I said a few days ago when the Hunter Q&A was out that I’d be doing a piece on my personal take on it. I should have wrote this a few days ago but alas, here it is.
There are certain aspects of the Hunter class that are really emphasized in the Q&A. A lot of the issues brought up are ones that I and a lot of other hunters are aware of and are concerned about. For a start, Beast Mastery is too low at the moment even in regards to it’s more simplistic play style and that needs to be addressed. The concern however is that if a signature shot is put into the BM tree, it will just play similarily to MM and SV with just swapping Chimera Shot/Explosive Shot with BM Shot. The other route to take would be to buff BM pets, but then that raises the concern of them being too tough in PvP but also gives the problem of losing most of your dps in PvE encounters when your pet dies. A tough one to call indeed.
Ammo is also another item of keen interest at the moment so it’s not surprising to see it raised in the Q&A. It’s nice to find out that the delay is a technical issue rather than a design issue. I think they have very clear ideas about what they want to do with Ammo (something extremely similar to something myself and many other hunters suggested nearly 3 years ago on the main forums (I would link the post but it’s been buried and lost to the nether)) and it’s a change I welcome. I can understand why they’d be reluctant as it would be another Hunter only item. Most ranged weapons are itemized just for Hunters, so to include another Hunter only item on loot tables could be a concern. With that said however, many other classes whore the loot tables with stuff that can only be used by them (I’m looking at you healy Plate gear). I’m looking forward to the change so it’s nice to see it discussed again.
The Hunter “Dead Zone” was brought up aswell. I personally don’t know why they brought this up because it’s not a problem. Like Ghostcrawler mentioned, there used to be an actual dead zone of 3 yards where we couldn’t melee or do ranged dps. Now however, it’s ranged or melee. I think the solution isn’t to let us use ranged attacks in the melee zone, but rather give us a few more melee attacks centered around escaping and getting to a more comfortable distance. This is purely in the interests of balancing us for PvP and Arena, as there’s a serious under representation of Hunters there. An interesting idea might be to give us a skill that removes the lower bound of distance required by ranged attacks to 0 for our next attack or 10 seconds. Give it a minute cooldown or something and it won’t affect the PvE game.
One of the question’s response did surprise me a little. When asked about the possibility of moving Hunters away from mana, it seems like there’s going to be a discussion on this at Blizzcon. Mana has been an issue for Hunters for a very long while and this isn’t the first time Hunters and Energy have been discussed together. Back before the game even shipped and was on beta, Hunters were originally planned to have Energy. As we all know however, Hunters were given mana. I’m looking forward to the Blizzcon discussion on this subject.
They also skip over how they feel that Hunters are too cooldown limited. As a Survival Hunter, I know this more than any of the other specs so can certainly agree. Haste really only affects Auto Shot and Steady Shot so it can feel like a wasted stat at times. With that said however, it’s needed to hit the soft cap on the Steady Shot to allow room on the Explosive Shot cooldown, inadvertantly propping up our dps. Haste feels important but also rubbish at the same time. This is another thing that’s getting discussed at Blizzcon.
One final thing that does look good is that they’re finally going to revamp the Pet bar. They should be adding in a lot more available slots on the Pet bar which will be extremely beneficial. They also plan on sorting out abilities that are swapping to auto cast (such as cower) that made leveling extremely annoying. They also discuss the possibilities of doing away with the Stables and having a more Warlock based pet system, something we’re pretty close to already anyway.
I think Blizzard have done well with the whole Q&A series, and I think it’s been beneficial for both Blizzard and the players. I feel like there’s a more distinct direction with the class and it’s nice to see that Blizzard have the same concerns as many of the players. I think Blizzcon this year will be exceptionally interesting.