Monday, October 29, 2007

Hunters Suck (to play)

This is from the EU armory, but I'm assuming the results are quite similar to a scan of the US armory. Pretty much explains why I grin every time I see a hunter team as my opposition on my warlock in the arena.

From a warlocks perspective, hunters are an absolute joke. They are very easy to los, very susceptible to CC, extremely easy to mana drain (Small mana pool, takes very little time, and they're pretty much worthless without mana), and the pet is very very easy to kill. If they have no priest or paladin, then they are ridiculously easy to just dot and hide around the corner while they rot.

I can do 8000+ damage to them with instacasts, and they have to just take it, or hope for dispels, while I run back behind a pillar.. They can't really chase me around the corner, because close range fighting is not their forté. And if they stay at range, they are ridiculously easy to LoS. You can't send the pet in, because he'll just get killed behind the pillar.

Combining those factors, hunter usefulness is extremely limited, especially in 2v2/3v3.

In addition, the shots and abilities hunters have carry a rather hefty mana cost considering their relatively small mana pool. They also have basically no period where they are getting the 5s rule of mana regen, either. Flares, traps, aspects, hunter marks, shots, stings, melee abilities. They all require mana. If you aren't shooting someone in ranged combat, you're kiting them and changing aspects/wingclipping/trapping, and if you aren't kiting, you're doing a shot rotation. In fact, the only time you REALLY get time to regen mana outside the 5s rule is during a stand-still shot rotation, which is also when you want to be doing the most damage possible, so it's not an option there either.

This holds true in pvp and I've noticed it while leveling as well. I really only get time to regen mana during a fight while standing and shooting a mob. If you're doing damage on the move, you're using something that costs mana, whether its changing aspects, wingclipping, concussive shot, etc.

I know I've played a warlock for quite a well, but I've also played a lot of other classes in this game. And I'm telling you this: Hunter mana issues are SEVERE. Their mana consumption is bad, and is rivaled only by their horrid mana regeneration.

They are the absolute worst in efficiency in the game IMO. Aspect of the viper is not enough. They need a lot of their skills revisited with mana costs. Some skills need to have mana cost just flat out removed. Feign death, aspects, hunters mark, flare (reagent cost instead IMO) possibly even traps.

It needs help. It really, really does.

Also, the aspects and how they work are a pretty big problem.

Aspect of the cheetah is pretty risky to use. Right now it's really only great for chasing down runners when you can't afford to mount, and you're sure you won't be hit. To be honest, it's times when I'm kiting without fear of being caught, or chasing someone down that I wish my mana regen was going up. However, just switching to cheetah costs me mana, and mana regen. Also, stance-dancing as needed on a hunter isn't a lot of fun for several reasons. A) It hurts my mana/regen B) It costs a GCD, which means I might not get that critical shot/ability in in time. Stance-dancing on the hunter sucks, but it's very fun and useful on a warrior. My mana bar is basically penalized for me reacting to the situation and instantly picking the right aspect to be in. It was a great feeling on the warrior when I learned how to bind my stances to keys and react instantly depending on the context of the fight. You know exactly what I mean on this. Hunters trying to accomplish this same play style just don't feel right. It feels sloppy and and unnatural. The mana cost and GCD need to be removed.

Another idea that I was actually tossing around with cham a year ago on this issue was requiring certain shots to be used in certain aspects. You'd have to be in hawk for aimed shot, stings would require viper, etc. But then we thought that would require way too much reworking of a lot of spells/levels, so we figured a bonus would be better instead of requirement, or just a changing of aspects all together.

I.e. Hawk = 10% increased ranged damage, but 5% increase damage taken.
Viper = Double mana regeneration, stings cost no mana.
Monkey = Increased dodge/parry, reduced ranged damage
Beast = Decrease damage taken, pet does additional damage, increase melee damage done. (For when you can't escape melee)
Cheetah = Reduce movement speed bonus to 20%, and remove daze effect when struck. Increase mana regeneration (including in combat).

Keep in mind, these aspects would cost no mana and no GCD to "shift" into. This gives the hunter much more flexibility to the situation.

Flexibility is the key issue here. Warriors have it. Warlocks have it. Priests have it. That's why those classes do so well. It's not necessarily damage done, or amount of shadow bolt damage. It's the bevy of class options that allows them to react to a multitude of situations.

I honestly think something that drastic is needed to save this class, especially in smaller formats. A lot of the basic mechanics that are currently existing for this class are too limiting and don't allow for enough adaptive options for the player to take advantage of that other classes have. Their flexibility isn't very good. It's basically kite until you can spam shots on a snared/immobile target until you're OOM, and until something pretty big changes, that's the way it's going to be, MS shot or not (which would only really help in 5v5, not 3v3/2v2, assuming that the shots current limitations stay as is).


Anonymous said...

Hello, My name is Grogzor and I have been a hunter for quite a while and like the idea of what you are doing. I don't post on the WoW forums since they are quite a cesspool as you can obviously tell.

I am more an avid follower of the EJ forums and that is where I make my home.

One thing I think Blizzard needs to try on the PTR once to see if it is broken is to see if hunters casting auto shot on the move would indeed be overpowered. People would QQ a lot I understand but that is what they do. Some people complain even when they are paper and rock is getting buffed.

Anonymous said...

Allow two aspects at once.

Hunters would most likely default to Aspect of the Viper and then either Hawk or Monkey depending on the fight (ranged or melee).

Aspect of Nature and Beast are not really necessary and the use are extremely situational. But ...

of Nature should give 120 Nature resist at level 70 ... at least.

of the Beast should give something else besides Untrackable. Perhaps give it Track Hidden passive while in "Aspect of the Beast".

Personally I'm not a big fan of most of what you say after the "Mana sucks for hunters" stuff, that is dead on and has been stated over and over on the forums. Aspect of the Viper simply doesn't do it, maybe double it's effect? Either way though a hunter is handycapped by being only able to have 1 aspect up.

Anonymous said...

Grogzor Again, I like your idea of changing the Aspects to be mana less and off the GCD, sort of like individual Auras.

How I Would Fix Hunters:

Test out to see if Hunters being able to Auto Shoot while moving is overpowered, Maybe increase the cooldown while the hunter is moving by 50% or something.

Steady Shot is now immune to pushback.
Improved Arcane Shot name changed to something else and now also gives "Reduces mana cost of Arcane Shot and Aimed Shot by 5/10/15/20/25%. Reduces Casting time of Aimed Shot by .1/.2/.3/.4/.5 seconds"

Serpent Sting now also gives "+4% extra spell damage received by the target, this does not stack with other Serpent Sting effects"
Change Scorpid Sting to "Reduces target's chance to hit by 2% and increases physical damage taken by 4%"

Reduce Aimed Shots bonus damage, add the Mortal Strike Debuff and make it ignore a certain % of opponents armor.
Trueshot Aura's highest rank changed 125 AP and 2% tohit.

Snakes from Snake Trap now immune to AoE.
Volley is no longer channeled.

Aspect of the Beast now also increases you and your pet's chance to be resist movement impairing effects by 15%.
Master Tactician now allows you to ignore your opponents armor by the specified amount vice giving critical chance.

All hunters gain the following ability at a certain level. "Makes you immune to the effects of Movement Impairing Effects for 18 seconds. This shares a cooldown with Beastial Wrath."

Immolation Trap gains 25% of your RAP as damage.
Explosive Traps DOT component also gainst 10% of your RAP as damage.

Hunter Pets gain Unique Abilities to further differentiate them from each other and make Pet choice actually important.

Some Examples I quickly came up with:
Tallstrider's now can train "Kick Dust" which reduces the targets chance to hit by 25% for 5 seconds on a 30 second cooldown and costs 30 Focus.
Spider's can now learn "Web" which immobilized the target for 3 seconds on a one minute cooldown costing 50 focus. 20 yard range.
Raptors can now learn "Headbutt" which knocks the target down for .5 seconds on a 30 second cooldown costing 50 focus.
Hyenas can now learn "Heckling Laughter" which increases the casting time of everyone withing 10 yards by 25%. Costs 25 focus with no cooldown.
Crocolisks can now learn "Shred" which does 200 damage over 5 seconds and slows the targets movement by 10%. 30 focus and 30 second cooldown.
Crabs can now learn "Pinch" which will deal 100 damage and force the target to flee for 1 second. 30 second cooldown. 45 Focus.
Bears can now learn "Charge"
Nether Rays can now learn "Sting" which deals 350 damage over 15 seconds. 15 Second Cooldown. 25 focus.
Sporebats can now learn "Spread Spores" which reduces the targets armor by 250 and can stack 5 times. 25 focus. Does not stack with Sunder Armor.

Anonymous said...

"Hunters Suck (to play)"

stopped reading there, you're clearly a moron. this is all an issue of l2p. hunters are fine, pebkac, stop keyboard turning, etc..

btw from the little bit that i did read (i thorouhgly regret that) its obvious that youre a full of himself cock sucker bitch. seriously dude, grow some balls and stop crying like a little faggot ass, its even more shameful to a class that already takes zero skill and attracts retards and pussies (warlocks, btw. i think youre too retarded to infer that so i felt the need to type it out for you)

ps eat shit and get pissed on you punk ass bitch

Anonymous said...

Anonymity makes people do stupid things and you are once again proof of that.

First of all, Warlocks and Hunters take the most skill to play successfully in the PvE aspect of the game.

Second, the myth that most hunters are stupid is just that, a myth. Its that the hunter class is so much harder to master then others that is a problem. A bad hunter does about 50% of the DPS of a good hunter. He could reroll to a rogue or whatever class you play and easily do 85% of what you do.

Anonymous said...

youre a fucking retard, too. hunters and warlocks are the EASIEST in pve. how hard is it to right click and smash one button over and over or hit 3-4 buttons every so often? yeah lost of skill there, you dont even have to move you faggot bitch, go play ez mode pussypot classes.

Anonymous said...

"Snakes from Snake Trap now immune to AoE."

The only perk of having snake trap being affected by aoe is that when a priest or warlock uses an aoe fear they end up fearing the snakes instead of the hunter.

"All hunters gain the following ability at a certain level. "Makes you immune to the effects of Movement Impairing Effects for 18 seconds. This shares a cooldown with Beastial Wrath."

I would prefer if the effect of this ability was nerfed so the cool-down could be lowered. Maybe 5 second immunity on a 30 second cool-down.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. What an idiot posting a couple of times before. The blogger meant that hunters aren't always fun to play. When playing a warlock or other class with a little flexibility has options, which a hunter lacks. Facing a caster? shoot lots. Facing a melee? Kite and try to shoot lots.

A warlock is a much more fun class in pvp, with significantly more options.

Anonymous said...


Read the entire post.
I'm Zek and playing hunter since EU beta. Like Grogzor up here and some people from Usa_WoWforums post (Howitzer..) I would like you to redirect on EJ forums.

If you want solid feedback without "Curse of Anonymous poster" thats the place to go.

Aspect idea is good one. If nothing else, just using "stance/aura" mechanics would help greatly in pvp. But this is not core of hunter problem, neither is mana.

It's our shot rotations that we invent to bypass as much restrictions Blizzard puts on us. 0,5 second hidden cast time of auto shot, 1.5 sec gdc, 1.5+(haste gain) steady shot... it's same as AshXbow and Aimed rotation. Just faster now. And our inability to do enough damage on the move.

I can push up to 1.700dps on Teron as SV. Its as much as our BM hunters and bit less than rogues. But give me 1 beer, 200ms lag or 20fps pc... and that dps drops by 10%, increase lag to 250... 20%. It doesn't matter if I have "perfect" rotation for my spec, weapon speed and damage/mana/shot sorted out.

Is there any class that can say, Haste hurts my dps? I sure can.

Anyway. EJ forums, post in one of 3-4 hunter threads and expect feedback.

Rakniel said...

Hi there, I highly appreciate your work and hope the best for us hunters. I started shortly after beta and mainly played my two hunters (a leftover from the times, when Beastmaster was able to tank, while the MM was there for pure Dmg). Sorry 'bout my not so perfect English, but I'm Swiss, hope that it still is understandable somehow.

I was just really curious about the time frame, in which we could expect such major overhauls?

I don't think, that it will be possible to have the class completely fixed by the arrival of 2.3, but some minor changes could still make it into this next patch. Mainly Vywern becoming physical, and pet survivability. The Mana and CD issues would need a lot more coding I guess, so I don't estimate them by now. (But hope dies last, otherwise, I wouldn't play a hunter).

Cheers and keep up the good work and maybe keep us informed, as far as it is possible, thanks mate.


Anonymous said...

The problem if they did add a 5 sec snare immunity on a 30 second cooldown is that a BM hunter could be immune for 27 seconds out of 35 every 2 minutes and I can see that causing some problems. Might require some testing to see but that is a lot of time.


Anonymous said...

Hi Leiah,

I've read the entire thread, you've put up on wow hunter forums. I can't post there, because I've just got an European account, so my comment goes in here.

The conclusion you've come to sounds like really hitting the nail on the head. But I think that you're also right about the nerf-cries from other classes, if Blizzard would manage to achieve putting this new hunter role into the game. Against this massive CC output, the "new" hunter would be able to deliver only a few could stand a chance, thus resulting in a very frustrating gameplay for others (just beeing locked down, while not able to come up against the snares and roots).

I'd really be happy with your suggestions, don't get me wrong, but I think the balancing of such abilities would be a horrifying task.

On the other hand I want to ask you, if you also plan to take a look inside our PVE issues, mainly our shotweaving (latency, concentration, etc), our manadependency (itemlevelstats for int, different needs in group composition, etc) and our limited group synergy effects.

I love, what you've done with the warlocks (well, not as oppenents, but rather as characters) by turning a broken class into one of the most versatile and fun to play classes in wow. I never cried "nerf the locks". Locks are fine as they are, the problem is, that each class should be at their level, but they aren't.

Anonymous said...

BTW, excuse my bad English

Anonymous said...

hello LEIAH, i can't thank you enough for trying to help improve the abysmal hunter arena conditions. i came across your post in hunter forums and i was appalled that many people reacted offensively towards you attempting to help us. they obviously do not know your standing amongst the developers. anyway yea, thank you so much, i'll follow up with comments after i've read your blog post in its entirety.

-Tiara, Auchindoun (Gladiator Hunter)

Anonymous said...

Ok, great ideas you got there Leiah, i'll comment on some of them. (Strictly in arena sense)

Stances: Superb idea here, really nothing much else to say. IMPLEMENT IT.

FD mana cost: inconsequential, but should go nonetheless.

Main problems in arena:
-lack of mobility, rogues/warriors have so many ways to GET IN RANGE which is vital to their, yet we hunters have literally NOWAY at all to get OUT OF RANGE which is equally vital to us.

-pet survivability, same problem with warlock, pet dies too easily. a more consistent fix is allow a % of resilience of owner on pet, but if it is too overpowered on warlocks, perhaps grant aspect of the beast a bonus to pet hp/armor/etc.

-armor mitigation, we deal decent/good damage on cloth and to a certain extent, leather; yet vs plate, or mail+shield, we DEAL SO LITTLE DAMAGE. its pretty absurd that plate can totally negate us (except for a mere arcane shot). give us an armor piercing ability or talent.

-improve kill command please, such that it passively procs

-decrease trap cd or allow 2 traps up at once (damage and control)

Leiah said...

Thank you all for the feedback. I had no idea it was even going to get this much attention and traffic!

I haven't used this site since the TBC alpha/beta of last year.

I'm glad you like some of the ideas, but keep in mind, they are just that: Ideas.

I do not work for Blizzard, nor am I a developer (although being a Blizzard dev IS my goal within the next 5-10 years).

Game design fascinates me, and I've learned it's very challenging to approach something while keeping a perspective from all angles. You have to be very careful what you change, or wish to change, as one fix can break something else.

That being said, I do know for a fact that my feedback is, at the very least, looked over and reviewed, sometimes rejected, other times implemented, but I do NOT have any say in what actually gets implemented. Please keep that in mind.

All I can do is identify what's broken, what works, and what doesn't. Then I try to come up with a good solution for the problem with all things considered, and I also like to get various perspectives from many people as well, and try to submit the very best ideas from all resources.

The thread is actually still going strong. If you like, I can probably get away with at least posting the feedback that I've sent up to this point.

Just don't ask me to do the same for all the work I did for helping improve warlocks last year. I really don't want to dig through 300+ emails. :P

Anonymous said...

Yes, posting the feedback, that you've sent them would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot, for the time you've invested in our class.