Blizzard is asking for feedback on class balance in the Mists of Pandaria Beta. This article continues our coverage of hunter-related discussions in the thread. For previous hunter-related posts by Ghostcrawler see:
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Skhope, a hunter, wrote, “Hunters have only 3 useful major glyphs for PVE: Marked for Death, Deterrence and Animal Bond. I can guarantee you that every serious raiding hunter will be using these 3 as there just aren’t any other choices that affect DPS or survivability. Will you be adding more PVE beneficial glyphs?” [link]
Zeherah, a hunter, replied, “I would say that those are the glyphs which will provide a benefit on most fights, but as I look through the list of glyphs, I can see a potential use for quite a few of them in specific fight types. I actually like the idea that we don’t really have any “must have” glyphs because it means that if we do have fights where the special purpose glyphs are beneficial, we’re not giving up anything super important to use them. It does seem a departure from the glyphs I’m seeing for other classes though which seem to provide noticeable benefit (sometimes at a cost).”
I’ll also note that the only glyph we have which seems to increase our damage in any way (aside from indirect increase like savings of GCD/focus from spending on abilities) is Glyph of No Escape, which on any fight where the targets are actually affected by slowing would provide a dps increase as long as the GCD required to apply the trap to the targets is outweighed by the damage gain.
In my current MoP code for my site, I’ve completely left out glyph support, because none of the hunter glyphs are affecting dps (except for the one slowing trap situation which I don’t support in the simulation). I wouldn’t mind putting it back in, but it is significant that currently there is no reason for me to care which glyphs the hunter is using when calculating dps.
Skhope replied, “I’d say Marked for Death is pretty much a must have for DPS increase. Majority of the fights in this game are multi-target and GCDs saved from casting Hunter’s Mark for target switches would add up to be the biggest DPS boost than any other hunter glyph available. Also as you pointed out, every other class has glyphs that directly and indirectly affect DPS providing multiple choices (even if mathematically certain ones are superior).” [link]
Zeherah replied, “To clarify, I wasn’t saying Marked for Death won’t effectively increase our dps (at least on most fights). I was just saying it doesn’t directly increase our dps- it does it by saving us GCDs, the number of which we need to spend on hunter’s mark vary from fight to fight (and in some fights we can premark and never have to refresh so it won’t do a thing). I do expect most hunters will use Marked for Death on most fights. But this actually says more about the lack of dps oriented glyphs than it says about Marked for Death.”
It’s a nice glyph and the end effect will be a dps increase on several fights, but there are also often fights where there isn’t really target swapping to single targets (since Marked for Death doesn’t do much for AoE), and on those fights if there are other specialty requirements I could see it being the chosen glyph to swap out. I haven’t looked that closely at the MoP raid fights yet (work has been eating my life) but there were a few fights in DS where Marked for Death would have made little to no difference and there I’m sure will be a few fights in upcoming raid tiers which are the same way.
The other two standard hunter glyphs are both survivability oriented and do nothing for dps. No Escape only stands out because it actually adds dps we couldn’t obtain through some other route (in theory you might never have to apply hunter’s mark depending on your raid makeup and the fight).
Brocksly, a hunter wrote, “Some hunter issues: Widow Venom is still not worth using. Costs focus, does 0 damage, takes up GCD. None of these 3 apply to other MS bringing classes.”
- Disengage is still broken. You get ported back or dropped down mid-air if rooted/CC’d during the flight. Broken when Charge was fixed.
- None of the tier 90 talents are useful in PVP.
- No one will pass Silencing Shot for arenas though (which should be baseline since every other dps spec in game has a baseline silence/interrupt).
- Lynx Rush is really weak compared to Dire Beast and AMoC.
- Snake Trap is not worth using. Snakes get one shot even when glyphed as their hp hasn’t scaled since it was introduced. Snakes still break CC.
- Glyph of No Escape: what’s the point of this glyph? 6% crit on one attack that breaks Freezing Trap!!!
- Glyph of Camouflage: Nameplates still visible. Not even close to stealth.
- Camouflage: breaks when calling pet, starting a cast, ordering pet to attack. If it is supposed to be used to get a free opener, can it be changed so that it actually does that?
- Expertise in PVP. Utility shots (Scatter, Concussive, etc.) need to be guaranteed to land. Agility classes can dodge way more than we could ever gear for. (which brings up another point)
- Hunters get less dodge, virtually none, from agility than other agi based classes.
- PVP hit capped casters have pets that will not miss/get dodged/parried. PVP hit and expertise capped hunter pets on the other hand will get dodged and parried against agi classes (monks, rogues, enh, ferals, hunters).
Zeherah, replied, “I misread this before- I thought [Glyph of no Escape] applied to Ice Trap. I agree it’s rather pointless for it to be applying to Freezing Trap.” [link]
Ren, a hunter, wrote, “–With the current set of talents, Dire Beast and Fervor are highly attractive in their respective tiers. Both seem like great damage boosters due to the high increase in focus per second. Using these in a raiding environment back to back (not stacked) results in a plethora of focus I never thought I’d have as a hunter. As MM, it’s almost overwhelming and takes a lot away from that spec. Mainly, Master Marksman stacks incredibly slowly due to the huge decrease in Steady Shots needed. One could say to not take both of the talents, or take neither. However, if these end up having the biggest bang for the buck, MM will be losing one of its main aspects. When testing, I was getting Master Marksman procs every 45 seconds to a minute, sometimes even longer. Are there any plans to adjust focus gain from talents or change some spec core mechanics to adapt to our new (possible) increase in focus?”
- When Beta was first released, the hunter talents seemed fairly well balanced. Many of the hunters I talk to each had different builds. Sure, some of the talents were the same across all of them (Silencing Shot, for example), but most of them were different. In today’s build, there is little to no variety, in both PvE and PvP. Some talents feel mandatory (Crouching Tiger, Silencing Shot, Iron Hawk) while others are severely underwhelming (Wyvern Sting, Lynx Rush, new Murder of Crows). Will there be any major changes to our talents? One thing many of us hunters have been talking about over on MMO-Champion is rearranging/changing some of the talents.
- Silencing Shot becomes baseline
- Powershot takes it’s spot, becomes instant, damage reduced, knockback increased
- Binding Shot cooldown reduced to 45 seconds or stun duration increased in PvP
- Wyvern Sting DoT removed, cooldown reduced to 30 seconds
- Dire Beast and Readiness change spots possibly? Having a focus tier and a damage tier(Dire Beast, Fervor, Thrill of the Hunt VS Readiness, Lynx Rush, Murder of Crows)
- Iron Hawk possibly baseline (feels powerful compared to the nerfed Spirit Bond and the new Exhilaration) or bump up other 2 talents to be more competitive
- Lastly, will our glyphs be getting any more changes? Many of them are outdated/borderline useless, such as Ice Trap, No Escape, Scatter Shot, and Snake Trap.
Zencurse, a hunter, replied, “I wanna try to bring this back into the discussion and also add my own input, mostly because Hunters by and large have been feeling ignored and forgotten about (just ask almost any of the hunter posters at MMO-Champ) but also to get more hunter representation in this forum because it seems like there is VERY few of us compared to other classes. Biggest thing I’d like to ask is, I’m aware you plan on tuning up our level 90 talents to be worthwhile single target. What are you planning on doing other than just possibly buffing damage? Like lowering the CD and/or cast time on Powershot? Because as an additional note, as I’ve been viewing streams, DPS charts, and watching some raid testing videos as well as analyzing there parses, hunters are severely undertuned right now. Some of them aren’t even able to out DPS the tank (and yes, I’m aware of marking on WoL to show pets, and even then they are dealing minimal damage).
I personally, and I’m sure at least several other hunters can attest to this, we need a bit more attention given to us. This isn’t a matter of our class being broken or clunky, that’s left entirely up to personal opinion. But as of now, we are widely undertuned.
Ghostcrawler replied, “If you have done this analysis, we would love if you shared it here.” [link]
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Gobuchul, a warlock, wrote, “Yet another pet scaling post – sorry, I really should have thought these things through thoroughly and made a single post with all of the questions instead of asking them one by one. I think this is the last one for now, though: Currently they don’t appear to scale with temporary percentage-wise haste buffs on the owner, such as Dark Soul: Misery. Is this intended, or will that change over the next few builds? Whatever the answer, is the same true for temporary crit buffs? [...] [link]
Ghostcrawler replied, “Yes, these will be fixed in upcoming builds. We’re trying to get rid of all of the “snapshotting” of stats on summoning. Let us know if you think we missed any; it will take a couple builds for you to get all of the changes, but all temporary buffs should dynamically update to the pets.” [link]
Gobuchul also wrote, “we’ve been told before that pets should not benefit from any buffs on their own anymore, but in Cataclysm they still gained certain things like Bloodlust/Heroism. Will this still be true in MoP? If so, do you have a comprehensive list of which buffs can affect pets?” [link]
Ghostcrawler replied, “Pets should not be able to double dip on any of these buffs. Any that still do apply to pets will be fixed. We fixed it recently for Bloodlust, for example.” [link]