Thoughts on Hunter Changes
I try to keep my characters all on two realms, I have horde over on Area 52, and alliance over on Argent Dawn. After playing around with my alliance priest and getting raids done yesterday, I decided to swap over to my horde character and try out the hunter. First though I played with the shaman. Not a fan of the new melee changes. Then I played with my warlock, choosing demonology since that was the entire reason I created a warlock to begin with. Nope. Just not a fan. The class plays very “slow” at level 94, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I’ll have to take another day to try out the other warlock specs, it seems like Blizzard is really keen on people playing a brand new spec outside of their comfort zones. Not a bad thing per say, it’s just different. In fact so far none of my characters have kept their “main” specs from before the Legion Pre-Patch.
I knew things had changed for the hunter but I wanted to start off with a familiar spec, which was beastmaster. Right away I noticed that things were going to be different, my skill rotation consisted of four buttons along with a few temporary self buffs. It wasn’t a huge surprise since pretty much every single one of my class skills across the board have been compressed, but it did make for some pretty boring gameplay. I queued for the first four raids and spent most of my time waiting for focus to regenerate in between auto attacking while my pet did most of the work. My DPS was abysmal, around 13-15k with an ilevel of 670.
I’ve heard some fantastic things about both of the other specs for hunters, most of the positive comments coming from the survival line. I’ve never really been a melee player, I don’t have a rogue or any other class that gets right up there with the mobs, so I decided to try out marksmanship first. Based on a guide, one of the talents I took was “Lone Wolf” and this meant I’d get a nice 18% increase in DPS but it also meant I wouldn’t be using any pets.
Turns out, this is useful.
I was still a ranged class, but without a pet, and the rotation goes a lot faster. On multiple targets my DPS was easily over 70k – a HUGE difference between the BM spec I had chosen before. DPS dropped a bit for single targets, but it could have also been my rotation as I had set it up specifically for group encounters. The more I played this spec, the more I got used to the idea of being ranged without pets. It’s an odd feeling for a hunter, but not a completely inane one.
I still haven’t tried survival yet, that will be next on my list. I also had hopes of testing out the level 100 paladin that has been sorely neglected ever since I boosted the character, but I was just too dang tired, my eyes kept closing. That will be a project for another day. I still have a 91 deathknight, 91 monk, and the warlock sitting at 94 – I’m debating if I want to try to level those up before Legion releases, or if I should just be happy with the 5 characters I already have at 100. I have more than enough choices, really. I suppose we’ll just see how it goes.
Unholy DK is really interesting – some crazy ranged AOE on that spec – so much so that I made a new DK to level. I have been really enjoying Outlaw Rogue and Ret Pally, which were in face my least played 2 classes before, so yeah I agree Blizz seems determined to get us to play outside our comfort zones. I think that is a good thing.
It was only a matter of time before the pendulum swung the other way on Beastmaster Hunters… It’s always been my favourite spec because I simply LIKE running around with a pet (and have since AD&D rangers), but I’m not surprised.