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Posts with tag aimed-shot

Scattered Shots: Hotfix hunter changes speculation

Every Monday and Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.

When patch 4.0.6 hit with its crazy undocumented buff to Aimed Shot (rather, buffed far, far more than was documented), we were pretty sure that Aimed Shot was going to see some kind of adjustment -- it was just too good, and it scales too well in the already high-scaling MM spec.

Well, we got our adjustment, but Blizzard wasn't content just to nerf Aimed Shot downward -- oh no. As long as it was tinkering with hunters anyway, it seemed appropriate to heap wads of awesomesauce across all specs at the same time. For those who missed the hotfixes, here's what's happening to hunters:

Zarhym
  • Aimed Shot damage has been decreased to approximately 160% weapon damage (at level 80+), down from 200%.
  • Aspect of the Hawk now provides around an additional 2000 attack power at level 85.

There's a lot to talk about here -- there are some pretty awesome implications to an additional 2,000 attack power while in Aspect of the Hawk. Join me after the cut as we get into the effects of all these changes -- what we know, what we don't know, and what we suspect.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: The misunderstood hunter abilities

Welcome to Scattered Shots, written by Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast. Each week Frostheim uses logic and science mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven Stout to look deep into the Hunter class.

We hunters are a misunderstood class in so many ways. Other classes don't understand how our bond with our pets reaches beyond logic and min-maxing. They don't understand that though our class is insanely easy to solo and level with, we are one of the most difficult ranged DPS classes to play well in raids. They don't understand that we're just, well, cooler than them.

But we're not here today to discuss the mental failings of other classes. We are here to discuss some of the hunter abilities most commonly misunderstood by hunters themselves. Sometimes the problem is the convoluted WoW tooltips that seem deliberately designed to confuse readers. Sometimes our abilities have interesting mechanics that aren't reflected in the tooltips at all, and of course sometimes people just plain misread abilities.

Join me after the cut as we take a look at the three abilities most commonly misunderstood by hunters and explain how they really work. Not a week goes by that I don't get at least one email or comment about every one of these abilities.

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Filed under: (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Patch 3.2 PTR: Priest changes in build 10072

A new build for patch 3.2 hit the PTR recently, and all of the related Shadow Priest changes are things that the recent Q&A hinted toward or straight out told us to expect. Let's not waste any time here and dig right into the changes.
  • Vampiric Touch now deals more damage when dispelled. (Max rank deals 1360 damage, previously 680)
Definitely not a surprise here. I've been saying for a long time that this component of the spell needed a significant buff, Ghostcrawler agreed, and doubling its base damage can probably be considered that. We'll still need to see it in action to determine if it's enough. If it's not enough, at least it's closer, and that's something.
  • Devouring Plague cooldown removed, can now only be applied to one target at a time.
This is a change I long expected, and despite Ghostcrawler initially seeming iffy on it in the Shadow Priest Q&A, the simple fact that it was mentioned made me more hopeful that it would happen. And it is happening! So I'm pretty happy about that. There isn't much more to say. It'll make playing a Shadow Priest much less frustrating when it comes to encounters where you're swapping targets a lot. Yogg-Saron, I'm looking at you.

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Filed under: Priest, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

QuickArmory's Stats tool lets you browse and inspect popular talent builds

We've been covering quite a few different ways to see what players are up to in terms of talents after dual specs have been released (both 3D Armory and TalentChic have good information if you're looking for it), and here's another: Erorus at QuickArmory sent us some info on how to pull some talent demographics out of his site as well. He's created a Talent stats page that needs a little explanation, but is actually full of great info on what kinds of builds players are choosing. First, choose a class at the top, and then you'll be taken to a screen where you can see, in percentage points, the given percentage of players of that class who took those points on the tree. In other words, if you look at the Mage page, 62% (as of this writing) of Mages surveyed by the application took at least one point in Inceneration (and 61% took all the points), but only 1% of Mages put any points in Blazing Speed (probably because it sucks -- oh snap!). You can also see the percentage points by spec (by clicking the tabs at the top) and even some general distribution statistics on how people chose to spec within the dual spec system. And the main page for each class includes some percentages on glyph choices as well.

But it gets wilder -- you can even compare populations by clicking on the talents, so you can look at, for example, all the Warlocks who specced Felguard (they're using Glyph of Felguard, duh), or all of the Hunters who specced both Explosive Shot and Aimed Shot.

Very impressive. Of course, keep in mind the population here: these are only level 80 characters already in the QuickArmory system (about 12k as of this writing), so it's far from a representative sample of the entire WoW population. But then again, they're also self-selecting -- people who have put themselves into QuickArmory are likely to be more on top of good talent and glyph choices anyway. At any rate, even with the small selection, there are lots of fascinating ways to look at this talent data.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Talents

Hunter changes for patch 3.0.3


Is it Christmas already? It sure seemed that way when I opened up Patch 3.0.3 and saw so much Hunter love coming out from the box. Sure it's not all good, but it's mostly good. Sort of like Westley only being mostly dead. Let's get right to it... first off, we have Barrage and Improved Barrage now affecting Aimed Shot. This is an awesome buff because let's face it, ever since Steady Shot showed up at the party, nobody's asked Aimed Shot to dance. This also makes all three talents a hell of a lot more attractive, so they're now like some sort of hot mean girls triple play that's come to kick Steady Shot to the curb. Or something like that. I mean, come on, +12% crit to Aimed Shot.

Aspects are now off the Global Cooldown and have a shared 1-second cooldown, which is excellent if you're on the ball with aspect switching. It will no longer interfere with rotations, although the only aspect we really switch up when we're sniping away is the, um, rebalanced Aspect of the Viper. The mana returned per shot is lower by 50%, but it now grants a passive regeneration of 4% of total mana every 3 seconds. Mana is also returned with melee attacks, which means we now actually have a sweet aspect to put up when a Warrior is Whirlwinding our butt.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Hunter Glyphs found in Wrath Beta build 8820

http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=13480.0With the newest Beta build that hit live servers last night, MMO Champion found yet another round of inscription glyphs in the build. In particular, I'd like to talk about the Hunter glyphs. They still seem half-finished, with some values that are most definitely placeholder, and a good portion of them are firmly in the PvP camp.

Still, most of them are complete enough that they're worth analyzing, if only to know how to advise Blizzard to change them in future Beta builds. Not to say there aren't some good ones, but there's also some that no sane Hunter will use. Let's check them all out after the break.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Scattered Shots: The dev team takes on PvP

Welcome once again to Scattered Shots, WoW Insider's spot for all things Hunter, except for the stuff Big Red Kitty covers. Daniel Whitcomb will be your host today (a day late, for which he apologizes) as David Bowers tries to shake off some extra aggro.

The state of Hunters in PvP is perhaps one of the most debated subjects in WoW PvP. Some call Hunters overpowered for their dispelling Arcane Shot (which is going away in Wrath, to be sent to the non-damaging Tranquilizing Shot), while others point to their low Arena representation and the ease of using line of sight to negate most of their DPS and Abolish Poison to get rid of their main PvP utility as proof that they need buffs. Regardless, even the devs acknowledge that Hunters probably need some help in PvP, and class designer Koraa recently spoke on the subject on the Beta forums. In his post, he covered the problems he sees Hunters having, and how Blizzard will be helping with those moving forward into Wrath.

Unfortunately, his solutions seem confused in and of themselves. They involve giving Hunters more melee attack power (instead of more way to break from melee so they can use their ranged weapon) and a variety of talents scattered around many trees in such a way that it will be difficult for a solid PvP build to get them all. And, as I mentioned in a post yesterday, they still aren't giving pets resilience.

Other Hunters such as Megatf have done an excellent job responding to some of Koraa's points in the thread itself, but I'd like to address and respond to the post myself in this week's column, and see how they stack up to the problems Hunters face in small scale Arena PvP.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Wrath Hunter Talent Analysis, Part I: Marksmanship

Hunter talents are out, and there's definitely a lot to say about them, both good and bad. While we have discussed some of the changes to the lower Survival tree, what we haven't touched on is all the new talents and the talent changes in other trees. If I was to sum it all up in one sentence, I'd say this: The 51 point talents look lackluster, but most of the rest is downright drool inducing.

Marksmanship's early tiers are now full of easily obtainable goodies for any Hunter, Survival's gained even more group and raid buff utility, and Beastmastery has even more amazing pet synergy.

There's a lot to cover, so we'll tackle it one tree at a time. First, we'll look at Marksmanship, which was once premiere Hunter tree, but has fallen a bit to Beastmastery in Burning Crusade. It's certainly seen some marked improvement for Wrath so far, and even if you don't plan to spec Marksmanship, you'll at least want to know about the first few tier talents, as you'll probably want to grab many of them anyway.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Hunter changes in 2.4

When information began to trickle down about patch 2.4, hunters, like most classes, were groaning. Which nerf bat would we be hit with next? Fortunately, it seems that we have slipped under the radar. For now. Maybe Aspect of the Beast finally did us some good.

Let's break down the changes and see how this is going to be affecting us. With no major patches between now and Wrath, we might be living with these changes for awhile.

Bug fixes:
  1. Equipping a thrown weapon while in the middle of an Auto-Shot will no longer cause animation issues. Since no one likes animation issues, I'm filing this under "win." Not that I've ever tried to equip a thrown weapon while already shooting, mind you.
  2. Casting Flare while in any way not visible, will no longer cause your flare to be invisible to other players. To me, this sounds fair. Also, I want to be invisible. Rogues can, so why not hunters? Right? No?
  3. Hunter's Mark: Hunters with Improved Hunter's Mark will now properly overwrite Hunter's Mark cast by Hunters without the talent. This used to be, but then was not. Now, it will be again. While it might rub your ego the wrong way always reading the message "a more powerful spell is already active," it is better for overall DPS this way.
  4. The stamina tooltip for hunter pets will now display the proper health increase. Personally, I find that most of my tooltips on most of my characters do not reflect the changes made by my talent points. At least one more will appear correctly, and I will try not to be sad about the others.
  5. Hunters will no longer spin around if they cast Aimed Shot or Steady Shot while facing away from their target. So this was a nice little bug we had for awhile, but let's face it; it wasn't fair. It also doesn't help the "huntard" image any when hunters are caught whining that now, we will have to learn to actually face our targets; and that's just too hard. What does this mean you ask? Do note that these are our two channeled shots, and as such, if another player sees us channeling, they need only run around us far enough to interrupt the channel. Prior to 2.4, we would have spun with the runner.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Best arena hunter in the world now banned?

I'm still not sure what to make of this, but according to a number of very upset hunters on the official forums, Blizzard has handed a permanent ban to a player known as Megatf, said to be the best arena hunter in the world. His Armory does in fact show him as being #2 in his battlegroup (Reckoning) for 2's, #1 for 3's, and #1 for 5's, so even if he wasn't the best in the world, the guy knew a thing or two about PvP. The ban is popularly attributed to Megatf's having posted criticism of how Blizzard has handled the Hunter crisis in arena. It's certainly tough to argue that hunters are doing well; they are the only class that is underperforming in all three brackets, even by Blizzard's standards and months after the introduction of an MS-debuff to Aimed Shot.

A player called Macrospamftw (yeah, I laughed) insists it's because Megatf was posting content and links that contained keyloggers, which sounds a lot more plausible than mere criticism (let's face it, if CM's banned people for that, the official forums would be a ghost town). But the player Guinevere counters by saying there were no links in the banned posts. Poking around a little more resulted in additional details: Megatf often posted while tipsy and was prone to foul language. That's certainly more than enough for a forum ban, but a permanent one?

Megatf does seem to have vanished from the forums completely. Not only are the threads in question gone, but according to the hunters, Megatf's popular post on Hunter PvP has also disappeared. Do any of our readers know what's going on?

Filed under: Hunter, Ranking, News items, PvP, Forums, Battlegrounds, Arena

Scattered Shots: The line of sight between hunters and the Arenas

I'd like to take a break from the hunter leveling goodness we've had the last few weeks in Scattered Shots to take a look at where hunters stand as a class in Arena PvP, and where we might be going in the future. Blizzard developer Kalgan's measurement of how the different classes are faring in the Arena got me thinking quite a bit about the state of hunters -- currently functioning at the lowest place with 50% or less representation in the three Arena types at high rating brackets, followed by mages and shamans, in the 2vs2 Arena especially.

What in the world is causing such a huge discrepancy between hunters and other classes when it comes to high-rating arena representation? When I play in Arenas and Battlegrounds, I don't feel like my class is somehow deficient or underpowered. My team's Arena rating is average -- we're not the best, but not the worst either. When I get beaten, I usually feel like the other team actually played better (or outgeared us, at least), so it's rather hard to see what's so messed up about hunters.

The most obvious issue I can think might be the issue is that of Line of Sight. Hunters obviously have a rough time shooting at things behind sort of obstacle. In battlegrounds there are more wide open spaces, so it seems less of an issue there, but in Arenas it can get fairly annoying. Classes like warlocks and shadowpriests can just put a damage-over-time spell on you, and then hide behind a pillar, while druids can move freely around obstacles to give them plenty of time to heal themselves between your attacks. Warriors and other melee classes can hide for a bit, then get in so close that you can't use your best ranged abilities on them for a few seconds until you can somehow get away.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Is Mortal Strike the new black?


What's up with Mortal Strike? And why is it, when Blizzard feels that a class or spec needs to be made viable in Arenas -- and let's face it, the game is all about Arenas now, isn't it? -- they give them a Mortal Strike-style debuff? When the developers were figuring out how to raise Hunters' representation in Arenas, they changed Aimed Shot in Patch 2.3 to give a heal-gimping debuff similar the the Arms Warrior's bread and butter ability.

Enter Patch 2.4 in the PTRs. When Kalgan finally descended upon the Shaman forums, he said that Shamans were definitely getting buffed just in time to quell the wake of an uproar to the nerfs made to the Elemental spec. Along with the reversal of the Nature's Swiftness and Elemental Mastery shared cooldown, the current iteration of the progressive patch is seeing a change to the Shaman's Flametongue Weapon and Totem, which happens to be -- surprise, surprise -- a Mortal Strike-style debuff. Yawn.

While it's certainly a welcome change, considering that Shamans get so little love, frankly it's getting a little boring. Allie mentioned calls for putting the buff on every class (Mortal Sheep or Mortal Portal for Mages is a classic), so this begs the question... is a Mortal Strike-type ability the only way to make a class or spec viable in the Arenas? Aside from the fact that Mortal Strike Warriors are conceivably the most popular class & spec, healing debuffs are clearly one of the game-breaking abilities in Arenas. With Resilience making crit-based and burst damage specs less and less viable, is there really a need for another Mortal Strike? Can't Blizzard make another buff to make a spec Arena-viable without using the same old trick? What do you guys think? How much more creative can you be?

Filed under: Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Arena

Mortal Strike for all!


In the wake of the most recent PTR change to Flametongue Weapon applying a -50% healing debuff over 5 seconds and -- it now appears -- the Flametongue totem itself doing the same for others' melee attacks, a number of forum threads have popped up questioning the increasing number of these debuffs in the game. The funniest asks, "Is there some sort of Mortal Strike non-proliferation treaty that stops me from having Mortal Strike on my priest?" (short of Hex of Weakness, I guess). Suggestions include an MS effect on Crusader Strike, "MORTAL SHEEEEEEEEP!", and "Mortal Portal" for mages.

The best argument I've seen is not that Mortal Strike or MS-like effects like Aimed Shot are themselves imbalanced, but they're bound to seem that way if healing is overpowered in PvP. Healing per second is nearly always more efficient than damage per second if you're specced for it, although that's cold comfort to yours truly while resto-specced and under heavy fire in battlegrounds or arena. Nobody knows if the newest version of MS is really going to help Shamans in arena, but between this and the nerf to drinking, it does look more and more as if PvP is increasingly being balanced around the notion of healers staying exposed (and vulnerable) for longer.

Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Classes, Battlegrounds, Arena

PTR Notes: Aimed Shot changed again



A few hours ago, Eyonix posted on the WoW forums regarding another change to the Hunter skill Aimed Shot in patch 2.3. The ability, which has already gained a healing debuff akin to Mortal Strike, will now also have a reduced cast time. The shot will now take a flat 3 seconds to perform, which is a half a second drop from its previous time of 3.5 seconds. In addition, Eyonix also mentioned that the developers are monitoring the ability's effectiveness and may further reduce the cast time after 2.3 goes live.

As is often the case on the WoW forums, there is a rather large outcry over this change, the latest in a series of buffs to hunters. In discussing and defending the change, Eyonix suggests that the developers are trying to make this skill more appealing to the class in addition to helping them be more viable in PvP overall. What are your thoughts on the subject?

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Talents, Forums

The latest changes on the PTR

World of Raids once again has the latest breaking news on the latest Patch 2.3 Public Test Ream changes! Today's class changes seem to be mostly happy buffs, especially for hunters and rogues and paladins, as well as a slight nerf to warriors beyond the jump. Also read on below for Guild Bank prices, New Arena Season 3 weapon models, a Field Repair Bot change, as well as a few new engineering toys.

Hunters:
  • It looks like hunters get their version of Mortal Strike after all: Aimed Shot now reduces all healing done on the target by 50% for 10 seconds, in addition to the regularly increased damage.
  • The dead zone has not been eradicated, but it has been reduced to just about 1 yard. Why not just get rid of the dead zone and be done with it? Is Blizzard paranoid about the possibility of using melee and ranged abilities at the same time through latency bugs or something?
Rogues:
  • The rogue talent "Aggression" is being improved so that its damage bonus applies to Backstab as well as Sinister Strike and Eviscerate (at +2/4/6% with each rank).
  • Shadowstep now has a 30 second cooldown in addition to being usable out of stealth. Its range has been changed from 0-20 yards to 8-25 yards, and its +20% damage bonus now applies to whatever special attack you make next (i.e. Sinister Strike, Hemorrhage -- even Eviscerate or Rupture). Could this make it beneficial to non-dagger rogues as well?
  • Hemorrhage has received a huge buff: It now increases physical damage dealt to its target by up to 36 (increased from 10!), but its number of charges has been reduced from 30 to 10. This should make hemo rogues more desirable in groups, and also increase the benefit from having more than one in a raid -- but is it really enough?
Paladins:
  • The "Fanaticism" talent in the retribution tree now reduces the paladin's threat by 30% at the highest rank in addition to 15% increased critical strike chance with all judgements.
  • The protection talent "Precision" now gives a +3% chance to hit with spells in addition to melee attacks.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Warrior, Engineering, Patches

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