WoD Beta: Survival PvP concerns

Survival isn’t in the best shape for PvP as it stands. Its damage is based around sustained DPS — which is already a downside for PvP — and its only source of burst damage (Lock and Load) can be negated entirely with a simple dispel of Black Arrow. No Black Arrow = no Lock and Load procs. This would be remedied somewhat if Ice Trap was still able to proc Lock and Load as a fallback, but it doesn’t anymore.

It seems like at one point in time they were aware of the problem because the original WoD 4pc survival PvP bonus used to give Black Arrow the ability to trigger Lock and Load instantly (and presumably removed the subsequent proc chances as a tradeoff). This was later changed once they added the Multistrike behavior to LnL.

Here are some potential solutions I hope the devs will take into consideration. Consider all these numbers as just examples to illustrate a point. I don’t presume to know how to balance them.

  • Bring back the old Noxious Stings as a survival passive, but make it work with Black Arrow instead.
    Noxious Stings: When Black Arrow is dispelled, the dispeller is afflicted with Serpent Sting and Black Arrow for 50% of its remaining duration.
    Having both DoTs will make the dispeller think twice about dispelling it, otherwise it’s a no brainer. This was an idea I originally saw posted by Jademcian, who previously wrote a guest post here on Eyes of the Beast you should check out.
  • Lingering Shadow: When Black Arrow is dispelled, Lingering Shadow is applied to the target equal to the remainder of Black Arrow’s duration. Lingering Shadow deals 99% reduced damage but Multistrikes will trigger Lock and Load. Lingering Shadow is immune to dispels.
  • Shadowy Venom: When Black Arrow is dispelled, instantly generate 3 stacks of Lock and Load and reduce the cooldown of your next Black Arrow by up to 10 seconds.
  • Deadly Consequences: When Black Arrow is dispelled, it will jump to another enemy target within 30 yards for 50% of its remaining duration. If no other targets are in range, Black Arrow is reapplied.
  • Recovery: When Black Arrow is dispelled, the cooldown is instantly reset (or reduced by xx sec, whatever)
  • Glyph of Black Arrow: Black Arrow deals 50% less damage but is immune to dispels.

Survival hunters simply rely on Lock and Load too much to have it so casually dismissed in PvP combat. It needs some form of dispel protection in my opinion. This might be making too much out of a problem that isn’t there (my PvP experience has been limited on the beta) but it’s a concern I see hunters bringing up regularly.

All this being said, Improved Camouflage really is a nice PvP perk (removed) for the spec (as are the trap perks). But you know what they say about the best defense…

If you have any similar feedback, I urge you to post it on the beta forums, tweet the devs, or leave in-game feedback with the suggestion feature under Help -> Suggestion in the game menu if you are in the beta. Remember to always be calm, cool, and constructive.


10 thoughts on “WoD Beta: Survival PvP concerns”

  1. LIngering Shadows makes a lot of sense. I don’t have enough shots totally figured out on my spreadsheet to definitely say for sure, but it looks like MS is not going to be an important stat in pvp, so long as BA is dispellable.

    Great ideas though, I’d love to see a more viable hunter spec, though it could be that we’re a bit spoiled now, being able to compete in PvP. I can’t remember the last time before MoP hunters had solid pvp spec.

  2. Based on tweets by Celestalon SV appears to be the strongest hunter PvP spec in beta:

    15 June: “Internal testing is showing Survival to be the strongest PvP spec by a wide margin right now, actually.”

    12 July: “And yet, our internal and external testing is showing Survival as being monsters in PvP, primarily due to CC power.”

    With tweets like that I’m not sure Blizzard sees the problem…or perhaps they don’t want too many LnL procs fearing they are too bursty ?

    I can see why Black Arrow being dispelled might be problematic. At the same time preventing making it impossible to dispel Black Arrow or guarantee LnL procs would be problematic as well.

    I’m assuming you can’t make it “harder” to dispel Black Arrow by using exotic ammunition or concussive shot on the same target ?

    One other idea to give BA some dispel protection would be to give Misdirection some PvP use by having it “misdirect/deflect” any offensive/defensive dispel abilities on the target. Of course it should become possible to cast Misdirection on enemies as well (it would be fun anyway if you can force enemy NPCs to attack each other).

    This way you could use Misdirection as an 8 sec dispel protection for Black Arrow or use it on a team member to protect them from having any positive buffs dispelled from them.

    1. The trap perks for SV are nice, but my point is what good is CC if you can’t kill anything. Maybe things will feel better once they start tuning the numbers. I felt like I was hitting targets in Ashran like a wet noodle. LnL is more important than ever with no baseline DPS cooldowns. Just feels wrong to me that it loses almost all PvP potential against anyone who knows what they’re doing.

      As for using more magic effects (i.e. exotic munitions) to make it difficult to dispel, as far as I know all of the healer dispels remove ALL magic effects at once, don’t they? It appears they also no longer have cooldowns in WoD (but there is a mana cost).

    2. Also editing the post to add… The SV 4pc PvP bonus used to give you an instant LnL proc when BA was cast (and presumably removed the subsequent proc chances). However, this was before they added the Multistrike behavior. It seems to me like it was something they had at one time considered to be an issue. But like you said, maybe they don’t feel like it is anymore.

    3. I was really excited when I saw Celestalon’s tweets. They’ve either changed things significantly, or their “internal testing” was waaaaaay off. CCing across the board hasn’t been changed that much. You can still be feared for 12-15 seconds (could be a bug, but it’s happened repeatedly), which is plenty of time for most melee classes to kill you, especially the super OP warriors, who only need the duration of one fear.

      I think survival does well in 1v1’s against non-healers. But that’s about the only situation. Traps are still dispellable, which means they aren’t going to make the spec good when playing against a team with skill.

  3. I agree, I think there are many other so many broken classes on Beta atm… the amount of CC survival should have, should naturally be superior to bm and MM…
    Survival is the speccs name after all…

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