Some thoughts on the Cataclysm hunter class preview

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. 😕

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This is more like it

I just peeped this update to Ferocious Inspiration over at MMO-Champion. Seems the latest PTR build has a new and improved Ferocious Inspiration that includes both Arcane Shot and Steady Shot. See… I knew there was going to be more love on the way. 🙂 Everyone’s happy now too. I’m pleased that my PvP damage isn’t going to be nerfed …

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R.I.P. Arcane Shot

Among many of the interesting and exciting changes coming in patch 3.3.3 is one of particular note to hunters, namely raiding Beast Mastery hunters. In the latest patch notes is a mention of an update to Ferocious Inspiration.

Beast Mastery

  • Ferocious Inspiration: This ability is now an aura and provides 1/2/3% damage to all party or raid members within 100 yards and boosts the damage of Steady Shot by 3/6/9%.

Speaking from a BM PvP hunter point of view, I think this change kinda blows. It’s not nearly as brutal as the BW/TBW nerf, but it’s still a nerf to BM PvPers no matter how you look at it. Apparently Blizzard cannot figure out a way to buff BM’s damage in raids without further nerfing it for PvP. Blizz is clearly moving towards buffing BM’s sustained damage at the expense of its burst. Oh well.

However, I think this is an exciting and promising change for raiding BM Hunters. This will certainly help to bring Beast Mastery more in line with the other specs. How close it will be, I do not know. I doubt that it will be enough of a boost to push it ahead of SV let alone MM, but it may certainly be competitive.

This reworked FI definitely has me conflicted. On one hand, it’s going to lessen some of my burst capability in arena. On the other hand, it’s causing me to take a serious look at possibly going BM again for raiding. I haven’t raided with Krush since the 10 man Naxx days and I sure miss him. 🙁 If anything, I look forward to testing BM’s viability come 3.3.3.

King Krush

The one thing I do not understand however, is why Blizz has Beast Mastery going back to the mindless Steady Shot mashing build that it was in TBC. It’s ironic considering they have stated that they wanted to make the spec more interesting. This change to Ferocious Inspiration will no doubt have end game Beast Masters stacking armor pen and spamming Steady Shot like it’s going out of style. There will be no reason to use Arcane Shot anymore, apart from high movement fights and leveling.

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Raid Ready: Serpent Sting

As a marksman hunter, one of the shots you are going to have on your target at all times is Serpent Sting. Useful Glyphs With Serpent Sting (all are self explanatory for the most part): Glyph of Arcane Shot – Your Arcane Shot refunds 20% of its mana cost if the target has one of your Stings active on it. …

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Goodbye Mana. Hello Focus.

Hunters will use Focus

During this past weekend’s BlizzCon, Ghostcrawler announced an exciting but somewhat controversial change to the Hunter class which will be implemented in the next expansion, “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm”. This revolutionary change is of course the removal of mana as the Hunter’s source of energy, and the introduction of focus as a usable resource for attacks and spells. This change will essentially cause the Hunter class to behave almost like a “ranged Rogue”.

Ghostcrawler also divulged some vague details about how focus will work for the Hunter, including:

  • Focus will regen at a rate of 6 focus per second, which unfortunately is a bit slower than the Rogue’s energy regen rate of 10 per second.
  • However, Steady Shot will play an important role in the Hunter’s shot priority because it will up focus regen rate to 12 per second.
  • Attacks will most likely cost somewhere between 30 and 60 focus. Ouch.
  • Hunters will have fewer abilities on the global cooldown.
  • In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, haste will also affect how quickly focus regenerates.
  • With the removal of mana as a resource, intellect will now be an unnecessary stat for Hunters.
  • Aspect of the Viper… gone!

This change is obviously the biggest and most controversial bit of Hunter news that was announced over the weekend at BlizzCon 2009.

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