Hunters are weird, nay, make that special. We’re ranged DPS, and we do a mix of magic and physical damage. So where do Hunters fall? Are we casters like Mages and Warlocks, or are we more like Rogues and Warriors, and dare I say, Feral Druids? In Blizzard’s mind we’re more akin to melee than casters. Celestalon stated as much in this tweet not too long ago.
@YuliEle1 Warlocks we’re considering the fate of KJC still. Hunters, we tune differently, more like Melee DPS. Mages have a few tools…
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) April 28, 2014
This was further corroborated during a developer interview on Fat Boss TV.
- Hunters aren’t casters, so they will still be able to cast many things while moving. If there is a fight with no movement, Hunters won’t do as well, but there aren’t really many (or any) fights with no movement.
So what does this mean? Beast Mastery and Survival are heavy on instant cast abilities. The majority of Marksman’s abilities have cast times, but they can be all be fired while moving.
There are very few encounters these days where you get to stand completely still and DPS, and most skilled players are quite good at finding spots where the can stand and deliver maximum damage. Those that play the game well are perfectly capable of handling movement such that the advantage for Hunters is minimized.
The notion that Hunter DPS might be tuned lower because we can deliver full on damage while moving is not something I’m happy to hear. Focusing Shot may become a mandatory talent for all specs because the movement penalty is negligible and the bonus damage will be required to compete with other DPS classes.
We’ll have a better sense of where Hunter DPS falls once the damage tuning begins, but this is something to keep an eye on.