Celestalon: “Hunters are just at the top of our list right now”

Good news! And no, my awesome matching talbuk mount and pet combos have nothing to do with it.

We’ve been complaining about our numbers for a while, but most of our evidence was based on simulations, which the devs were quick to dismiss. Now that we have actual logs to back it up, it’s becoming clear that hunters (at least BM and SV specs) are a teensy bit on the weak side right now.

Survival actually received some hotfix buffs on patch day: 12% to Explosive Shot, Black Arrow, and Serpent Sting, but it still wasn’t enough.  Even Marksmanship — our top spec right now — is up to 50% behind the currently overpowered classes. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect perfect balance in a prepatch like this when most of the balance design is focused on level 100. However, the results for hunters at level 100 are mirroring the level 90 results, just not as dramatically. 

My podcasting cohort, Artemishowl, is the one who got Celestalon to spill the beans. I’m just happy things don’t look so hopeless anymore. I was at a point where I was really excited for Warlords in general (and taming all the new pets), but the class itself was becoming worrisome.

Now I’m less concerned about our place among other classes (the OP classes will probably be nerfed), and more concerned about spec inequality. One spec will always be better, that is inevitable, but the gap between Marksmanship and Survival/Beast Mastery right now is too much. Quite simply, BM and SV need buffs!

I am now cautiously optimistic.


27 thoughts on “Celestalon: “Hunters are just at the top of our list right now””

  1. So MM is the highest dps?? while SV and BM are still lower down the list.. i did notice a difference last night “aussie time” with my friend “shadow priest” we are both around the same ilvl.. but i was out dpsing him. dont know if its his rotation.. but i was doing a considerable larger amount of damage compared to him.. i am a BM spec hunter.. so i was pleased 😀

    Ps: Love the design for your website, really nice layout 🙂

    1. Yes, MM does the most DPS (even if your Sniper Training isn’t perfect). From what I heard, shadow priests aren’t so hot now either. You were probably doing more damage because you played better, or your friend isn’t used to the class changes yet.

      1. ahh I see. should i roll a MM i have SV as my secondary… but thats been like that since cata.. I just prefer BM overall..

        Saying that.. i as MM in vanilla wow.. Good times 🙂 haha

    1. well it was a 25% attack power buff.. but i agree.. its gone.. possibly baked in with our other abilities, so we get a passive 25% boost anyway.

  2. Always they way >.< I was just hoping that BM or SV would be one of the better specs as we have been Dating all MoP 🙂
    I try not to get too caught up in the "FotM" but when one spec (MM) is the only one doing average DPS and the other two are limping so badly, it makes me lament. If this "Hunters are on the top of our list" does not come to pass, I'll be dusting off my MM booties after all. Still going to hang on a little longer now with this news, but one never really knows how the DPS cards will flop in the end…

  3. having played all three specs in about 2 hours last night, and then wandering around Timeless isle tonight, MM feels about on par with other high-end dps classes right now. i did not have dps meters against ordos last night. still feels right.

    1. The problem im having is that MM is drastically different to BM and SV.. In MoP all three specs were closer together.. but still high in the dps table.. for now its either.. you want to do max dps.. choose MM.. BM and SV are just for show.

      But we still kick ass so it doesn’t really matter that much. Hope BM gets boosted a little more..

  4. I’m hoping we’ll get some explanation (and apology) from Celestalon as to how Hunter dps can be so low compared to other classes now that 6.0.2 has gone live.

    Maybe they are no longer ignoring hunters now, but they have been ignoring hunter feedback during the entire beta period.

    1. ignoring maybe to light of a word, they spent a good portion of beta nerfing BM and flip flopping on survival as to what the dps should be and this is going to be the PVP spec so kill shot has to go (don’t want to repeat 5.4 with MM healing). Eventually they decided to bake all the dps in MM (mid pack range DPS too), probably the clunkiest of our specs, and the one lacking in synergy (MM just feels awkward)…. No wonder, BM’s and Survivals DPS is the mess it is.

  5. Went raiding in heroic mode last night with a number of people I normally raid with on 25 man. Until last night, I was consistently 3%-5% above the second highest player. Last night, over and over again, I found I could barely reach 50% to 60% of our warriors, and less than 35% of the warlock. Even all the mages (3 of them) were a solid 10% to 15% ahead of me in damage. I was solidly in the middle of the pack doing worse than many with far inferior gear to mine. This was as BM. I’ve been practicing on beta, so unfamiliarity with the new system is no excuse. I have to say that I am extremely disappointed with their current “tuning”.

  6. Please put a number perspective on it. Currently all three specs are sucking rainbow farts. I am seeing BM doing about 94% of MM stinky DPS and Surv about 92% of MM stinky DPS. All three specs are very close in DPS terms….sadly its just stinky DPS.

    In the end any % of stinky dps is still stinky dps.

    I think miloscrub hit the nail on the spot when he said they removed Aspect of the Hawk and forgot to bake it in. I hate sounding pessimistic but Celestalon has proven from his twitter post he does not understand the hunter class.

    Aspect of the Hawk removal is going to cause problems in the long run. Remember Hunter do not scale with gear very well. Blizzard fix for this over a xpac is to increase the passive damage % of Aspect of the Hawk. Without that??

    1. To put numbers on it – top dps was Warlock at 34K, then two warriors at 24K, then three mages at 22K, then a pack at around 14K. I came in at 13K (pre 6.0.2, was around 325K sustained). Finally, the rest of the dps and tanks were in the 11K to 12+K range. My gear level is 574.

  7. Two of us in a Mythic raid last night were consistently bottom DPS, and only slightly above the tanks. He played SV all night, I tried both SV and BM. Difficult to draw proper comparisons as I was drowning my Hunter sorrows in cider by the time I started trying SV but I felt like it was doing slightly better than BM, but not much.

    I will be getting MM sorted to try on Mythic Garrosh on Sunday night as that’s definitely better than SV on the target dummy.

    I’m not that worried about the damage though, I’m sure they’ll fix us. I’m more worried about how boring it was to play, especially as SV where I felt like I either had nothing to press, or was spamming ES procs. Very whack-a-mole and not very fun for me. And BM rotation hasn’t really changed but with no Rapid Fire and such a long cooldown on Stampede it just felt disappointing. I’ve never felt bored playing my Hunter before but I’ll wait and see how things feel at 100.

  8. Sweet!

    I am nervous about switching to MM from SV, since I’ve had to be SV for so long… I remember back with ArPen switching when they nerfed SV, I guess it’s the same thing! But while un-nerfing SV I wonder if I should just manage… of course in the dungeon runs I’ve done as SV I’m top damage but I know I’m a better player, so I’ll have to compare my logs!

    Side note: Heard your Podcast! It was great! Didn’t know you were back at wow.joystiq! Looking forward to some more! Really want to know how you plan on doing your Garrisons, and which 3 crafted items you’ll get getting on your Hunter!

  9. As MM I was top DPS on heroic Nazgrim and Thok, two different groups, two different times, with entirely different comps, and I’m only at 561 ilvl.

    Anecdotal evidence is meh, and likely many people learning while I was familiar having spent last week on ptr, but it at least seems that MM is competitive right now.

    I was pulling about 10-12k depending on sniper training uptime. I’m curious what somebody in full Mythic WF BiS would be pulling, anyone have numbers?

    1. 17-18k in BiS gear I think, judging by some hunter streams I checked out. But warriors and mages are pulling 25k+. MM is halfway decent right now, it’s BM and SV that are the problem

  10. We hit up SOO last night, with mixed results. BM Hunters (both of us) fell from the top spots to middle of the pack. I’m not freaking out yet, but the raid still moved forward well enough. Not the bottom of the list, but not nearly high enough.

    Still far more mobile than anyone else, but sustained massive DPS just wasn’t there in single target or AoE fights.

    The rotations is very simple now, almost too simple with no DoT to keep applied and BW/KC being the only thing to watch.

  11. @bendak sorry there all a problem currently, MM is not halfway decent. See my post above. I also have a funny feeling the only reason MM is in the middle of the pack @ level 100 (not @90 cause it is on the bottom) is because of tier set bonus.

    Which really means base MM needs a buff @100 and the tier set needs a nerf. Relying on tier bonus to be in the “middle” of the pack is poor game design.

    1. I’m not saying MM is great, just halfway decent compared to BM and SV… so not even decent. 🙂 I expect the OP classes to be nerfed which would put MM in a better place as-is. I think hunters need a buff on the whole, but most especially SV and BM.

  12. Played mythic mainly as MM tonight. All 3 of us hunters being nearly bis and ususally in top 5 in 25 man guild were now fighting for place 8 to 11 in 20 man, having healers, tanks and shadow priest bellow us, doing half of fury warrior damage. Feels somewhat frustrating. Not all of us are in fact new to the spec either.

    MM feels unfinished and lacking some kind of flow the new BM has or even what MM had before. One of weirdest things is again talking about hunters being mobile and therefore doing less damage when our top spec mastery promotes standing still. I unserstand we have more mobility but it should not take more of us than 5% damage in stand still fights. I am happy blizzard has not forgotten us but i hope they do come up with solutions fast , hunter is NOT finished.

  13. Played MM last night….horrible spec. Was not very enjoyable. Always hate having a huge cast time…and now with it designed as being the focus dump its even worst. I didn’t like it before but i find it is even worst now. The only pro is the simplification of the specs rotation. Problem is if i wanted a cast bar i would of rolled a mage 8 years ago.

    Surv seems it is missing abilities. It needs a CD button at the very least. Only spec my bar has empty buttons. The removal of kill shot is a pathetic idea.

    BM is the only thing that seems fluid…and the only reason that is the case because it is the only spec that is similar to what it was before.

    I can care less about the DPS issue. That will get addressed in time. I care about the fact that i am not enjoying my class.

    Here is to hoping it like when focus was introduced. Focus was garbage in the cata prepatch but now i cannot live without out. Hoping something between level makes these specs more enjoyable b/c as it stands for the first time in 8 years i do not like the class i play.

  14. I hope they fix hunters soon and make thinks more balanced. I was in a group for UBRS this morning and our warrior tank was consistently doing 19k damage while us lowly dps were only outputting 2-3k. Certainly not what I would call balanced at the moment.

  15. Why the gentle speech Bendak? It’s not a “teensy” problem. :/ A pure DPS class should never be topped by a hybrid. Ever. A pure DPS class should always be viable at the top level of DPS charts, not battered down and slung down into the bottom 20% — which is where Hunters are right now.

    Don’t tiptoe around it. Hunters got hit too hard with the nerf bat for a pure DPS class.

      1. ok good! I am super glad!! I am new to the class, but devotedly in love with it forever. I feel like I have missed the boat playing Mage for 9.5 years. I created this character in Vanilla and she lingered since then. I picked her up 6 or 8 months ago and I never looked back. I wish I could rewind time. I’m glad for the Mage experience, but damn, this was the class I was meant to be.

        I was really worried you were tiptoeing around dev’s feelings and they can take a strong word or two!! haha! 😀

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