More number tuning for hunters, and it seems pretty reasonable

Blizzard just posted some new class tuning hotfixes which should go live soon. Even though most of this is nerfs, I have to say these are reasonable changes based on where we stood after the last round of buffs we received. Combined with the changes to other classes, we were doing quite well at level 100 (at least Beast Mastery and Marksmanship).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Forums)

• Adaptation now increases Combat Experience’s damage increase to 70% (down from 85%).
• Chimaera Shot’s damage has been reduced by 13%.
• Focusing Shot now has a 2.5 second cast time (down from 3 seconds), and its damage has been increased by 25%.
• Kill Command’s damage has been increased by 20%.

I can’t help but feel like these Focusing Shot changes are Blizzard’s somewhat desperate attempt to get people to actually take the talent. I’m sure there’s some hunters out there chomping at the bit for it. However, the problem for me (and many other hunters) is that it’s just not worth the hassle. It can definitely do competitive DPS with the other level 100 talents, but it comes with a severe handicap. These changes certainly help, but it’s still not something I’m really interested in. The extra damage is miniscule in the grand scheme of things, although the faster cast time is nice. For me, Focusing Shot looked really good on paper, but in practice it just flunked out.

Nagrand is awesome
Nagrand is awesome

The Adaptation change is also not surprising when you factor in the massive pet attack power scaling increase from the last round of buffs (from 33% to 60% of the hunter’s AP), and this new 20% buff to Kill Command. I prefer the signature ability to do more damage because then its more rewarding when you play well (maximizing the number of Kill Commands rather than the extra passive pet damage).

Update: It appears the previous pet scaling buff does NOT apply to pet basic attacks, only melee attacks. What this means is that the Adaptation nerf hurts more than we originally thought. It’s now looking more and more like BM will be close to survival’s DPS.

Chimaera Shot‘s change is also not surprising. It hits like a Mack truck and also cleaves for full damage. This nerf essentially is just reverting the last buff.


Update: Recent revelations on Blizzard’s extremely confusing pet scaling (i.e. different scaling for basic attacks and melee attacks) has called all this into question. BM’s DPS may now be close to survival’s DPS. So if you don’t want to play MM, you’re probably not hurting yourself taking SV over BM.

That leaves Survival hunters with no love. I think it’s clear at this point that Blizzard wants to have Survival spec be the lowest potential DPS for hunters. “Potential” is the key word there. Someone inexperienced with the hunter class will very likely pull off the same or even more DPS than they would with BM or MM. In Warlords, Survival simply has a lower skill cap compared to the other specs. This means it’s easier to take the spec to its maximum potential. It doesn’t mean you’re bad if you choose to play as Survival, it just means Blizzard has decided to make it the new player friendly spec. It’s also probably a good spec for those who have trouble multi-tasking their rotation with difficult boss mechanics. If they tuned Survival’s “patchwerk” numbers to be as good as BM and MM, then it would always win out in the real world simply because it’s more forgiving.

I’ve been complaining about Survival throughout beta, and recently have started to accept that it’s not going to change. It’s going to stay simple, and the numbers are going to stay below BM and MM. It’s why Blizzard’s official “crash course” videos focus on Survival. It’s the easiest to get into. The sad thing for me is I’ve always been a Survival fan, and now I just don’t see myself playing it.

And Blizzard, just because I can be reasonable about these nerfs doesn’t mean I’ll agree with any future ones!  😆

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13 thoughts on “More number tuning for hunters, and it seems pretty reasonable”

  1. I also think its worth taking account of the fact that SV is also looking strong for PvP, particularly in large groups or with caster comps (as noted by dillypoo in the last podcast). BM is pretty crap relative to both MM and SV in PvP. Not that I’m super stoked on the lower maximum damage output – I mostly prefer to play SV – but as someone who both raids and does a fair bit of PvP, BM is going to be going by the wayside for me,not SV. That said, MM seems to be the real winner this xpac, and perhaps for good reason – it is sort of MMs turn to shine.

  2. “…its more rewarding when you play well…”

    I dont really understand how does hitting it on cd became “play well”

    1. It’s easier said than done. Whenever I see another Hunter struggling with BM DPS, 95% of the time it involves not using Kill Command enough as the primary factor. Even half second delays add up over a 10 minute fight. Now picture the Hunter who routinely has to cast a cobra shot as soon as their KC cooldown finishes. Next time you do a boss fight, take the time of the fight in seconds and divide by 6. Then look at how many KC you cast. It might surprise you. I know personally I’m always trying to improve that number (and yes I realize not every single fight can be judged like that).

  3. Focusing Shot starts to look better for MM. Only a 25% longer cast time compared to steady shot but doing 50% more damage and resulting in 350% more focus. MM has to stand still anyway for 3 secs and the reduced cast-time should make it easier.

    I’m still not sure I’ll take it though. I’m too much used too moving while DPS’ing just to annoy casters who can’t 😉

    I think we can expect Focusing Shot’s cast-time to be increased again later in the expansion once we gain more haste.

    Now if only Blizzard would lower Steady and Aimed shot cast-times by half a second.

  4. As someone who has always loved the idea of things that explode, I’m sad for no survival love. But my BM spec will be even more fun than it is now. Chimeara nerfs were expected. I had one hit for 40K in a skirmish one day, and that’s just too dang high.

    1. Really!! Did you just say that!?!? There is no such thing as a hunter shot hitting to hard. Crazy talk. Seriously. You call yourself a hunter? Are you sure your not one of the recently tamed Druids?

      I have seen top crits into the 53k range and love it. Much love for Survival, Explosive shot, a Spec that almost makes traps relevant to Hunter DPS, and…. and…. oh, that’s it. No kill shot. ExpSht, BlkArrw, aMoC, Barrage…. focus dump or focus gain.

      In all seriousness though it is only a few points lower then BM and 7.5% lower then MM in T17 sims. It just really sucks at 90 right now. I you have to move a lot and can’t keep your Sniper Training up, I see it being on par with MM late in the tier. Running belts on Blackfuse would gimp MM.

  5. while i agree that they have yet to change survival i am not going to be surprised that they change it pretty drastically at 6.2. Sv has scaling issues since LnL has a static effect at all item levels. I still will be raiding survival unless a specific boss calls for me to go to another spec. Sv is my favorite spec and i have high hopes for it by probably a year from now.

  6. At first I saw that Adaptation nerf and started freaking out. But then I saw the buff to Kill Command and calmed down. Honestly, I like this because it’s not so much a nerf (at level 100) but more of a, ‘we want you to get more damage from actually using your hard hitting ability’ – and I’m cool with that.

  7. I guess ill have to be bm/sv. Ive always had nothing but hatred for mm. Some thing about the spec just rubs me the wrong way. Will have to see how it all pans out but I wish they could have got the numbers much closer. Only time will tell. I really enjoyed being bm for both pvp & pve but I guess those days are gone.
    Is this a sign that blizzard is just totally unable to make 3 specs of a pure dps class equal?

  8. Damn good thing I always play two specs, at least that way I have a 50% chance of Blizzard not screwing up twice in one patch… I am hoping like hell they don’t have any more brain farts and screw up MM too, but that might be hoping just a little too much! Make one spec easier to play… indeed!!!

  9. guess I’ll start getting my spirit beasts out again ;/ not really thrilled about survival hunters being on the bleachers… but the whole kill command being raised up by damage means probably everyone is going to be BM because of dmg I mean who doesn’t like doing high badass damage. Oh well maybe I’ll be able to get into BM again

  10. Dont forget that if you dont play the hunter class maxed out and hit you buttons and macros at the time they are use-able, this is not realy any idea talking about wich spec that makes moast damage for you as a player, just to make beginners to the game and new to hunter class understand. I play hunter as main and i strongly consider survival for wod aswell as in pre-wod at this moment. I cant for sure bang the buttons at the time the are off their cooldowns and i cant max out the damage possible with MM or BM, however with survival i can. Lone wolf on 100 wich is only considerable for BM or SUR looks pretty interessting. Their is alot of stuff that happens when playing a hunter on MM and BM that is not always enjoyable, the sniper-training after 3sec is not even a good thing if you dont know how to use it, also MM have alot cast-time compared with the other. BM on the other hand you always need to be sure the pet is ON the target, whenever the pet is not on the target you are loosing alot dps. Although survival is lacking killshot it has great potential in damage, the dots, the multistrikes.

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