Blue Post Q&A

A few days ago Blizzard responded to some complaints from a fellow Hunter regarding the changes they made for Patch 5.4.

1. There would be compensation for the removal of readiness; can you clarify. 
We’ve already made all of the adjustments we had planned in the wake of the Readiness nerf. Yes, this means that you’ll be less effective in certain situations (such as BM burst in Arenas). That was the point.

Readiness has been talked to death. The loss will be greater in PvP than PvE due to the fact that it carried more utility in PvP. For PvE it mostly benefited the BM opening rotation for which Blizzard has attempted to make up for the loss of that DPS by buffing Stampede and various signature shots.

2. It was acknowledged that Hunter DPS was low and that this would be specifically addressed
We’re still monitoring performance and tuning appropriately, and that will continue. It’s important to remember that changes to other classes will have an effect on where you stand in overall performance. Comparing 5.4 PTR Hunter DPS to, say, 5.3 Fire Mage DPS would be silly, as Fire has been brought down considerably.

We won’t know until 5.4 hits and raiding begins where Hunters fall on the meters. Keep in mind that were aren’t the only class to receive changes so our place on the meters won’t be dictated by Hunter changes alone.

3. It was promised that there would be work done to make significant differentiation between all three Hunter specs
Indeed, that’s something we’re planning to do; and as I mentioned when I first brought it up, that’ll happen sometime after 5.4.

I think it’s unreasonable to expect wholesale changes to our class at the end of an expansion. These types of changes tend to be pretty big and require us to relearn aspects of our class. Those changes are better reserved for the start of an expansion where there is a nice beta period to test everything.

4. MM was to be made viable again, or at least on par with the other specs
I haven’t said anything along these lines, but keeping similar specs in line with each other is always a goal of ours. That said, players will always tend to gravitate towards whatever the “best” spec happens to be in a given patch cycle, even if the differences are very minor. If Survival ends up doing even as little as 2% more damage than Marksmanship, I suspect we’ll still see many claims that Marks is “not viable.”

I tend to agree that unless the specs are doing 100% equal theoretical dps, players will gravitate towards the one that has the highest number. To me this is a mistake. If the theory has the specs within a few percent of one another you should play the one you enjoy the most and/or the one you’re most skilled at. They’re usually the same by the way.

5. Our mechanics (things like pet patching and glitching) would be addressed (edit: this has been pushed off)
I thought I was pretty clear when I brought this up initially: there is no blanket fix to pet pathing. The vast majority of the time, it has to do with how an encounter functions or how an environment is built, and nothing to do with the pet AI at all. The issues aren’t unfixable, but we need to know specifically when and where your pets are struggling. “Fix pet pathing” doesn’t help us (or you).

I remember pet pathing mentioned in another blue post, but it was just an acknowledgement that some issues might exist, but it wasn’t easy for them to track down and fix. I haven’t noticed any issues myself, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

While not all of the Hunter changes for patch 5.4 were popular, I think it’s fair to say that Blizzard accomplished what they set out to do. Our class is far from perfect, but I suspect that we’ll be in a better place than we were in patch 5.3. So what do you think, did Blizzard achieve their goals for Patch 5.4? Are Hunters in a better place or did we suffer a major setback here?

One comment

  1. I’m glad about the Stampede change; I just hope it gives us enough burst to compensate for Readiness. I’m ok with the Readiness change because it will simplify the BM opener.

    I agree that a class revamp is out of the question in a patch. We might get it with 6.0 but it sounds like they’re intending to make more cautious changes rather doing a revamp.

    Pet pathing will always be a problem because they can’t make an AI that can accurately navigate all terrain situations. What they need to do is not design raid encounters where pet pathing will obviously be broken. I’d hoped they learned their lesson from Madness of Deathwing, but Megaera had similar issues.

    Whether we’re in a better place or not, we don’t know enough to say. It’ll take a couple weeks after launch to get a better idea.

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