How late is too late to start fixing things?
So, with 4 days left before Legion’s big launch day, Blizzard have decided to come out and start asking for feedback on the changes to the Hunter class.
No, no, I’m not kidding. I’m being deadly serious.
Here, go look for yourself.
Now we’ve had 9+ months of Alpha/Beta where thousands, nay tens of thousands of articles, forum posts, tweets, videos and so on have been made highlighting exactly what is wrong with the Legion Hunter, in comparison to the old Hunter class we used to have.
As an aside, why do these sorts of requests for feedback only ever get posted on the US forums? This is an ongoing issue where EU players are made to feel like 2nd class citizens yet again, with EU players either having to resort to Twitter and its increasingly irksome 140 char limitation, blog posts like these, or trying to pursuade someone with a US account to post on their behalf.
Frankly ridiculous, and now that the new WoW website is live, it’s high-time they merged the regional databases and allowed everyone access to the same forums, so that we plebs in the EU can interact directly with the devs and CM’s.
Anyway, in the spirit of feedback, these are the changes that I can think of at the moment on how to improve BM & MM Hunters – Not touching Survival. I play a ranged DPS class, and already have plenty of more well-matured melee classes, thanks.
Make camo baseline. Seriously, it’s a core feature and it’s stupid that two out of 3 specs have it, and one seemingly at random doesn’t. Why pick BM? Why not Survival to differentiate it? It has all its traps to get past mobs after all!
Active focus generator. BM is literally a whack-a-mole spec at the moment. It’s a “hit whatever’s not on cooldown out of the three or four buttons you have” spec. Now while it’s fun at the moment, it doesn’t have any great complexity or depth, which will only hurt it in the longer-term (IE A year or so from now). It’s purely a passive spec, with little in the way of active participation or engagement on the players’ part. Sure, there are some buttons to hit, but direct damage and focus levels are, the Chimaera Shot talent aside, in the main out of your hands.
Two charges on Dire Beast. It feels pretty crappy to get a Wild Call proc 2 seconds before Dire Beast comes off cooldown. Wow, a whole 2 seconds early? Well darn, colour me lucky.
Bring back Spirit Bond: As a talent, that heals both the hunter and the pet.
Sort out MM. Frankly at the moment you have to go with:
- Lone Wolf (sadly)
- Patient Sniper
These three talents are so utterly dominant in their talent rows that the playstyle becomes set in stone. They are absolutely mandatory, to the point where if you’re not using them you’re not playing the spec right. And I still contend that these three talents, SW in particular, turn MM into a slow, clunky, disjointed spec which spends most of its time fishing for procs from auto attacks.
Wow. Much complex. Such deeps.
RNG should be a layer of complexity on top of the base spec. If a button lights up with a proc, it should be a bonus, not the basis around which your entire spec is created and is completely reliant on.
Hardier pets. They’re just too damn squishy.
MD glyph. Tied to the above. And again, much needed. One of BM’s great strengths
is was its ability to solo content. The hunter was able to MD onto their pet constantly, so there was a nice consistency with no chance of pulling threat.
This is why we have tenacity pets after all. They’re meant to tank for the hunter.
It’s no fun when you can only MD once every 30 seconds and you strip threat off your pet after 6. It makes the entire notion of a tenacity pet utterly pointless.
Frankly Aspect of the Cheetah is absolute shit right now. I’d love Blizzard to revert the change, or reduce its cooldown from a mind blowingly obnoxious 3 minutes to a more reasonable 30-45 seconds. And up the duration to at least 6 seconds, and make the speed buff a lesser +60-70% then fall off completely. No second “boost” of only 30% for 6 seconds after the current initial 3 sec +90% boost. That might also make Dash more attractive as a talent.
Buff the shit out of Mend Pet. It feels weak, but if pets were more sturdy then it might be fine. Oh, and remove its cool-down, there’s no need for it quite frankly. It’s not as if Mend Pet’s heal is front loaded and declines over time. If it was, I’d understand the reason for the CD, but otherwise, the point is what exactly?
As mentioned above, make Camo baseline. There’s no reason why a master of Beasts should be unable to camouflage themselves and their pet.
Two charges on Turtle. And perhaps halve its duration to 4 secs per charge to compensate. A 3 minute cool-down for our only defensive ability? Come on Blizzard.
Make Freezing Trap baseline. At least give us back some of our lost utility.
Now I know that artifact talents will alleviate some of these concerns, but only some, and only partially at best.
But I don’t know if I feel amazed in a good way or a bad way that Blizzard have left it to a handful of days before launch to begin asking for feedback on the class that changed more than any other with Legion. And I include Demon Hunters in that, because whilst they may be a new class with two new specs, we ended up as a new class with three. I’ve said it before, but the Hunter of 7.0+ is a completely different beast to the one we left in Draenor.
And only now are Blizzard cottoning on to the fact that players aren’t happy?
As mentioned at the top, there have been tens of thousands of articles of feedback on how players felt Blizzard were treating the Hunter class as a whole.
In fact Thunder used to have 4 main spec raiding Hunters, including me.
And that simply says it all really. That no-one in our guild, including none of our recent applicants, wants to main a Hunter in Legion is very telling about how much the class has changed, and if it’s for the better or not.
Fair enough, BM becomes a bit more fun with Hati, but it doesn’t really add any complexity or depth. At the moment, whilst BM is a fun spec, it feels pretty shallow, and I get the impression it’ll be a spec a lot of players may get bored with in the medium to longer term.
Thankfully Bears are still looking good, despite yet another recent nerf to our baseline mastery. But I’ll go over bears in another post.
What about you guys? Are you happy with the changes to the Hunter class since pre-patch 4 weeks ago?