5.4, hunters in PvE - concerns, etc.

Hunter
Cross-posted from the EU forums (http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7713981999)

Allright, here goes.
First off, a disclaimer - I am NOT a pvp player. I don't give a crap about PvP, I have no intention of discussing PvP, and I do not care if you think what I say has anything to do with PvP - it does not. I am purely talking about the PvE aspect of hunters.

Going to take the issues one by one.
First off:

Stampede
With the recent 5.3 "adjustment" to stampede, you have removed any kind of utility from the talent. Simulating my character with the "normal" settings (all buffs on, 5 min fight, 93 target, yada yada) I would lose:
-1229.7 (-0.52%) DPS in Beast Mastery spec
And:
-2077.93 (-0.93%) DPS in Survival spec.

Either way, Stampede now gives us ZERO utility (micro-managing your pets in order to provide buffs your raid did not have during stampede or giving out minor healing through spirit beasts, etc).
It is, quite simply, a button we press every five minutes in order to do 0.5-1% more DPS. You tell us that you want to deal with hunter's bars being bloated by too many abilities - yet you take one of our DPS cd's, make it pretty much worthless, and call it a day. We don't even gain anything from making sure we use Stampede during haste buffs anymore, because the pets do not use their specials (energy) attacks anymore. It's a mindless, and completly unnessecary button.

Can we expect you to either re-do Stampede into something that's "usefull", or simply remove it and compensate us elsewhere? It'd be one button that's easy to clear up.

Silencing Shot
In 5.4, we no longer have an interrupt, unless we go Marksmanship - the "weakest" of all 3 specs, from a PvE point of view. For a hunter in a guild like myself, the choise between BM and Survival is currently a 4% difference, and if there is not something that makes Surv better on a specific encounter (pet dying to AOE dmg is one - I'll get to it in a moment), I will be BM for that increase. Currently, MM is 6% behind survival - a full 10% difference between MM and BM. There's just no way I'd go MM, even if we needed an interrupt. Taking in any other player would be better, as (and once again, I'll get to it!) hunters are far from the "top dog" damage wise.

Currently, five of the twelve revealed (out of 14) encounters has interrupts incorporated in them somehow. Is it really fair that hunters will not have an interrupt for this?
If you really don't want to give hunters a silence, atleast give us a PvE interrupt - no silence effect, just an instant interrupt. Spec MM, get the silence? Either way, hunters being the only DPS-class to not have a baseline interrupt is just absurd.

Pets - Survivability
From a high end PvE point of view, you have to realise that a hunter see his or her pet as a singletarget DoT with a travel time. In some cases, the pet provides a valueable buff for the raiding team.
This makes it so much more annoying that our "DoT", as one of the very few, has the ability to die, making us spend precious time ressurecting it. Losing out on the valueable buff at the same time, is a kick in the groin.
I realise this is still PTR, but having tested 4 out of the 4 encounters that has been aviable so far, my pet has been suspectible to random damage bursts from two of them - the poison-lines on Dark Shaman, and the Whirlwind-adds on General Nazgrim. Both resulted in my pet dying. Alot.
Now, I suspect that the damage from the poison lines WILL be fixed, but... What about the whirlwind? Our pets USED to be resistant to this kind of damage (the Pandaran rares use a Spinning Crane kick, which, up untill 5.1, our pets took reduced AOE dmg from - after, they now take the full DMG, and even my pets can only take two hits before they die).
As you reverted the resistance, I assume this WON'T be fixed, meaning BM as a spec is entirely useless on that fight. If the AOE dmg on other encounters do not get fixed, BM as a spec will be largely useless for alot of the tier.

Now, a few more issues with BM and pet survivability -
Beast Cleave and Blink Strikes got some major overhauling in 5.3. Much needed, much appreciated. However, they brought new issues that needs to be looked at:
If you're in a scenario with constantly spawning adds, using Beast Cleave as an AOE is sure to get your pet killed, quickly. The AOE-damage it does on mobs is simply IMMENSE, and if the tank does not instantly smash everything in the face, HARD, then the pet will get hit instead. Especially in random dungeons is this a common occurence. We can't control our pet's aggro - and frankly, I don't think we should have to when we're AOE'ing. Controlling the pets position is enough of a task already.

Blink Strikes now makes our pets instantly blink behind the target if they're close enough - this is great!
What is NOT great, is the fact that when I say instant, I mean freaking INSTANT. They teleport to the boss, get a 200K special-attack and a melee swing in, all before my first auto shot has even HIT the boss. If I lead in with a Kill Command, you can add another 150-200K threat hit to THAT (which does not get transferred by MD). Simply put, even if I were to misdirect the tank and spam arcane shot for the first 4 seconds of the fight, my pet would STILL jump to the target and hit it quicker than anything could react, and my MD won't do jack !@#$ to fix it. The ONLY way I've found to have my pet survive is by either waiting a second, which puts me behind other classes, or glyphing BW and making sure BW is up pre-pull (which is a quite big DPS loss) so my pet can't be killed.

An easy fix to these issues would be that MD affects both us, and our pets threat.

Readiness

First off, let me quote the most recent change to Readiness on the PTR:
Readiness now finishes the cooldowns on Rapid Fire, Feign Death, Deterrence, Disengage, and Camouflage when activated (was all Hunter abilities with a base cooldown of less than 5 minutes).

Now, I understand the implications in a PvP enviroment, however, I hope you do not intend for us PvE hunters to suffer under this. Mainly, the issues I have is -
No resetting of shots (Glaive, Explosive, Kill Command, Black Arrow, AMoC etc), and no reset of damage boosting abilities (Fervor, Dire beast, Beastial Wrath).
All of this is going to lead to a much more simple hunter-opener (which is lovely - BM openers felt alot like I was playing the piano), but also much weaker burst, and overall, a significant decrease in damage.
We are, somewhat, returned in the burst-department with 30 focus 150% dmg arcane shots - I've yet to decide if it seems reasonable, but it might be.
However, we DO need compensation for the damage loss of not having our major damage and CD abilities reset. If you really want to keep stampede around (which I assume you do, as it's our 87 talent), then here's your justification - our burst will be severely gimped through this, and adding it back in through stampede SHOULD be allright, from a PvE perspective. I don't care how it's done, but make sure you do SOMETHING.

Last, but probably most important of all:
Our spot, and role, in raids
First off, let's start out by defining the hunter class -
We are part physical, part ranged DPS. We rely on gear that we share with physical classes, and play as if we were a caster. It is, obviously, unique to the game.

However, while we have inherited the physical classes strength (DPS on the move, good singletarget damage), we have not inherited the caster's (good multi-dotting due to DoT's scaling with haste). Buffing Serpent sting to do 100% more dmg in the last tier was a step in the right direction - SS for surv is now the highest DPET ability (and thus always worth to cast on a secondary target). It's just too bad that we have nowhere near the same strength in multidotting as other classes, such as boomkins or shadow priests or warlocks do. All 3 classes mentioned have proc's tied in to their DoT ticks, which causes an exponential growth in power, while hunters DoT's just ticks away at 1 tick every 3 seconds. No haste scaling, no secondary benefit.

If you do not want us to have the same multi-dotting power as casters, that's fair enough. There's alot of ways it could be solved (surv, for example, could have the 3 second limit removed from Viper Venom, and have some kind of barrier to make multishot non-OP). But just ignoring the issue does not make it go away. We are fighting with ranged DPS for our spots, and we are expected to perform the same roles as they are. Yet all we can provide is the "utility" of a melee.

However - even against melee, we're at a (slight) disadvantage.
We currently share gear with -
WW Monks (jewellery, trinkets etc).
Rogues (jewellery, trinkets etc).
Feral Druids (jewellery, trinkets etc).
Enhancement shamans.
2x Tank specs (jewellery, trinkets etc).

Now, tanks are obviously not worth comparing. However, out of the four DPS-classes we share loot with, three of them have raid-wide utility CD's that far surpasses anything a hunter can do.
Smoke bomb (rogue).
Tranquility (druid).
Ancestral Guidance (Enh Shaman).
Only monks are in the same place as us, utility wise.

So to recap -
Hunters have no raid cd, unlike the majority of the classes we share gear with.
Hunters have no "capable" multidotting compared to the casters we share raid spots with.
The philosphy once was that melee would be able to cleave better than ranged (you can see the remnants through Howling Blast and Glaive Toss), but it seems to have been thrown out of the window - even then, hunters have no real cleave ability.
We have singletarget, and we have AOE. That's it.

Add on top of this, that hunters are one of four "Pure" classes, that can ONLY dps, thus giving us no viable offspecs to provide the raid with (I personally have a 545 item level disc priest that I use as an "offspec", because I can't provide anything on my hunter, but far from everyone has the possibility of doing so, be it loot restriction or time to maintain 2 chars), and we're in a pretty bad position.
Heck, even looking at the four pures from a purely (hehe, it's a pun - get it?) dps-class perspective, hunters seem to have gotten the short end of the stick.

Rogues have simply AMAZING utility, being able to drop almost any debuff with cloak, have a constant incredible damage reduction through feint, the longest stuns in the game, a raidwide CD (smokebomb), a DMG-increase that can provide MILLIONS of extra damage if timed right (you should see the hits our vengeance-capped smash gear tank does).

Warlocks have incredible multi-dot capabilities, three distinctive specs to handle EVERY situation (Affli for multi dot, Destro for burst and cleave, and Demo for AOE) - each playstyle being pretty unique. Not just "here, have the same ability on the same CD with another name" like switching between BM and Surv is (referring to KC and Explo shot here).
On top of that, their survivability and utility (which, granted, are both taking a heavy nerf) have been far superior to hunters.

Why can't we have "specialised" specs? BM for cleave (the most melee-oriented of the specs), MM for singletarget, Surv for AOE? That'd make me happy, personally.

Mage's... I don't even know, really. Combustion provides some of the most wicked burst you'll ever see. They've got iceblock to remove any debuff they please. They've got cauterize or greater invisibility to save them from death that hunters couldn't even dream of surviving. Their damage is higher, and they (like warlocks) have Arcane for singletarget and fire for everything else as "specializations".

Even among the pure classes, you can see that we're the runt of the litter in a PvE enviroment - we have our Deterrence which we can talent to a 1 min CD, that is hugely unreliable in what it will and won't deflect, and a 50% dmg reduc (also our deterrence) if we spend a glyph. It's a weaker form for iceblock, and there's no way we could ever get away with doing stuff like soaking the Anima orb on P2 Ra Den like mages can with their Greater Invisibility.
What we've got going for us is high singletarget damage, and good AOE - however, both of those are dwarfed by the other pure's (mages especially) in alot of situations.

Finally, let me finish this off with a history lesson of the past few tiers:

Dragon Soul - our aspect of the hawk was buffed (along with the instance nerf), and surv recieved other minor buffs, accounting for a ~7% dps increase. At this point, top end guilds had already killed Heroic Madness, and hunters had been sat for essentially everything. Personally, my guild was on the last plate of spine, and I sat out for alot of bosses, as we had a second raid leader.
Worth noting is the fact that the hunter community (including myself) had tried to tell Blizzard that we needed to be let in on the 20% attack power melee got, but you told us we "were fine" and didn't need it. The buff, if I recall correct, was about 8 or 9% attack power - basicly the same as every other physical class got back then, just AFTER it was relevant and progress was over.

T14 (MSV, HoF, TOES) -
In 5.1, we received a boost to explosive shot damage, serpent sting, and BM abilities to bring us in line. Guilds had already killed Sha of Fear at this point, and sat hunters for their weak damage and low utility.

T15 (ToT) -
In 5.3, we received a 10% AP boost to our aspect and adjustments to Blink Strikes, accounting for a 8% increase in DPS. Prior to this, hunters were sat in favor of classes with Raid CD's, or good multi-dotting capabilities.

Please, I beg of you - do not make me add T16 to this list. Yes, hunters received mid-tier changes in T11 and 12, but back then, hunters were by and large "fine" - we didn't struggle as we had good DPS, even if we lacked utility. I fear that we will face yet another tier of being benched in a high end PvE enviroment, and IF we do, I just hope that you will react faster instead of just going "eh, it can wait, let's get more data".

Without specs getting more specialised, or a raid cooldown (the "arms race" might not allow us one, but we sorely need it) we need something else to make us valueable - DPS or utility, I don't care. But you can't leave us hanging.

If you read it all, I thank you. If you didn't, oh well. I hope this is the kind of feedback that the Blizz Dev's are looking for, and I sincerely hope atleast some of my concerns will be adressed.
I also hope that other "high end PvE" hunters will back me up on these concerns - I know alot of them frequents the forums, and maybe if enough of us voices concern, we will be heard.

--- Dracodraco, <Echoes> @ Laughing Skull EU

I'd like to add that I share many of the same concerns, but that, assuming compensation for Readiness like is being discussed (charges on DPS CDs, reduced CDs, etc.) I'd rather simply have Readiness completely disconnected from DPS abilities (remove Rapid Fire from it as well), so that PvE hunters don't need to "save" it for a DPS increase and can instead use it for survivability.

More discussion related to this thread is ongoing on MMO_Champion: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1313982-5-4-hunters-in-PvE-concerns-etc?p=21573954#post21573954
THIS

/10char
Bump.

Couldn't agree more. I hope more people read this and we can at least get a blue to look at this post. Blizz needs to do more than acknowledge the fact that the class has issues. We need results/changes and badly. They need to stop catering to their mini-game (PvP) and realize that every time they make 1 change to an ability due to PvP they brake us completely in PvE. Then the usual happens. GC makes a statement about us being fine, then a few weeks later he tells us he thinks our DPS is a little low. Finally they hotfix some of our ability with band-aid fixes which they then over nerf before the next patch. Why, because the hordes of neckbeards wouldn't stop complaining about the fact that they got steamrolled by a hunter.
Lets discuss pvp things.
I have to agree with most of this, I am personally PVE prone more so than PVP. From a coding stand point why could they not when a PVP nerf is needed Nerf the PVP aspect and leave the PVE alone. I have a lot of toons and the PVP complaints that lead to nerfs really screw the PVE side of the game especially when most of us were like" finally my spec or class is viable again!", then the nerf stick comes out because the PVP side was considered too OP. Over the years this has been the way of things. Is there a way to keep the nerf stick one sided Bliz??? Nerf the PVP but leave the PVE alone???

Just my .02
Thanks
Just like you, I want Readiness to ONLY reset utility abilities (deterrence, disengage, etc) that way I can save it strictly for those abilities and not for a DPS increase; so please, untie Rapid Fire from Readiness.

I would also like a change with Stampede, it is such a dull ability now that it does almost negligible damage and provides no buffs/debuffs. By loosing the burst that Readiness provided (specially for BM), they also better buff our signature shots in order to increase our sustained DPS.

I agree with most points that Dracodraco stated except maybe for the Silencing Shot change, hunters (at least me) rarely have to interrupt; maybe my heavy-melee comp is to blame.
Spot on.
I couldn't agree more to what was posted

Unfortunately, the tweets from GC and the lack of any response from the Developers or the Blues, 5.4 will probably be very depressing for Hunters. They do not understand yet that it isn't only about readiness but the constant dumbing down of talents, bi-weekly nerfs, raid utility, and the dps of a pure class.

This is all being done on the name of PVP. What about PVE? Are they willing to lose their PVE raiders for Arena? I guess so at this point?

I am also under the impression one can post all constructive and possible fixes for the Devs to read here or ptr and apparently never one is read or considered because nothing is ever posted or implemented.

The latest tweet GC, @Grapzar Sure, but we could buff every shot to compensate and call it a day. Hunters have plenty of ways to demonstrate skill these days, indicates even with readiness removed we have great utility and have very competitive DPS in a PVE raid, sure.
Lets not discuss pvp things yet. I was wondering why our dmg wasnt scaling correctly. If our dots arent "proccing"
However, while we have inherited the physical classes strength (DPS on the move, good singletarget damage), we have not inherited the caster's (good multi-dotting due to DoT's scaling with haste). Buffing Serpent sting to do 100% more dmg in the last tier was a step in the right direction - SS for surv is now the highest DPET ability (and thus always worth to cast on a secondary target). It's just too bad that we have nowhere near the same strength in multidotting as other classes, such as boomkins or shadow priests or warlocks do. All 3 classes mentioned have proc's tied in to their DoT ticks, which causes an exponential growth in power, while hunters DoT's just ticks away at 1 tick every 3 seconds. No haste scaling, no secondary benefit


Then this is a huge scaling issue for survival hunters.I have like 53k attack power and do roughly the same dmg as a ret pally/warrior geared the same as me with 35k attack power.

So the scaling for us is really messed up.

Also some of the final tier talents i think need to be changed. Id like to see glavie toss replace arcane shot/concussive shot, for hunters if you spec into it. Completely makes sense. Does good dmg and slows (if you spec into it)

Power shot. This talent should be different depending on spec.

Survival, powershot increases the dmg of Explosive shot and gives it a chance to (explode) causing additional dmg to all targets within 5 yards of the primary target OR (not both) gives explosive shot a chance to spread black arrow to additional targets

MarksMen. Aimed shot now has a 50 percent higher chance to crit and Master marksmen now procs more often. Also, chimera shot, steady shot, and multi-shot now have a chance to apply piercing shots.

Beast Mastery. Kill command now deals additional dmg and has a chance to activate beast cleave hitting all targets around the beast within 5 yards.

Barrage needs to replace multi-shot. Doing the same things that multi-shot does for each class (chances to proc bombardment, serpent spread, and beast cleave) and extend the cd of mult-shot by 4 seconds or something. Id like something cool from barrage. But sadly its just a lackluster idea imo. We already have multi-shot

Just ideas to help increase our dmg scaling and (though i like the knock back from power shot it kinda sucks as a move)
So much this.
Lol my idea is a little much usually, but it would increase the scaling of our dmg and give us something useful (pve wise without breaking pvp). Also, and again lol, our dots, bleeds, whatever, need to scale with our stats better, as was mentioned above
I agree completely.

Stampede in its current form is not worth keeping imo.

No interrupt is very harsh. The only other specs I'm aware of with that limitation are healing priests.

Weak on utility and nothing special on damage. Other pure dps are strong and hybrids have other options if their dps spec isn't.

Other than the heavy representation and being 1 of 2 classes (3/4 specs) using agi mail (and only class using bows/xbows/guns), I don't think we have many other reasons for being as represented in raids.
Agreed.
This. I eagerly await our compensation.
In all honesty I'd love to see some of the changes he stated. Some guilds are actually bringing their hunters. Other guilds are stacking classes for certain fights because they are better dps and/or utility.

Blizzard should of just made stampede not usable in Arenas. You did this with army, bloodlust, and etc why can you not do this with stampede it's an easy solution. They are turning us with this Arcane Shot buff into the old Destro locks in BC. Shadow bolt spammers... I don't want to spam Arcane Shot. You are taking the skill out of hunters.

The readiness nerf shouldn't even be taken into account. I agree from a pvp stand point they have 3 trinkets. BW used to be immune to everything both Master and Pet. Then it became just the pet and now it is neither. Blizzard has the thing in play to fix this PvP issue with BW. They've done it with cold snap with ice block. They've done it forbearance and other things like shadow word death only giving you one orb instead of two or warriors charge back to back only stunning on the first. What I'm saying is to implement this where the first BW has the trinket effect and not the 2nd if used within 1 min. Or plainly do as you did with the human racial. Have it on the same cd has the trinkets therefore giving it 2 trinkets instead of 3. Either way hunters will have 2 trinkets with BW and Trinket/racial.

I think these small and easy changes could prevent blizzard from nerfing us into the ground and making us useless. Guilds are starting to not take hunters now as it is. Only reason some do is for 10 man buff or to absorb the gear especially 25 mans. I really would like to have stampede back like it was before the hot fix. I also would not like my class to be down to a 1 or 2 button rotation.
Things we really need in 5.4 boil down to four things in my mind (and you can kill multiple birds with one stone for some of them).

(1) A raid cooldown. We need something unique to bring, likely a defensive cooldown of similar potency to Smoke Bomb. We're one of only two classes that cannot bring any sort of raid cooldown.

(2) A proper DPS cooldown. Something that actually gives us back a bit of on-demand burst (Rapid Fire is pretty terrible for this, for example).

(3) A baseline interrupt, or substantially improved Gorilla/Moth/Nether Ray interrupts.

(4) A fix for how terrible Stampede is.

I'd like to either see Stampede returned to its former glory in some form (perhaps 10 minute cooldown, 20 second duration, 50% damage per pet -- this keeps it out of arenas/RBGs), or completely redesigned as, hopefully, a raid-wide defensive cooldown of some form. Either choice would kill two of the three problems in one go, leaving just one more minor problem to deal with.

The more major redesigns, of which we really need several, can wait for the next expansion, of course.
Are we not the most nerfed class that exists in wow right now? My favorite was the idiot that thought giving arcane shot a dispel back in BC was a good idea to compensate us for a damage nerf at the time, was removed quickly and compensation forgotten.

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