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Posts with tag steady-shot

Ghostcrawler reveals upcoming class changes in Cataclysm

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has posted the blog post I think most of us have been waiting for ever since Cataclysm went live. It features a summary of where the dev team sees the PvE and PvP games at this point, including some analysis of various classes and specs, and some planned changes for those specs that are underperforming and overperforming.

In PvE, Ghostcrawler mentions that Blizzard is mostly happy with the tank classes and notes that while healers do have it a bit hard, this is intentional. Heroics are meant to be a challenge. As for DPS, he offered that some classes, such as arcane mages and marksman and beast mastery hunters, are too low in their damage, while others, such as shadow priests and fire and frost mages, are being watched closely before final judgment is made on their numbers.

In PvP, Ghostcrawler says Blizzard is satisfied with the decreased emphasis on healing prevention and burst damage. Crowd control and dispel mechanics, especially offensive dispels, may see some PvP nerfs, and priests will specifically be getting some PvP buffs.

Stats also got some mention. A lot of stats are being neglected by some classes, and the dev team wants to fix this. Mastery will be either buffed or completely revamped for many specs, such as unholy death knights and retribution paladins. Haste may be made to scale with more attacks, such as Lacerate, Slam, and Steady Shot, in order to make the stat more desirable to certain specs.

Check after the break for the complete text of Ghostcrawler's post, including a list of specifically planned (but not finalized) class changes for future patches.

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

Scattered Shots: Hunter changes in 3.0.9 and 3.1


Dear Blizzard: Undo the Beastmastery nerfs or the cow gets it. Signed, Scattered Shots.

So as you heard the other day, the dev team admits it. They were a little too overly enthusiastic in their nerfs. Beast Mastery is too low, and will be seeing some buffs "before Ulduar," probably related to Serpent's Swiftness or Kindred Spirits. Of course, Beastmastery Hunters could have told you a while ago that the nerfs were too much, and did. Ghostcrawler not only told us that we had the wrong numbers, but that it hardly mattered because everything would change with Ulduar anyway. So to see him change to this degree is a little disorienting, I must admit.

But anyway, this column is not meant to rake Ghostcrawler across the coals. I think he's a pretty decent guy all around. Besides, it's not the first time he's put his foot in his mouth, and it probably won't be the last, either. Overall, I'm glad he's at least communicating, and that he, as the "face" of the dev team, is at least willing to come out and communicate and admit when they were wrong. What I'm really interested in is exactly where the class is going.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The great hunter nerf of 2008

I quote Ghostcrawler: "Hunters of all specs, and particularly Beastmaster, are doing too much damage in PvE."

At this point you can stop reading if you're a Hunter and just assume the worst. But if you want to see how you're getting nerfed to the ground, read on.

The rationale behind the changes is that Blizzard has been doing a lot of internal testing, along with the beta of WotLK, and has determined the other classes have not been able to keep up with the Hunter DPS output.

The list of nerfs is wide ranging. Volley nerfed by 30%. Steady Shot now gains 10% of Attack Power instead of 20%. Kindred Spirits has been nerfed by 25%. Readiness no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.

The list of changes is not exhaustive. Ghostcrawler makes a point to say that these are just the ones they feel are ready for testing. He hopes to see them up on the PTR before they go live.

The full 14 point list of changes after the break.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, News items

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: New and improved abilities


Scattered Shots: noun. 1. (Scatter Shot, singular) An ability used by Marksmanship hunters, especially to annoy other players in PvP. 2. (Scattered Shots, plural) A column at WoW Insider about anything even loosely related to hunters, except for high-level raiding and completely improper, sometimes libelous personal commentary.

Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.

New Baseline Hunter Abilities:

Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:

Kill Shot:
This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Beastmastery in Wrath of the Lich King

Ok, so it's actually an old PTR bug, but a pet panda would be awesome.Scattered Shots is for Hunters. Your host this week will be Daniel Whitcomb, who will continue his foray into the wide world of Wrath of the Lich King talents.

Beastmastery has pretty much dominated the world of Hunters in Burning Crusade, with Serpent's Swiftness alone nearly singlehandedly allowing for the most efficient damaging shot rotations possible -- With a little bit of wrangling between haste and ranged weapon speed, of course. While the changes to Auto Shot clipping in Wrath will likely make shot rotations as we know them a thing of the past, Beastmastery is still looking to be a very viable tree in Wrath of the Lich King, thanks to some clever synergies and some amazing pet buffs.

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

Wrath Beta Patch Notes: Hunter

By now, I am sure you've heard that the Wrath of the Lich King Beta is going live and the patch notes are up. There's a rather extensive section devoted to Hunters on this iteration. We have a few more insights into the pet talent trees that were announced at the Worldwide Invitational, as well as a few changes to existing talents and a nice Steady Shot buff.

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

WWI '08 Panel: Hunters

The first WoW panel has come and gone at the Worldwide Invitational. It was focused on class abilities in WoTLK, and there was some absolutely juicy stuff, especially for Hunters. As the proud player of a 70 Hunter, I'm feeling amazingly awesome about my class right now. Two of the biggest, most universal Hunter complaints have not only been answered, but answered in a way that I think a lot of Hunter players are going to be incredibly excited about.

Steady Shot Clipping

First up, it looks like Shot Rotations as we know them will soon become a thing of the past, or at least be incredibly simplified, as Steady Shots will no longer clip Auto Shots. This is actually an issue that has gained some blue post love in the past, but it's nice to see it so directly confronted and dealt with.

There may still be a shot rotation of a type for fitting in Arcane Shot and various stings, but it looks like Hunter DPS will no longer be a complicated dance of weapon speed, haste rating, macros, and server latency. That in itself is amazing news.

Pet Talent Trees and Uniqueness

One of the other major complaints of Hunters is the lack of pet diversity. It is generally expected that if you are min-maxing, you will go for a Cat, Ravager, or Scorpid and nothing else, because they are the only pet families that have the right combination of ability and DPS to get their jobs done. Some pet classes, like Sporebats, languished due to a complete lack of useful family skills.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Scattered Shots: Got mana?


Scattered Shots is temporarily subtitled "Scattered Thoughts" this week, as David goes off on a speculative tangent. Perhaps all this expansion leakage is causing a leak in his brain too, but hey, a little bit of intellectual pondering never hurt anyone, right? This column is for hunters, by the way -- but, yeah... you knew that.

After writing last week's article about hunter problems and predictions, I got to thinking about how hunters use mana, and reflecting on the question of whether hunters should be using mana or not. Hunters have many things in common with classes like rogues and warriors, such as doing physical damage, and yet they have much in common with mages and warlocks as well, such as being vulnerable to mana-draining abilities. This issue is vague enough that my observations here can only be considered personal opinions, and they won't be of interest if all you want from this column is a list of the greatest gear and talent builds. But for the speculative among us, there's lots to discuss here.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Auto Shot

Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said.

One of the most confusing things about a hunter's repertoire of spells is the exact use of Auto Shot. This ability is unlike the abilities of any other class, quite different from a warrior's swing timer, or a caster's wand shooting. Auto Shot is like a metronome, and the music of hunter DPS requires that we play according to its beat.

We've discussed Auto Shot a little bit in last week's introduction to Shot Rotation, but Auto Shot is much more complex than is first apparent from simply reading the ability's tooltip. First of all, there is a discrepancy between what the interface shows you of Auto Shot and what is actually going on. If you don't use any hunter addons, you may have great difficulty getting a feeling for any of what this article is about, because Auto Shot doesn't have any representation in the default UI. If you use an addon like Quartz or ZHunterMod, however, you'll be presented with a timer that looks something like a regular casting bar -- and while this Auto Shot bar will help a great deal, it is still not complete. No matter what, your imagination and inner sense of timing are going to have to do a good bit of work in getting your shots timed right.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Add-Ons, Guides, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Shot rotations

Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said.

Once you reach level 62 and learn Steady Shot, it's time to start getting a firm grip on this thing hunters must learn called "shot rotation." If you don't - just casting your shots willy-nilly, as soon as they come off of cooldown -- you'll end up wasting a lot more mana and doing a lot less damage than a hunter who has his or her shot rotations timed right.

The video embedded above is a handy example of two basic shot rotations which we'll look at in more depth here, and it can give you a basic sense for how the timing of all this is supposed to work. But if it still looks a bit confusing, fear not: today's Scattered Shots will help you to make your shots less scattered and more organized, with helpful charts and fundamental knowledge about how to do this rotation thing. It really ain't that hard -- just a bit of info can get you pointed in the right direction, determining the rotation which is best for you.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Addons for shot timing, threat tracking, and pet training


Last week, Scattered Shots hit the bull's eye on which professions are best for a hunter. Today, we take aim at some interface problems hunters have, and the addons we can use to eliminate them.

A user interface is an ever-evolving work of art. You can use it one way for a long time and then suddenly find one simple addon that lets you change everything and make it much better. Especially with all the problems that show up every patch, I've begun to look at my interface as a constant work in progress. As such, I'm usually in a constant state of getting rid of old addons, enjoying the ones I use now, and looking for new ones that might help me even more in the future. Every choice of what to put in or what to take out is a conscious decision about what will help make my game play smoother, more successful, and more visually interesting.

As hunters, there are a number of needs that we have which other classes don't have - and special hunter addons are there to help in many of those cases, while in other situations, one of the more generalized addons might fit our needs best.

Today I'll cover three of the most glaring interface problems for hunters and show you how I deal with them at the moment. In the comments section, feel free to share your own different interface issues, as well as your own solutions, for the benefit of our readers. Keep in mind that a user interface is an extremely subjective thing, and one solution may not work for everyone. Nonetheless, often times just sharing your idea will inspire someone else to vary it a little and make their own thing out of it, which is even better.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Add-Ons, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

An "insightful and thoughtful" look at Hunter DPS from the forums

Despite the fact that my level 70 Hunter isn't technically my main, she's probably my favorite character. A lot of people will tell you that a Hunter is an overly easy class: sic your pet, turn on Auto Shot, and you're done. While having a built-in tank that you can even heal a bit gives you a pretty strong advantage when going it alone, I'd have to say they oversimplify things a bit.

The largest area where the complexity of the Hunter class shows is in end-game DPS. If you want to be the most effective DPSer possible, it takes quite a bit of work. The way that you must weave shots in between your auto shots is a complicated dance that requires split second timing that can mean vast differences in DPS totals between Hunters. Cheeky of the Khadgar-US server (author of the famous Cheeky's Spreadsheet) posted a very concise and well-stated summary of some of the problems with Hunter DPS on the official US forums here a few months back. The post was originally written by Lactose of the Talnivarr-EU Server, who posted it on the EU forms here, where it got some blue love today a while back.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Forums

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