Legion Alpha: Some more time with the Melee Hunter

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.

I am still having the pet threat problems I mentioned previously. Switching my pet to Tenacity full-time helped marginally (also, worth mentioning it charges you 100g to swap pet specs now) but I have started to look at my Survival pet as less of a personal guardian and more of a companion who adds a little damage (and Mongoose Bite charges). This could still be improved upon, but there is the possibility that Blizzard fully intends for Survival pets to not be as guardian-like as Beast Mastery pets. BM pets will automatically hold threat since they do about half of your damage, and they have Growl, Beast Cleave, and Misdirection. Survival pets do significantly less damage and only have Growl, which I have learned is very ineffective without Misdirection to back it up.  You also have to consider that ranged characters need to generate 130% threat to pull off the  tank, but melee characters only need to generate 110% of current threat (it’s possible this changed in Legion). Constantly using Feign Death helps for single-target scenarios, but whenever there is more than one target your cleave and DoTs will quickly pull aggro on those secondary targets again.

Neat little encounter where you help a Hunter tame a bear
Neat little encounter where you help a Hunter tame a bear

I am fully aware it is very early and things will change, but if this is the direction Blizzard is headed, I would propose some changes to how pets behave as Survival. First, I would take away Growl from Survival pets (hear me out). Instead I would add a mechanic where the pet shares a portion of your damage — say 40% or so — as long as it is near you (5-10 yards). So if you are hit for 100 damage, you take 60 damage and your pet takes 40 damage. This fits with the “Survival” theme and threat is no longer an issue. At the same time you still have to look out for your pet and make sure it gets heals and whatnot.  If your pet dies or is far away, you would take normal damage. The numbers I use are just an example and I already see the PvP problems, but it could work differently there. Maybe there is a better way to do it, but I think pet tanking for Survival should go if it’s going to be so ineffective. What’s the point?

The next change I would propose is for pets to tag along with you at all times, unless you specifically tell them to move away. This means they should always match your speed (if they are beside you), both in and out of combat. At a bare minimum, I’d like to see my pet get pulled along for the Harpoon ride.

In general, the melee combat feels pretty satisfying. The animations, effects, sounds, and floating combat text all culminate to a satisfying feeling of hitting something hard. I would still like to see more base UI support for Mongoose Bite charges. There is now an option to display a small health and Focus bar below your character, which I have found very useful in the absence of my usual WeakAuras Focus bar. I would propose 3 little Mongoose Bite icons that display right under that so you always know how many charges you have. I’d also have newly procced charges briefly flash in the same area, or even play a sound.

If you’ve read my stuff in the past, you know I am generally a positive guy when it comes to the game. I always try to see the upside of any change. My current reservations about Survival are genuine, I’m not complaining just because things have changed. I accept the change, but I have issues with some of it. I also want to reiterate that I do not play melee classes in WoW (up until now), and in 11 years have only gotten a melee character to about level 15 (and I did the DK starting zone once). I am a die-hard ranged Hunter so you should take my feedback with that in mind. I still think Survival is going to appeal to more non-Hunters than existing Hunters. I fully expect the majority of current or longtime Hunters to go the BM or MM route. I know some of you Hunters are on board for SV though, which is why I want to cover some of it.

Fake Hunters

Demon Hunters?

So after my level 102 Hunter got stuck in a crashing loop (crash as soon as I login), I thought it was finally time to try the Demon Hunter out. If I could sum up my thoughts, it would be this: Damn, I wish they had a ranged spec.

I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Perhaps I was warmed up to melee combat from playing so much Survival, but I had a lot of fun. The mobility they have is just outstanding. The double jump, gliding, and Fel Rush combination makes me jealous. They even have two powerful ranged abilities — Eye Beam and Throw Glaive. So THAT’S where our beloved Glaive Toss went. Damn it, Blizz!

It might be the first time I have a non-Hunter alt. Maybe. Possibly. Doubtful. But maybe.


Mimiron’s Head!

In other WoW news, I looted Mimiron’s Head the other night… FINALLY! It took a grand total of 125 kills across multiple Hunters to finally loot it. Like most rare mounts I eventually get, of course it dropped on Bendak. Even though I farm them on multiple characters, they all seem to drop on Bendak — Onyxian Drake, Azure Drake, Ashes of Al’ar, Mimiron’s Head, and several more.

My weekly routine is usually just Ulduar and ICC because anything more takes too much time. I share lockouts with the group finder so I only have to kill all the lead up bosses once. It’s still a time consuming process though. Now that only ICC is left I will start to integrate another into my regular rotation, maybe Mogu’shan Vaults? I only do Dragon Soul when I have the patience for it (that place is infuriating to run multiple times) as I still need the Blazing Drake. Once I get that, I will unlock Awake the Drakes.

I definitely wanted Mimiron’s Head more than Invincible though, so I was happy to unlock that one first. Also kind of fitting since the Beast Mastery artifact, Titanstrike, is crafted by Mimiron.

Back to Legion, I anxiously await future alpha/beta builds that will unlock the other specs, and allow me to tame new pets in the Broken Isles. Also let me know what sort of posts you’d like to see.

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20 thoughts on “Legion Alpha: Some more time with the Melee Hunter”

  1. Grats on Mimiron’s Head! I really appreciate your posts on Survival hunters, as they were something I was (am? maybe?) really excited for, but my enthusiasm is dampened slightly with the…superfluousness pets appear to bring to the table. I play a hunter because I want to fight *with* my pets, as an integral part of the action, not just have them as a damage dealing add-on. (All my hunters are BM.) If they can’t hold threat and don’t do much in the way of damage, it almost makes them feel kind of pointless. I like your idea of splitting damage between hunter and pet, maybe even with a positioning requirement, which brings pet placement back to the table (something I really love, tbh) along with pet health management.

    As an and/or, maybe the hunter could draw on the pet’s health pool as a heal, or in place of growl give survival hunter pets something like a mage’s cauterise, or, hmm, I don’t really have any other ideas. There needs to be something that makes the pet an integral part of the survival hunters game play and from what I’ve read and watched I don’t feel like they’re there yet.

    As an aside: have you been able to tame a moose yet? Inquiring hunter minds want to know!

    1. No moose taming yet. No taming at all on the Broken Isles til they fix the bug. I am not able to cast Beast Lore on any moose though, so not looking promising.

  2. I seriously hope they give the toggle back and let you just drop traps on your feet, as melee it makes live a lot easier since most of the time you want to hit the same target you are focusing and it is a really great quality of life option.
    In my case at least it would make me almost never use traps during combat considering I have only one hand and it is always a hard task to take it out of the keyboard and aim some trap on the field without sacrificing some dps.

  3. Fantastic! Love your posts. I have 5 capped hunters right now, and plan to thoroughly give all three specs a good try. I have mostly been BM, but think I could like survival. Not so sure about Marks. I love my pets! I will level and try instancing as Marks though, give it a good try before I give up. Thanks for all your good posts.

  4. I don’t know if you will be able to do the vaults, not for lack of gear or skill though, the electric dragon security system thing bugs out. It would vanish a second after I hit it, so I read up and it mentioned swapping specs, so I did. It ends up bugging again later on, one of the pylons stays in the ground if you kill any sparks. It was annoying as hell.

      1. I posted up on the official forums a couple weeks ago about harpoon honestly it makes no sense id rather see a leap forward as well, tbh even the name is off. I had a few suggestions one alot of people seem to like is “Hawk Dive” same concept as harpoon but it has you leaping forward onto your target.

      2. Yeah that is the name hehe, Elegon wouldn’t even fight me as survival, had to swap to MM to get the encounter to engage. And when I would kill sparks, second round of them would bug out an one of the pylons would be untargetable. I read you can skip killing sparks, but that was after I was so upset, I had left.

  5. “I would add a mechanic where the pet shares a portion of your damage — say 40% or so — as long as it is near you (5-10 yards)”. Since WOW and Diablo seem to be sharing names and abilities back and forth frequently…I would name this passive ability “Rings of Unity”, lol.

  6. I concur on the survival front. They’re trying to tune pet threat, I imagine with how Flanking Strike works, but having it work like Soul Link would probably be better.

    And I know that feel for Awake the Drakes. Blazing’s the last one I need. Had two drop when I was doing it while relevant; both went to people that came once and never came back again.

  7. “I’d like to see my pet get pulled along for the Harpoon ride.”
    I almost died laughing reading this and then imagining my Dwarf do it with his bear.

    *Harpoon in right hand, grabs bear’s collar with the left hand”
    Alrighty Muffin, ready fer a ride?
    *throws the harpoon”
    Here we GOOOO
    *yanks the chain to pull himself to the target*
    GET READY MUFFIIIIIN! (here’s the part where your beloved bear has tears in his eyes)
    *tosses the bear halfway*
    *confused angry bear sounds*

    I just cannot see it any other way.

  8. The tooltip says you throw traps at a target area, but if you are in melee combat can you just drop them at your feet, like you can now if Trap Launcher is turned off?

      1. That sounds a bit clunky as a mechanic, so I am guessing most people arent putting traps into a normal rotation. I hear the SV rotation is very precise and punishes you for messing up your Mongoose stacks.

  9. So kind of off the Legion topic but what exactly do you mean when you “share lockouts with the group finder so I only have to kill all the lead up bosses once”?

    1. Using Ulduar as an example:

      – Kill bosses up to General Vezax
      – Leave instance
      – Start a new group finder group and log out
      – Log into another character, search for your group and request to join
      – Log back into original character, accept the join request from your alt
      – Log back into your alt and accept the invitation. Wait a few minutes for leadership to be transfered to you. Once that happens, make sure it’s set to 25-player difficulty then go inside. Everything up to Yogg will be cleared.
      – After you kill Yogg, disband the group and leave the group finder.
      – Killing Yogg will not affect the lock out of your original character.
      – Repeat process for extra characters, and when done go and kill it on the original.

      For Lich King, the only difference is you need to set your difficulty to 25-player NORMAL before entering instance on your alts. Once inside, then switch it to 25 Heroic.

      1. Thanks for the clarification on sharing lockouts, I was going to ask the same question. Must say a very awesome and time saving idea! Love the site.

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