sec)
  • Fire Breath (Dragonhawk) now has a 20 yards range.
  • Froststorm Breath (Chimaera) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20. Damage increased. (64-86 to 128-172 for Rank 6)
  • Lava Breath (Core Hound) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20. Damage increased. (64-86 to 128-172 for Rank 6)
  • Monstrous Bite (Devilsaur) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Stamped (Rhino) damage increased (from 91-123 to 182-246 for Rank 6). Knockback reduced from 15 yards to 10 yards.
  • Spirit Strike (Spirit Beast) damage increased. (from 43-47 + 43-47 over 10 sec to 85-115 + 85-115 over 10 sec)
  • Acid Spit (Worm) damage increased. (62-88 to 124-176 for Rank 6)
  • Thunderstomp (Gorilla) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Tendon Rip (Hyena) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Savage Rend (Raptor) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Ravage (Ravager) damage increased. (89-125 to 106-150 for Rank 6)
  • Scorpid Poison (Scorpid) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20. Damage lowered. (From 85 to 45 for Rank 6)
  • Poison Spit (Serpent) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Spore Cloud (Sporebat) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Lightning Breath (Wind Serpent) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Sting (Wasp) focus cost reduced from 25 to 20.

  • Glyph of Trueshot Aura - While your Trueshot Aura is active, you have 10% increased critical strike chance on your Aimed Shot. (Old - Increases the attack power bonus of Trueshot Aura by an additional 2%.)

Undocumented Changes
  • Scorpid Poision was nerfed by 50%

BM Talent Guide

Updated:  December 22nd 2008

Level 80 Assessment of BM Talents:

Tier 1

Improved Aspect of the Hawk

PvE: Okay
  • BM Hunter's are very close to the Steady Shot 1.5 second GCD with Serpent's Swiftness, so this talent only increases auto shot speed when it procs.
 PvP: Bad
  • Auto Shot cannot be done while moving, which PvP is all about.  Endurance Training is usually preferred.

Endurance Training

PvE: Okay
  • Increased survivability is nice but not essential in PvE.
PvP: Good
  • Increased survivability is always helpful in PvP.

Tier 2

Focused Fire

PvE: Good
  • 1-2% damage increase along with a buff to Kill Command is quite nice.

PvP: Good
  • Kill Command buff increases burst dps which is essential in PvP.

Improved Aspect of the Monkey

PvE: Bad

PvP: Good
  • Good vs Melee classes when they are attacking you from the front.
  • If you use the Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey, than this talent can help in proccing the 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec.

Thick Hide 

PvE: Okay
  • Only good if your pet is tanking or off tanking.
PvP: Okay
  • A little more armor helps mitigate physical damage, but still, not a strong talent.

Improved Revive Pet

PvE: Good
  • Without this talent resurrecting your pet is only possible outside of combat.
PvP: Good (same as above)

Tier 3


PvE: Terrible
  • God awful, unless you find yourself wiping constantly in dungeons and need your party to feel better about itself with a quicker Aspect of the Pack.
PvP: Terrible
  • Aspect of the Cheetah is worthless in PvP because of the threat of being dazed for 4 seconds.  The mount speed buff is okay in classic world pvp where you need to catch up to someone on their mount, but chances are they will be an Unholy Death Knight or a Paladin and you will feel like a nub for wasting talent points.

Aspect Mastery

PvE: Amazing 
  • While in DragonHawk you gain an additional 90 attack power (at level 80) and 5% reduction of incoming damage.  In Viper your damage decrease is only 40% instead of 50%.
PvP: Amazing (same as above)

Unleashed Fury

PvE: Amazing
  • 15% more damage from your pet is Big Time News as a BM Hunter (has great synergy with Kindred Spirits).
PvP: Amazing
  • When your hiding behind a pillar in Arena's because you get four shotted by every other class, you better believe your pet is fighting your battles for you on the other side, give him all the bonus damage you can because you have to LOS or you're dead.

Tier 4

Improved Mend Pet

PvE: Okay
  • Essential if you find yourself solo'ing Elite mobs or questing, but once you get to 80 and start doing dungeons it is merely okay.
PvP: Okay
  • It can be handy to remove dots or impairing effects on your pet, but it does not do it quick enough to be reliable.


PvE: Amazing
  • There are three ways to increase your pets critical chance, two are reliable, this is one of the reliable ways.
PvP: Amazing
  • Resilience makes it real tough for a BM Hunter pet to crit at all (with this talent); however, when this talent is combined with a Ferocity pet's 9% crit talent you can have a pet that can reliably crit in PvP, which is utterly essential for a BM Hunter (pet crits proc Ferocious Inspiration and Frenzy; 7 talent points of a BM Hunter).

Tier 5

Spirit Bond

PvE: Good
  • Health regen in combat is convenient and the 10% increased healing on you and your pet can be very helpful.
PvP: Good (same as above)


PvE: Okay
  • Most bosses are immune to stuns and stunning trash is usually a waste of time, but for solo play it can be useful (it is required for Bestial Wrath).
PvP: Good
  • Stunning someone for 3 seconds is always useful in PvP, unfortunately its not instant so it is hard to time perfectly.

Bestial Discipline

PvE: Good
  • Allows your pet to be less focus starved increasing its damage from specials significantly.
PvP: Good (same as above)

Tier 6

Animal Handler

PvE: Good
  • Reduces targets chance to dodge and parry your pets attack by 2.5% each, which is a nice dps boost for your pet.
PvP: Good (same as above)


PvE: Good
  • Only need 3-4 talent points invested into this baby, depending if you have Cobra Strikes, and it will increase your pets attack speed, therefor decreasing time in between crits and maximizing up time of Ferocious Inspiration and Frenzy.
PvP: Good (same as above)

Tier 7

Ferocious Inspiration

PvE: Amazing
  • 3% increased damage of all party and raid members.  FI is almost always up if your pet is attacking a target.
PvP: Amazing (same as above)

Bestial Wrath

PvE: Amazing
  • 50% additional damage for your pet for 18 seconds is great, the enraged effect is pure bonus.
PvP: Amazing (same as above)

Catlike Reflexes

PvE: Bad
  • 3% dodge and 9% pet dodge is bad for 3 talent points.  It is only decent if your pet is tanking instances, elites or is aoe'ing (gorilla).
PvP: Terrible
  • The only way this talent could be of any use is if your fighting completely melee teams and your going for max dodge on yourself.

Tier 8


PvE: Okay
  • 1% mana on every pet crit is merely okay.  Everytime I find that I've specced into it I have been completely dissapointed with how little mana I get back.  I would only put points into it if you have extra points that your just going to waste otherwise.
PvP: Okay (same as above)

Serpent's Swiftness

PvE: Amazing
  • 20% ranged attack speed and 10% pet attack speed is absolutely essential in every BM build.
PvP: Amazing (same as above)

Tier 9


PvE: Amazing
  • 30% reduction of the cooldown on Bestial Wrath and Intimidation is enough to make this talent good, the 30% reduction of Pet Special Abilities is just a little extra icing on the cake.
PvP: Amazing
  • Glyph of Bestial Wrath with Longevity make Bestial Wrath only on a 1 minute and 10 second cooldown.  BW is the bread and butter of BM Hunters.

The Beast Within

PvE: Good
  • 10% additional damage and 20% less mana on all spells while under Bestial Wrath is very good for only one talent point, and the enrage effect on yourself can be very useful on certain boss fights.
PvP: Crucial
  • The enrage affect is what keeps others from controlling the fight and owning you in an instant.  In arena's you can use BW to kite around pillars and keep yourself alive, or you can use it offensively to burst someone.  It is what makes a BM Hunter a BM Hunter in PvP.

Cobra Strikes

PvE: Good
  • Steady Shot is the bread and butter shot of BM Hunters in PvE.  This means that Cobra Strikes is up quite a bit in PvE causing your pet to crit quite a bit more on its specials.  Cobra Strikes ensures Ferocious Inspiration and Frenzy are always up.
PvP: Okay
  • Arcane Shot will be used quite a bit in PvP, and Kill Shot occasionally, which might increase your burst from time to time; however, it does procs far less in PvP.  This is due to resilience and because your not spamming steady shot.  I would not really recommended Cobra Strikes unless you seem to have extra talent points.

Tier 10

Kindred Spirits

PvE: Amazing
  • 15% more pet damage synergizes great with Unleashed Fury making your pet a complete monster that takes no prisoners.
PvP: Amazing
  • Along with increased damage for your pet you get a 10% movement speed increase (which is actually pretty decent even though it is only 2% faster than a boot enchant) that can really help Hunters kite.

Tier 12

Beast Mastery

PvE: Okay
  • Exotic pets are pretty interesting, but not that much better than normal pets (cats and scorpids can be better in PvE than any Exotic pet).  The 4 extra pet skill points are very nice for every pet tree, but again, not really essential.
PvP: Okay
  • Exotic pets have better pet specials than normal pets.  The best pet special in PvP is Froststorm Breath, which is from the Chimaera.  Unfortunately it is a Cunning pet, which makes the Chimaera weak in PvP.  The four extra pet talent points are merely okay in PvP.

My Idea Page: My wish list Talent Tree and base line ability changes

Dragonhawk: 18% Dodge & Hawk AP

Q u o t e:
This has got me a little worried on the basis if it is truly an upgrade or a disaster in disguise. Since AotM and AotH are being combined please tell me that their stats are not being reduced in anyway, shape, or form.

They are not being reduced in any way, shape or form. The idea is that you no longer ever need to go into Monkey or Hawk at high level. Now, of course that could change if hunters end up being too good for some reason. But we have no upcoming plans to nerf it.

Q u o t e:
While this is a great change, the fact that you don't even mention Aspect of the Beast in your "rotation" might be indicative that this aspect really has little to no purpose.

We do need to find a better role for Beast but we thought this was enough of a change for now.

Q u o t e:
I am in a bit of disbelief that you think this change is useless. It gives you two Aspects for the Price of one, and buffs one of them. Plus all glyphs interact with Dragonhawk as if it were either Aspect individually.

If you were an expert at switching aspects and were never going to be in Hawk in melee or Monkey at range, then I suppose it won't have a huge effect on you. In that case it's more of a "quality of life" change. You do get some minor benefits from being in both modes at the same time -- say you need to get one last shot off while someone is in melee with you perhaps.

Q u o t e:
Ug, doesn't this just totally destroy the entire argument about melee needing to be able to hit hunters in melee when they close in with them?

No, because hunters always had Monkey. They were likely going to switch into it anyway when you close to melee with them. In fact, this is why we prefer this solution to just letting hunters gets lots of dodge from Agility. This way we know exactly what their dodge chance will be rather than having hunters do much better damage AND be much more evasive in melee as their Agi gets higher and higher.

Q u o t e:
This makes it sound like your adding an additional 10% dodge to monkey but that's hardly a little.. Just to clarify, do you mean that you'll be raising the current monkey up to about 10%?

Monkey and Dragonhawk offer 18% dodge now.


Wow, this is a very nice buff to Hunter's vs. Melee.  If we can manage to pull out a buff in our magic defense department (as we have zero magic defense right now, I do not count pet specific specials) than we might have a fighting chance in the Arena.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Aspect at 75: Dragonhawk

Aspects are now off the GCD. It's true. There will still be a 1 sec cooldown to switch from one aspect to another. It should feel a lot more like warrior stances or death knight presences.

We're also going to be putting a little bit of dodge (~10%?) onto Monkey. I'll update when we decide on a final number.

Just for consistency, paladin auras will probably get the same treatment.

These changes should go live before Nov 13.

As always, thanks for all of the feedback, and please keep it up now that many of the changes are live.

EDIT: After further discussion, we're not crazy about the "stance dancing" that hunters need to do to switch to Monkey when someone is in on you in melee. As we've said a few times, Disengage and Deterrence should be your go-to abilities at that time. If anything, removing Aspects from the GCD makes it feel like you are supposed to go Monkey every time you're in melee.

Rather than revert the change, we are introducing a new spell!

Instead of getting new ranks of Hawk at level 75 and 80, you now get the new Aspect of the Dragonhawk. This powerful aspect combines all of the effects of Hawk and Monkey. Any talent or glyph that affects either Hawk or Monkey also affects Dragonhawk the same way. The idea is that you retire Hawk and Monkey at level 75 and go to essentially two Aspects: Dragonhawk for combat and Viper for mana regen.

Interesting... so all the posts and reasoning the devs gave us for dodge being nerfed is worthless.  I wonder what they plan to do with Aspect of the Beast...  I still don't think they have any clue what to do about Hunter's in Arena...  I guess I'll just cross my fingers and pray to the gods that Hunter's will be okay in Arena come Wrath of the Lich King... until then, I will have fun with the new pet system.

On a more fun note, my rogue friend and I were able to kill Vhel'kur with Tank (my new gorilla) as our tank.  Vhel'kur is the 70 elite ghost dragon that circles the island in the southeast of Shadowmoon Valley.  I tried it solo and was unable to do enough damage before my pet eventually died.  

Here's a screenshot of our kill:

Viper Change & Exotic Buff


Two changes coming up:

We aren't happy with how Aspect of the Viper is working in PvP, but it seems fine in PvE. We're going to try changing it so that 50% of its current regen is passive, leaving the remaining 50% active. That should give hunters some more mana in Arenas in particular when dealing with opponents who manage to get out of LOS a lot. Yet, in PvE where hunter dps is very high, the difference in regen shouldn't be very noticable. We are also going to let Viper return mana from melee attacks for those cases where a melee opponent is too close for comfort.

The second change is to some of the numbers on the special attacks of exotic pets to make sure the pets are around a 10% increase from normal pets. This should make exotic pets a reasonable benefit for the talent point (especially when you also count the bonus pet talents) without making every BM hunter feel like they are limited to just those pets.

 Q u o t e:
1) Take the mp5 you gain currently from using viper actively
2) Half that value for the active gain
3) Make the other half of the mp5 a passive gain.

Yes, something like this. We'll try per 3 sec first because that's better for performance, but we can go to 1 sec if need be. 

I don't think you do your fellow players a service when you respond to blue posts on one topic with a lot of discussion about other topics. But that's just my opinion.

Here is the actual Viper change we're going to implement: The per attack mana regeneration has been reduced by 50% but it now generates 4% of maximum mana every 3 sec. In addition, the per attack regeneration now also works on melee attacks. 


This is good news for Hunters.  Viper needed a passive change to be worthwhile in PvP and makes it better for grinding/leveling.  The boost to Exotic pets is just pure bonus!  Still not thrilled about the 51 point BM talent, since it still has to compete with Aimed Shot & Scatter Shot at 70, and Readiness at 80, but at least they are buffing it.

Tame a Gorilla!

Run don't walk to STV to get yourself a pet gorilla.  The few hours I spent playing with my new gorilla I thoroughly enjoyed.  Their aoe special is spectacular, and along with our new much improved Volley we can aoe mobs down with ease.

After you find the gorilla of your choice (Petopia gorilla page), embark into the wild and aoe like mad (here is an aoe guide to help find locations).  Remember, pet leveling has been buffed, so it is much easier to level a pet, and with aoe'ing you can level your pet even quicker.

So go out and enjoy your new aoe Hunter!

Update:  It took me only 4 hours to level up my gorilla from 65 to 70!  That's speedy fast compared to what it used to take...  although part of the reason it was so quick was because of the aoe extravaganza!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hunter Changes in Patch 3.0.2

  • All aspects now have a 1 second global cooldown, down from a 1.5 global cooldown.
  • All pet families now have one unique ability. New abilities have been added for families such as bears and sporebats.
  • Stablemasters can now accommodate two additional pets.
  • Pets now have their own trees. These can be accessed via the talent panel.
  • Aimed shot mana cost has been reduced from 11% of base mana to 8%, casting time reduced from 2.5 sec to instant. Cooldown increased from 6 seconds to 10 seconds and damage reduced.
  • Animal Handler (Beast Mastery): No longer increases speed while mounted, but now reduces the cooldown of your Master's Call ability by 5/10 sec.
  • Arcane Shot: No longer dispels magic effects.
  • Aspects now no longer cost mana.
  • Aspect of the Beast: Now increases melee attack power by 10% for the hunter and the hunter's pet.The hunter can't be tracked while using this Aspect. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.
  • Aspect of the Viper - The hunter takes on the aspect of the viper, causing ranged attacks to regenerate mana but reducing total damage done by 50%. Mana is gained based on ranged weapons speed. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.
  • Aspect of the Wild (Rank 4) now increases Nature resistence by 130, (up from 70.)
  • Avoidance, Dash / Dive and Cobra Reflexes are now pet talents instead of pet skills.
  • Bestial Swiftness is now a pet talent tree talent, and has been removed from the Beast Mastery Hunter tree.
  • Bite now has no cooldown, does the same damage and costs the same Focus as Claw, so works as a Focus dump.
  • Clever Traps (Survival) has been renamed "Trap Mastery."
  • Combat Experience (Marksmanship): Now grants 3/6% Agility, up from 1/2%.
  • Concussive Barrage (Marksmanship): Can now proc from Volley and Multi-shot attacks.
  • Counterattack: Damage increased by 20%, and now also scales with your Ranged Attack Power.
  • Deterrence (Survival): Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, and now also increases your chance to resist spells by 60%. Now has a new spell effect.
  • Disengage: This ability has been re-designed. Now leaps the Hunter backwards up to 13 yards. 30 second cooldown. Disengage now also only has one rank (rank 1).
  • Distracting Shot: This shot now "taunts" the target onto the Hunter. The taunt effect will last 6 seconds. Distracting Shot now only has one rank (rank 1).
  • Every hunter pet can learn Growl, Cower and either Bite or Claw (never both).
  • Focused Aim no longer affects Aimed Shot and now increases chance to hit by 1/2/3 %.
  • Focused Fire (Beast Mastery): Now increases the critical strike chance of your Kill Command by 10/20/30% while Kill Command is active. This effect can stack up to 3 times, but diminishes for each charge of Kill Command.
  • Freezing Arrow now breaks on damage.
  • Freezing Trap now breaks on damage.
  • Hunter pets can now learn talents in one of three trees depending on family. Pets gain talent points starting at level 20 and earn an extra talent point every 4 levels.
  • If a hunter tames a pet that is more than five levels beneath their own level, the pet will then have their level increased to five levels beneath the hunter's own level.
  • Improved Arcane Shot (Marksmanship): Now increases the damage done by your Arcane Shot by 5/10/15%.
  • Improved Feign Death (Survival): This talent has been replaced with Survival Tactics.
  • Improved Hunter's Mark (Marksmanship): Now a 3-point talent, and now increases the amount of attack power granted by your Hunter's Mark ability by 10/20/30% and reduces the mana cost of your Hunter's Mark ability by 33/66/100%.
  • Improved Stings (Marksmanship): Now a 3-point talent, down from 5-points.
  • Kill Command: This ability now increases the damage done by your pet's special abilities by 60%. Each attack will reduce the damage bonus by 20%. 1 minute cooldown.
  • Kill Shot damage slightly reduced.
  • Kindred Spirits will no longer stack with other movement enhancing buffs.
  • Lock and Load now has a chance to proc periodic damage by 2/4/6% (down from 5/10/15%.)
  • Loyalty, Training Points and the hunter Beast Training button no longer exist. Hunter pets can now learn all skills at their level. They will get new ranks automatically as they gain levels.
  • Marked for Death now increases damage done by ranged and by pets special abilities by 4% on marked targets (down from 8%.)
  • Master Tactician (Survival): Chance to proc increased to 10%, up from 6%.
  • Mongoose Bite: No longer requires you to dodge in order to use this ability.
  • Monster Slaying (Survival) and Humanoid Slaying (Survival) has been combined into "Improved Tracking".
  • Multi-shot mana cost has been increased slightly to 9% base mana (up from 8%.)
  • New Talent - Aspect Mastery (Beast Mastery)
  • New Talent - Hunter vs. Wild (Survival): Increases you and your pet's attack power and ranged attack power equal to 10/20/30% of your total Stamina.
  • New Talent - Improved Tracking (Survival): Increases all damage done to targets that are being tracked 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • New Talent - Lock and Load (Survival): You have a 33/66/100% chance when you trap a target and a 10/20/30% chance when you sting a target to cause your next 3 Arcane Shot or Explosive Shot spells to trigger no cooldown, cost no mana and consume no ammo.
  • New Talent - Survival Tactics (Survival): Reduces the chance your Feign Death ability and all trap spells will be resisted by 2/4%, and reduces the cooldown of your Disengage ability by 2/4 sec.
  • New Talent - T.N.T. (Survival): Your Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Explosive Shot have a 5/10/15% to stun targets for 2 sec when they deal damage, and increases the critical strike chance of your Explosive Shot and Explosive Trap by 5/10/15%.
  • Pathfinding (Beast Mastery): Now also increases the movement speed while mounted by 5/10%.
  • Point of No Escape reduced to a 2 point talent and now affects Freezing Arrow. The critical strike chance has increased to 3/6% (up from 2/4/6%.)
  • Rapid Killing (Marksmanship): This will now proc off Chimera Shot, but no longer works with auto-shot.
  • Readiness (Marksmanship): Cooldown reduced to 3 minutes, down from 5 minutes, and has been moved to Tier 5 of the Marksmanship Tree from the Survival Tree.
  • Savage Strikes (Survival): Now includes Counterattack.
  • Scattershot has been moved from the Marksmanship Tree to Tier 3 of the Survival Tree.
  • Silencing Shot (Marksmanship): This spell will now interrupt the current spell being cast on the target and lock out that school for 3 sec if the target is immune to silence effects.
  • Spirit Bond (Beast Mastery): Also increases healing done to you and your pet by 5/10%.
  • Steady Shot now uses ammo. In result, its bonus damage has been slightly reduced. Players can notice a damage increase based upon what ammo they use.
  • Steady Shot: Now has a 2.0 cast time, up from 1.5.
  • Surefooted (Survival) now reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 16/25/50% (instead of resist % chance). Moved from tier 4 to tier 2 and no longer increases hit chance.
  • Survival Instincts (Survival): This has been moved to tier-2, up from tier 6.
  • Survivalist (Survival): Now increases your total Stamina, instead of your total Health.
  • The arming time has been reduced to 1 second, from 2 seconds for all traps.
  • T.N.T. has been moved from Tier 2 to Tier 4.
  • Tranquilizing Shot: Cooldown reduced to 15 seconds (down from 20), and now dispels Enrage and Magic effects.
  • Trap Mastery (Survival) is now an 11-point talenttalent and has been moved from tier 3 to tier 9 and increases the duration by 30% fo both Freezing Trap and Frost Trap.
  • Trueshot Aura - This aura is now raid-wide and now increases all ranged and melee attack power by 10%. In addition, this spell now only has one rank. All other ranks have been removed.
  • Wingclip: No longer does damage.
  • Many new items are available for purchase from the honor vendors.
  • Arenas
    • Two new Arenas have been added; the Ogrimmar Arena and the Dalaran Arena can now be accessed.
    • Buffs that have 30 seconds or less remaining will be removed once the game starts. However, the mage spell “Invisibility” is not affected by this change.
  • New Profession: Inscription is available to train up to 375.
  • Enchantment
    • The Surefooted enchantment now provides additional critical strike rating instead of root and snare resistance.
  • Druids and Shaman can now use items while shapeshifted.
  • The Abyss Shard has been changed to grant a passive 15 stamina bonus, but no longer removes the soul shard requirement from casting a voidwalker.
  • Devilsaur Eye now increases your pet’s attack power for a short duration instead of increasing its critical strike chance. It also provides a small amount of passive Agility.

Patch 3.0.2 & Updates

Hunter Changes in Patch 3.0.2

Hunter's are the most changed class in this patch and many of us will need to tame multiple new pets and try our new modified talent trees as well as our brand new pet talent trees.

The next couple of weeks are going to be very enjoyable with all the new content Hunter's are recieving.  This enjoyment will overshadow our PvP disabilities in Arena (I'm guessing they will exist even with the new Disengage) at least for awhile...

I think a major theme will be our lack of defense against caster's with the new spell pushback system (the old system would allow us to send our pets on caster, which forced caster to instant cast or suffer major spell pushback).

I've updated my Gold Tips section with more information.

I will update my Pets section with new pets as soon as I am able to PvP awhile with a new pet.

My Ideas section will probably recieve a major update in about a week (need a little bit of time to digest all these new changes).

My BM PvP section is still a work in progress...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blizzcon Overview ; (

There are just some weeks its tough to be an optimistic PvP Hunter.  This is one of those weeks.

Plopsinbeta has a good forum post about his experience at Blizzcon and the answer Tom Chilton gave him about a question Plop had about our GCD.

"He then went on to explain that he understands how we are always waiting on the GCD, but added that casters do not have an auto-shoot/swing mechanic seperate from the GCD such as hunters and warriors. It is this ability to auto swing that prevents us from being classified as casters in regards to haste affecting the GCD."


PvP Q&A (Dev Answers)

"You're in mail, you're armored, you should be able to survive enough to walk away, while caster's can't."


"Hunter's are not affected by spell pushback."


"Tricky, hunter's want everything off the GCD.  I would not rule it out completely."


Friday, October 10, 2008

Moth Overview for BM PvP


Serenity Dust
Increase AP by 10% and heals for 555-745 (rank 5, lvl 64) over 15 sec.

Rabid: 5% AP, stacks up to 5 times
Call of the Wild: 10% AP party boost
Aspect of the Beast: 10% AP to pet

All of these stack to create a potential massive burst on a target given the following:

Beast Within, Blood Fury (Orc Racial), and a Paladin close by for Might on yourself and your pet.

This is what is possible on normal pet attacks:

Of course this is only for a 8-15 second window that your pet can output this kind of damage.  Serenity Dust is on a 42 second cooldown with Longetivity.  Might for the AP boost is quite essential.  This kind of burst would only be majorly helpful in 2's, with a Paladin partner.


Can't wait to try out numerous pets come patch to see how they can perform in the Arena.  I just added a pets section to give more detail about each pet and their PvP performance, this list will be updated more frequently come patch.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hunter Concerns Feedback

Ghostcrawler responds to a good thread in the Beta Hunter Forums:

Q u o t e:
/cast Basic Campfire

/cast s'more
/cast coffee cup
/cast gin

Q u o t e:
Haste & Gear disconnects -

Much of the gear that's being dangled in front of us has a hefty supply of haste just loaded all over it. And those number crunching members of the Mail wearing community are a bit... concerned. Notice that I suggest its the Mail wearing community, because Enhancement Shaman seem to share our confusion about all this haste.

We do put a lot of haste on gear. Part of that is because we don't have a huge canvas to work with. We can't put a ton of Strength and Spirit on hunter gear. Also, keep in mind that we aren't trying to make the best possible gear for you. We want you to toss out less optimal pieces for more optimal pieces. Finally, keep in mind that gear is one of the things we use to let players demonstrate mastery of the game. Making the decision of whether that new ring or belt is an upgrade should require a little bit of thought. That's what makes it interesting. But I will bring up the issue of haste and we can talk it over again.

Q u o t e:
The pesky dodge issue -

Okay, I'm sure you guys are tired of it, but I'm trying to make our concerns into cohesive, concise little snippets instead of aggressive posts accusing you of stealing all our kittens. We know you did it.

You guys came out and said, paraphrasing, "You have lower dodge because you will have more agility than everyone else." Okay, we follow what you're saying, but we question the logic in that from a lot of angles. A tanking class is not penalized in how many hitpoints they get from stamina because they are going to have a lot of that. Other casters aren't penalized because they are going to have a lot of intellect or a lot of spirit. Rogues don't get less benefit from hit and crit even though they are going to be nearly bleeding those stats. So its a little bothersome that one of our few defensive methods (oh, I'll get to you) starts at a negative and we get the least gain per agility.

We aren't asking to get more dodge to agility than everyone, but, I guess we all feel its unfair that we get such a huge penalty to our defense because "we're going to have agility."

I seem to be having trouble coming up with a way to explain it that makes sense to you. We don't want you to have as much dodge as a rogue or a druid or a tank. If you have great offense and great defense then we're not sure how to balance you. We want you to run away when someone gets close, not stand and take the hits. Mages Blink or Ice Block or Frost Nova to get away from melee. We gave hunters Disengage to try to do the same thing. Note that we don't want it to be an automatic get of jail free card -- sometimes we want the melee to kill you. Maybe they still kill you too much, but it's hard for us to tell if that's a hunter failing or Retadins and Unholy DKs doing too much burst damage. Hunters without LOS issues seem to be able to kill stuff just fine, so it may be that is your Arena weakness and not melee getting up in your stuff.

Q u o t e:
Defense, or lack there of -

I am not alone when I say that the hunter class feels like it has less defense when compared to other classes. So I'm going to break down our biggest threats and our tools, with emphasis on what is good and what is bad about them. I'm trying to be objective.

Concern: Once a hunter is in melee, his combat effectiveness is very low due to dead zone, weak melee abilities and insufficient ways to get back to range. To be sure we have a number of options, but many do not work well enough. Our snares are weak compared to those of the melee classes, so escape is next to impossible.

Yeah, like I said above, some ability to escape is good. A very, very reliable way to escape is frustrating for people on the other end. When melee reach ranged units they need to be able to do some damage.

Q u o t e:
Tools to deal: Wing Clip, Disengage, Frost Trap, Deterrance, Freezing Trap, Master's Call, Scatter (with spec), Intimidation (with spec).

Wing Clip as a snare is very weak. Not only is it weaker than those of the melee classes, but it costs far and away too much to cast. Its still mandatory, but it is not effective enough.

It's still a 50% snare, right? The duration is shorter than Hamstring, but is duration really what's killing you? It's possible it's too expensive. We can look at that.

Q u o t e:
Disengage, if it works properly and is off the GCD is probably your best bet to escape. If it were on the GCD, its going to be very hard to juggle while trying to do everything else we're trying to do. As is, it is not removing snares and sometimes only throwing us a few feet due to a snare.

Disengage isn't supposed to remove snares. We do want it to move you the same distance whether snared or not, but that takes new code, so it will take a little while. We did recently lower the mana cost from 14% (I think) to 5%. It is off the GCD now.

Q u o t e:
Freezing Trap's arming time feels good, but again the radius feels too small, and is easily dispelled long before our snares are expiring. As these still break on damage, its like trying to trap someone in a silk web, which is actually probably more effective than our giant blocks of ice.

Are you talking about breaking on damage the way it works on Live or the way it briefly worked on beta? The beta way is the future. We just need Fluffy to grow a brain first and not break it.

Q u o t e:
Scatter Shot is only this low because its not fair to assume everyone has it (though we *all* feel it should be baseline). It works wonders. Too bad it costs talent points.

We talk a lot about making it baseline, but it's also a very attractive talent in one particular spec. It's hard to argue that hunters of all classes (except maybe rogues) need more CC.

Q u o t e:
Intimidation, again, is low on the list because its spec dependent. A short duration stun, if the pet is near (or alive), is a great way to escape. Too bad it costs talent points.

But talents are supposed to be a choice. Particularly in PvP, you should be able to make the decision of wanting more damage or wanting utility talents. I realize in PvE it's harder because such a premium is placed on damage and many of those abilities don't work.

Q u o t e:
Not yet in -
We've had a lot of attention this expansion, and a lot of other classes are bothered that we get all the Blue love. However, the community is pretty upset that, once again, we're getting a bunch of "we'll take care of that after the expansion ships" replies. We're green with envy that a new class is going to ship more complete. I mean, yeah, we're upset about that. Things like the bugs with our escape abilities, things like Trap Mastery being NYI until after the product goes retail, things like Aspect of the Viper being active only regen... we're just a bit concerned that we're the stepchildren in this relationship, again.

We have spent a *ton* of time on hunters. There is no question hunters had the most developer time. I realize a lot of that was spent on pets and that hardcore or PvP-focused hunters might have traded that in a heartbeat for more PvP survivability. But many wouldn't and we have to be very careful not to forsake our gigantic core audience and just cater to the hardcore -- that is how many games fail. :(

You're going to get bugs in a game of this size. When you consider class, mob and quests, the number of spells alone in WoW is easily in the tens of thousands. I don't exaggerate. When we're in rapid iteration mode, it makes more sense to focus on whether the ability can work than whether the ability does work right now. I also don't think it makes sense in a game of this size that evolves this quickly to pretend we can get everything "just right" at any particular point in time. The game will just keep evolving right on through that. It's like the old cliche -- this is a journey, not a destination. The saying they use around the office is that working on WoW is like working on a train that never bothers to stop at its stations. You just keep going and going.

Q u o t e:
Mana regen & mana cost -

Not a single hunter I've talked to, to date, has spoken positively about the Aspect of the Viper change. We feel its going to really hurt us in arenas. We feel its really going to hurt our raid DPS. And its active regen. If we're on the move, if we're unable to shoot our target (which is a very common problem), we're stuck with our mana the way it is. All the other casters have the stats to support regeneration when they are on the move, not casting.

We like the design of Viper overall. It's cooler to have to shift your strategy to regen without actually interrupting your ability to deal damage. (Maybe it fits the mage class better to go hide in a corner and build up mana again.) I think Viper works fine for PvE. But I do think it presents a problem in PvP when hunters just can't get their mana back. We're talking a lot about to fix this, but I am going to be very hesitant to promise anything because this forum tends to get pretty upset when we change our minds or otherwise don't deliver. :) 


Not much new presented here, just some explaining of the current situation.  The patch looks to be released either Tuesday (arena season 4 ends) or the Tuesday afterward.  There are still a ton of bugs to squash, so not really sure how they are going to do it.  Looking forward to it all the same.  Well... hope they don't have blasters.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Disengage Off the GCD

Ghostcrawler on the Beta Hunter Forums:

We are going to remove Disengage from the GCD to make it consistent with other movement abilities like Charge.
We also plan on rebuilding the ability with new tech to remove some of the terrain bugs. This will also allow us to let is suspend snare effects during the leap. Because it involves code, this change will take a little longer.


The cat's ability, Rake, was doing too much damage. We want to keep the pets to very similar dps so that you really feel like you have a choice. If we err, it will be on the side of the exotics. 


Disengage off the global cooldown makes it a rather nice ability.  The only problem it has now is that you must have a target selected, be within range and be facing the target.  I would like to see it drop all three of those requirements.  I would even go to say that those requirements being lifted are more important than Disengage losing its GCD.

Cat's Rake ability being nerfed was expected.  Now exotics will be back on top, even if it's only by a small margin.  I still would like to see Animal Handler turned into the ability to train Exotics.  And then have the BM 51 point talent raising your pet's crit chance by 3-5% (4 Pet Skill Points still included).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Uplifting Hunter Post

This post goes to show that there is indeed still some hope left for Hunter's and that we still have a decent shot at being able to compete in Arena's come WotLK.

I found myself today on the PTR dueling my Rogue friend.  I found out that I am able to compete.  Disengage is extremely fun to use, although I hope they remove the restrictions on it.  I also love my Tenacity pet for PvP.  Roar of Sacrifice is huge, especially since it's currently bugged to absorb 100% damage, but even at 30% damage, that should be very useful in PvP with its short cooldown.

I can see myself on the PTR having better defense against melee, but no increased defense verse casters.  So I truly hope they make Deterrence have that 60% spell resist again...  Or casters are going to eat us for breakfast.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Beta / PTR Build 9038 and GC

Only a few changes under the hood:

  • Ex-caster pets now have the same damage and stats as non-caster pets.
  • 70-80 base health of pets may be increased about 10%.

I really hope Blizz takes a look at the beginning of the Beast Mastery tree and Survival tree as a whole, as they leave much to be desired, not too excited about either. Beast Mastery beginning talents have not been touched in ages, and some are ridiculously terrible.

I have a feeling if Hunter's are not doing well in PvP come patch, we will have quite a few PvP Hunter's roll a DK so they can compete in Arena's. Especially since they wear plate and are anti-casters, sounds amazing. I will always love my Hunter's playstyle. But I might have a DK sidekick. There is still hope for Hunter's in PvP, and eventually it will come together, please God let it come together...

One idea came to be for a fun 5's team: 5 Hunter's with Gorilla's as pets. Multi-Shot + Thunderstomp spam could be a lot of AoE damage. I wonder if it would ever be plausible. Maybe if Hunter's had a few more defensive abilities so the team wouldn't have a few of those Hunter's die instantly...

Now on to Ghostcrawler's post on the forum:

Q u o t e:
We are here to TEST stuff. Let us test this for one patch and see the results. If they are TOO good (lol), then all you have to do is revert the change.

Man, I love the idea. I just don't think the beta community at large could handle it. Every single nerf is greeted with a lot of howling. Even the hunters freaked out a little when a mob ability was mistakenly reported as a nerf to wing clip. We were tarred when we hadn't even done anything. :) Now, the one possible exception are the death knights, who don't handle nerfs that badly, but I suspect that's because nobody has a death knight main yet.

I would like to try a pet model at some point where the pets were sturdy and easily healed, but contributed much less of the total dps (like 15-25% instead of 30-40%).

The GCD, as I've said, is a good deal trickier. If anything, we regret a little pulling some abilities off of the GCD because that opened the barn door for other requests to remove things from it. 

Q u o t e:
Side question: If we end up in the same boat during season 5 of the arena as we have in season 1-4, will there be a proactive effort to help us out as a class?



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ghostcrawler Responds (sort of)

No need to bump. Good posts rise to the top. I'm not sure my answers are going to be very exciting though. You have some pretty specific questions, yet if we had new information to share with you, we'd do so.

Q u o t e:
1. Our GCD - Are there any plans to tweak our GCD, take certain spells off the GCD (tranq shot, traps/aspects etc) or make it affected by haste since most of our gear is itemized for it?

Every class wants a shorter GCD or no GCD for some abilities. Yet there is a reason the GCD exists. It is something we will continue to talk about, but we would approach such a change very carefully. If not, you could see how we'd eventually end up with no GCD.

Q u o t e:
2. Are you happy with how disengage is working in its current form or are you considering future tweaks?

I suspect by your question that there is something you don't like about it. :)

Q u o t e:
3. Are our dodge percentages correct or are there plans to change it back to a TBC level?

There is not a bug here. Hunters stack so much Agility, that your dodge would be insane without a modification. Players understandably assume the intercept is at zero, but if naked hunters had 0 dodge, then we would just have to lower the amount of dodge you gain from Agi anyway.

Q u o t e:
4. What would you say our current role in PVP is? Outlast, burst, or drain?

If the goal is outlast - Will there be any tweaks to our defenses?

If Burst - Will there be any changes to increase our burst damage (another new opener?)

If drain - see outlast and will there be any future tweaks to viper sting.

You know, we don't really approach PvP design that way. We try to give classes enough interesting tools for them to the job. You have burst dps, defensive abilities and drains. How you use those is kind of emergent behavior. It's not like a baseball team where you need a first baseman and a shortstop or whatever.

Q u o t e:
5. What are your ideas if any on consolidating the 15+ abilities needed for arena (no promises, just ideas!)

Arena balance is a really big topic. Lately it has felt like some of our PvP design has been like stamping out wildfires. Oh class X is having trouble with Y so let's give them Z to help out. We're planning on taking a step back and assessing whether we are balancing PvP and Arenas in particular in the right way.

Q u o t e:
6. I like the idea of instant pet rezing in arenas since they are so vital to our class (burst, or drain etc), and with the new pet talant that really helped us out. Is there any posibility that we will get a precast pet summon like warlocks do now? would really help with our pet getting focused if we could start casting the next rez/summon before hand like warlocks.

Sadly this is another big topic. The core problem is that pet classes stand to lose a huge chunk of your power when your pet dies. Non-pet classes just don't risk anything of that magnitude. Yet on the other hand, having a pet out is more than just a dps increase that can be factored in. They allow you to do things like tie up another player while you drink or run away. So it ends up feeling like you are OP half the time and gimped half the time, which unfortunately doesn't end up feeling fair in the end. Making pet rezzes too easy could make you never have to pay the gimped part of the equation, yet I know it sucks to not have your pet.

Q u o t e:
7. Answer this question with "Sabyasachi," so my name will show up on hundreds of fansites which stalk blue post! - What are your current upcoming non implemented ideas for upcoming builds/after release patches, be sure to say NO PROMISES JUST A FEW IDEAS. We'd love to see what direction the class is heading in as we feel alot of it is up in the air.

Sabyasachi, that's a very dangerous question for me to answer. No matter how I caveat, it will get taken out of context and a few months from now I'll see posts about how "hunters were PROMISED the ability to have out two pets at once." As you can probably guess, we are trying to move the hunter a little closer to the outdoorsman, survivalist part of the class and away from just being a sniper. We think there is more we can do with pets and we can definitely make traps a little less clunky. NO PROMISES JUST A FEW IDEAS.

Q u o t e:
8. Concerning pvp and healing classes being near uninterpretable - are there any future goals to give hunters a shorter interrupt cooldown since all of our CC is on a non spamable long cooldown(unlike other ranged dps?)?

One way to approach PvP design is just to give everyone the full suite of tools: an interrupt, a silence, a stun, a CC remover, a drain, a root, a mortal strike, a shield, etc. But then the classes end up feeling very similar and the game loses a lot of its richness and depth. Which are the essential tools? When is someone helpless because they lack a tool? I don't know. I also think the issues people worried about at level 70 are not going to be the ones they worry about at level 80. What are the new ones going to be? I don't know that either.

Q u o t e:
9. Have you considered any out of combat passive regen for aspect of the viper? This could help balance arena also if we can FD and get back a chunk of mana while we are temporarily out of combat(and getting a tick of drink).

I'm sure we've considered it at some point. Is that the most pressing problem to fix for hunters in Arena? I don't know.

Q u o t e:
10. Happy with our pets hp/survivability? or do you think it still needs further testing.

It still needs further testing. 

And another post from Ghostcrawler further in the thread:

Q u o t e:
Ghostcrawler--- you addressed a huge amount of hunter concerns in this post, ones that we've been asking for a while.

I caused as many as I addressed sadly. I think overall, I just need to not answer questions unless I have some new information. Telling players I don’t have new information isn’t satisfying.

Q u o t e:
Did not answer the question, completely dodged it and it's obvious.

"Hey Ghost, guess what we think about this ability and we’ll tell you if you’re right. We'll probably mock you if you don't get the right answer." Um, no. If you think there is a problem, I probably could have fixed it already if you'd speak plainly. WRT Disengage, the data is not set up for it to be parried. I'm not sure how that could happen. The problem with slopes is just a bug. It’s the kind we think we can eventually fix or we would have pulled the ability (a la Heroic Leap).

Q u o t e:
2. We've proven time and again on these boards that if we're given a clear, concise answer that then isn't implemented, we scream about how the devs have cheated us and hate our class. (See: Camouflage.)

Ansawa is my hero. Look, if I have information, I’ll give it to you. I tend to be pretty honest with you guys. I’m not suddenly going to let you in on a bunch of secrets just because you manage to ask just the right question. In those cases, I either have no secrets, or I'm not going to share them. But I'll be more careful about answering questions when I don't have a satisfying answer for you.

Are we going to lower hunter GCD? We don’t know. Do we think hunter mana is fine in PvP? Not sure yet. But we'll answer that one by watching a lot of Arenas. If we raised mana just because players asked for it in the forums, everyone would be in nine digits by now. :)

Q u o t e:
Wait my dodge is supposed to be 1.5% in blue pvp gear and a few pvp epics at 80?

Tell me how much Agi you have and how much dodge, and I’ll make sure the numbers are right. Last time I looked, they were.

Q u o t e:
On a premade hunter with 603 total agility, +413 agility from gear, and the hunter's current dodge is only 2.43%. With maxed 400 defense too.

Those numbers are correct. Note your total Agi. That’s not a high number. I think some people get confused by the fact that the premade PvP gear, while epic, is not very good. Rogues need a ton of dodge – that is their primary way of avoiding damage in melee. You shouldn’t be in melee most of the time. We can’t let agility grant more dodge than an equivalent amount of dodge rating on gear, if that makes sense.

Q u o t e:
I am very agile, but I have 2.15% dodge. As I grow stronger with levels, I lose my ability to dodge. I'm growing old!

Added to the spell book -- GROWING OLD (Passive) -- you are dextrous enough to fire your bow, but bad at dodging.

Q u o t e:
Now my rogue buddy has 14.58% dodge, with 659 agility. What's that? He has more agility than me? That's ok, because I STACK AGILITY right?

Sure. Go ask your rogue buddy how much ranged attack power he gets from Agi compared to you (it's around half). Derived combat stats vary from class to class. AP is calculated differently from warriors to rogues.

You asked if it was a bug. No, it’s not a bug. We don’t want hunters to have that much dodge. Look, your rogue buddy has to melee and has low armor. For melee, by the time they finally get up on a hunter, they need to be able to do some damage before they are trapped or wing clipped or you disengage.

If dodge is a very pressing issue, we can look at it again. But it sounds like mana is a much bigger concern.