Now that I’ve had a chance to read through and digest all of the Cataclysm hunter class changes, here are some of my thoughts…
There are a lot of negative nellies out there really poo-poo’ing this change. I really don’t think you can come to an accurate conclusion on this new mechanic just yet. For one, we have no way of knowing how other factors will play into our focus regen and management.
All we know is the base cost of shots, along with the base focus regen rate. Given those two things, it looks as if we’re going to be reduced to stationary focus-starved ranged DPS’ers. However, what we don’t know is how talents, abilities, stats and various buffs will play into the equation.
Once talented, there’s no doubt that all of the shots will have their base focus costs reduced. Also, it’s very possible that focus regeneration rates will be much higher than the base 6/sec. once talents, gear and buffs are taken into account.
Hunters are one of the most popular classes in WoW, so it’s highly doubtful that Blizzard would intentionally “destroy” the class. Give this new mechanic some time to develop, and for all you downer donnas out there… FFS, quit yer bitchin’!
My only real concern is that the defensive abilities end up costing too much. They’ve mentioned the possibility of having their focus costs reduced or even done away with, so at least it’s on their minds. I’d hate to have to wait 3-5 seconds to pop Deterrence just because I’m focus starved. 😕
I like this idea. It’s basically an alternative to Steady Shot for use on higher armored targets, plus it looks to play well with other nature damage enhancing buffs. My guess is that MM will be the most reliant upon Steady Shot, with SV leaning more towards Cobra Shot due to the elemental damage mastery, and BM using it exclusively.
They’ve stated that Cobra Shot will be buffed within the BM tree, thus making it a signature shot of Beast Mastery. I think that’s nice, however I wish BM’s signature shot would have come in the form of an additional ability, as opposed to a replacement. I’m betting there will be more spice added to the Beast Mastery tree in the coming months though.
- The cooldown
- The duration
- The damage bonus on the opening attack
This is an ability that could undergo some radical changes before Cataclysm, so who knows… I hope it sticks though.
On a side note: In response to Brig’s post about having any pet you wanted, my answer would be Muttley. The image above is a dramatization of that scenario in Cataclysm. 😉
My first take on this is that it sounds great for use against multiple mobs when used with Explosive Trap. MD > Toss in a box of dynamite > Volley > profit. Similar to how we have it now, but this will eliminate the need to Disengage in and out.
Apart from that, I don’t like the fact that it puts a 1 min cooldown on my thrown Freezing Trap. What will be nice though for PvP, is the ability to throw a Frost Trap from 40yds away. That could really provide for some nice Pew-Pew when combined with Entrapment and Point of No Escape (provided those talents are still around).
No Need for Ammo
Ammo will no longer have an item slot on our character screen, which means it’ll be history. Aaaahhh… one less thing to worry about, take up space in our bags, deplete our gold reserves, and grind recipes for. Fantastic!
Additionally, it sounds like hunters will receive an added bonus for their years of sacrificing bag space. Existing quivers will be transformed into large bags. Hunters will only be able to equip one of these and it remains to be seen how many slots will be in this “large bag”. Perhaps they’ll only be as large as upcoming craftable ones, but at least they’ll be free. 🙂
Active and Stored Pets
Translation… MORE STABLE SLOTS!!! 😀
Hunters will be able to keep an extensive stable of pets, but will only have access to 3 on demand. In other words, a hunter will be able to maintain a remote stable of three pets that they can swap out at the drop of a hat, but their actual stable can be much larger. To change the selection of “on-demand” pets, all a hunter will need to do is visit a stable master in a town. How bitchin’ is that..?!
Pets will have a status of active or passive, with the active ones being the ones accessible via Call Stabled Pet. This means that prior to a raid, BG, arena, whatever… a hunter can choose up to three pets they can select from.
How many pets we will be allowed to have is unkown, but I’m guessing it will be a lot.
This is an awesome change.
Misc Pet Changes
Newbie hunters will now begin the game with a pet at level 1. Not a huge bonus, but will nonetheless make the journey from 1 to 10 even easier.
Pet specials will be overhauled. It looks like Ravagers and Wind Serpents will be making a return to raid groups. Ravagers will provide buffs to physical damage, while Wind Serpents will buff elemental damage.
Blizz’s goal apparently is to have hunters swap pets depending upon what vacant role needs to be filled, ie: a missing buff. I like this approach, as I think it’ll be nice to see some variety in terms of pet choices. I’m also happy to see Wind Serpents become viable again. I’ll have to go back to Feralas and reunite with TROGDOR. 😉
Stings and DoTs to get Buffed
Stings and periodic damage effects will be enhanced by haste and crit. This is exciting news. Instead of shortening the effect, haste will add to the frequency of the ticks during the set duration. Couple that with a chance of those ticks being crits, and what we have is something beautiful.
In essence, this effect will function much the same way as the T9 2pc set bonus does now, but only much better as it will translate to all stings and DoTs, not just serpent. This mechanic will also no doubt help buff focus regen in PvP, as I’m sure Viper Sting will be affected as well. If Viper Sting ticks are critting, then focus regen while on the move shouldn’t (hopefully) be too much of a problem.
The talent mastery idea seems pretty cool. I like that it eliminates the need for passive buffs within the trees, allowing for more exciting talents.
Overall I’m quite pleased with these announcements. There are still a lot of unanswered questions and changes that will take place, but all in all, I’m looking forward to playing a hunter in Cataclysm.
Based upon this initial look, it seems as if Beast Mastery may be in really good shape for the expansion. Being that the tree offers passive buffs to haste and buffs to one of our haste regenerating shots, I’d say BM is poised to make a comeback. 🙂