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BlizzCon 2009: Initial thoughts on the Hunter changes

We have only experienced the first day of BlizzCon and my mind has already been blown. We have heard so many amazing details about Cataclysm and they're promising more for today.

The changes are not just to our old favorite instances or to the zones around Azeroth. Implementing terrain phasing is going to change everything we know about leveling and running around our favorite zones. Also, who doesn't love the idea of Gnomes finally get to be Priests and as Ghostcrawler put it, "Be self-sufficient." (Well, they still don't have Hunters but that's okay.)

We got confirmation from Chilton that it in fact Goblins and Worgens will be added to the game in Cataclysm. We also learned that Goblins and Worgens will both get to play Hunters. But they're not the only new races added to the Hunter ranks. We also got confirmation that Humans and Undead will both be able to play Hunters. So all in all we got some really good additions to the Hunter community.

What about those awesome changes to the Hunter class? Well, how about the removal of Armor Penetration for one? We aren't going to have to worry how Armor Penetration works or when should stack for it...

The big news: Attack Power is removed as a primary stat. Instead we'll concentrate on pumping up our Agility since it will now be 1 Agility = 2 AP. (If you were around almost 2 1/2 years ago, you probably remember this being changed to what it is today in Patch 2.0.1.)

Another cool change will make Haste more important to Hunters. In the new expansion it will will be used for resource regeneration (e.g. focus, mana, rage, energy, etc...)

Some other changes mentioned were the fabled change to Ammo as a consumable, and lastly the removal of mana as the Hunter resource. Yes, that's right, Hunters can finally "officially" remove the stigma of being classified as casters. Instead we're going to use Focus as our resource.

Focus will work similar to Rogues' energy. The reported focus regeneration rate will be a base regen rate of 6 focus per second. However, Steady Shot will give a bonus and increase that to 12 Focus per Second. Now you can see how Haste will become an important stat to us Hunters.

I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to Logwad of Skullcrusher and when I asked him what his initial thoughts of Hunters being taken off of mana. Logwad's immediate response was, "About damn time! I have played a Rogue since the beginning to level 60 then started my Hunter and I love the focus system so much more than the mana system.

Honestly it seemed Hunters never deserved the mana system since their only magic shot is Arcane Shot and we never use it."

I think this is something we can all agree on. Getting Hunters off of mana is a good thing. Now if only Ghostcrawler would listen and let us tame Druids all would be right with the world. In the mean time make sure to follow our BlizzCon 2009 updates so you'll be in the know.

BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Human, Gnomes, Undead, Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

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