Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Vlad

wow Azortharion's Thoughts on the Legion Hunter Preview

1 post in this topic

kRm9O2e.jpg

 

A few days ago, Blizzard released their Legion preview for the Hunter class, which provides a glimpse into the many changes that are scheduled for the Legion expansion. We sat down with Azortharion, reviewer of our Hunter class guides here at Icy Veins, in order to find out what he thinks of the preview.

 

Azortharion is a top-parsing Hunter who raids in Ðanish Terrace, a guild that is rank 19 in the world. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him stream on Twitch.

 

Hunter Class Overall

 

About the changes to the Hunter class overall (before going into detail about each specific spec), he had this to say.

 

The most striking thing, and the greatest success of the recent Hunter class announcement for Legion has to be that they finally succeeded to give each spec an identity. The three hunter specs have been very similar for too long, and if you were good at one of them, you were essentially good at all of them.

 

It’s important to note - not just for Hunters, but for all classes this expansion, 4-5 rows of talents for each spec will be throughput-based. This suggests that on top of the basic gameplay that the spec’s base abilities bring, there will be a lot of depth and optimization added through these talents. My prediction is that choice will play a bigger role than usual. They have mentioned that they will bundle similar talents together - not in rows, but in columns. For example, the leftmost column of talents for a spec may be more mobility-focused than the rest (while still maintaining throughput gains for a number of them).

 

With so many throughput talents to choose from, though, what talents you choose could have a huge impact on how the spec is played, and it is difficult to tell exactly how the specs will look with just the base abilities.

 

It’s important to note that the passive, base focus regeneration of Hunters has been increased from 4 per second to 10 per second, and that all thoughts here take this into account.

 

Beast Mastery

 

Beast Mastery has remained more or less similar to its pre-Legion incarnation, since it retains its beast theme (and one could say that its identity was always more unique than those of the other two specs). Read on to see what Azortharion had to say. 

 

Beast Mastery has until this point been the spec that I prefer for the gameplay alone, but thematically it has always been very lackluster. Your interaction with the pet was very limited, especially for single-target, while Beast Cleave was at least introduced for AoE, rewarding good pet positioning on fights with spread out targets especially.

 

43h1iqk.jpg

 

Now, Beast Mastery has been redesigned, with pets as the main focus as they rightfully should be for this spec. Kill Command will stay, while Dire Beast (previously a talent) becomes part of the spec toolkit. Cobra Shot remains, too, but it now costs 30 focus. I have a suspicion that it may be supposed to generate this, but for now I can only assume that it’s a spender. This leaves Dire Beast as the only way to generate focus besides your passive, static regeneration. This is not very problematic, with our passive focus regeneration being more than doubled.

 

The Beast Mastery spec does not seem as fleshed out as the other two specs. The basic gameplay seems to involve using Dire Beast on cooldown, which reduces the cooldown of Bestial Wrath by 15 seconds per usage, using Kill Command on cooldown, and dumping excess focus with Cobra Shot.

 

Beast Mastery’s Mastery is still called “Master of Beasts”, and still increases the damage done of your pets by 45% with typical Mastery levels.

 

I hope that talents will add much more to this spec, because using some things on cooldown and controlling your focus is the exact same gameplay we’ve had in all three specs for years. I think that they are on the right track when it comes to its thematics, but the base gameplay seems like it’s missing one or two key abilities.

 

Marksmanship

 

Marksmanship Hunters often opted to forego using a pet during Warlords of Draenor, something which Blizzard has decided to incorporate into their new core identity. Here is what Azortharion thinks about the changes.

 

Marksmanship is the spec that I am most excited about. Chimaera Shot is gone, and while it was a nice ability to use for its sheer stopping power, it did not make much thematic sense - an elemental shot that did magical damage. They made a step towards this “de-elementalizing” of Marksmanship by removing Arcane Shot from the spec in the start of Warlords of Draenor. With that said, Arcane Shot is back as a focus generator. I think they could’ve easily made Arcane Shot something else - a physical shot instead of a magical one, at least. Given that it is our generator, we will also be casting it a lot. It plays a huge role.

Still, Marksmanship has a reimagined identity - it is always petless, and a number of its abilities are centered around picking out targets to “snipe”, if you will. The basic gameplay idea is that you apply Hunter’s Mark to one or more targets by using Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot to apply Hunter’s Mark to different targets which it will do at random with a currently unknown chance. Once you have up to 3 targets marked, you will use Marked Shot to deal huge damage to those targets. This will cause Aimed Shot - still our focus dump - to deal vastly increased damage - up to 75% with 3 stacks of the Marked Shot debuff. Finally, Aimed Shot now requires you to stand still, while Marked Shot can be cast on the move. They sped up Aimed Shot’s base cast time by a whole second, though, so it should not be very problematic. There is no more Sniper Training to deal with as we know it, as you’ll see further below.

That is the basic gameplay, and as you can probably tell, it’s vastly more complicated than any Hunter spec has been in the past 3 expansions. As someone who really enjoys getting the maximum out of a spec, increasing the difficulty makes the impact of that way more significant. It’s the kind of complex difficulty that I think may turn off non-raiders or just more casual players, but perhaps the philosophy is that Marksmanship will be the advanced raider’s spec that deals the highest damage if all is done correctly. Of course, we can only speculate on that for now.

 

Marksmanship’s Mastery is a simplified version of Sniper Training that increases the range and critical strike damage of all your shots by 20% in “typical” gear, as Blizzard puts it. Previously, you could not feasibly rely on the extra range that Mastery gave you, since it required so much standing still. Now, Marksmanship Hunters can reliably stand further away than anyone else. This new Mastery does not require standing still at all, it is constantly active.

 

v1ZUnN2.jpg

 

Survival

 

Survival is probably going through the most aggressive of changes in Legion. The spec will become a melee spec, and traps will be exclusive to Survival Hunters. Read Azortharion's analysis to get a better idea of where the spec is heading.

 

When people asked me what I thought about Survival going melee when it was first announced, I told them that I didn’t care much for that aspect - I still don’t. In the end, it all comes down to whether it is fun to play -the spec-. Sure, being in melee is a big difference, but if the spec is fun I won’t let that hold me back. On the flip-side, if the spec is awful, I wouldn’t touch it even if I strongly preferred melee.

Thematically, I think the new Survival is the best one of the specs. Being in melee with your pet and using purely physical attacks is a fantasy that many Hunters have been yearning for, even if some might think that this fantasy should be applied to the Beast Mastery spec instead. I actually agree with that, especially in the light of some mechanics with Survival that I think would have been awesome as Beast Mastery, but onwards to the spec!

Survival, thematically, is supposed to be a spear user. A number of old-timey abilities are back - Raptor Strike, Wing Clip, and Mongoose Bite. For the most part, they are fairly similar to how we once knew them, with Wing Clip and Raptor Strike costing focus, and Mongoose Bite working on a charge system as we’ll see below.

One of the central mechanics of the spec is that Mongoose Bite has up to 3 charges. Whenever you use Mongoose Bite, another Mongoose Bite following it within 3.5 seconds will deal 50% increased damage, stacking up to 6 times.

A new ability is introduced through Flanking Strike, which also costs a bit of focus and has a short, 6-second cooldown. This is the pet-oriented ability I was talking about. It causes both you and your pet to deal heavy damage at the same time. If the target is attacking you, the pet does more damage, and if it’s not attacking you, you will do more damage, this is most likely as a means for the pet to get aggro more easily during solo content.

Survival has no focus regeneration besides passive regeneration, which is now 10 focus per second. The gameplay will largely consist of dumping excess focus using Raptor Strike, keeping up the newly introduced Laceration DoT which simply deals damage, and keeping Flanking Strike on cooldown. Mongoose Bite management will play a central role in what the player’s mind is on when playing the spec. They mention a talent that instantly gives you 3 charges of Mongoose Bite, which is what makes stacking the damage bonus up to 6 possible, along with the Mastery that we will see in a moment.

 

I imagine a number of the talents will be centered around amplifying your Mongoose Bite’s damage, charge count, and debuff length. You don’t want to waste any charges, naturally, so at least one should continously be kept on cooldown. When you need to do more damage - or during cooldowns - you would dump your charges and stack up Mongoose Bite’s damage, and then use something like the talent Snake Hunter (shown as an example of what is in store for Survival talents in the class preview) to restore 3 charges and continue, stacking up some insanely powerful Mongoose Bites by the end of your cooldowns.

Survival’s Mastery, “Hunting Companion”, causes your pet’s attacks to have a 20% chance (in typical gear) to give you an extra charge of Mongoose Bite.

With some talents added, I see Survival becoming a very involved spec, just like Marksmanship. Even if the Flanking Strike and Hunting Companion mechanics seem more fit for Beast Mastery in the thematical sense, I am just happy to be in there with my pet wreaking some havoc.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan

      Four new World Bosses are added in Patch 7.2. Whereas no loot information is available yet, here are their Encounter Journal entries with abilities and tips. Apocron is the latest boss that was added to the 7.2 crew and he can be tested out on PTR.
      Apocron
      Built by the Legion thousands of years ago, Apocron has heralded the end for countless civilizations. With each world conquered, the reaver's power grows, ensuring the next realm it encounters will be put to flame.

      Overview
      Apocron's Felfire Missiles are particularly deadly and should be avoided at all costs.
      Abilities
      Felfire Missiles Quake Sear Damage Dealers
      Move out of melee range when Quake is being cast. Dodge Felfire Missiles. Healers
      Dodge Felfire Missiles. Tanks
      Save a defensive ability for Sear. Brutallus
      The pit lord Brutallus is a veteran of many battles, including the most recent battle at the Sunwell. His tactics are rarely sophisticated, often relying on pure force to dominate enemy armies.

      Overview
      Brutallus' Meteor Slash is devastating unless its damage is shared between many enemies.
      Avoid taking damage from Crashing Embers, especially when affected by Meteor Slash.
      Abilities
      Meteor Slash Crashing Embers Rupture Damage Dealers
      Stand near your allies when Brutallus casts Meteor Slash. Avoid taking damage from Crashing Embers, especially when affected by Meteor Slash. Healers
      Stand near your allies when Brutallus casts Meteor Slash. Prioritize allies afflicted by Meteor Slash for heavy healing if they become afflicted with Crashing Embers. Tanks
      Force Brutallus toward a large group of allies when he casts Meteor Slash. Malificus
      A creature of pure malice, Malificus incites terror in the hearts of all those who oppose him. Portents of his arrival come in the form of mass panics among citizens, and death cults celebrating the end of days.

      Overview
      Players affected by Incite Panic will spread Incite Panic to nearby allies.
      Abilities
      Shadow Barrage - Hurls a bolt of shadow at all enemies within 50 yds, inflicting 335,989 Shadow damage. Incite Panic Pestilence Virulent Infection Damage Dealers
      Avoid standing in pools of Virulent Infection. Avoid enemies who are fleeing due to Incite Panic. Healers
      Avoid standing in pools of Virulent Infection. Avoid enemies who are fleeing due to Incite Panic. Tanks
      Avoid enemies who are fleeing due to Incite Panic. Si'vash
      Si'vash commands the fury of the sea, bringing its power to bear on those too close to shore. Her fierce Si'vashi Honor Guard travel with her across Azeroth's oceans, eager for vulnerable harbors to destroy.

      Overview
      Tidal Wave is slow moving, but massive. it cannot be avoided by moving at the last minute.
      Abilities
      Tidal Wave  Submerge  Si'vashi Honor Guard
      Flurry Hooked Net Damage Dealers
      Dodge Tidal Wave by watching the sea for incoming waves. Avoid Submerge stuns, especially as waves crash over the beach. Healers
      Dodge Tidal Wave by watching the sea for incoming waves. Tanks
      Dodge Tidal Wave by watching the sea for incoming waves.
    • By Stan

      Changes to Tier 20 Arcane Mage & Assassination Rogue set bonuses are coming, developers discuss possible changes to Mistweaver Monks, Shaman class mount will switch tints between specs and the crafting reagents for Paladin & Warlock class mounts will be re-evaluated in a future 7.2 build.
      Arcane Mage Tier 20 2P Set Bonus
      Item - Mage T20 Arcane 2P Bonus will be redesigned to work with other spell than Greater Invisibility to avoid spamming utility buttons for a DPS increase.
      Sigma (Source)
      We're considering making the set bonus work with some spell other than Greater Invisibility, to avoid overloading a utility button with a rotational DPS benefit. Mistweaver Monks & Mythic Raiding
      The MW community feels their spots in Mythic raids are jeopardized and progression hampers their class. No immediate changes are planned, but Sigma drafted possible future changes.
      Sigma (Source)
      Much like the Disc post in the other thread, Mistweaver is more in a state of thinking ahead for possible refinements, but no immediate shake-ups. This is preliminary, but a possible direction is that some things could be smoothed out by reducing the emphasis on Essence Font. That could help with, for example, drawing out more of a regular ongoing decision between Enveloping Mist, Vivify, and Effuse, rather than having that so often pushed out by Essence Font. Also, making the value of mastery more stable, and reducing the importance of churning as much mana into Essence Fonts as possible. For fair warning, a cooldown on EF is not out of the question after seeing how it's played out, but that would come alongside seeing how other heals might have to be strengthened.

      Rising Thunder has wound up underperforming which we would likely look at at the same time. It would likely be helped regardless by changes that made it easier to spend mana and GCDs on Rising Sun Kick, without always taking away from something like an Essence Font. Paladin & Warlock Class Mounts Requirements
      Both classes need expensive materials to craft their class mounts. Requirements will be re-examined soon.
      Muffinus (Source)
      Why do only the Warlock and Paladin class mount quests require obscenely expensive mats? Its a bit ridiculous we alone have to spend tons of gold to get our mounts and no other classes do.
      I posted this in the main thread, but cross-posting it here for visibility - we'll be re-examining the rare material requirement for the Paladin and Warlock class mounts, we don't want the gate for these to be an expensive tradeskill material. 
      Tier 20 Assassination Rogue 2P Set Bonus
      Item - Rogue T20 Assassination 2P Bonus Item - Rogue T20 Assassination 4P Bonus The bonus to Garrote would only make sense while picking Exsanguinate or in a situation where you keep up two Garrotes. It's needless to say that after multiple Ruptures are up, Garrote may not be worth using.
      Sigma (Source)
      The 2-piece will get some single-target benefit. That said, part of the benefit of the bonus is the improved multi-target capability that Garrote has with a shorter cooldown. Shaman Class Mount Adjustments
      Currently, Enhancement Shamans have a fiery appearance for their class mount (Farseer's Raging Tempest), which will be fixed in a future update. The spec will switch mount tints with Elemental.
      Muffinus (Source)
       In the next PTR build, elemental will be fiery, and enhancement will be stormy.

      We are also making changes to the resto version to make it more watery, and remove the strobe effects.  
    • By Zadina

      The second installment of the popular series is only a month away. The publisher, Dark Horse, has released a preview of this new book.
      A year ago, the first volume of World of Warcraft: Chronicle brought us some amazing artwork and the extremely interesting story of the early days of Azeroth - the highlight being the existence of the void lords.

      In the second volume, we will learn more about the world of Draenor from its vibrant beginning to its final doom of becoming what we know today as Outland. In-between, we find chapters about the First and the Second War.
      IGN has an exclusive preview of a few pages and artwork images from World of Warcraft: Chronicle vol.2, which you can also download from here.
    • By Stan

      Two weeks ago, we had a group that cleared Darkheart Thicket +15 with no healer and obtained two chests. This group has taken it a little further and 2 chested +19. Congratulations!
      Composition
      Alluress (Rogue) Drøw (Hunter) Kibín (Demon Hunter) Mawaifu (Paladin) Onebladè (Paladin) Video
       
    • By Swiffz
      Hello
      Just wanting to know. If anyone could help me out with advice on how to improve my DPS.
      Am I using the right trinkets/relics for Havoc?
      Armory
      Warcraft logs
      WoWProgress
       Any help and advice would be appreciated! 
       
      Many Thanks,