Home > World of Warcraft > Cataclysm Class Preview: Hunter (09-04-2010)

Cataclysm Class Preview: Hunter (09-04-2010)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
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Kind of disapointed with all this changes, these stuff, camo and trap launcher are not new to us… its been tested in WOTLK beta before it goes live… the changes from mana to focus seems really fuckup the class, a few things to note, some of the shots are way too focus expensive, well, i guess we will need a whole season to learn the class again…

With the upcoming World of Warcraft: Cataclysm many game elements will be changing, and each class will be receiving a number of tweaks. Here, we will explore the changes that are being made to the gun-wielding, pet-training hunter. The information you’re about to read is certainly not complete, and is only meant to act as a preview of some of the exciting new things to come. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the new hunter abilities! Cant wait for this….

Edit 1: April 13 2010: added comment by Megatf the pvp hunter hero

Edit 2: April 13 2010: added Blue post on additional information

New Hunter Abilities

Cobra Shot (level 81): A new shot that deals Nature damage instead of Physical damage. This ability will share a cooldown with Steady Shot. This will give hunters an alternative to Steady Shot on heavily-armored targets, and we will have talent incentives in the Beast Mastery tree to make this a signature shot. zzz a new cast shot… That’s pretty cool. Will provide great damage against plate targets unless they are focusing Hunters.

Trap Launcher (level 83): When used, the next trap can be shot to a location within 40 yards. This provides the current Freezing Arrow treatment to all traps and, as a result, we will be removing the current ability Freezing Arrow. 1-minute cooldown. No global cooldown. Remove freezing arrow and Trap launcher = 1 min cd?

The way I’m reading this ability is that it will just make Freezing Arrow a 1 minute cooldown and force us to use the Old trap inbetween this CD. So now Hunters gain a new keybind to do the same thing they are currently doing except now we can do it with frost trap.

We can shoot frost traps at our teammates so they can kite away easier.

We lose a clutch ability. Freeze Trap for a 1 minute cooldown to do the same thing.
If this ability is on CD we now have to physically run to our target scatter shot and drop a tr ap at their feet.

Will this be targeted? It isn’t a 100% clear, like our own real targeted CC?
Or will it be exactly like Freezing Arrows current implementation but allow us to use it on all our traps?
Why remove Freezing Arrow? To me it feels like an overall nerf to our CC ability. As it stands Hunters already currently have the most unreliable CC. Especially since Spell Penetration STILL does not effect Hunter traps.

Camouflage (level 85): The hunter enters an obscured state that prevents him or her from taking ranged damage. The character would still be subject to melee or area-of-effect attacks, and dealing or taking damage will break the Camouflage effect. The hunter can move and set traps when under Camouflage, and will receive a damage bonus when attacking while under Camouflage (which will then break the effect). Do we get stealth or invisible when camouflage?

Umm definately want to get more clarification on this ability, hard to comment with the limited data we have. Like here are a couple questions:

What is the cooldown?
Am I reading it correctly that we have to break camoflauge by doing the damage?
I’m assuming it cannot be up indefinately so what is the duration?
How big will the damage bonus be?

Taking any damage at all from melee will make it extremely difficult and buggy to use, right now from the previews I’ve seen it looks like Cataclysm is going to feel more like pinball PvP based on Lifegrip, Deathgrip, Charge, Heroic Leap, etc.

It sounds like it could possibly be too good or really bad against range classes. Essentially an extra deterrence if no melee are touching me

Resource Mechanic Change

Here we come to the meat of the upcoming hunter changes.

* Hunters will no longer use mana; instead the class will use Focus. Focus generates much like Energy, by building up. It will not be affected by Intellect at all. Haste will improve its generation. Hunters will generate roughly 6 Focus per second, slightly less than rogues’ Energy generation rate of around 10 Energy per second. Below, we have listed some examples of how we intend Focus costs to operate:  6 focus per sec seems like forever to save to shot an aim shot…

o Steady Shot/Cobra Shot: No cost. Generates 9 Focus per shot (or 12 per second instead of 6).
o Arcane Shot/Chimera Shot /Explosive Shot: 45 Focus.
o Aimed Shot/Multi-Shot: 60 Focus.
o Concussive Shot/Tranquilizing Shot: 35 Focus.
o Rapid Fire/Master’s Call/Disengage: 30 Focus.

Okay, with efficiency lowering the cost on shots I can understand the energy cost on these abilities.. Wait for it… Except Master’s Call and Disengage. These moves are meant to be twitch moves, to be used offensively or defensively and if not used correctly or not quick enough can and frequently results in deaths or hard to recover situations.

I’m going to use Rogues as a reference since their resource system resembles Hunters so closely.

Sprint, Evasion, and Vanish cost 0 focus. Can also be prepped and done again. Sprint is their form of disengage with evasion + vanish being huge survivability tools that have to be used at split second times similar to master’s call. They have no resource cost. Putting nearly 1/3rd of our energy into these abilities is going to seriously hurt Hunter survivability. Frequently when being trained against teams Hunters use both Disengage + Master’s call to quickly get out of a really bad situation (DG + COI + Bladestorm for example).

This will easily use up two-thirds of our entire resource bar giving us the ability to only cast ONE shot (If we haven’t already done so), and only under the circumstance that we need to use both these abilities and/or have at least 60 energy up.

I don’t think I can make this any more clear, IMO these are not abilities that need to have focus costs on them. This problem will carry over into PVE as well for disengaging hunters. Hunters who use disengage/masters call to quickly get back into range and continue DPS are going to be seriously penalized by this change as well.

If you feel that Hunters need an extra focus dump (I know some Hunters are going to hate this opinion), then give Frost Trap and Freezing Trap the 30 focus cost. Blind is an ability that costs 30 focus for rogues, let this carry over to Hunters as well. Make us plan ahead on using our CC. If I use this damaging attack will I have enough resources to make sure I CC the healer?

My opinion.

Changes to Abilities and Mechanics

In addition to the resource change and new abilities listed above, we intend to make adjustments to some of the other abilities and mechanics you already know well. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive, but they should give you a good sense of what we’re going for with each spec.

* A major change coming for the hunter is the removal of ammunition. Guns, bows, and crossbows will now do damage without consuming ammunition at all. There will be no more ammo slot on the hunter’s character display. Any ammunition that a hunter has at the time of the change will become gray sellable items. Existing quivers will be converted into large bags — though each hunter can only have one and non-hunters will not benefit from this change — and we will not be making any additional quivers. Magic bullet and arrow?

* Pet management will also change. Hunters will now have two types of attainable pets: active pets and stored pets. Hunters will be able to have up to three active pets (perhaps five for Beast Mastery specialized players) and will have the ability to switch among these pets any time they are out of combat, without going to town. They will also be able to have a large number of pets in storage at the stables. In order to swap a pet from active to passive, a hunter will still need to visit their local Stable Master. However, this should afford ample storage for the many Spirit Beasts wandering the lands of Azeroth. Pokemon?

* Additionally, hunters will now start with a race-appropriate pet at level 1 and will be able to tame a different pet at level 10. We are also changing many pet family abilities to provide important buffs and debuffs. The intention is to allow the hunter to be able to swap pets and fill a position if a certain role is missing from the group. The goal is to have all pets provide a damage increase that is very similar and no greater than any other pet. Some examples of the changes we are making to the pet families are listed below:

o Wind Serpents: Will provide a debuff that increases the amount of spell damage taken by an enemy (similar to a weaker version of the warlock ability Curse of Elements). We pet a warlock
o Ravagers: Will provide a debuff that will increase an enemy’s Physical damage vulnerability (similar to a weaker version of the warrior ability Rampage). We pet a Warrior
o Hyenas: Will provide bleed damage (similar to a weaker version of the druid ability Mangle). We finally able to pet a druid… thanks Blizzard

* Stings and other periodic effects will now benefit from haste and critical strike ratings. Hasted damage-over-time abilities do not lose duration, but instead add additional damage ticks. Z

* Viper Sting will now restore 9 Focus every 3 seconds.

* We are reinforcing hunters as a ranged class. To this end, the class will now start with ranged abilities at level 1, and we will be removing some melee abilities, such as Mongoose Bite. Ranged class…

New Talents and Talent Changes

* Beast Mastery hunters will have a new talent called Careful Aim, which increases the damage of the next Steady Shot or Cobra Shot, but also increases the cast time of these abilities. The intention is to make the combination of spells into a decent damage opener, especially in conjunction with the new ability Camouflage. Woot…. Big number shot… Huge increase for BM PvE DPS and PvP especially if left alone.

* Beast Mastery hunters will also have talents that make Cobra Shot superior to Steady Shot, such as Longevity reducing the cast time of Cobra Shot to 1.5 seconds. Why all BM changes? How will this work with careful aim? If careful aim increases the cast time on steady shot and cobra shot, will this ability still make cobra shot a 1.5 second cooldown?

* Rapid Recuperation will cause Rapid Fire to give 20/40/60 Focus immediately and will cause Rapid Killing to generate 3 Focus per second. Why no Survivor hunter changes? I like the ability be able to quickly gain focus on the fly which Hunters will need, BUT I do not like that it is tied to Rapid Fire. I feel as though Rapid Fire should be seperate, something I would want to use to pop off a ton of steady shots if I’m left alone for enough time. If I pop rapid fire, gain 60 energy, I will then have to start dumping that focus before I can start weaving the lowered cast speed steady/cobra shots in my rotation.

* Efficiency will reduce the Focus cost of Chimera Shot, Aimed Shot, and Arcane Shot.

* Thrill of the Hunt grants Focus when you land a critical strike. Why mentioned it when its effect remain the same, the only different is the mana to focus thingy. Great for survival, but only for survival. Can’t be mixed and matched with other talent trees really limiting this ability, would be nice to hopefully see this lowered in the tree and more accessible to other specs

* Hunter vs. Wild increases the hunter’s Focus generation when his or her pet is snared, stunned, or rooted. Hunter get wild therefore more focus… I know I shouldn’t assume, but, I am taking it that it will be a 30% focus increase? Causing us to gain 8 energy instead of 6 while not casting steady/cobra shot, and 16 energy while casting steady/cobra? But ONLY if our pet is snared, rooted or stunned?

I’m not a fan of this, I think the previous incarnation was better due to the fact we won’t have to rely on our pets being focused to make use of this ability. (Or a frost nova, druid root, or actually taking serious damage)

Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses

Beast Mastery

Ranged Damage
Pet Damage

Since we are going into BM I want to know about pet scaling. Will Resilience continue to scale with our pets? Will our pets gain our passive stats and gain more of the Hunters HP? I’m hoping Haste will scale with BM pets.

Ranged Damage
Armor Penetration
Double Shot

I’m confused, I was under the impression that Cataclysm was going away with Armor Penetration after we saw the mess that Warriors have made with this stat? Is this stating that we’ll have future seasons of Warriors and possibly Hunters reducing targets down to 50% of their armor? I really hope not, I was looking forward to not having this dreaded stat for future seasons of Arena.

Ranged Damage
Ranged Critical Damage
Elemental Damage (well im pretty exited with this one)

Nothing really changing here

Pet Damage: Many of the passive benefits to pet damage will no longer be available in the Beast Mastery talent tree. However, these will be provided through the new Mastery mechanic. Cannot really comment until we see this new mastery.

Double Shot: The hunter will have a chance to launch a free attack off of the global cooldown for 50% damage.

Sword specilization? Will this proc off of all attacks or will it launch off of only autoshots? I am guessing it will be more like the Warrior incarnation and have an ICD as getting wild quiver procs, then this proc, plus autoshot damage and a special ability (And an extra proc or two in the mix) would be ridiculous burst.

Elemental Damage: Hunter abilities such as traps, Black Arrow, and Explosive Shot will do elemental damage of the following types: Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature, and Shadow. So, we can choose a certain elements to focus? More details needed on this pls….

So does this mean we’ll finally not have to worry about trap resists or explosive shot resists? If so, it will be extremely nice not to have to gem spell penetration for Survival but if you are going to make Explosive shot do elemental damage, Chimera should fall in this category as well since it is in fact the MM 51 pointer just like the Explosive shot 51 pointer.

We hope you enjoyed this preview, and ask that you provide your initial thoughts and feedback on what was presented here. Please keep in mind that what you’ve just reviewed is a work in progress and as we move closer to the Cataclysm beta, you’ll see these planned changes as well as others continue to develop in response to feedback and testing. More.. more…

Now that my review has been said. I know I have had a tendency to be a huge douchebag in the past. (You can say it GC I won’t be mad), but I’m trying to be really constructive and give a good opinion. I would appreciate constructive replies so that way GC has a good post to go on. Even have a collaboration of ideas between lots of Hunters.

Even if you do not agree with me, I promise I won’t call you names, I’ll continue to state my points and listen to yours for proper discussion.

Additional Information

How much focus Hunters will get?
100. (Source)

Abilities focus cost
The focus costs are just examples. I wouldn’t obsess too much with trying to min / max your rotations just yet. In general, the basic rotations of all three hunters work okay on live today. With focus you might hit moments where you don’t need to Steady at all, and you’ll never run dry again for long periods of time like you might with mana.

If the costs of some of the defensive cooldowns are too expensive or even need to be free that’s certainly the kind of thing we’ll consider. (Source)

Ammo in Cataclysm
There is no ammo slot on your character sheet in Cataclysm. It no longer exists. (Source)

Elemental Damage clarification
Improves the Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature or Shadow damage of abilities like traps, Black Arrow and Explosive Shot. (Source)

It is *not* stealth. Your enemies will never wonder where you are. We’re trying to use the new Cataclysm water effect to put a shimmering PREDATORy visual on you. It’s protection from ranged attacks and it gives you some combat bonuses, but it’s not like Shadowmeld or rogue / druid stealth where players can’t find you.

As most of you know, we tried Camo once before, but because it was true stealth it was very hard to balance, plus it felt like we were just handing out the same cool abilities to every class instead of coming with unique mechanics. Hunters were so overwhelmingly excited about the basic idea that we wanted to try it again, but not as stealth.

[…] The idea is you are only vulnerable to melee attacks or ranged AEs.

[…] If you target a camo hunter or a rogue using Smoke Bomb, you will get an error message saying something like “Target obscured.” You can see them and target them, but can’t use your attacks. Imagine they are behind a pillar or something. You can try and get off an AE near them or you can move to melee.(Source)

Cobra Shot / Steady Shot shared “cooldown”
At this point in time it’s not actually a cooldown. Cobra Shot has a 2 sec cast time, but Beastmaster has a talent to reduce the cast time to 1.5 sec (as well as a few damage hooks). Both generate focus so there is no reason for BM to ever use Steady again. (Source)

Healing reduction effects in Cataclysm
“All equivalent debuffs” means if you have the debuff today, you will have it in Cataclysm, but at 20% healing received. To avoid further confusion, we are talking about Mortal Strike, Furious Strikes, Wound Poison, Aimed Shot, Permafrost and Improved Mind Blast.

We are also strongly considering having all of these effect cause the same debuff, called Mortal Wounds, which is a physical effect and therefore undispellable. This allows the behavior to be more consistent regardless of who is applying it and lets us consider things like how easy it should be to dispel poisons (since Mortal Wounds would not be affected).

Heals will be smaller and health pools will be larger in Cataclysm, so we don’t expect Mortal Wounds to feel as mandatory as it does today, but this is clearly the kind of thing that will require a lot of playtesting and feedback. (Source)

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  1. July 5, 2010 at 3:50 am


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