Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The 5.4 PTR Hunter Class Changes are Half Right and All Wrong

I can see what they are thinking.  But they are completely wrong.  Here are the PTR changes to hunters:

  • Arcane Shot had its damage and focus cost increased by 50%.
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk now reduces all damage taken by 10%, down from 15%.
  • Silencing Shot is no longer a talent and is now an ability for Marksman Hunters.
  • Binding Shot is no longer a Marksman Hunter ability and is once again a talent.
At first glance, it looks like a buff, a small nerf, and some shuffling of abilities only some hunters use.  But that is not the case.  I'm not one who goes for hyperbole very often.  It's actually a slow-motion train-wreck.  Let's look further.

Arcane Shot.  Sure we all use arcane shot a lot and hunters are low on damage so you can buff all hunters by a certain amount by buffing their common shot.  Yeah.  No.

Buffing Arcane Shot damage and making it cost more is bad.  Across all specializations, arcane shot is our focus dump.  It shouldn't hit harder.  It shouldn't cost more.  When used, it should take a small bite of our focus.  Good hunters will always prune their focus such that they have enough focus to use their big damage ability when it comes off cool down.  Hunters that shoot arcane shots when they shouldn't, will now continue to do so, but not be penalized as much on the DPS front. They didn't hit as many of their big damage abilities (Explosive Shot, Chimera Shot, Kill Command) as they should have, but now they wont be penalized as much as before.  They're being taught to be bad.

If we're going to get a damage boost, do the harder work and boost all three specialization gold star abilities.  Sorry, that is more work, but it's the right thing to do.  Tweak it up a little bit and leave the focus costs alone.

Iron Hawk.  The raiding talent if there ever was one.  Okay fine, reduce our flat DR.  Why have it at all?  I believe the thinking was that we don't have a way to DPS and pop a defensive CD.  We can only hit Deterrence and at most lob a trap.  Other classes don't have that problem.  (No, not even mages.)  So what number should it be?  IDK.  I do know that I do hit Stoneform as a defensive CD when times are tight on healing.  But I'd be an idiot to do it most of the time because it's only 10%.  It reminds me of the days when we could step and melee a raptor strike to get the damage reduction.

Silencing Shot moves to Marksman-only.   This removes the hunter's interrupt for a majority of hunters.  It leaving us with a pet stun.  And that stun is on a one minute cooldown.  We can't even take down 2K health rares around Pandaria who heal.  I don't think I've ever used profanity in any of my 526 blog posts.  Take this quiz.  a) How many raid bosses can be interrupted?  b) How many raid bosses can be stunned?  The answer key: a) Most. b) None.  WHAT.  THE.  FUCK.

Silencing Shot should be baseline.  I'd love it to have a shorter cooldown, but it must be balanced with other classes.  Yes, make the level 30 talent choices Binding Shot, Wyvern Shot, and Intimidation.  But make Silencing Shot baseline.  That's what you do when almost every hunter takes it!  Give Marksman the ability to increase their crit by standing in place for N seconds.  They're freaking Marksmen.  The ability is already designed and had been in the game.  If they don't want to use it, fine.  Then every hunter specialization can raid and every specialization is on the same footing with regard to PvP.

Binding Shot returns.  Yeah.. didn't call that one.  Or actually, I guess we did.  At least the core of us at the WHU.  But that was quite easy to anticipate.  Welcome back.   For PvE it's a nice special use ability.  For PvP it can be fun and useful


  1. I agree 100%. Made a post saying much of the same earlier this morning myself. I too was left with a resounding WTF?

    I think the silencing shot bit bothers me more than anything else really. It was our only real choice on that tier to begin with.

  2. Sorta following up on my original response to Grumpy (totally not stalking you, dude, really).

    Arcane Shot - Changes shouldn't only benefit good hunters. I don't think this will actually hurt good hunters so if it helps bad hunters, that can only make your LFR runs a bit less painful. This will be a great change for my hunter (guess I'm somewhere solidly between "good" and "LFR troll" in hunter skill based on that).

    Iron Hawk - Could be worse, Boomkins, Warlocks and Shadow Priests lost ALL of their "form" DR, hunters only lost 33%. This seems to be more of a global change but they left hunters with at least some DR. If the DR is still enough to be better than the other two options for raiding, take it. If not, take something else. They wanted to get rid of no-brainer talent choices, this theoretically helps with that. All things being relatively equal I'd probably take the healing one for full-time use as long as raid mechanics aren't routinely killing me with <10% overkill.

    Silencing Shot - I'm still not convinced this change will go live, I'm not sure what it gains. I'd have been happier if they'd just removed SiS from hunters entirely rather than possibly forcing 7 hunters worldwide to run MM because their particular group is short an interrupt. Also, see no-brainer talent choice comment above.

    Binding Shot - Can't comment, not even sure I know what it does.

  3. For pvp hunters this really hurts. The silence shot has saved my ass more times than I can count. Iron Hawk is another pvp must have. BM's are gonna have a suck fest out of this. I'm rather hurt by these changes.

    1. Arcane shot should never be so close to signiture shots damage period!, silencing must be a baseline talent, seriously wondering what jackass types are working for blizzard lately.. very dissillusioned, after 7 years on my hunter I'm seriously wondering why right now.

  4. I wonder if the change to Arcane Shot will make Thrill of the Hunt more viable. With TotH's high proc rate and the boost to Arcane Shot's damage I wonder if it might be worth taking over Dire Beast now.

    1. Yes, it certainly could be. For all Specializations. And then that's an even smaller number of button presses we'll have.

      And if the signature shots of each specialization aren't worth bothering with, then we're moving from button bloat to three buttons.

  5. This means that will have to use Intimidation once again...because I'm a BM hunter... Sad..I love Silencing shot..:(

  6. If you PvP then yes. If you raid PvE, stuns don't affect bosses, so you have next to no utility in that area.

    But specializations may not matter at all either as you may end up just doing SrS, AS, AS, AS, CS/SS. But that would be very sad if it happens.

  7. all hunters get counter shot, your new baseline interrupt ability. it's replaced by silencing shot for mm hunters.

  8. Well, Time to hang up the Bow and take out the Green Fire and Totems, maybe with no one playing hunters they will finally do something... there is not anyone who knows what to do with hunters anymore anyway