Cautiously optimistic

Today I am a happy hunter.

There was a time just a few days ago that I actually dropped my subscription to this game we love.

In the “why are you leaving” note that Blizzard requested of me I railed against the inability to enter an instance.  It bothered me enough to vote with my wallet and let them know why.

Right about the same time a far more eloquent blogger than I, one known for his expanded ursine posterior posted about the same topic.

We both offered essentially the same suggestion to Blizzard. Similar to how they handled the issues they had sometime back with battlegrounds we suggested a que system to at least spread the pain out in a more equitable fashion. Apparently Blizzard was thinking along the same lines, but they actually applied what they learned with the BG’s.

They skipped right over the que and went right for the solution that worked for them there. Once upon a time they created cross server battlegrounds. Folks thought it would never work, now it’s just another part of the game. Today they announced (amongst other things) cross server instances.

Pugging 5-mans across servers to relieve the load.

It’s not enough on it’s own to make me resubscribe, but I’ll pick up a game card or two until I see how it works.

I guess you could say I’m cautiously optimistic.

Hunters changes in Cataclysm, scattered thoughts

I am not going to do a play by play of all the changes to my favorite class. If you are reading this I am sure you have already seen more than enough on other blogs. If not consider hitting up some of the more prolific sites, these would be of interest:

MMO-Champion

WoW.com

Official Blizzard Cataclysm site

As I said, I won’t go into all the changes. I am simply going to go into how I think (assuming I think at all) the changes to game mechanics will effect Hunters. The points I see that apply directly to this are:

  • Mana no longer to be used to power our shots, replaced with something very like a Rogue’s energy called focus.
  • Attack power gone on gear (say goodbye to our friend “of the bandit”)
  • AP will now be supplied by Agility.
  • Haste will cause our mana focus to regen faster (I am going to keep calling it mana for a long time. *sigh* stupid brain)
  • Steady Shot will cause focus to regen faster as well.
  • Too many shots are on cooldowns, expect a lot of that to go away. (Woot! I can quit playing the UI and start playing the game again.)

Now those are not nearly all of the changes. They are the tip of the iceberg at best. 

I have already read a few posts where folks are… what’s the word… disgruntled will work I suppose, with the changes. I see it as an interesting change. I look forward to it a lot actually. 

Agility and Haste will very quickly come to pass as our most important stats.

I expect the major theory-crafting sites to have a haste number figured out where you can go balls to the wall Dps and never run out of gas. A point at which the bar will simply fill up faster than you can empty it. I’ll go out on a limb and call this the haste cap.

At the same time more haste will equal more autoshots. More autoshots = more white damage.

Haste will also speed up the casting of Steady Shot which, properly worked into a rotation, will help keep focus levels up.

With more of our shots coming off cooldowns I expect to see a lot more work going into crafting the best shot rotation for each individual player based on how much focus per global cooldown you can afford to spend without running dry.

I believe that with this Hunters will also scale much better with gear than they already do. It will also make it a bit easier to tweak our Dps, as simply adjusting the focus cost of a shot will adjust how we throttle our own Dps.

My expectation is that we will be looking for (in order) Hit (until capped) > Agility > Haste > Stamina > everything else. Now I could very well be wrong, but these are my thoughts based on what I heard on the live stream yesterday. Today is day 2 of Blizzcon, they might very well shoot all this in the foot.

Some people may not be at all happy to hear about the changes, I for one welcome them.

I wonder what surprises today holds?