An update for those still reading

Where have I been? Where are the posts? It’s been over four months! Where’s the podcast? The TLDR answer to all this is that I’ve simply lost my passion for WoW. At least its current state. I still have hope it could turn around sometime this year, and that Blizzard will pull their collective heads out of the sand and start listening to their loyal community once again. I long for the day when they stop this pursuit of designing the game around analytics to maximize “monthly active users” rather than trusting their designers to do some good old-fashioned game design. Take some risks! Stop throwing away anything that works and trying to reinvent the wheel. Realize that nothing is more important than class design and its related systems and reward schemes, and then put more resources towards that. It’s the vessel we all experience the game through… so if that falls short, the whole game is affected in a negative manner.

Without having that passion for the game, I don’t really want to write or talk about it much. That’s what it boils down to for me. I think half the reason I’m still playing is to not bail on the guild. The other half is I’ve just been playing this game for so damn long that it’s hard to imagine myself not playing WoW. So here I am, waiting for the new raid and doing my chores: Weekly +10s. Incursions and emissaries that reward Azerite gear (for Titan Residuum). Weekly island cap. The usual stuff. Neither hating it nor enjoying it. Just going through the motions.

I haven’t completely jumped out of the community. I still dutifully maintain Wowhead’s Beast Mastery guide, which has been pretty successful. Yes, you read that right. It was the most popular guide across the whole Wowhead site in 2018. Not just class guides. So I am pretty proud of that. Yeah, it is a popular spec so that makes sense… but I still think the guide is pretty high quality as well. 😉 Writing guides is a bit different than writing blog posts because it’s all technical. Writing technical stuff doesn’t drain me in the same way writing stuff like this does.

Ever since I started this blog about 5 years ago, the following sentence was on the “About” page: “As long as WoW and hunters are both awesome, this blog is probably going to exist in some form.”  WoW is not awesome right now, but the blog still exists for the time being and I don’t have any plans of shuttering it any time soon. I want to post more, I want to get excited about stuff related to the game again.

Recently we had the Blood Beast pets added to the game in patch 8.1. It was a mystery where the Blood-soaked Tome dropped. Even the secret finding discord couldn’t figure it out. Then, by chance, someone used their hearthstone in the middle of Heroic Zul in Uldir, and once they were back in town and their raid defeated the boss, the tome appeared in their bags. WTF?

This was obviously a bug. Another bug… BFA has arguably been the buggiest expansion ever. I don’t know what’s caused so many bugs this expansion. Maybe it’s a change in their internal workflow. Maybe it’s cuts to the QA team. Maybe they’ve just been rushed. The Blood-soaked Tome was eventually hotfixed to drop off of Zul on Normal or higher with no special requirements. Blizzard then let us know the intended way to get the drop was to defeat Heroic Zul in a raid of only Hunters.

Now that would’ve been worth a post here. That’s freakin’ cool if you ask me. I would have genuinely tried to organize some all-Hunter raids myself (on US Alliance, where I play) so we could all get our hands on this new pet family. But because of this ridiculous hearthstone bug, it was forever tainted. Blizzard felt they had no choice but to make it a normal drop because the number of Hunters doing the hearthstone trick was starting to create a pretty toxic environment for Hunters wanting to PUG Heroic Uldir at all. Within hours of the discovery, the group finder was full of “NO HUNTERS” Uldir groups because of this. What a shame.

While we’re on the topic of secrets, the whole Hivemind thing was a really cool highlight of the expansion thus far. I loved how it was group based with some group puzzles. I had a lot of fun doing the whole thing. It makes me think that there’s still some developers who have some genuine passion for putting interesting things into the game.

Blizzard needs to take risks with classes

I don’t understand why Blizzard is so terrified to do risky things when it comes to classes. They’re worried about bloat, so they throw away everything from Legion and replace it with “You gain 12 main stat every 5 seconds.” Set bonuses, artifact weapons, and legendaries were all replaced with boring and uninspired Azerite traits such as that one. There are a handful of interesting traits, maybe some that could qualify as a classic 2-piece bonus, but often they offer worse throughput than the boring ones.

They’re also worried about class balance, which is probably another factor in having a bunch of boring and relatively meaningless traits. I’d rather have fun talents and fun traits with imperfect balance. Am I alone there? I don’t think so.

To use Beast Mastery as an example, it still has several unfun and useless talents. They’re just taking up space and could be replaced by something new and exciting.

Spitting Cobra is the most egregious of the lot because it’s a level 100 talent. Since the BFA beta started, I (and I’m sure many others) have been reporting multiple bugs on this talent, and they’re still not fixed! It’s been almost a year. The first one is that it’s not doing the damage that the tooltip indicates. It’s only doing about ~20% of the indicated damage, which  amounts to almost nothing. The second problem is that it only has a range of about 25 yards, and this restriction is not noted anywhere. We’re a 40 yard range class… if it can’t work at 40 yards, it needs to say so (like how Stampede specifies 30 yards).

From day one, my suggestion for this talent to make it more interesting was to have the Cobra mirror the Hunter’s own Cobra Shots and Multi-Shots. The second option is to scrap it and put something better, or at least fix the current issues!

I’m not going to go into every talent because, honestly, Beast Mastery is in a pretty decent place (minus the numbers of course). There have been positives, like not being as squishy by having some defensive options, and while our talent options are limited, at least the ones we do use are pretty effective.

This doesn’t stop the class from feeling empty, though. There is still no effective replacement for set bonuses, artifacts, and legendary effects. It all boils down to reward systems and how interesting the classes are at a base level. There isn’t a balance here.

I think Blizzard needs to focus more on making the classes fun at a base level rather than relying on the token progression system of the expansion. Make the class is fun, then add new things to enhance it on top.

Marksmanship is in a weird place. Its damage is pretty good right now (part of that is due to a Trueshot bug introduced in 8.1, which gives better cooldown reductions than the tooltip indicates), but the main issue MM has is there’s no real upside. You give up BM’s freedom of movement and better utility, and you get nothing in return.

Marksmanship is close to being a good spec. Here are a couple of ways I think it could be improved:

  • Allow Trick Shots to be activated with 2+ targets rather than 3+ targets. It’s infuriating when you can’t activate it because a target might be slightly out of range, and it also gives an option for 2 target damage. Also, remove the 6 target limit (or at least increase it a little bit). I can’t think of any other specs that get punished in mass AoE situations like this. Especially if you’re not going to give any 2-target options, don’t restrict the mass AoE so much.
  • Remove Lone Wolf or have no pets at all. One or the other. It just complicates things too much when it’s not a talent. Pets provide abilities like purge/tranq, and important cooldowns and passives, which is hard to give up. If Lone Wolf is removed, compensate with a buff to Trick Shots damage. If no pets are allowed at all, give MM Hunters Tranquilizing Shot and some alternate utility to make up for the loss of pets. There is no fantasy or choice when all you’re doing is using a pet based on the number of targets. It also feels bad to be choosing between utility and damage.

Waiting for Azerite to be good

To be honest, I’m already sick of writing this post. 🙁 This is why if you looked at my post list in my WordPress site, you’d see a bunch of partially written drafts over the past few months that I simply couldn’t finish.

Anyway, the last point I wanted to touch on was about the future of Azerite.

Ion told us that in patch 8.2 the system will be changing completely. There will still be traits on items, but they’ll be unlocked from the start. Instead, you will progress the neck itself. If I had to guess, I think it will resemble Legion artifact progression. You’ll have a tree of some kind on your neck and as your earn Azerite, you’ll make choices there.

It sounds a lot better than what we have now (yay, let’s unlock Overwhelming Power for the 7th time!) but what bugs me so much about this is that it makes current progression feel pointless. And once again, it’s Blizzard fixing things at the end of the expansion. I think sometimes those fixes are intentionally held back in order to keep people interested. Maybe not this one in particular, but things like being able to buy specific legendaries in Legion? Absolutely.

The whole “stick with us, we know it’s a broken system but we promise it will be fixed in 4-8 months” thing just gets on my nerves. I worry it will taint the whole season 2 for me. I can’t believe they only added 1 new trait per spec. There should have been a lot more work done there to tide us over, even if it is temporary. The only benefit to another ring is you have a slightly lesser chance of getting screwed by the RNG gods since you have one more chance of getting at least 1 good trait.

What I want most from the next expansion is for Blizzard to listen to early beta feedback so we don’t have the third expansion in a row where the major problems aren’t fixed until the 9.2-9.3 patch timeline.

So there it is. Sorry if this depressed you or made you angry (I know some people genuinely love BFA). But if I was going to write anything, it was going to be a rant post. Despite all my complaining, I’m still looking forward to the new raid. The upcoming content announced at Blizzcon genuinely sounded cool as well.

There’s a chance! Please don’t kill this game for me, Blizzard.


Thanks for all the comments of support. And whoever linked it on reddit sent it through the roof! I didn’t expect anyone but a few of your Hunters to be reading it. To be honest, if I had slept on the draft of this post I probably wouldn’t have posted it. It didn’t get my thoughts across as clearly as I’d have liked. It’s honestly really hard to put my finger on all the issues because there are so many. Complaining about one single issue or talent seems pointless, since it’s just one thing on a very large list. Not to mention such problems wouldn’t even be that big of a deal if there wasn’t all of the other problems making them worse, collectively.

Ever heard of the saying that something was “greater than the sum of its parts?” That’s what WoW used to be. It was amazing despite its individual problems. Today, I feel like it’s the opposite. There are genuinely good things in this game, but they are basically cancelled out by all the bad things. It’s actually become lesser than the sum of its parts, which is not what I expect from Blizzard.

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35 thoughts on “An update for those still reading”

  1. I was wondering where you’ve been. It’s great to read from you, regardless of subject. These are issues worth addressing, and I completely relate — going through the motions is what kept me around this far. My sub runs out in 15 hours and I think it will be good to take a break, see if they can make the game engaging once again. As it is, it’s more part of my chores than something to enjoy.

    Congratulations on the success achieved with the guide, but more importantly, thank you for it (it’s my go-to). You’re all flavors of awesome!

  2. First of all thank you for the time you put in for the community here and elsewhere.. I’m a long ass time hunter -> vanilla launch and while I’ve played all classes over the years, hunter was always my main.

    I stopped playing at the end of Legion because a second baby demanded it. No regrets although I’m sad to see how the game is (it’s all over the internet how bad things are at blizzard) I’m not surprised – called it since Activision/Kotik DNA mixed up with our dear Blizzard’s…

    Things likely won’t improve in my opinion. WoW has a huge momentum that takes time to die and if not for that would’ve died a while ago.

    Find a game that hunters would enjoy and we’d likely follow you there

    1. Thanks, but I’m not sure if there’s a genuine replacement for WoW out there (at least for me). I’ve tried most of the major MMO releases over the past 10 years and none held my attention for that long. All things must end though. I just always hoped WoW would go out with a bang instead of a whimper. My other love in terms of gaming is single player, story-driven RPGs. Between WoW and those I don’t really play anything else these days.

  3. Thank you for your guide on wowhead. And gratz on it’s great succes!! It helped me so much and I loved how detailed and good it was. Tried other classes but did not like how many information was missing in those guides.

    As for wow now, I took a break. My guild fell appart, they burnt through the content the first few months and then felt that there was nothing left. I tried to keep them active in the guild by doing mount runs and other old content but it ended because nobody wanted to do things like that. On one side I am sad that my guild failed and that I am not playing wow anymore. But on the other hand I found good games outside of wow. I have started guild wars 2 again and have been really enjoying it. So much that I can recommend it here. The game has so much freedom, sometimes so much that you really need to figure things out on your own. But their are so manny rewards playing that game. The rewards I miss in wow to be honest. Instead of completing quest lines to complete a map, you discover the map, help people in the map and do events to complete it and you get good things for completing it. And even if you are max lvl you can still keep lvling! You can go as far as you want to. And it does not feel like a chore. And then I have not even started on the storyline nor the crafting process for good and legendary gear. Wich can take months. Plus of you want to check it out. It is free to play. Though buying one of the expansions brings perks like daily log in bonusses and ways to get mounts who are amazing and all help you in the game instead of being cosmetic like in wow.

    So for people looking for a game to fill their break, I do recommend gw2. It has filled my break. Untill blizzard hopefully gets their creativity and voice back.

  4. Thanks for hanging in there. You’re the last resource out there for players to access.

    My main concern with WoW these days is not all players can raid or do mythics. I know a Disc Priest who is ilevel 379, azerite level 39, has a resume an arm long with ‘undying’ who can’t pug a mythic. In my experience, DPS are a dime a dozen. If that priest can’t pug a group, how is a non-raider/non-mythic player going to pug one? Why should the tome only drop in heroic Zul or any dungeon or raid for that matter? I worked on the Jaina quest line on my Alli hunter and got all the way to the last quest. I have to run a mythic to do it. The lore keeps me interested in the game. I feel an affinity to the story. But now that’s gated, like everything else.

    The game has changed drastically since I started playing in Wrath. I had a friend tell me back then ‘you can play this game any way you want and focus on many different things’. The focus has moved away from offering multi-level content to an ‘esport’ mentality with mythics and raids as the only vehicle to play the game. Flying is gated behind many requirements, crafting was improved but it’s no longer a source for gear-only gems, enchants and flasks; for raids and mythics. This clip from Portlandia pretty much says it all:

    My hunters are my main. I have many 110 alts with a couple I’m trying to level but my heart just isn’t in it.

  5. Thanks for a new post. I’d checked in yesterday to see if my email spam filter had been eating notifications. I’m with you. I still like hunter best out of all the classes, but right now it’s just boring. The game itself is tedious and there’s nothing really to look forward to. You are spot on, on so much of what’s going wrong. I hope Blizz wakes up and manages to correct the direction of the game.

  6. I was wondering where you were and thinking that you were feeling the way I am towards WoW.

    I’ve been playing a very long time, too (since 2006) and this is the first expansion that I’ve totally lost the interest to play. It’s so sad. All the same reasons you listed.

    I was so glad to see your new post. Glad you’re doing okay. Let’s all hope that our beloved game takes a turn for the better soon. It’s current state isn’t for me anymore 🙁 It actually, for me, started to decline in Warlords of Draenor… class design, mission tables).

    1. I felt like they started to turn things around with Legion after a bit of a dip with Warlords. IMO Legion was a good expansion overall. That’s what makes BFA being a total flop so disappointing. They erased any good will they had with the community. I sometimes wonder if Blizzard knows where they went wrong? I’d love to be a fly on the wall in their meetings to see what they think. Their total silence on the matter makes me worried that they just don’t give a damn, though.

      1. I totally agree, Bendak. The silence and the continued disregard from the Devs has left me uneasy for, pretty much years now. One of the critical reasons I detested Legion is that they destroyed anything left that I enjoyed in my hunter. WoD… when I logged in, at start of expansion.. I was like, YIKES, so many open slots in spellbar. So many removed spells.

        But, I still found enjoyment in my hunter and other aspects of WoD. I still had faith that we had some Devs that were on the same page as us. That said, I felt that this company was changing into something totally foreign. That foreign, imho, has come full force now. What their agenda is has me really scared and saddened. I’ve loved this game for over a decade. I don’t want to see it obliterated by (what I see now) cold, clueless, passionless people. What the heck are they thinking???

        Legion came and I feel that’s when my hunter became completely sad to play… zero immersion and just an empty shell of her former self. The only reason I kept playing is because I found my Pally (holy spec) fun to play. She was actually my original character I created.

        BfA… was really fun to play, I leveled my Pally first and then my hunter. I even felt my hunter was a bit more fun to play. Not like she once was, but definitely more fun to play. But then it just became tedious to even log in, a few months in. I just feel that nothing I do in game matters. There’s no satisfying reward. No goal that means anything to reach.

        This makes me incredibly sad. World of Warcraft is like an old friend. Silly, but true.

        I want the Devs to freaking stop ignoring us. Their arrogance is going to be the ruin of WoW. It’s possible… everything has its time.

        I want WoW to keep on going. Fun class design and environment in Live and Classic to be as true to Vanillla as possible. I want it all to happen.

        Sorry for the long post. Bendak, thank you for all your dedication and inspiration to this cherished game.

  7. Great to hear from you again, Bendak. 🙂 I admire you for pushing forward even though I have personally written this expansion off. I got one hunter to 120 after launch, cancelled, then came back in November for the anniversary and got my second hunter to 120 (one on each faction) and I’ve since cancelled again. For me, more than any one specific issue is the greater concern than the devs’ vision for the game is not something I consider to be worth my support any longer. Even in Warlords I never felt this way; I may have become bored at times, but I never once felt that Blizzard had changed, that their goals for the game had changed…I suppose I always knew they’d come out of any temporary slumps because they always had in the past. I don’t feel that way anymore.

    I have zero interest in playing WoW Classic, I was lucky enough to play through it originally and I have no desire to do that again. I will follow news of the next expansion as I always do, but it won’t be a pre-order or even a day 1 purchase for me. I will wait for reviews (yours in particular!) to see if there is any hope left. Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

    1. To be 100% honest, if I hadn’t been doing the guide, owned this site, etc. I probably would have quit the expansion by now. But now 8.2 is going to be my final judgment. If Blizzard hasn’t taken any serious and honest steps to be the developer we all know they can be by that time, then I’m probably out until the next expansion. Then if 9.0 is the same crap as 8.0 (scrap everything interesting and replace it with nothing, add more RNG, make classes even worse) I could be gone permanently.

      As for WoW Classic… it could be a fun distraction, but I’m not going to play it seriously as in get to 60 and join a raid team. Like you, I played it when it was actually a thing. Replaying it will never replicate the original feeling.

  8. Your guide on wowhead has been nothing short of awesome. It deserved the # 1 spot and then some!

    WoW really has gone downhill and almost NOTHING announced so far that is coming in 8.15 or 8.2 looks to make it any better.

    I’ve pretty much stopped raiding and this is first time since the intro of AOTC achievements (if I am remembering correctly), I haven’t gotten G’huun’s AOTC being over 380 ilvl because I’ve been doing mostly M+. Tried with few pugs and best attempts were around 5 – 6% wipes, hopefully will get it done before it goes away.

    Not only the class design has been TERRIBLE this x-pac but also certain classes are pretty much mandatory for high level M+ keys and thats a really shame. You almost always have people looking for DK tank, a Rogue for skips, a frost mage for slows and heroism and one DPS spot is usually Havoc DH for their crazy burst AOE or a Moonkin Druid. We will always have spots in raids but I’ve totally lost interest in that for now. Maybe Battle of Daz’ will bring me back in raiding but I doubt that 😀

    Thanks for all the tips and posts here and specially your BM guide on wowhead!

    1. Good luck with AOTC. G’huun is definitely difficulty in any group without good coordination (so most PUGs!)

      Regarding your point about mandatory classes, what bugs me the most is the buffs and debuffs. They really need to spread those out more. The DH and Monk debuffs need to be mirrored to 2 ranged classes. Or at least add a consumable that lets anyone apply the debuff. My team lost our DPS monk, and we have a lot of melee + hunters who benefit from the 5% extra damage. It’s a serious burden to the team for Mythic difficulty… recruiting anyone, especially someone from an underplayed class and on Alliance, is extremely difficult right now.

      I sort of feel like we’re on the brink of a mass exodus. I wonder if I’ll even be raiding a couple of months from now. The promised fixes are simply too far away. If they were serious about saving the expansion they wouldn’t wait 4-6 months to bring in the 8.2 systems changes.

  9. As others have indicated, both thank you for the great guide and spot-on in this post. I echo everything that you said.

    At this point, my guild isn’t raiding, waiting for the next tier to open. This is common for us, but happened much earlier than normal. While M+ has appealed to several organized groups within our guild — I’m not among them and likely never will be — those, too, have stopped. One of our raid leaders keeps a Google Doc that automatically tracks our raiders progress each week in pretty much ever category under the sun. It updates every hour based on the stats when you last log out of the game. Slick, but a bit big brother. Anyway, I haven’t seen a single mythic (+ or normal) run in three weeks by any of our guild members. That has NEVER happened before.

    I’ve completely stopped chasing gear min-max items in BFA. I used to keep running and running until I got the best gloves, best belt, etc. Now, I have a target iLevel and once I hit that in any slot, I stop hunging for that slot’s gear. Sure, a random upgrae to BIS is great, but I simply can’t be bothered to chase it. I think many others feel that way, which is why we stopped raiding and running mythics so early this tier. We are a heroic-only guild and pretty much everyone is iLevel 375-380. That is plenty to move forward next tier.

    I leveled my Horde hunter entirely to get the Horde pets and toys, so that my Alliance main can use them. I only have hunter alts — never wanted to play anything else — and have quite a few of them sitting at 110. Right now, I’m guessing that they will stay 110. I used to use them for crafting items and funneling things to my main. Now that so much profession-related content is gated behind dungeon/raid/BOP content, there is little motivation for me to move these characters forward.

    I still log in pretty much every day. I spend far less time overall in-game, however. If Blizzard was hoping that their changes would up my play time, they were horribly wrong.

    I’ve played the same Alliance character (hunter) with (more or less) the same group of people since launch. That is what keeps me a subscriber. Not the game itself.

    Sad. And trying to find hope.

  10. Thank you for the update! Your guides have always been incredibly helpful and I direct anyone in my guild with hunter-related questions to them.

    I’m sorry that the game isn’t feeling fun any more for you. I agree that the changes haven’t always been good. I suspect we’ll always have some sort of legendary/azerite power mechanism to give the feeling of being more powerful. Set bonus’s used to be that venue. Now with mythic + being a focus they want to allow folks who don’t raid to still get that power (thus the artifact weapons, azerite traits, etc).

    I’m still playing regularly. But I’m not enjoying the game as much as before. I don’t enjoy the current dungeons (apart from a fondness for the motherload!!). A number of them seem really gimmicky. I don’t know if it’s some sort of way to create an interesting e-sport environment or what. I really don’t like having stuff gating behind mythic dungeons as well. I enjoyed getting my cloak in Pandaria as I could get it through LFR without needing to get a semi-organized group together. The dungeon effort/reward ratio seems really out of whack as well, way easier to run an invasion for gear than try to get an equivalent piece through a mythic +.

    I think the community itself has become more toxic as well. Not sure if that’s just do to more people hanging on and not having fun and then venting on the forums or just everyone having a set of expectations that cannot be met. The complaints of alliance/horde bias are tiring. The view that racials aren’t balanced despite simming within a 1% of each other. Not to mention the whole toxic BM vs. MM vs. Survival mentality that developed over Legion. Really could do without all of that.

    1. I like the Motherlode as well! That and Freehold are probably my favorites. But overall, I agree that dungeons aren’t as good as Legion. They went overboard with giving every single trash mob multiple mechanics/interrupts/purges/enrages/etc. It does feel like they were designed for the MDI. There are very few weeks where you can just go have fun and blast a dungeon. Maybe 2 out of the whole rotation? I don’t mind challenging affixes as long as their sole purpose isn’t to make you miserable. There’s a difference between challenge and annoyance. Some of these new trash mechanics (and the sheer amount of trash) combined with the affixes is just dumb. And yeah, it’s totally stupid that you can get equivalent or better gear than +10s from just running incursions and warfronts. A +10 is about 1000x more difficult than an incursion, and the incursion is guaranteed loot! My mage has 15 hours /played at 120 and is already ilvl 365 without raiding or M+. Catch up is nice and all, but if I had spent those 15 hours doing harder stuff like normal/heroic uldir and M+ I would be nowhere near 365 in that short of time.

      As for the faction balance and racials, they are basically balanced now. They have been for a while. The damage was done years ago when Blizzard ignored the problem. It can’t be fixed now. For every 1 Mythic raider on Alliance, there is at least 3 on Horde. Not because of racials, but because that’s where the population migrated over the years. Blood Elf in Legion was an issue, and caused anyone serious about M+ pushing to transfer or fall behind. Most of them probably already fell into the Mythic raider category anyway. This huge raider imbalance has recently affected my own raid team. We’re losing our DPS monk… and we have a lot of melee and hunters who will now be doing 5% less damage, which is incredibly significant in Mythic. Ever tried to recruit an underplayed class/spec for Mythic raiding on Alliance? It’s not feasible outside of maybe OCE servers. Just add it to the pile of disappointing stuff I guess. “Bring the player not the class” — lol, right.

      As for any toxicity between hunter spec communities, I haven’t seen too much of it lately (though to be fair I’ve not been paying a lot of attention). With the 8.1 changes, I like MM a lot more, but like I said in the post it still needs something utility wise. Survival is fun and all, but melee is not for me.

  11. Glad your still alive! I was worried this site died. I check it once a week. I believe bfa is a filler expansion. It feels like every other expansion is a filler expansion. Legion was pretty epic, now bfa is just there, next expansion will be good. Probably having to do more with tinkers and gomergan etc. with some old god and void hints of course. They wouldn’t drop an void expansion so close to legion. Legion was huge in lore defeating them. I believe they will give void expansion some time before something big happens again. They dropped legion demons in other expansions leading up to legion. I think they are doing that with the void. Blizz did say they are trying to set up new characters and villains for future expansions. Wonder who and what they are…?

  12. Think of it like a boon, with WoW in this state, it’s never been easier to go to RL stuff that actually matter and possibly fulfill that dopamine need we have with games we can pick and play for 30mins without having to be like a 2nd or 3rd job 😀

  13. Hey Bendak, good to know you are still around. I have always enjoyed reading your blog. I get why interest has died, not only for you but so many players…I really do. But I am still enjoying BfA and being a BM Hunter (yeah I’m a weirdo) regardless of what others are experiencing. The main issue for me is that so many people in my guild are just not logging on at all since we got AotC done back in October. We traditionally see a drop in attendance after the milestone is reached but never have I seen it come so swift and severe. I am very concerned that people just won’t come back and my guild will die and even worse, that WoW will die. Yeah I know all good things must end, but I have played since 2005 and love the game still (never unsubbed) despite current problems,so I hope that Blizz can see the mass exodus that is occurring and stop ignoring the ever growing list of issues going on at the moment. I feel like they released BfA too early by at least a few months and it has cost dearly.

    1. I’m not sure holding it back would have fixed anything. I mean, even if BFA launched in its current state I think we’d have the same overall community reaction (perhaps toned down a little bit). IMO the issue is a combination of bad decision making and not listening to the player base. Yes, they can’t design it via committee (although that may be better than designing it via analytics), but at some point you have to listen to everyone who is shouting the same things at you and maybe take a second look at what those people are complaining about. I have never, in all my years writing about WoW in various places, called out specific developers. But here’s the thing: Ultimately, the buck stops with Ion. This is his first expansion as director (Legion was fully planned out before he took those reins). It’s not wrong to put blame on him. I’m not saying fire the guy, I’m saying he needs to step it up, and fast.

  14. I’m right there with you on this one. You summarized pretty well how I’ve been feeling about the game lately; I feel little to no enjoyment for playing it. I log in, do a round of world quests, maybe try one or two mythics or island expeditions… and I already feel burnt out or worse, bored.

  15. Thanks for all you hardwork over the years! Reading your thoughts on improvements have inspired my own.

    Talent Tree:
    Each Class will have 3 class-spec skills/class utility or benefit and each column will represent modifications for said ability or perk. Players will be able to choose one modification per line. First will be class nuke. Second will be class resource on steroids. Third will be class utility perk.
    (Example: BM will be Kill Command, Cobra Shot and Class Benefits).

    Kill Command:
    Level 1: Kill Command will awaken the pet’s inner ability and calling it to infuse their class spec with their attack. Effect; Ferocity-Rips the enemy for set amount of damage plus bleed. Cunning-Grants hunter % haste and speed with amount cooldown. Pet Tank- Grants shield for pet and hunter with amount cooldown.

    Level 50: For every minute Kill Command will summon a flock of ravens to attack the target. Effect will initiate on the next click. (Combination of Crow and Kill Command)

    Level 100: Activating Aspect of the Wild will cause the pet to respond to Kill Command with all three spec ability with no cooldowns and end the duration with Murder of Crows/stackable). Must have Level 1 Kill Command activated.

    Cobra Shot:
    Level 1: Cobra Shot will apply Serpent Sting (non stackable) and have a chance of dropping a Snake Trap at the feet of the enemy activating it’s effect. (I missed that trap so much).

    Level 50: Cobra Shot will be replaced by Chimera Shot combining the effect of the two; generating a set amount of Focus plus Focus regen with Serpent Sting and Snake Trap will now activate on two targets instead of one. Must have Level 1 Cobra Shot activated.

    Level 100: Activating Aspect of the Wild will cause Cobra Shot/Chimera Shot to reset the cooldown of Kill Command and summoning a stabled Dire Beast every 5 seconds for and stay active for 10 seconds after.

    Class Utility Perk
    Level 1: Ammo/Arrow Mods.
    – Barbed Arrows: Basically Barbed Shot.
    – Exploding Arrows: Cause aoe damage on contact.
    – Freezing Arrow: Slows.
    I missed when the days where hunters can mod their shots.

    Level 50: Glaive Toss with mods. 2 Charges.
    – Poised Edge: % ticking dmg for amount seconds to all targets caught from the hunter to their intended target. Max 4 stacks (1 stack to and 1 stack from).
    – Widened Blade: dmg to all targets caught from the hunter to their intended target with aoe on contact.
    – Freezing Edge: 5% slow on targets caught from the hunter to their intended target. Max 4 stacks (1 stack to and 1 stack from).

    Level 100: Aspect of the Wild will now summon a rideable Beast-vehicle to attack enemies with unique abilities.

    Miscellaneous thoughts on class set bonuses and Azerite gears.

    How about a class spec Azerite trinket that players can work towards (acquiring and upgrading) to per raid? Obviously it will have class spec effects and with a bonus effect of letting players modify the animation of one/more of their abilities.
    Example: BM trinket will infuse their pet with Azerite power granting them increased power for amount seconds. The bonus effect will be allowing hunters to ‘enchant’ their pets with different weapons effects. And maybe a quest later so hunters can keep that ability.


  16. Hi Bendak. Thanks for all the posts and hard work over the years. Been reading EotB for a long time. I canceled my WoW sub in November, but still come here to read your updates once a week or so. Thanks for the update.

    I’m in the same boat as most of these other posters. Been playing WoW since Vanilla. Still play my original main Hunter. He feels like an extension of myself at this point.

    I started leaving and coming back mid cycle almost every expansion since Wrath. Actually held my sub all the way thru Legion due to a solid group of Mythic+ friends. I haven’t had a desire to raid since Cataclysm 10-mans. Life and time, it happens. The only thing that really keeps me coming back is guild mates. That’s what made Mythic+ so great in Legion. It gave us a casual thing to do, that was a fun challenge. Hop on once a week for a few hours. Hang with the boys and kill some dragons. Very chill. I feel like BFA has lost that by adding all these new interrupts and single mob type mechanics just feel tedious. When you slap affixes on top of that, it feels like a chore. My group did Mythic+ for 4-6 weeks and would only attempt 2-3 specific dungeons because nobody wanted to even try the others. I just couldn’t do it this time. Cut the cord. Saving my money and hoping for better things in the next expansion.

  17. Amazing, I was ready to quit wow during Legion (my beloved SV spec killed, the AP grind, hunters at the bottom of recount, no more 4 piece instant aimed shot, etc)
    BFA has improved the game a lot for me. Love the pirate vibe of the game, raid mechanics are not too bad, 100% mobility as BM, enough buttons to press to keep me busy.
    As for the original talent tree and all the replacement efforts over the years including azerite traits: it’s all in the category “set and forget”. There is no way blizzard can ever make the game significantly more interesting through that but somehow they keep trying. Oh well.

    Having said that: I really enjoy reading blogs and posts about hunters especially this one.
    The moment you write about a new transmog or a new pet to tame or just anything hunter related gives me fresh energy to start up wow and try it out.
    Idea’s like hundreds of low level dwarf hunters running around are brilliant, don’t need a good expansion for that right ? Hunters and their community rock !

    Hope you find the energy and joy to come back more frequent to us
    And a big thank you for the past years.

  18. when you write „To be honest, if I had slept on the draft of this post I probably wouldn’t have posted it. It didn’t get my thoughts across as clearly as I’d have liked. It’s honestly really hard to put my finger on all the issues because there are so many.“ i 100% understand you. thanks for still writing everything down, though. sadly it‘s very unlikely blizz makes some big changes in near future.
    anyways, I always enjoy reading your posts!

  19. Well, glad to have some news. Don’t hesitate to go slower when things get boring – I have good hopes for the next raid, but I’ll admit I’m still having fun on WoW strictly because doing the repetitive stuff – 30 minutes/day of WQ (while listening to videos), 3 islands/week, a few dungeons, conquest cap – doesn’t bother me and is pretty much a routine now. But if you get bored, don’t force yourself.
    I will admit I am not very happy with my hunter now in soloing, although in pvp and dungeons I feel I do have some strategic leeway (especially with infested, it’s always nice to star pet tanking a mob that broke CC). But I have only anger at the current state of pets – they are strong, but I don’t like the design. You have to have a spirit beast in raid. You have to have mortal strike for pvp. You have to have a ferocity pet for islands/questing. Really hope they change it next expansion.
    And yes, I will definitively play classic. I remember soloing an outside boss in Gnomeregan when I had no idea what I was doing, it might be fun to have challenging leveling once again.

  20. Bendak, good to see a post! I feel the same way as many who have posted above. I played a bit in Legion, but have unsubbed as of BfA. I still check blogs and forums desperately looking for some good WoW news. But short of a full #RevertToMoP I don’t think I’ll be back. For me biggest thing is removal of ranged SV. That was my preferred spec, and I had multiple max level SV hunters. They all went away with Legion Pre-patch. IMO, since then class design and ‘fun’ have gone downhill.

    As for classic, I’ll be curious to see how that turns out. After BfA launch I leveled a Hunter to max on a WotlK server. Most fun I have had since the end of MoP. But once at max, I considered how much time it would take me to get back to max professions (on multiple toons), build up gold, get titles,etc… I have spent 10+ years on live, and at the end of WoD had alts with all professions maxed. I can’t bring myself to think about starting that all over from scratch again. And as time passes unsubbed, I am falling further behind in my WoW goals, missing out on mounts, etc… At this point I am basically WoW free, but still would really like to play.

    I would love to see WoWs metrics today. Granted I am only one player, but when WoW was fun I logged in every day, bought every mount on the store, spent time leveling alts and professions. They got my money and my time (MAU). I didn’t mind grinding out reps, running old instances for mounts, etc… Has current game design been a success? Have they been able to replace (or increase) the time and money of people like me that they have driven away?

    I’ll still keep checking your site, hoping one day for exciting news of changes and I’ll return to WoW and my Hunters!

    Thank you for your work on this site!

  21. I’m right there with you on this, it just feels more like a chore than a game anymore.

    I would love to read your thoughts on us getting Hati back with patch 8.1.5. 🙂

  22. I’ve been ‘clean’ of WoW now from the start of October. I’ve only played the very beginning of the expansion and immediately left; something I have never done before. It’s such a massive culmination of things I don’t like over the years that my excitement and hope changed to aversion and then apathy. I just don’t believe in WoW anymore, at least not the live version. I don’t think any form of content or update will be enough to reignite the WoW spark, unless they suddenly revert years of changes (which they obviously won’t do).

    My biggest grieve is that they completely shredded the hunter gameplay of old. While I’ve had some alt hunters before, my main switch to main hunter was in WotLK. Since then I’ve pretty much always been SV, my favourite spec (it played just so buttery smooth), followed by the odd switch to MM/BM just to try it out / have a change of pace. MoP, despite me not liking the theme overall, had the best hunter gameplay I’ve ever experienced; we had everything and it was glorious. The change to WoD already cut my hunter playtime in half, with it’s insane reduction in class quality. However, the biggest hits came from Legion and BfA, where I pretty much abandoned my hunter altogether. They gutted my favourite spec for some nonsensical melee hokeypokey and somehow managed to make the other two specs also terrible to play. Not to mention how my pet went from being a pet that required attention and some management to… well nothing really. It didn’t do shit, couldn’t do shit. So forgive my bitterness when I say I couldn;’t care less about ‘all the new pet models’, because frankly they are worthless right now.

    So I’m pretty much waiting for Classic. I know what to expect from it, it’s ups, it’s downs. Some major, some minor. But it will deliver something I enjoy playing, which cannot be said of the live version. Something that looks like WoW, smells like WoW, feels like WoW again. It’s been way too long since I did some good ol’ stutter-stepping. Besides, I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.

    Kind regards,

  23. I only saw this today, and I’m grateful to know you’re hanging on with us. It has been rough watching the decay of quality forced upon WOW by Activision’s stockholders.

  24. I remember back during BC and WotLK when a lot of people who weren’t playing WoW would trash the game. “It’s too easy,” “no game with flying mounts can be good,” “WoW sucks” etc etc… I feel like those people are now all working for Blizzard and we are getting the game that they think is superior but they are just turning it into those boring games they used to play instead of WoW that aren’t around anymore. Subscriptions don’t lie…

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