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Scattered Shots: Hunter information from BlizzCon 2010

Every Monday and Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Each week, 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.

Every year, Blizzard holds the ridiculously massive BlizzCon to celebrate the hunter class in WoW, as well as provide some information about the various support classes that are in the game to enhance the hunter experience. I have returned from BlizzCon 2010 in one piece, loaded down with new hunter information and a renewed joy for the hunter class.

I have to say that meeting all the people was almost more fun than all the panels and information. I got to meet Aron Eisenberg, Felicia Day and cast members from The Guild, Michele Morrow, Chris Metzen, Ghostcrawler, Oxhorn, Cranius, Legs and approximately a thousand of you guys. And everywhere I went I got to talk about hunters, discuss with you guys your opinions of patch 4.0.1 and hunter changes. My sincere thanks to all of the readers who hunted me down during the con -- meeting and chatting with you was probably the highlight of the convention. It was awesomesauce.

But we're not here today to talk about how awesome you guys are. We're here to talk about what we learned at BlizzCon about hunters. So join me after the cut for a look at the class Q&A as well as some tantalizing other tidbits of hunter information gathered during the con.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Ghostcrawler says no buff to Beast Mastery hunter pet damage

Beast Mastery is the least viable raid spec for hunters, falling about 20% - 30% behind the top DPS specs. BM hunters have long been calling for some kind of a buff, and a favorite preference is a buff to their pets. Ghostcrawler responded today saying that while they want to buff BM, they do not want to buff BM pets. He highlighted some of the problems with balancing the BM spec -- including that it's easy to play.
"We don't want to buff the pet damage for BM any more for a couple of reasons. One is that it puts too much dependence on the pet... Secondly, the pet doesn't require that much babysitting. Few players are clicking their pet abilities on and off. As such, it just acts like a dot with cool art. When we talk about the risk of BM being too easy to play, we don't want to over-reward players for just doing Steady and having the pet attack."
Blizzard has acknowledged before that BM isn't a raid viable spec (though we've seen that in the right circumstances they can pull their weight, though still be far behind) and they've stated that they would like to get to a point where all three hunter specs can raid. Ghostcrawler gave us one idea at what a BM buff could look like, saying, "The damage would have to be more of the slowly stacking / sustained variety..." and also gave us a peek into where they think pet damage should be -- at about 30% of hunter damage in high end gear.

However, today's comments make it sound like they aren't likely to just let BM do MM-level damage with their current play style. If BM wants more damage, they'll probably have to work harder for it.

Filed under: Hunter

Ghostcrawler on hunter ammo replacement

New hunter ammo proc idea: big flaming harpoon!
As you may recall, Blizzard announced their intent to get rid of consumable ammo in Patch 3.1, only to withdraw the change a short time later, with the promise of reimplementing it at a nebulous later date. Now, it's been more or less assumed that said later date is Cataclysm itself, or at least Patch 4.0.

In a general forum post created to discuss ammo replacements, Ghostcrawler piped in to remind us that the only change announced for Cataclysm was the removal of ammo, with nothing else yet decided (or, more accurately, announced). While he did acknowledge the possibility of adding in new situational ammo, he did observe that the hassle of collecting and swapping different ammo types might grow old pretty quickly, especially for a class like the hunter that already needs to push a lot of buttons to play at peak potential, in addition to already having a pet to manage.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

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