Blizzard is hosting a live Class Design & Balance Q&A right now. I’ve weeded out all of the wasting-the-devs-time-with-support-class-questions Q&A, and have listed just the important topics below… specifically, the Hunter Class Design & Balance info.
Some key points…
- Along with the removal of ranged weps, hunters will lose the ability to parry. Not a huge deal, considering our parry chance blows.
- If you have a melee weapon that you want to RP with, you’ll be able to equip it for show in Mists of Pandaria.
- Hunters will be able to cast Scare Beast on enemies affected by Transmorph Trap (trap that turns an affected target into a beast, with a Hex type effect, e.g. loss of control over abilities).
- Exotic pets will still be BM-only.
- Spec DPS balance should be level across all three specs.
Anyway, here are the official responses from Blizzard…
Q: Hello Blizzard! Will the hunters be able to parry with bows in MoP? :O
A: No. Hunters will lose parry as part of the trade-off for losing minimum range.
Q: Will hunters be able to equip melee weapons instead of a ranged weapon in MoP, even if just for show ?
Q: Hello, for the hunter Talent; Transmorph Trap. Can more of a description be given on it? Is it the same as a hex effect, or can you also fear the target after while they’re turned into a beast?
A: Transmorph Trap is a nature trap (and so can be placed at the same time as Freezing Trap), and allows you to cast Scare Beast on the transmorphed target. It will have a similar duration to Freezing Trap.
Q: Since in MoP you guys plan on getting rid of relics for pallies, shamans, druids, and stat sticks for hunters are you planning on boosting stats in other areas to compensate? Or are the range slots for the other classes being removed as well?
A: The ranged slot is being removed for everyone in 5.0. Relics are gone. Ranged Weapons will be usable in the main hand by appropriate classes. Wands will become a type of main hand weapon. This effectively is a slight nerf to the stats of everyone equally, so doesn’t cause class balance concerns.
Q: As a hunter I love collecting the odd pets that only a BM can but I dont get to use them much while raiding because to max my DPS I raid MM. I spend the time and effort to get these pets but noone sees them very often. Will we in the future see hunters be able to use these pets in any spec?
A: We’re actually excited to see how spec balance for Hunters turns out in 4.3. We’re pretty confident that their raw damage is competitive between all 3 specs now, and so hope to see more exotic pets in raids, as well as survival hunters, and specs chosen based on the situational utility that they offer. We definitely want to reserve exotic pets as a BM-only perk though.
Q: Considering the remove of melee weapons for hunters in Cataclysm, will the currently existing utility spells that require a melee weapon be replaced. (especially Raptorstrike Glyph)
A: Removing melee weapons from Hunters and removing their minimum range on their attacks will have many different balance implications. We will carefully evaluate all their defensive abilities to make sure they don’t become too survivable, or conversely too easy to kill. Mechanics on glyphs will be kept in some form if we feel they are valuable to the design, but some glyph mechanics may go away as no longer necessary.
Q: im saying this for most hunters but y hasnt the snake trap damage been increased i have used it at max lvl a few times but the trap when the snakes attackk each one only does like 25 damage each is there a way you can fix this trap so that it does more damage
A: Snake Trap is intended to be utility, not damage. The damage on it is just there for flavor, really.
Q: Aspect of the cheetah/pack have seemed a little outdated with the daze on hit mechanic and can’t really use them effectively in raids or pvp. Are there any plans to change these aspects to more a cooldown spell like stampeding roar or a self run speed for aspect of the cheetah?
A: Yes, we plan on it not dazing you but turn off the speed bonus for a short while when you get hit in those aspects (or at least Cheetah).
Q: Have you considered having a pet stampede spell where our 5 pet stable rushes our enemy for a 5min cd? Too epic for GC?