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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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