Sunday, December 13, 2015

Breaking Down Marksmanship

While Survival is getting the big changes, Marksmanship is getting a fair bit of a revamp as well. The biggest aspect of this is that Marks is becoming the pet-less Hunter spec. In fact, thematically, Marks is going to focus a whole lot more on the kind of military-sniper flavor and less of a wilderness expert flavor.

As Marksmanship, you shoot things and they die. And you're a damned good shot.

As with other Hunters, Focus is changing to regenerate faster on its own, I believe at a rate of 10 per second (which makes it comparable if not identical to Energy.) I believe that you'll still have some regeneration mechanics (just as Rogues do,) but it should make the class feel a bit zippier.

As usual, this is an Alpha build, so expect changes, revisions, and iterations. But we probably have a sense of the general shape of the spec to come.

Aimed Shot costs 50 Focus and has a 1.5 second cast time. You won't be able to move while casting this, but it's the only thing that has a cast time.

Arcane Shot is instant and now generates 5 Focus. It also has a chance to apply Hunter's Mark to the target.

Multi-Shot costs 40 Focus, hitting the target and everything within 8 yards of it, and has a chance to apply Hunter's Mark to everything it hits.

Marked Shot is a new ability that costs 30 Focus, firing quickly at up to three targets with Hunter's Mark on them for a high damage. It also exposes Vulnerabilities on the targets it hits, snaring them by 15% and increasing the damage they take from your Aimed Shot by 25% for 10 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.

Bursting Shot costs 50 Focus, hitting all enemies in front of you for a small amount of damage as well as knocking them back and disorienting them.

Trueshot is a 3-minute cooldown that increases Haste by 40% and gives you a 100% chance to apply Hunter's Mark with Arcane or Multi-Shot for 15 seconds.

Bombardment is a passive that makes your Multi-Shot crits reduce the cost of Multi-Shot by 25 Focus and deal 60% more damage for 5 seconds.

Also, Marksmanship has 120 Focus to work with.

So there you have it: Hunter's Mark is back, though very different. I don't actually know what the duration of Hunter's Mark is, though, or whether it's consumed by Marked Shot, which could really affect the rotation.

But if we assume that it's something you'll have to re-apply (I vaguely recall something like a 6 second duration from the class preview) and we look at this before talents or artifact traits, here's what I think we're looking at:

1. Aimed Shot if you're at 115 Focus or more.
2. Arcane Shot if the target does not have Hunter's Mark on it.
3. Marked Shot if it does, but doesn't have Vulnerabilities or Vulnerabilities is going to fall off soon.
4. Aimed Shot if the target has Vulnerabilities on it.
5. Arcane Shot

I think we should keep an eye on this design, as having a randomly-generated debuff that is necessary to apply a separate debuff is maybe a little convoluted, and might wind up getting simplified. In AoE situations, I suspect that you'll mostly just be alternating between Multi-Shot and Marked Shot, and using Arcane Shot to regen Focus if you're low, though it does depend on how many targets you're fighting. The buff to Aimed Shot might be worth it if you're only facing two or three, and so you might then kind of alternate between Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot for applying Hunter's Mark.

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