The Interwebs are bathed in the fiery afterglow of the Cataclysm class changes, with the main response being: “NIMBY”.
It’s a little disconcerting reading bloggers whose opinions are usually well thought out and rational going a little crazy in response. I guess most active bloggers are pretty serious players, so any changes tend to be leaped upon with vigour, and horror if there’s even the slightest hint of dramatic change.
- Responding to the new Priest ability Leap of Faith, the normally very sane Tobold offers his services to Blizzard as a Chief Social Engineer because “I really don’t understand why nobody at Blizzard considered the consequences”. Really Tobold? No-one at Blizzard has considered the consequences?? Please.
- Similarly the always angry Rilgon gets even angrier after reading the Hunter preview: “Focus: F*ck it. This sh*t is f*cking worthless”. And that’s mild compared to his twitter stream. Overreaction, much? All this without having even tried it, or giving Blizz any credit for perhaps being able to make it work. It works for Rogues, why can’t it work for Hunters?
- The Escape Hatch disses the Warrior: “Based on this preview, I will be shocked if there is not a mass exodus from the warrior class come Cataclysm”. Why? Because there aren’t enough “cool” changes. Are people really going to abandon a class they love because Heroic Leap isn’t exciting enough?
- Even Tamarind goes nuts: “Is this April Fools Day leftovers? It’s now not enough that I’m expected to heal the moronface standing in fire I’m expected to yank him out of as well?!!”. At least Tam has the good grace to realise it’s all a bit ott: “I’m sure, in practice, it’ll all be fine and I’ll be a Stupidity Grip convert, eating my words and looking small and silly”.
From all the class announcements, about the only change that I can see would cause real angst is the change to Druid Tree form. This one is a fundamental change to how you enjoy a class, not to a background mechanic. Hunters will still be able to shoot and have pets despite the change from Mana to Focus. A Tree Druid who’s not a Tree? That’s more problematic - support Tree Bark Jacket’s campaign!
For the rest, surely we can have just a smidgen of faith that Blizzard, um, know a little bit about what they are doing? That they aren’t trying to break their game and drive everyone away to SW:ToR. That we’re grown up enough to adapt to the New Thing and enjoy it just as much as the Old. Garwulf, in a thankfully balanced review of the Hunter changes, summed it up best for me: “FFS, quit yer bitchin’!”
I don’t give Blizzard credit for anything with regards to Hunters because they’ve NEVER been able to make anything regarding Hunters work. We had Focus in closed beta. It was absolutely abysmal because in order to regenerate it at all, you had to stand still. This implementation is practically the same - in order to regenerate it in anything that remotely resembles a timely manner, you have to be standing still. Great for something like Festergut, but on an encounter like Rotface, Blood Princes, Lich King, or even just basic things like kiting mobs (a hallmark of the Hunter class) or PVP, you don’t always have the luxury of standing still and mashing Steady Shot.
Furthermore, the fact that both offensive and defensive cooldowns are on our Focus bar (compare to Rogues, whose only offensive cooldown that costs Energy is Blade Flurry), our utility spells are on Focus and a far higher investment of time as it regards to Energy than Rogue utility spells (6 seconds of unboosted Focus regen to fire a Tranq versus 2 seconds of Energy regen to kick), and even basic mobility spells like Disengage and Concussive Shot are on Focus essentially spells the death knell of any sort of PVP or kiting ability without a lot more things given to the class - like Steady Shot/Cobra Shot/Auto Shot on the move. Lastly, the fact that they’ve stated that these are “examples” and that they’re “not certain” of what the numbers will be, it leads me to believe that Hunters in Cataclysm will be in for months of a very dramatic up-and-down roller coaster of “OMG OP” to “WTF, why even bring a Hunter?” and back again before we ever reach any sort of actual balance.
I am “overreacting” because I’ve seen what happens to this class when it’s “dramatically overhauled” - I’ve been playing a Hunter since Hunters could use Bucklers and had no talent trees. It is apparent that Blizzard has no clue what they’re doing with the system, and therein lies my issue.
Well argued, and thanks for the reply. But my main point was that surely surely Blizzard aren’t going to totally bust any class intentionally, and these changes are way too early to make that call. If they haven’t already dealt with it in alpha, won’t they see the problems created during beta, and like you say ensure that “a lot more things given to the class” to compensate? If having both off/def cooldowns costing energy is broken, wont they fix it?
The fact that they’re saying they’re not certain on the numbers could be encouraging, as it means they will adjust as required. Sure there will be a period of balancing, but that is true of all classes. In any case, I bow to your far far greater Hunterism, no doubt, but I just find the general wailing and gnashing of teeth so out of kilter with what has been revealed so far before we’ve even had a chance to try it. So they’ve tried (and failed) with Focus before (like Rage Normalisation). Isn’t it at least possible they’ll get it right this time?
I think the difference hear is that you are willing to assume that Blizzard is able or willing to realize when they’re wrong. I, as a Marksman Hunter, who went through the entirety of TBC as a spec more mocked than BM is today due to PVP-related whining in BC beta that caused Aimed and Multi to be nerfed into near-oblivion, am not. It was well documented that the complaints were based off of people who were still 60, with zero resilience, and with top-tier raiding gear - the numbers were actually below expectations at 70, and well in line with other ranged class damage output once resilience and levels came into play. There is a large level of precedent from Blizzard’s past that they are unwilling or unable to resolve proper Hunter balance issues. That’s why I’m extremely jaded towards this system.
You’re right, the difference is I’ve drunk the kool aid ;-) I don’t have anything like the history you do, and you’re a leader in the Hunter field, which is I guess why I find your lack of faith disturbing (to coin a phrase!). Your opinion counts, obviously. And it’s fun that you express it with such venom & attitude.
But (there’s always a but) you make it sound like this is the end for Hunters. Isn’t it just another challenge to overcome, another way to stay a class leader, or as your blog puts it: “All things being equal, it is our EFFORT that determines who we are”. I guess you’re arguing all things aren’t equal, but hell, when are they ever. Paladins anyone?
As a leading MM theorist, I expect you’ll take all this on board, work out the very best way to work it, and continue to dominate. I wouldn’t expect a throw your hands in the air Blizz hates us response. And I have no doubt that you will work it, it’s just the flood of Interweb “aaarrgghhhing” from most everyone seems OTT. Even if Blizzard does wreck MM. And Warriors. And Trees. Are we all outa here waving our placards, or are we going to roll up and show them what time it is by dominating our classes? Ye gods this turned into a pep talk. The horror!
Oh, I never said I was giving up or anything. I fully intend to squeeze every drop of analysis, theorycraft, and raw math out of it once I get my hands on it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have an extremely negative opinion going in and expect basically nothing positive. :P
Whew. And we simple Hunter folk thank you (and the other theorycrafters) for the hard yards you put in, that’s for sure. I kind of resent the fact Blizz require maths to play better, but am thankful there are people are out there who don’t!
2010-04-11 12:21 +1000