Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hunter Class Preview Information

The first of the Class Blogs is up. To begin, we've got Hunters!

These blogs look like they aren't going to be a comprehensive list of abilities, but rather a rough outline of how each spec will work. It looks like all three specs are getting some changes. So let's go alphabetical, saving Survival, which is changing the most, for last.

Beast Mastery:

They really want to focus on the beasts, and as such, there are some changes to how focus generation abilities are going to work.

Cobra Shot is now a spender and is instant, basically filling Arcane Shot's current role as a way to burn off excess Focus.

Dire Beast is now a core rotational ability with a 10 second cooldown. The beast will last 8 of the 10 seconds you'll have to wait to summon another and will do damage and generate 4 focus per hit on the target. It will also reduce the remaining cooldown on Bestial Wrath, which should have pretty solid uptime if it's still just a 1-minute baseline CD.

Kill Command is a lot cheaper now, has a 6-second cooldown, but still does the same basic thing.

Wild Call makes your crits have a chance to reset the cooldown on Dire Beast - so they really want us to have lots of pets out.

Mastery's the same, but with more pets, it should be even more effective.

With each spec they give a sample talent. In this case it's "Way of the Cobra," which increases Cobra Shot damage by 5% for every pet you have out.


Obviously the biggest news is that Marks is now petless. There's also a lot of focus, if you'll pardon the unintentional pun, on marking up enemies for death and then taking them out with extreme prejudice.

Arcane Shot now generates focus rather than costing it, which seems to imply that Steady Shot has gone the way of the dodo.

Seek Vulnerabilities is a passive that gives your Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot a chance to mark the targets they hit with... HUNTER'S MARK! Whoohoo! Though this only lasts 6 seconds now.

Marked Shot is a new channeled ability (usable while moving) that will fire shots at targets affected by Hunter's Mark and also exposes vulnerabilities in the targets, snaring them and increasing the damage they take by Aimed Shot, stacking up to three times for 75% more Aimed Shot damage.

Aimed Shot is still the big focus spender with a cast time. Doesn't say that it can be used while moving here, but I don't know if it's meant to imply that it can't.

Finally, the mastery no longer requires you to stand still, and just increases Crit Damage and Range of all shots.

Sample Talent: Lock and Load:

This attaches an explosive charge to Aimed Shot, dealing additional fire damage to the target and all enemies near the target. Auto attacks have a chance to make the next two Aimed Shots instant and free. So basically Aimed Shot can be made into Explosive Shot, plus some cleave damage.


Ok, here's the big one. Survival is going melee, which means a total redesign. Survival doesn't have any real control over their focus generation, but they can play with it in interesting ways. Also, while other Hunters will still have CC and AoE tools, Survival is the only spec that will still have Traps. Also, most of Survival's new abilities have the names of things that the class hasn't had since Wrath of the Lich King. It's memory lane, but presumably with a design that actually makes the melee hunter functional.

Harpoon is basically a Hunter's version of Charge, launching a Harpoon at the target, pulling you toward them and rooting them for three seconds.

Raptor Strike is 20 focus and deals moderate damage (I'd assume it's kind of a focus-burning ability if you have more than you need.

Laceration is a 12-second bleed on a 10-second cooldown that does heavy damage (the developers specifically reassure that it will be a big deal.)

Mongoose Bite seems to be at the core of the rotation, dealing lots of damage "attempting to sever the enemy's limbs." It has 3 charges with a 10-sec recharge, and stacks up a buff that lasts 3.5 seconds that increases the next one by 50%, stacking up to 6 times. This might be Focus-free, so the rotation might be built on weaving in Mongoose Bites as much as possible.

Flanking Strike is basically Kill Command, but cheaper and, you know, for Survival.

Wing Clip is your Hamstring-type ability.

Mastery is "Hunting Companion," which gives your pets a chance to give you a charge of Mongoose Bite.

Sample Talent: Snake Hunter

1 min cooldown that gives you 3 charges of Mongoose Bite.

Hunter analysis:

So it looks like Survival's going to be all about a flurry of attacks. Beast Mastery is going to be about getting those pets out and smacking your targets. Marksmanship is going to be about marking your enemies for death and taking them down.

All of it sounds interesting. Can't wait to try them out.

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