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10-15-2011 @ 1:41PM
I can't really speak for end-game pvp, but in the lvl 20-24 twink (stopped xp) bracket, hunters are a dominating and very represented class. I've been pvping a lot in this bracket recently (not as a hunter) and have come across many formidable hunter opponents who seem to have a well-balanced set of abilities and damage output. In fact, if anything, I'd say they're potentially overpowered against melee classes, with lots of ways to keep you from getting close enough to attack them.If end-game pvp is really a problem for hunters, maybe one could look to this other bracket to get some idea of what works better. It seems safe to assume it's not a matter of fundamental class mechanics (focus or min and max range) or abilities that cause the problem in the end-game if they're not an issue at earlier levels.To me that only leaves gear (scaling or set bonuses) as the reason for low representation - aside from the possible fact that people simply don't enjoy playing hunters in end-game pvp for reasons other than the class 'being flawed' or 'in need of a buff.'
10-15-2011 @ 1:54PM
A few other thoughts I had:-All classes have weak and strong areas. It seems to me that one of the most defining 'huntery' aspects of this class is that you don't want to be in melee range much. From my experience against hunters and having played my own (casually) I really think they have a sufficient tool set to help them stay out of range, comparable to other classes that don't fare well being close to their opponents (mages, warlocks, etc).-Thus, one could described hunters as ranged, physical damage dealers with controllable pets. That seems to be a pretty solid niche to me already.-The arguments regarding the resource mechanic (focus) and how easily this and the resulting damage can be interfered with by an opponent seem very weak, as every class can make the same claim. Every class has a minimum or maximum range at which they can deal effective damage, and every class has ways that their damage can be countered.Again I just want to state that I can't really say much on the state of hunter pvp at the end-game as I don't have a lot of experience in it. I'm just worried about some of the arguments, assumptions, and premises that you use. They seem ill-founded or weak for a few different reasons - hunters are successful at lower levels, or because the arguments are founded on assumptions that probably aren't true.
10-15-2011 @ 3:25PM
You can't compare the representation and talent balance of sub-85 classes to that of endgame. Simply put, a hunter at level 24 is subject to a very different PvP environment than one at 85. It's like saying that if a child is capable of reading "The Cat in the Hat," he should be able to read "Othello" too. While the basic capacities are there, you miss the complexities. For the most basic example, at level 24, hunters have http://www.wowhead.com/spell=781 (Disengage)- one of their most powerful and most frequently used defensive abilities, even at 85. At this same level, Warriors have http://www.wowhead.com/spell=100 (Charge), which allows them a gap closer if they are not in combat, but not http://www.wowhead.com/spell=20252 (Intercept,) which works in combat and only becomes available at level 50. Thus, if a hunter disengages, an attacking warrior has no available gap-closer at 24 and just has to chase after his target. To say that this is representative of the PvP interactions between a Warrior and Hunter at 85 is simply wrong, because both classes have more abilities to contend with one another. It's like a scale- as an ability is added to one side or the other, the balance shifts to favor one or the other. The idea is to have both sides equal at 85, but this is often not the case. You mention that other classes also don't fare well when in range of melee opponents, and while it is true that a Mage/Warlock/Boomkin/etc does not benefit from being close to a weapon-flailing melee, these classes also doesn't lose all ability to dps because of it. A global cooldown has to be used by their attackers to interrupt casts, but it doesn't cost a melee anything to just stand on a hunter who has been snared or slowed. In addition, you missed the point about focus- the complaint was not that classes shouldn't be able to column-kite to avoid damage, but rather that when an opponent uses LoS on a Hunter's Steady Shot/Cobra Shot, the Hunter loses both the potential dps of that ability (something suffered by all ranged classes) in addition to the loss of focus regeneration (which no other class has to deal with.) This cycle is doubly troublesome because the loss of dps a moment ago is compounded when the Hunter is now focus starved and unable to afford more damaging instant shots. Next, you're right that Hunters have a niche. That's not the problem though. To get an invite into a RBG or high rated arena team, you need a strength that other classes don't bring. The problem is that while we have plenty of utility, our abilities are often redundant and other classes have much better options for the same result. Silencing Shot = Silence/etc, MM AP Buff = DK AP buff, Freezing Trap < Poly/Hex/Blind because a target has to wander into it, etc etc. In brief, endgame does not equate twinking. Twinking is about maximizing a small number of abilities. Endgame is about balancing a comparatively large number and maximizing synergy. While we hope that the abilities of all classes are balanced in relation to one-another, the general consensus is that hunters are poorly balanced and need some rethinking. If you want to get invited to the party, you have to be pretty. Right now, we Hunters have a big, ugly mole. With hairs on it. The bright side is that maybe with a little surgery, we won't make small children cry at the sight of us for all the wrong reasons.
10-15-2011 @ 4:41PM
Good points, agrippa01, but let me counter a bit...First, maybe I wasn't clear in my reasoning for discussing the 20-24 twink bracket. I know that endgame pvp and this bracket are not equal and cannot be compared without other considerations. But what changes for a hunter from level 24 to level 85? They have more abilities, stronger abilities, more talents, access to glyphs, and higher stats and gear. They are also up against opponents with the same changes. Nothing regarding the mechanics of focus change, nothing changes in terms of min/max damage range, and nothing fundamental about the abilities they have at level 24 is different.Thus, if at level 24 hunters are well-represented and often topping the damage/hk charts, there is probably nothing wrong with the aspects that remain consistent from level 24 to 85 (the mechanics of focus, min/max range, and the abilities in a level 24 hunter's arsenal). That's my point.So why do hunters (possibly) become disproportionally weak at level 85? Well, look at what does change... gear, scaling, and then like you mentioned, all this in relationship to the ways the other classes change. The fact: hunters are underrepresented at endgame. To jump from this to the fact that the class needs some fundamental changes in class mechanics like focus regeneration and minimum range don't hold up well against the fact that at level 24 hunters do very well with the same mechanics. It seems more likely to me that it's more likely a gear issue (like the set bonuses Basil mentions - a valid argument) or ability scaling. Or the simple fact that maybe hunters just aren't as fun to play in pvp at endgame for reasons other than the fact that the class is too weak... that's still a possibility.Furthermore, hunters don't lose the ability to dps in melee. Sure, it's not ideal, and they won't be able to put forth their maximum damage, but they have weapons and even an ability (Raptor Strike) to help. While it's true that mages and warlocks don't have a minimum range for their most powerful abilities, they also are wearing much less armor and will do less damage swinging a weapon than a hunter will. I really don't think a hunter with a melee on them is at any less of a disadvantage than any other ranged caster.I didn't miss the point about focus, either... I just think it's flawed. Hunter focus is similar to rogue energy. The differences are rogue's energy regenerates faster (10 energy/sec in comparison to 6 focus/sec I think). But the trade-off? Hunters can actively regenerate their focus. Is it balanced? Hard to say, but it seems to work at lower levels well, so maybe it's not the cause of any potential imbalances at level 85 while it's still the same system.As for the niche issue, Basil said it was a problem, not me. I don't think that the hunter's abilities that are similar to those of other classes are all inferior like you claim. Let's look at freezing trap, for instance. The downside is the mob has to wander into it so yes, in that respect, polymorph gives the caster more control. But freezing trap costs no time or focus from the hunter other than a single global cooldown, whereas polymorph takes mana, more time to cast, an is susceptible to interrupts and LoS issues!Let me reiterate, I don't claim that twinking is equal to the endgame. I'm saying that it's dangerous to say that class mechanics and abilities that work in lower levels are the main cause of imbalance in higher levels. To use your own analogy, if a child struggles to read "Othello" but has the skills to read "Cat in the Hat", it's not because their current understanding of reading is incorrect and must be modified - it's simply a matter of complexity.
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