You Can’t Handle the Possible Truth – Looking at the Future
So here we go. A look at what the Cataclysm will bring in the way of changes for the hunter class. My thoughts will be in italics. First and foremost, nothing is set in stone yet and I understand this. It’s also very nice of Blizzard to give the community a look at the future. Thank you Blizzard.
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!
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.
For Marksmanship it looks like this shot will be target dependent and low priority. If this shot replaces Steady Shot for Beastmastery, will the spec need another rotation filler shot while this is on cooldown?
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.
This is cool. I’ve thought about this for some time now and it’s nice to see it come to light. I do wonder if our traps will maintain independent cooldowns and will we still be able to drop them as normal.
I see a nice potential DPS increase in this change. More DPS equals more goodness. However, because we will need to aim the traps I don’t believe we will be able to macro two or more traps together.
I also hope that the trap arming time is removed with this change.
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).
Interesting. It think it will bring a sniper like feel to the class. Perfect fit for me as a Marksmanship hunter primarily.
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:
- Steady Shot/Cobra Shot: No cost. Generates 9 Focus per shot (or 12 per second instead of 6).
- Shot/Chimera Shot /Explosive Shot: 45 Focus.
- Aimed Shot/Multi-Shot: 60 Focus.
- Concussive Shot/Tranquilizing Shot: 35 Focus.
- Rapid Fire/Master’s Call/Disengage: 30 Focus.
What will be our max capacity for Focus? Maybe 500, because 100 would be to small with the numbers listed above. Focus is the most important change that is coming our way. I’m looking forward to it. We’ll get a coupe of bag slots back (LOL).
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.
Amen Blizzard. Will this be the end of racial bonuses such as the Dwarven gun racial too?
I still have a quiver in my bank. I get a free large bag. I wonder if it will have the same number of slots? Hmmmmm.
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.
Woohoo! I will be able to re-tame some of the pets that I never really wanted to get rid of, but needed to for various reasons. You hear that DrFeelGood? I’m coming back to tame you again my favorite scorpid.
I’m thinking that Call Stable will only work with the active 3 pets.
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:
It will be very cool to start out with a pet at level 1. It’s painful without one for ten levels.
The equalization of pets is a mighty goal. I don’t know if it can be accomplished, but applause for trying.
- 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).
- Ravagers: Will provide a debuff that will increase an enemy’s Physical damage vulnerability (similar to a weaker version of the warrior ability Rampage).
- Hyenas: Will provide bleed damage (similar to a weaker version of the druid ability Mangle).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rapid Recuperation will cause Rapid Fire to give 20/40/60 Focus immediately and will cause Rapid Killing to generate 3 Focus per second.
- 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.
- Hunter vs. Wild increases the hunter’s Focus generation when his or her pet is snared, stunned, or rooted.
Will this be usable on all mobs when the change it made?
Very good, just don’t screw up the ability to escape melee range at low levels.
Wow or more like Booyah! Beastmastery “don’t call it a come back.”
I have the mana version now and will most likely use the focus version.
This may be needed by Marksmanship, maybe not.
So there will be a penalty to pay for crowd controlling a pet. Interesting.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
Ranged Critical Damage
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.
Sounds promising. We will see.
Double Shot: The hunter will have a chance to launch a free attack off of the global cooldown for 50% damage.
Which shot? Yummy. If it’s Chimera or Kill Shot, prepare to feel the pain whoever or whatever is on the receiving end of the shot.
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.
Sounds nice to me.
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.