Blizz has spelled out that it plans on revamping all of the classes in WoW because they feel that the different specs are not distinctive enough, in many cases (agreed!) and to “improve the Class Fantasy” (whatevs.). One of the first we heard of was the Hunter revamp which is kinda my thang.
On Sunday, 2015-11-08, they published a rundown of the Hunter class, which you can read here.
Let’s start with the basics
First of all, the three specs for Hunter remain, but have been significantly altered.
- Beast Mastery now focuses less on the damage that the hunter does, and more on the damage that the beast(s) do. This is welcome news for me, as I have long resented that crack from Ghostcrawler about reducing the role of the pet in Hunter DPS.
- Marksman now focuses on weapon damage, and in fact does not even have a pet, formalizing the Lone Wolf talent we now have as core to the MM spec. More or a Ranger than Hunter spec, if you get the reference.
- Survival gets the most significant change in that it is now a melee spec, though it retains the pet as part of its mechanic, as well as traps. Several talents / abilities that have long been gone are resurfacing as part of this spec.
Each spec has its own minor peculiarities, as well. For example, BM only gains focus through its pets, not as a passive resource accumulation or via abilities such as our current incarnation of Cobra Shot. In fact, Cobra Shot is more or less replacing Arcane Shot as BMs focus dump.
And therein lies the rub.
Differentiation by any other name
A VERY brief review of the Blizz blog post seems to imply that, while the abilities are totally named differently, they are functionally the same thing., For example, Arcane Shot and Cobra Shot basically do the same thing for two different specs. It’s hard to see the point of naming them differently just of the sake of claiming “spec fantasy”. I mean, aside from the fact that the name “Cobra Shot” has ZERO resonance with the BM spec. It’s been around, but I’ve always felt like it was an unwelcome house guest than part of my spec. Like a Survival ability that had run out of places to go.
With this in mind, I am looking forward to see the entire ability spread for BM / MM / SV so I can see if everything lines up perfectly. Because if that’s the case, they’ve failed to do anything for “class fantasy” other than the name.
There’s no point in claiming this is the case, yet, though, as we don’t have comprehensive data on this, just a blog post that hit just the high points and didn’t provide any real details, just a lot of 10,000-foot level overview.
Unlike WoD, I’m actually hoping I get in the beta this time around. I’ll never be a pro providing detailed data on raiding strats or such, but when it comes to something as superfluous as “class fantasy”, I’m a friggin’ encyclopedia. I’m very excited about these changes, but am wary of market-speak taking over the spec designs to the point that identical abilities are simply not acknowledged as what they are. I’ll be pretty aggressive on that if I get in.