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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the things I’m most excited about in Legion is the focus on class identity. The fact that every spec gets some lore surrounding their artifact weapon is pretty cool to me. I don’t expect them to be ground-breaking quest lines (since they have to do 36 of them), but the very fact that each spec gets a little something unique means a lot. It puts a lot more weight behind your choice of spec, and sort of commits you to that choice. I think fewer people will be inclined to switch to “flavor of the month” specs if they’ve identified themselves as another spec already.
However, it does put a little more responsibility on Blizzard’s end to make sure classes with more than 1 DPS spec are relatively balanced. I think it’s important that every time a new patch or hotfix drops you don’t feel forced to abandon your artifact journey because of numbers.
This week we discuss Legion, the newly announced expansion for World of Warcraft. We talk about melee Hunters, petless Hunters, and good old big red Hunters. We also talk about the new Artifact weapons, the in-game Hunter’s Hall, and much more.
The Hunting Party Podcast also turned six this week. We’d like to thank all of the listeners for your support these past six years. We do this because of you.
The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 1:30 pm ET (17:30 GMT). The next episode is scheduled for Sunday, August 23. In addition to the live show, you can find it at:
I speculated on this yesterday, but it looks like we have the official word via a developer interview at Icy Veins.
- Survival: Melee spec that utilizes a pet
- Beast Mastery: Ranged spec that utilizes a pet
- Marksmanship: Ranged spec that has NO pet
This means the Lone Wolf talent should be no more. Blizzard is fully committing this time and giving each spec a clear identity. It’s bound to ruffle some feathers, but my initial thoughts are that it will be good for the class.
My only real concern is balance now. If Survival is the top spec (by the same kind of margin Marksmanship is now in Hellfire Citadel), every hunter will feel forced into completely changing roles after they’ve been playing a ranged class for 10 years. Not good. Blizzard has an obligation to make sure all 3 playstyles are viable.
There was also some updates regarding the artifact weapons:
- Beast Mastery’s artifact is a gun, Marksmanship’s is a bow, Survival’s is a spear.
- There are no weapon drops in Legion. Instead, you will power up your artifact by killing bosses and doing other things in the game (PvP, dungeons, raids, dailies, whatever).
- Your artifact will be obtained very early on.
- Artifacts can be transmogged, so if you’re not happy about your weapon type for your chosen spec, you at least have that. You cannot transmog into another artifact though.
- Still not sure how Survival is going to operate in the weird transition period of 7.0 when they have no melee weapons.
We should have more details soon from the dev panel on Sunday. Shortly after the dev panel, at 1:30pm ET on Sunday, we will be recording the next Hunting Party Podcast on Twitch and talking all about this stuff. Follow me on Twitter and I’ll be posting before we go live. Should be a fun show!
Update: Survival is definitely a melee spec. Updated details here.
OK, that was exciting. After being at an all time low with my general WoW excitement, I have to say that LEGION gives me some hope for WoW’s future. I am beyond excited, but I’m going to have to force myself to not get TOO hyped after the disappointments in WoD, because that expansion had much better intentions (I feel) than it ultimately delivered.
That being said…
Apparently, Survival is now a melee spec.
Melee. Hunter. Confirmed.