Friday, January 4, 2013

Hunter Notes on The 5.2 PTR Notes


What's in Store for Us?

There isn't much discussion about the 5.2 hunter changes up on the PTR, so in the effort to bring it to light, here we go: 
  • Bestial Wrath may now be activated when there is no line of sight to the Hunter's pet.
That will help with some buggy terrain, some PvP column humping, and allow for more creative extreme soloing.  But generally, it is not a big change.
  • Silencing Shot now has a 24-second cooldown (was 20).
  • Binding Shot no longer has a Focus cost.
  • Wyvern Sting no longer has a Focus cost, and its cooldown is now 45 seconds (was 60 seconds).
I love that Silencing Shot & Wyvern Sting have not been bound to talent specialization since MoP.

I do not like the way this PTR change is going.   Sure, these three go together.  They're all on the same talent line.  And other than a few special add PvE situations everyone takes Silencing Shot.  Why?  Because it's an interrupt and PvE and PvP really like interrupts.  So, they're nerfing Silencing Shot and buffing Binding Shot and Wyvern Sting to push people out of that nearly universal choice.  Mind you yes, people can take and really use Binding Shot to great surprise effect -- but it's mostly because it's so rarely used it's not easy to identify.

Here's the world of "interrupts" we have: a) Silencing Shot or I suppose Wyvern Sting, b) Scatter Shot, and c) BM's Intimidation.  That looks great, but scatter shot doesn't work on a fair number of PvE encounters (like most every boss).  Intimidation has the same lack of love and use as an interrupt.  Both of these make sense because they're not really interrupts, they're "interrupts".  Most tanks have a two interrupt options.  Other classes have much shorter interrupt CDs.  Hunters are taking Silencing Shot for a reason.

There are some mini-world-bosses that are a bitch with the interrupt we do have because its cooldown is just a little too long.  Making that cooldown longer is just sad.

What should be done is Hunters should get a baseline interrupt across all specializations.  Make Intimidation work as an interrupt and make it baseline with a much lower cooldown.  Then have Silencing Shot work as long as the hellish fears that locks and priests do so there's some parity and put it at the same cooldown they have.

That would even out that talent tier.

  • Glyph of Marked for Death has been removed, and its effects are now baseline.
The above is a case of universal adoption.  I'm certainly glad they aren't nerfing it to somehow get people to use other Glyphs.  I'll look around for other Glyphs to take.

  • New Glyph: Glyph of Liberation. This glyph now causes Disengage to heal the Hunter for 5% of maximum health when used.
This Glyph looks to have promise, but I'm generally disengaging in order to get somewhere before I need to be healed.  5% is fine.  I'm a little worried that I'll often hit disengage with my back against a solid object just for a quick heal.  Of course 5% is truly tiny, so all things considered this doesn't look like anything you'd take in a raid.  For extreme solo'ng every drop counts.  For PvP there are probably better options unless you are solo'ng.

  • Dire Horns have been added as a tamable species for Hunters that have learned the required skill. Aspiring Dire Horn owners should seek out clues regarding these auspicious beasts.

Neat.  I'm swimming in too many pets.  But there's more info over in these forums.

  • PvP trinkets that clear loss-of-control effects will now also clear these effects from the player's pet as well.

That is a nice change.  Currently, we have to burn a trinket for ourselves and burn the cunning-only pet ability, Bullheaded, to free the pet.  Kinda nuts right now given that without our hunter we don't do much damage and without our pet we don't do much damage.  We have two ways of being hobbled.


What isn't in the 5.2 PTR Notes for Hunters

I'm quite surprised that they're baselining Marked for Death and trying to re-balance hunter choice around the Silencing Shot, Wyvern Sting, and Binding Shot -- while not doing anything about our level 90 talent imbalance.  Are Barrage, Powershot and Glaive Toss really on close-enough equal footing?  Compared to what they're tweaking at the level 30 level?   I would be surprised if less than 80% of hunters use Glaive Toss. 

Barrage looks great and feels great.  But it's only for large packs in a nice controlled environment.  It has a huge 40 yard range and close to 90 degree cone.  That's neat.  It can also pull way more mobs than intended and is too light to use when there aren't a lot of mobs.

Powershot is a great idea.  A fabulous idea.  But it's use is said to be buggy, slow, and it has a 1 min CD.  So it's an ability that you don't want to make room for in your keybinds.

Of the three, I really like Glaive Toss the least on an emotional level.  Okay Glaives are ranged weapons.  But they aren't a crossbow, bow, or gun.  But it's what I use.  It has a reasonable CD.  It can be reached for on single targets and you can move to position yourself to maximize it on multiple targets.

So mechanically, I like GT the best.  Visually, I like it the least.  I don't see other people using anything other than Glaive Toss.

I suspect Blizz can't nerf GT and buff the others because the others are flawed and need mechanical fixes bigger than just changing coefficients and cooldowns.  I would really like to see them fix those to make them worth taking.


  1. Would be nice if we had a GT glyph that would make it bounce around as a cleave. :-P

    But in the end, I think they went too crazy with hunters. Too many abilities that doesn't really add much to the game play.

    I was happy with the Cata style. Add a (useful) stampeed ( for a once or twice a fight, it should do a lot more dmg) and the self-healing, and would be perfect for me.

    I like blink strike, like the idea of power-shot. Didn't care much for MoC, GT, DB. Just diluting our dps.

    1. blink strike has a few niche applications in encounter where bursting something down quickly is more important that overall sustained damage. examples: elegon (orbs) and will (rage adds). depending on your setup and your gear, you might want to pick it in such encounters.

  2. Concerning the binding shot vs silencing shot part... personally i've been using binding shot more often than silencing shot so far in raids (10m). binding shot has helped a lot in will of the emperor heroic for instance. a 5 sec stun on two rage is huge, since rage control is 80% of the fight here. thanks to our two-hunter setup, we had one up every rage wave. in MSV, i've also used BS on the feng shield adds and on the little adds in the elegon encounter.

    in HoF heroic, it is useful on zor'lok (mind controlled people), amber shaper (small blob control), and we plan on using it in the 2nd phase of empress, on the small adds.

    regarding ToES: it can help to control adds in the sun phase of tsoulong, but we haven't been there on heroic yet. it is a nice addition in the lei shi encounter but possibly she'll be the first ever encounter i'll use vyvern sting in.

    the only T14 bosses that require a silencing shot are protectors heroic in ToES and wind-lord in HoF. we'll see if this changes next tier.