Thursday, July 18, 2013

PTR 5.4 and Hunters

PTR is doing a major overhaul of the Hunter class. SO major that talents and skills are getting moved around or dropped. This will effect our overall shot rotations and changes which spec will be bringing the most utility to the group.

Arcane Shot
      Damage and Focus Cost increased by 50%.   As a BM I have 120 Focus. Right now that means I get 6 shots off without having to recharge focus. This will mean I get 4 shots for the same amount of damage. As an MM or Surv you get 5 shots off now or 3 shots off for 4.5 shots worth of equivalent damage. While BM's can maintain the same amount of DPS, Marksman are Survivlists will take a loss. This weakens MM's and Surv's and strengthens no one.

Counter Shot
      New baseline ability learned by all Hunters at level 22. SO everyone gets a 3 Sec interrupt. But this is useless unless they are casting a spell. Which means we can't stop instant cast spells.

       So the cool down goes up from 2 minutes to three minutes, but you can use it twice. Like the Monk Barrel Roll. This is more of a boon than you might think. In a 6 minute period of time, the old way you had 3 uses while the new way gives us four uses. It's a change for the good for all specs.

       Has 20 Sec cool down, down from 25. Being able to use Disengage more often is a very good thing for all specs. This is a good change.

Hunter's Mark
       Last 20 seconds in PVP instead of 30 seconds. Not a big deal. I don't see this as being an issue since the Mark gets auto applied with various shots. Not sure why this change is even being done.

Explosive Trap
       Overall damage decreased by 30%, mostly taken from the initial damage. This weakens this trap. If they are trying to make traps go away, this is a good start to make Explosive Trap not worth the click.

      Removed from the game. We get no way to up our burst damage or make effective use of the Bestial Wrath. So our DPS is basically halved for the initial burst damage which is where we did a lot of our damage at. This will make it hard for us to compete in various DPS checks and add burns. We also will not be able to do a lot in PVP initial clash damage or have any decent way to over come healing with our damage. This also will completely change our initial rotations. We will actually have to rethink how we open our attacks beacuse of this. And PVP and Bestial Wrath will not be an opening move any more. We will have to save it for when it will protect us from effects rather than use it to increase our DPS. It changes how BM's will feel and play in all styles.

Revive Pet
        No longer requires line-of-sight to revive pet. This is a good thing. It means we can hide and still revive our dead pets. I like this change.

        Deals 75% less damage in Arenas and Battlegrounds only. This will help with our DPS, But I still think it's to little of a help to compensate for the loss of all but auto-attacks from it.

Aspect of the Iron Hawk
       Damage reduction is now 10% instead of 15%. So the the Iron Hawk has rusted a bit. We loose some protection from this Talent. Makes a bis difference in PVP as we end up taking more damage. This makes it harder for any healers to keep us alive. In PVE, this change should not be a big change as we are not supposed to be taking damage.

Narrow Escape
        The Talent is a Nature spell instead of physical. This makes those webs dispellable. Which means this Talent just became easy to get out of for those classes that have anti-spell capabilities. This hurts this talent, it's not taken as often as some other talents at that level. Hidden Chimera being the most popular amongst the top players it seems.

Silencing Shot
        This will be removed from Talents. It becomes an ability for Marksman that replaces Counter Shot. This takes the only blanket counterspell from BM's and Surv Hunters and gives it only to MM's. This reduces the utility of two out of three specs. In fact, this makes MM's the class to play in PVP, making BM's and Surv's the poorest option in PVP. And most of the raid utility will be in the MM spec too.

Spirit Bond
        So now we get 3% of health back every 2 seconds, instead of 2%. This works as long as our pet is alive. This helps all specs, it gives us a small amount of regeneration.

Wyvern Sting
        Range is now 40 yards instead of 35 yards. I don't see what the big deal on this change is. Your going to stay within range no matter what. 5 yards is not that big of a deal.

Glyph of Mend Pet
      So now Mend Pet will cleanse 1 Curse,Desease, Magic or Poison effect for every tick. This is up from 50%. This makes it possible for us to take care of pets since healers wont do anything to help them. This is a quality of life upgrade for us. It doesn't effect anybodies DPS though. It's nice, but we have been dealing with this for so long that it's not a change.

Glyph of No Escape
      Ranged critical strike chance against target in the Freezing Trap is upped from 20% to 100%. So the scatter shot/freezing trap tactic now gets a big boost to damage. I guess Blizzard wanted to promote this style of play, so handed this buff over to us. All specs benefit from this change.

Binding Shot
      This will no longer be a Marksman only ability. It will replace Silencing Shot on the Talent choices. This will not make up for Silencing Shot. But it does give another option to interrupt/stun someone if combines with explosive shot or explosive trap glyph.  But if you can't get the guys to move far enough, this is a waste of focus.

Explosive Shot
      No longer shares cool down with Black Arrow but no longer activates Lock and Load. This should make Survivalists happy. They can get off these two shots with out killing the other. This change has no effect on the other two specs.

Glyph of Explosive Trap
       So now this will share diminishing returns will other classes abilities that does area effect knockback. Since all classes are getting affected with these type abilites it's a wash. Just annoying for PVE. In PVP, this will suck for those that use these abilites for thier standard tactics, but will be nice for those players that had to suffer through these stacked uses.

For the BM spec, these changes look more harmful than good. Utility is taken from us. Damage is going to be reduce due to Focus Starvation from Arcane Shot. In PVE this means that people will less likely want a BM along for the ride. This sucks in the long run.

The only bright light in this dim patch will be the fact MM's will be more versitile in what they can do for a raid or PVP team than ever before. And that may alone get them more leeway for thier lack of DPS output.

Only time will tell how all of this will shake out in WOW live. Tune in next time to see what next I may write about.

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