Warning: This post is going to be a bit of a rant. If you’re looking for objective analysis, you can skip this post, alright?
The most recent alpha build has some changes to Survival that unfortunately made the spec… less exciting… for me. Alpha/beta is a very iterative process so I guess this is to be expected. You can’t get attached to anything this early in development. Pretty much anything could be ripped out from under your feet.
Like Dragonsfire Trap.
That trap may have been my favorite single thing about the spec. It was a powerful talent that transformed your Explosive Trap into a single target DoT that caused the target to “panic” for 8 seconds. While panicking, they were completely CC’d and that CC did not break on damage. It was a worthy trap for the one remaining spec that can actually use traps.
And now? Now it’s basically a useless talent in comparison to the old. It’s a itty bitty fire damage DoT that slows the target by 20%. I don’t know, maybe they thought the old version was overpowered? I don’t see why though. For starters, you can make its CC break in PvP if that’s your concern. Secondly, you had to forgo a cooldown like Snake Hunter to even get it! Then if you wanted it to live up to its full potential, you had to devote your level 100 talent (Expert Trapper) to it too! Yes, it was a very powerful trap but look at what you gave up to get it. I thought this was a cool thing! It was a interesting choice to make in solo/questing situations. It could have also given you a lot of utility in dungeons by sacrificing a little DPS.
What I’ve noticed about this change is my overall survivability out in the world has dropped. I guess I was relying on that trap a little too much? Since my pet can’t really tank (especially in AoE) because it holds no threat, I was using that CC to avoid damage. Now I am relegated to killing only 1-3 mobs at a time. First WoW problems? Maybe I’m just spoiled from how Hunters have been for so long. Maybe I’m too focused on the solo experience and need to account more for the group experience (it’s always more difficult to do that in beta).
Continue reading Legion Alpha: Some more things making me grumpy about Survival
I’ve warmed up to the melee Hunter a little more since my last post. I still don’t think it’s going to pull me away from my bread and butter (Beast Mastery), but I am starting to get the hang of it. I still sometimes need to remind myself to use traps more often because they can make such a difference now. More specifically, Steel Trap and Dragonsfire Trap. Sometimes I wish the Trap Launcher toggle was still there because it would be nice to avoid that extra click and just drop the trap at my feet when I don’t need to throw it.
I’m really enjoying Harpoon the more I use it, but the ability has some quirks. The first is one I am sure will be fixed, basically it just pulls you in a direct line to your target, even if that makes you clip through the ground. Secondly, I wish it made you leap towards your target in a small arc, rather than just be dragged along the ground. Lastly, I wish there was less of a delay. You have to wait for the travel time of your harpoon before it starts pulling you. That makes sense, but I wish it could be thrown a bit quicker.
Continue reading Legion Alpha: Some more time with the Melee Hunter
I’m in Alpha! Yay! So far only Survival is playable, so I was kinda forced into trying out the melee Hunter first. The most recent Locked and Loaded I posted at Blizzard Watch goes into my initial thoughts on the spec (keeping in mind it’s still incredibly early). I’ll talk about some of that stuff here, but you should go read that too if you’re interested in how Survival is shaping up (coming from someone who has only ever played ranged like me).
Character copy isn’t available right now, all you’re able to do is make template level 100 characters. Upon creation the plop you into the new Dalaran (with ilvl 680 gear) and you begin the artifact quest. I’m not going to talk specific details about the story, but essentially you get your artifact weapon VERY quickly. The Survival one involves a solo scenario that takes about 15 minutes and after that you are back in Dalaran getting your weapon. Something to keep in mind is we don’t know what comes before this (i.e. how do we get up to Dalaran?), and Blizzard needs to make 36 of these scenarios (one for each spec) so you can’t expect them to be hour-long affairs. I am satisfied with a small amount of spec-specific content like this.
Continue reading Legion Alpha: Testing the new melee Survival Hunter
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.
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 😀
Continue reading Legion Alpha: Preliminary list of Hunter talents
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.
Continue reading Legion Hunter Preview: First impressions and feedback
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).
Continue reading Hunter news from day 2 of BlizzCon 2015
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.
Continue reading New bits of Legion info, and going casual
Last night, after a month of patch 6.2, Blizzard finally threw some table scraps at poor old Survival hunters. Of course we told them how broken it was time and time again on the PTR, but I guess these buffs are better late than never. Beast Mastery also received a smaller buff, which is more beneficial to it in older T17 gear than it is in newer T18 gear (boo).
Originally Posted by Blizzard
- Beast Mastery
- Bestial Wrath now lasts 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds).
- Black Arrow, Explosive Shot, and Serpent Sting damage increased by 25%.
I’ve seen a lot of hunters ask if this means Survival and Beast Mastery are “viable” again.
Here’s the short answer: Beast Mastery has always been “viable,” it’s just not been ideal for Hellfire Citadel because of fight mechanics. The fights simply favor Marksmanship. Survival, on the other hand, was not viable. These buffs don’t really change that, but they do make it “less wrong” to play at a non-progression level.
Simulation Craft recently put out an update with the hotfixes so I ran some numbers. Please don’t use these numbers as the sole basis for choosing what to play in HFC. I’m simply using them to illustrate the change these hotfixes have.
Update: The T17 4-piece bonus pet still only lasts 10 seconds even though Bestial Wrath is lasting 15. This will reduce BM’s buff in old T17 gear slightly.
Continue reading Survival and Beast Mastery hotfix buffs compared
This episode was delayed by a week because of Mother’s Day (hunters care about their moms!), but the delay allowed for another PTR build to give us more to talk about. We were also joined by Rogerbrown from Method to get his take on the 6.2 changes and what PTR boss testing he has done so far.
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, May 31. In addition to the live show, you can find it at:
Continue reading Hunting Party Podcast Episode 217: RIP Survival
I originally did these simulations for my own amusement, but I thought I’d share them with you guys. Again, like most sims I post on this site they are done with whatever gear I’m wearing at the time (ilvl 672). Whenever you see “official” comparisons between specs on the actual Simulation Craft page, or on some other sites and guides, these are almost always done with best-in-slot gear. That’s all fine and dandy, but I don’t have anywhere close to BiS so I don’t really care about those sims. I’d rather see how things look in my own gear. Keep this in mind as you read this, and always remember your results will be slightly different.
The first thing I did was compare the DPS differences between live servers and the 6.1 PTR. I went through all the talent permutations and found the highest simulated talents and used those, so each spec was represented as best as possible. I also swapped gems and enchants for each spec (mastery for BM, crit for MM, and multistrike for SV).
Simulated DPS never tells you the whole story, but I think it’s a good tool for seeing what the impact is from buffs or nerfs. Instead of using screenshots from Simulation Craft, I’m testing out some fancy HTML5 charts. Mousing over (or tapping) each bar should give the actual DPS numbers.
New Post: More information about Beast Mastery in 6.1.
Update Feb 19: Numbers updated again to reflect changes in simulation craft. The pet summoned by BM T17 4-piece does more damage. Also, survival pets inherit multistrike damage bonuses. Both of these changes are now reflected.
Update Feb 15: These numbers are now updated with the latest MM and BM buffs from the patch notes (from Feb 13): Focus Fire now grants 8% attack power per stack, Chimaera Shot damage increased by 30.4%, and Sniper Training effectiveness increased by 25%.
Continue reading Patch 6.1: Hunter specs compared [Updated]