Hunter Preliminary Assessments
In conjunction with this morning’s realm downtime, it appears Blizzard may be putting on the first touches to balancing the talent trees within individual classes. Let’s see some of Ghostcrawler’s comments regarding where hunters are currently.
- We’re happy with damage overall. […] Still, we see Survival hunters […] on top of a lot of single target fights. […] Marksman, and Beastmaster damage is too low.
- On fights where there is a lot of area damage, […] possibly Survival hunters are […] too high.
- We’ll make a pass to make stats that aren’t attractive (but are supposed to be) more attractive. […] We are considering making some physical attacks such as […] Steady Shot […] scale with haste.
- As part of the Marks and Beastmaster buffs, we’re buffing Aimed Shot, Kill Shot, Chimera Shot, and Kill Command.
It’s great that Blizzard developers are following the statistics of Survival Superiority (awesome alliteration, yes?) among the talents. They are adapting more quickly to new patterns in Cataclysm than they were in Burning Crusade and Wrath. This is even more encouraging with the fact that they are actually monitoring the data internally rather than conducting reactionary changes based on players’ complaints. The second note is actually a curious one because Blizzard seems unsure about the level of Survival area damage considering the word “possibly”, which indicates it may or may not change.
Haste is still a funky statistic to play around with and uses a very difficult mathematical formula. It is not easy to simply buff or nerf it, as I’m sure it must be balanced with the effects of weapon speed and every other piece of gear containing a Haste statistic. Since the removal of Auto Shot clipping, it has become more and more vital to have at least Haste in your gear. If Steady Shot is buffed with haste, it will become more imperative that Improved Steady Shot and abilities such as Rapid Fire are in effect as much as possible. Will this shift the focus of statistics toward Haste and away from something else?
Haste formula for level 80
Finally, Aimed Shot is an interesting shot to buff because I still have not seen it being used that often, unless something changed in the time I was gone. The only time I’ve used this is when Master Marksman is in effect, and even that doesn’t happen very often nowadays.
These changes are actually somewhat encouraging for hunters as there is no indication that the Survival Superiority will be lowered. Instead, the other talent trees are being brought up to par. I guess I will save my recently obtained Ghostcrawler-lookalike [Strand Crawler] from my frustrations with the Blizzard nerf bat.