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.
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.
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.
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.