Locked and Loaded: Your hunter questions answered
Welcome to Locked and Loaded, Blizzard Watch’s regular column for survival, marksmanship, and beast mastery hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel (@BendakWoW) will be answering some of your most burning hunter questions.
Greetings, fellow hunters. I am so pleased to be able to write this class column again. The support for our Patreon campaign has blown my mind. Not just those who donated, but to everyone who shared a link or showed support in any way. I truly appreciated every tweet, comment, and email of support. This community is simply awesome.
I’ve decided to retire the old Scattered Shots name. Not just because Scatter Shot is no longer an actual ability, but because this is a new era for this column. Let’s lock and load.
For the first Locked and Loaded here at Blizzard Watch, I thought it would be fun to do it in the style of our daily “The Queue” column. In the future I’ll be pulling questions directly from the comments, but for this first column I asked Twitter to get things started.
Note: Future columns won’t always be in this format, but I’ll aim to answer at least one or two questions at the end of each one, so be sure to leave some! I’d like for Locked and Loaded to be a little more interactive with you.
Will we ever get pets with ranged attacks like the Warlock’s Doomguard/Terrorguard?
The problem with this is whatever pets have this ability automatically have an advantage over melee-only pets. Since I can’t see how they’d make a cat do ranged attacks, I’m going to say no. This makes me dearly miss the old Spirit Strike though.
When are going to get cosmetic quivers?
It sounds like class accessories won’t be a feature until the next expansion. It is kind of strange since Blizzard originally previewed them 6 months before Warlords launched, but it sounds like they went on the backburner. I am very much looking forward to quivers and ammo pouches though.
Are hunters over saturating raid groups?
I don’t think so. I haven’t met a raid leader that doesn’t want a competent hunter. After a certain point, loot distribution can become an issue though. We’re the most popular class, so there’s always going to be a little bit of extra competition.
When will EM not suck? I want to use it for BM, I hate adaptation.
Exotic Munitions doesn’t suck for AoE damage but it is weak for single target damage. I think it’s a case of Blizzard wanting passive options to have less potential damage output. I can agree with the sentiment, but in this case I think the gap is too large. Thematically it is an awesome talent, but not many seem to be using it.
Why was the idea of a melee hunter removed? Survival and Marksman seem very similar. Why not give a truly defined 3rd spec? Melee.
If I had to guess, I’d say Blizzard didn’t like the idea of a player being able to freely swap between melee and ranged damage without respeccing. They abandoned the idea of a melee hunter back in vanilla when the survival tree was originally revamped (remember Lacerate?). Up until MoP, melee weapons were mostly a stat stick with a handful of flavor abilities like Raptor Strike and Wing Clip. Hunters going after two sets of weapons was also a bit problematic. We’ve already got ranged weapons all to ourselves.
Changing an existing spec to melee is not really an option because you would alienate a huge number of players who enjoy the spec as it is. I personally wouldn’t like it if I logged in one day only to find my favorite spec is now melee instead of ranged. Since I don’t think a class is ever going to have 4 DPS specs, I think the book is shut on this matter. Sorry, Rexxar fans.
Marksman AOE. Weak in Mists/WoD. With SV/BM better after outcry, what can be done to help MM AOE instead. Where’s the love for MM?
Ah yes. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with marksmanship AoE. Blizzard seems intent on keeping it weak. I think it’s good if certain specs have strengths and weaknesses, but I don’t think it’s OK when another spec can do nearly double the AoE DPS of another.
As for how it can be fixed, I think it would be cool if the damage component of the Bombardment buff was able to stack up to a certain point. The idea of unleashing a barrage of Multi-Shots into your targets would be fun if it had the damage to go along with it. The challenge would be to maintain your Bombardment stack. The simpler (but lazier) way is to just tack a bleed effect onto marksmanship Multi-Shot. I’d rather see something different though, since that’s the same thing as survival’s AoE.
Thoughts on focus compared to mana after few years of play; skill/difficulty change – how it will play out moving forward?
I’ve loved the change to Focus as a resource from day one. From what I remember of the mana days, it was a lot of hitting buttons on cooldown until I ran out of mana, then popping Aspect of the Viper for a few seconds and repeating. One thing I don’t like about it is how Focus starved I always feel at the beginning of an expansion. By the time I get into the second tier of gear, things start to feel a lot smoother. It’s probably why I find myself using Focusing Shot more and more. Boy, do I miss that Fervor talent.
Any plans for Survival to get a significant DPS cool down, or are we going to be forever stuck with “Flat” damage?
Not any time soon. Survival is in a really good place now in terms of damage output. If Blizzard gave it a baseline DPS cooldown, they’d have to reduce its damage elsewhere. In patch 6.1 you will have Stampede as another option alongside A Murder of Crows. Stampede is being buffed to 40 seconds duration.
Survival’s tier 17 2-piece bonus will give you the opportunity for some extra on-demand damage too. An instant Lock and Load proc whenever you cast Black Arrow.
Will we ever get the hunter’s mark visual back?
Seems like the perfect candidate for a new minor glyph to me!
Overall thoughts on Lone Wolf. I like playing the hunter a little different but find myself pull pet BACK out for certain things
Pets are my favorite aspect of the class, so it’s not really my thing. Have I used it? Yup. It has a lot of value on some fights. I’ve always said I’m fine with the petless option for those hunters who want to play the ranger archetype, but I don’t think it was done in the best way. It feels odd to me that you’re asked to spend 99 levels with a pet and one of the “rewards” for reaching level 100 is to… get rid of the pet. I almost feel like Lone Wolf should be built straight into the class as an option from the start, or at the very least be placed much earlier in the talent tree.
When can I have my gnome hunter? I want a little tiny gnome with a huge bear pet!
Too many gnomes were getting eaten by their pets in unfortunate Feed Pet accidents, but I’m confident Blizzard can work out these bugs. I feel like gnome hunters are inevitable.
What are innovative ways to use our toolkit?
I like to Disengage on top of the Stormshield auction house, drop my Blingtron 5000, then watch non-hunters try and find a way to reach it.
Transmog / general weapon & armor design – will we ever reach the high water mark set in BC again?
It’s all subjective, but since BC contained my favorite tier set and weapons, I know where you’re coming from. I’m not sure if we’ll see much of what you’re looking for in Warlords since it all seems to be following a bulky/iron/savage theme, but who knows what’s in store for tier 18?
Will BM come back and shine? Especially for BRF.
As things stand now, survival can still put out a little more DPS. That being said, the buffs to Barrage and Stampede in patch 6.1 do some favors for BM, as do the extra cleave fights in Blackrock Foundry. I know I’ll be playing it when I can.
What’s the best pet?
Get a sporebat.
See you next time! Remember to leave questions and let me know what you’d like to get out of Locked and Loaded in the future.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.