Trueshot Lodge: An early preview of the Hunter class hall

Located in the peaks of Highmountain lies Trueshot Lodge, every Hunter’s home away from home. Here we will tend to our artifact weapons, get in some target practice, manage our stables, show off our pets to other Hunters, and probably engage in some rowdy behavior in the bar section.

Trueshot Lodge will also be the center point for our questing in the Broken Isles. It’s where we’ll choose what zone we want to level up in next (remember, you can do them in any order now). There will also be class champions (of which we don’t really know much about yet) that send us on missions.

We will be able to get back and forth to our lodge with Call Greater Eagle. Hunters will also have an exclusive flight path network in the Broken Isles.

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Legion Beta: New potential Hunter pets, the Mech family, and pet buff changes

More fun stuff is coming out of this weekend’s initial datamining, this time related to pets. MMO-Champion has been posting a bunch of new models, and some of them look like they could become Hunter pets.

Standard disclaimer: This is still super early in the beta process and literally everything could change.

Pet buffs removed?

It looks like raid buffs in general may be getting the axe in Legion. Our own Trueshot Aura was removed (as are other class buffs), and all Hunter pet buffs (Furious Howl, Blessing of Kongs, etc.) are kaput. Pets that had non-buff abilities are still intact.

It’s possible that pets which used to provide a raid buff will get a new ability such as a snare, root, or interrupt. I would hate to lose pet family abilities entirely. If they go down this route, there’s a lot of work to do as many pets provided buffs only. Some Exotic families will need extra love because their main benefit was providing 2 buffs.

I’d say I am indifferent to the idea of buffs being removed from the game. The odd time I can whip out the correct pet and provide a missing buff is cool, but nowadays it just seems like having full buffs is a given. Where is the gameplay and complexity in the current raid buff system? Seems more like trimming the fat to me.

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Legion Beta: Preliminary list of Hunter talents

Datamining has been happening for the past day or so, but it’s not until now that we get to the juicy stuff: spell data. It’s great that Wowhead got it all up so fast, but it’s a huge data dump and not fully contextualized yet. I attempted to filter out the weird and questionable data, and I think I managed to interpret what is a talent and what’s not, but I could definitely be wrong on some of them. Update: Was right about most of it. List is more complete now via Wowhead database.

We’ll talk more about the baseline spec stuff in the future, but I will mention a few interesting things I noticed for each spec before I list the talents. You can read about the non-talent stuff in my previous post.

Hopefully this organized list makes it easier to take in all the talent changes from a better perspective. It really helped me see the bigger picture. Keep in mind a few talents are missing — either I missed them in the wall of text, or they aren’t there yet.

A disclaimer:

For all we know, some of this stuff is already gone. So feel free to get excited, as long as you go in realizing this fact. If something turns out not to be true, you can’t say Blizz took it away because it was never there in the first place!

Update 11/21: Added new Aspect of the Cheetah/Turtle spells.
Update 11/22: Added the few missing ones now that Wowhead database is live. Happy to say I was right about 95% of this stuff before knowing for sure 😀

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Gnome Hunters are coming!

We can officially say that every race can now play as the best class in the game. Alex Afrasiabi announced the news on Twitter today: Gnome Hunters are coming in Legion!

This is something Hunters have been campaigning for ever since Blizzard started expanding class/race combinations back in Cataclysm. I know I never missed an opportunity to poke the developers about it. I’m also not surprised that Muffinus (the developer behind Gara and all Hunter pet things recently) was internally pushing for it to happen. He tweeted the following pics out after the announcement. Continue reading


Legion Hunter Preview: First impressions and feedback

Remember during Warlords of Draenor’s development when Blizzard was talking  about “spec differentiation?” It almost became a buzz phrase. They sort of delivered, but not in a way that mattered much. At their core, the 3 Hunter specs were still the same. We had a Focus generator, a Focus dump, and a signature ability. The “differentiation” was Marksmanship having a cast time on its Focus dump (and having to stand still) and Survival having DoTs, while Beast Mastery remained relatively untouched.

Well, I think it might be for real now. I can’t say for sure until I get my hands on the beta, but from what I can tell the specs sound almost completely different — not just the core mechanics but their fantasy as well (that’s this expansion’s buzz word, by the way).

You can read the post for yourself here. Blizzard shares their basic philosophy for each spec and shows us some of their core abilities. It’s enough to go on for a first round of feedback (plus it’s the first real Hunter news in months), so let’s get started.

Note I also have some quotes in here from one of the Senior Game Designers, Andrew Chambers. He was kind enough to answer some Hunter questions in a reddit thread. Remember these are candid comments, and nothing is set in stone.

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Hunter news from day 2 of BlizzCon 2015

For the most part, Blizzard focused on broader topics rather than specific class information. That doesn’t mean we didn’t learn nothing about Hunters though! I’ve picked up this information from various sources over the course of today. Just a reminder that a lot of this isn’t confirmed and can change.

The Hunter Class Hall

  • We got further confirmation that it is located in Highmountain (a new zone in Legion).
  • Again, referred to as a “hunting lodge” so you can guess what kind of environment it will be.
  • Classes get unique bonuses from their class halls. The Hunter bonus is an exclusive (and presumably faster) flight path network in the Broken Isles. We fly around on eagles.  This should be a sweet bonus before we get flying later in the expansion.
  • We have this bonus because of a special relationship the Hunters have with the eagles of Highmountain.
  • The “hearthstone” to send us back to our class hall is an eagle that swoops down and picks us up. We can then use the same eagle to instantly return to our original location (just like Death Gate).

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A new look at the Hunter Artifact Weapons in Legion

The lore behind the Hunter artifacts was recently revealed by Blizzard. Marksmanship gets a bow/crossbow, Beast Mastery a gun, and Survival a spear. If you don’t like the looks of these weapons, keep in mind that you can transmog them even though they’re artifacts. However, you cannot transmog into another spec’s artifact.

Here is how they envision the three Hunter specs in Legion along with their weapons:

Originally Posted by Blizzard

  • Beast Master Hunters are uniquely bonded with the beasts they hunt, blurring the lines between predator and prey. To offset the dangers they face in the wild, they wield the rifle Titanstrike, a techno-magical engineering marvel, perfect for staying on target.
  • Marksmanship Hunters are at their best killing from afar. Having a trustworthy weapon in hand is vital, and no finer bow exists than Thas’dora, Legacy of the Windrunners.
  • Survival Hunters are masters of enduring in the wild, using traps and snares to bleed their enemies. With the Ancient-touched Talonclaw, Spear of the Wild Gods in hand, they can finish their foes with one final thrust.

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BlizzCon 2015 Hype and Predictions

Current Hype Level: 10/10

I’m pretty excited for BlizzCon (even though I’m not going in person), especially with the little movie teaser from yesterday. The footage looked amazing if you ask me. We’ve seen so little of it and already I can pick out many little details they got right. The guns look like Warcraft guns. The orcs look like Warcraft orcs. Stormwind looks incredible. They even have freakin’ Harvest Golems (look in the field above). Are you kidding me?

I’m hoping in the final movie we see some genuine Hunter action as these guys with the big pistols don’t really look like Hunters. The orc with his wolf buddy sure does, though.

Here’s the teaser again for good measure.

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Patch 6.2.3: Hey, something to write about!

Hey, Hunters! Yeah I am still here. Just fresh out of stuff to talk about in this downtime and complete lack of news… until today! Patch 6.2.3 was announced today and it adds quite a bit for a minor patch. Here’s some quick thoughts on the main features:

Valor points returning

Valor is coming back purely for item upgrades. It looks like you can do two upgrades of 5 ilvl per item, for a total of 10. This isn’t something I am going to grind at all. I know I’ll get some incidentally from doing stuff and I’ll use those on my weapon, then a trinket (won’t bother using it on Mirror of the Blademaster since the on use doesn’t scale with ilvl), then the highest ilvl/stat budget pieces from there.

I don’t like that you can’t get the points from doing regular raids. I mean, I get that they want to give people a reason to do dungeons again, but it seems weird. Especially since LFR is going to reward some too. They mentioned some kind of bonus event. This may be a new event, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it just replaced the Apexis event. Apexis is almost entirely irrelevant with this patch with better Mythic Dungeon rewards, and the fact that Baleful tokens can proc ilvl 695 without using an empowered fragment.

I get why they’re doing this, but it is not an incentive to me. I’ll be happy to upgrade my 720 gun to 730 and call it a day from there basically. I would probably grind these if I were still raiding regularly, of course. That’s the benefit of taking a break from raiding. No more worrying about that ilvl number.

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New bits of Legion info, and going casual

It sure has been slow on the news front ever since the Legion announcement, eh? Blizzard wasn’t kidding when they said they’d be more tight-lipped about things this time around (can’t say I blame them after Warlords). We did get a few new tidbits of info today, and when I say “tidbits” I really mean that. This is all sourced from a live-tweeting of an unofficial WoW panel at Dragoncon.

It’s a bit of a silly way to disseminate information like this IMO, though I won’t complain about getting some new info. Here’s a rundown of the cool stuff. Keep in mind this is all obtained from secondhand tweets and can’t be taken as a promise or official information.

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