I’ve slept on it


I am a lot calmer this morning. That old saying about sleeping on it really worked.

I have taken a few deep breaths and actually looked at the changes that are proposed to the Hunter class. It just does not pay to get all Emo and panic before thinking it through. Honestly I don’t see it as much of a nerf. Let me break down my thoughts on it, makes it easier to flame me for individual items in the comments.

  •  Steady Shot will now gain a 10% bonus from attack power as opposed to 20% that it currently is.

Yes Steady shot is a bread and butter type shot. Yes it will lower our personal DPS somewhat. I don’t think it will be a huge issue however. It is not a straight 10% damage reduction, but a reduction that actually scales as you level. The good thing with this is it (I think) will lower the overall DPS of max level Hunters in good gear significantly more than it will hurt lower level Hunters that are still on their way up.

  •  Volley damage reduction by about 30% across all ranks.

Contrary to the idea that this means the end of Hunter AoE it is actually just a slowdown. I don’t lose the ability to grab up a whole herd of critters with Thumper the gorrilladin and AoE them all down. As it sits right now I have to Volley about 3 times per group, soon it will be 4 times – oh, the horror.

  •  Readiness no longer will effect the cooldown on Beastial Wrath.

While the whole idea of being able to keep up Beastial Wrath for a long time is a fun one I really see this as more of a PvP change.  I never really played around with this ability as I valued the four extra pet talent points more than I did having readiness, so I won’t comment further on this one.

  •  Deterrence has been completely overhauled. Its new incarnation will allow you to deflect 100% of incoming spell or melee damage for 5 seconds, but prevents you from attacking while active. You must be facing the attacker to deflect the damage. 60 second cooldown.

The “you must be facing your enemy”  part is something they are trying out, and may change. Hell this has not even hit the PTR yet, it may all change. It sounds like it could be really useful, but it all depends on how it is implemented. For instance, I understand I can’t attack while it is active. Can I move? Can I bandage? Can I lay traps? Mend pet? Can I Hearth? (The idea of a Hunter version of “bubble hearthing” amuses me for some reason).

For me the jury is still out. Buying an extra 5 seconds is nice, but I need to know what I can do with that time before I make a call on this one.

  • Kill Shot cooldown will be reduced from its current 35 seconds to 15 seconds.

This is a buff, hands down. Kill shot will likely even pick up a hotkey spot once this goes live. In it’s current incarnation a I rarely use it. I see this a good Dps boost, particularly on boss fights.

  • Kindred Spirits will now only increase pet damage by 3/6/9/12/15%

Yes my pets Dps will go down a bit. To be fair even I can see my pet was doing too much. My major worry here is maintaining threat while doing less damage.

  • Serpents Swiftness will now only grant 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to the pet. The way I read it hunter will remain the same.

This is the one that is going to hurt the most to be honest. The extra attack speed translated into more specials that could proc in a given time. Probably my least favorite of all the changes.

  • Growl will have its threat generation increased by 20%.

You cant see it right now, but I am dancing. Actually its probably a good thing you can’s see that. I don’t dance so well, at least according to my wife. She refuses to dance in public with me. Where were we? Growl, gotcha.

More threat before I pull aggro is a beautiful thing. I was worried about the lowered pet Dps causing me problems while soloing. Hopefull this will prevent that. If nothing else it shows they are aware that people do more than PvP and raid. 

  • Call of the wild will now only benefit the hunter and their pet.

I will refuse to comment on this because I am woefully ignorant on it. I have not made it to 80 to begin raiding yet, so I don’t know how much it really benefitted the group. It looks like we are trading this off for making Aspect of the Wild going raid wide. Time will tell on this one, I can’t.

  • Rake (cats) and Scorpid Poison(Scorpids) is being nerfed to bring it in line with other pet damage skills.

Um, OK. The whole point of the great pet restructuring that went on not long ago was to make most pets equally attractive. I am sure I was not the only one who got tired of seeing the same 4 or 5 pets on virtually every hunter that ran past in Shattrath. I use a cat on one of my hunters as her Dps pet, the other uses a wolf. One should not be significantly better than the other. I see this as more of a balancing act than a nerf.

  • Spirit Strike is having the timer of its Dot adjusted to work better with Longevity.

Once again, not a buff or a nerf. Simply a balancing act. It is a new skill and they are adjusting its ability to synergise with the Hunters talents. Actually I suppose it is a buff, since they will work together better now.

  • Improved Tracking will now improve damage to all included creature types assuming you are tracking at least one of them.

An interesting change. I certainly would call this a buff. First you don’t have to change constantly to keep up the damage bonus, which is a nice bonus in and of itself. Second you can now gain the benefit across all different types of trackable critters at the same time.

For instance, in a pull with two wolves (beast) and a trainer (huminoid) your multi shot would currently only get the bonus against the type you were currently tracking. Soon you would get it against all both. Just one example, I am sure you can think of more.

  • Aspect of the Wild will go raid wide.

As I have not done any raiding yet I can’t really say much from first hand experience. It seems to me that while they took away one raid wide usage in Masters Call thay added one back in this. Once again time will tell how good or bad it is.

  • All hunter pet abilities with cooldowns longer than 30 seconds are removed from the global cooldown.

Um, sweet! I am a big fan of macros. As such this will help me out a lot. Particularly with my “Get the hell off meh haeler!” macro, which is currently still borked. 

It will also come in handy for those who are willing to take the time to actually trigger things on thier pet during combat. This will allow those who put in the effort to learn how to maximise their use to get back some of the raw “white damage” Dps we lost.

 

Now for a short list of things that are not listed, But still need looked into.

  • Pet skills, most notably cower, are still randomly turning themselves on and off. As long as we are tinkering with pets, hows about we fix that.
  • Speaking of pet skills, I now have a lot of things to keep track of with my pet.  How about freeing up some real estate on my pet bar by allowing me to replace skills I rarely use (agressive for instance) with something I do. Like say, last stand or Taunt.
  • As long as I am asking about pets, how about fixing Heart of the Phoenix. Yes, like everyone else, I have it macro’d so I can use it manually. The point it, it should autocast.

All in all taking a look at Hunters we will be fine. We will still have the ability to top the meters, we will just have to work a bit harder for it. Taking it all in, even the things that are broken and have yet to be fixed, I really don’t see much of a nerf at all.

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