The 5.0 Hunter: Focus

With patch 5.0.4, hunters have been given some new and fun talents that at first may seem subtle, but in reality have a big impact on game play.  With this post I will be highlighting the effect that the choices in the fourth tier of talents have on focus. These talents include Fervor, Dire Beast and Thrill of the Hunt.

I personally opted for Thrill of the Hunt because of its passiveness (no extra button to push) and the increase in the number of multi-shots on AoE pulls that it allows.  While raiding in Dragon Soul with my new talents, I noticed something that I never thought would be a problem.  I had more focus than I knew what to do with.  Because of this, I was using Cobra Shot quite seldom which in turn caused serpent sting to not be refreshed and fall off.  While talking with my fellow Stands in Bad hunters Kat and Kia, I learned that the Dire Beast talent they chose had a similar effect on focus.  One can therefore assume that also with a cool down of just 30 seconds and having to do with focus regeneration, there will be a similar effect on focus if used frequently off cool down for Fervor.

The effects of this very minor inconvenience (if you can even call it that) will be somewhat lessened when we hunters are forced to break our 2 piece set bonus (for those that have it) as pointed out to me by Kat.  At this early stage, there is no certainty that things will stay as they are.  So, until I catch wind of a better way of doing things from the experts, I will be weaving in a Cobra Shot every 13 seconds whether I need the focus or not.

How About a Quickie?

I just wanted to post a short and sweet update about my three newest friends.  I managed to tame them all in less than 36 hours and I am feeling pretty excited about that. (Despite the fact that we are on the eve of a new expansion.)

Glyph of the Aspects – A Step in the Right Direction

Weeeeeeeeeeee!The Blizzard hunter glyph fairies have sprinkled their magic dust and brought forth a new minor glyph, Glyph of the Aspects.  No, it won’t summon Ysera and friends to do your dailies for you, but it will cause a cute and cuddly animal representing each hunter aspect to follow you for 15 seconds.  That’s a tiger, fox, and hawk and no leaves (because leaves aren’t animals and Aspect of the Wild, it seems, is being removed).

I cannot emphasize enough how happy it makes me that the developers have been able to create a purely cosmetic minor glyph for hunters that is on par with the ones that have been made for other classes.  I’m crossing my fingers for now though, in the hope that Blizzard is able to come up with enough of these cosmetic minor glyphs for there to be enough variation amongst hunters.  Because let’s face it, things like that lose their novelty when everyone has it.  I also hope there are plenty of choices so that once I am bored with the ones I have made, there will other fun and exciting ones to choose from.

As it stands today on beta, this glyph will be available for Inscriptionists to craft at 175 skill with 3 Jadefire Ink and 1 common parchment.

A Critique of Minor Hunter Glyphs on MoP Beta

As per Frostheim’s website, WarCraft Hunters’ Union, the minor glyph’s for hunters in Mists of Pandaria are as follows:

  • Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah – Your Aspect of the Cheetah no longer causes you to be dazed when struck. Instead, the effect is cancelled and all your Aspects are placed on a 4 sec cooldown.
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Pack – Increases the range of your Aspect of the Pack by 15 yards.
  • Glyph of Feign Death – Reduces the cooldown of your Feign Death spell by 5 sec.
  • Glyph of Lesser Proportion – Slightly reduces the size of your pet.
  • Glyph of Revive Pet – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting revive pet by 100%
  • Glyph of Tame Beast – Reduces the time required to complete Tame Beast by (4000/-1000) sec.
  • Glyph of Scare Beast – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Scare Beast by 75%

So here it goes, my thoughts on the minor glyphs… Boooooooriiiiiing!  Now before anyone gets offended on Blizzard’s behalf let me state that I am aware that this is just beta and things are very likely to change; also you should be made aware that I am more likely to be a Blizzard apologist than a detractor.  Now, all that having been said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!  To save myself a lot of typing and to support a great show I’m going to link you to Tank Spot’s Lore giving his opinion (mine is pretty much the same) on  MoP minor glyphs in general on his show The Weekly Marmot.  Okay, are you done watching? Saw it already?  Alright,  so now you know that many classes’ (druid, paladin, warlock etc.) minor glyphs are absolute fluff and that’s great.  Glyph’s that have an effect that is inherently more beneficial than others are no brainers, therefore making the choices themselves un-meaningful.  Thus we have seen an increase in cosmetic minor glyphs.  For example druids have one that turns their aquatic form into an orca (so cool!) as well as another that makes their travel form take on the appearance of a stag and also gives that form the ability to be a “mount” to a passenger (damn cool!).  Heck mages are able to polymorph critters into other things for 24 hours.

This leads me to my disappointment with the hunter glyphs.  I’m a bit confused as to why glyphs like Aspect of the Pack, Feign Death, Revive Pet, and Scare Beast are being presented to us when they themselves are neither meaningful or fun.  Aspect of the Cheetah feels as if it should be a major glyph and the glyph of Lesser Proportion seems extremely backwards to me.  I want my cat, Dauntless (he’s the shiny one in the screenshot below of me shrugging in confusion) to be enormous.  That being said, the productive thing to do is offer some alternatives. So here goes… (Without clever names because I stink at that.)

  • Snake Trap  – Some of us don’t like snakes. To quote Indiana Jones, “Why did it have to be snakes?” So how about a glyph that makes it into a scorpion or spider trap?
  • Aspect of the Fox – While active gives the hunter a fox tail. (Yes, I’m grasping at straws at this point but I kind of like the idea.)
  • Yeah this is a lot harder than I originally thought. Not to say that there aren’t things I would love to see given to hunters that are purely cosmetic, but that it would be hard to make them a glyph.

Ok, so hunter glyphs are definitely a horse of a different color when comes to making them more visual and less mechanical.  And no doubt the people at Blizzard are working hard to give us something every bit as cool as what the other classes are getting. Because of that I am not ashamed in saying that I’m stumped and that if the dev’s aren’t able to come up with anything else, what is currently in place is acceptable.  So what are your thought? What would you like to see changed with the minor glyphs if anything at all?  In the mean time, I will be working on a list of things I want to see added to the class as a whole, like customizable quivers since we won’t have a melee weapon on our backs.  Until then, I’ll be eagerly awaiting your suggestions.

11 April, 2012 Update: Fortunately Blizzard is a lot more creative than I am and they have so far added one new minor glyph for hunters.  My thoughts on this new glyph can be found here.

Playing Around With the MoP Hunter Talent Calculator

So, I made a raiding build for MoP.  I find pvp icky and I enjoy raiding, thus this is solely a raiding/pve build for a survival hunter.  Also, this build is admittedly heavily influenced by current raiding content and may be subject to change once I actually know more about MoP raids.

  • Tier 1 [Situational] Exhilaration is chosen as the default option with healer mana conservation in mind.  For GTFO quick encounter mechanics Posthaste will be chosen, as Evasiveness will be for encounters with a massive spell damage component.
  • Tier 2: [Situational] Wyvern Sting is the default talent of choice with “all the CC” in mind with Silencing Shot being a close second for boss encounters that have interruptible spell casting.  At present, Intimidation isn’t looking very desirable for raiding but maybe subject to change as more is learned about raid and dungeon content.
  • Tier 3: [Standard*] Aspect of the Iron Hawk. *Yes, you could have Spirit Bond and regen health during the lulls in some encounters, but I have the feeling that much like how heroism and blood lust are abilities that belong to the raid and not the individuals that cast them, the tier 3 hunter talent belongs to the healers.  At least the ones I raid with.  CTHC may be used for raids in MoP, but I am fairly confident that it will not used more than a couple of times.
  • Tier 4: [Preference and Spec*] The choices for this tier will mostly* rely on individual play styles and spec.  I chose Readiness as my standard talent for double the Rabid Fire fun, not to mention more Deterrence and Disengage.
  • Tier 5: [Standard*] I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that there will be much kiting in MoP. That being said I prefer this talent’s increases to my speed and decrease to those caught in the trap to the alternatives of trapping one target over and over or turning it into a sloth.
  • Tier 6: [Situational*] Powershot definitely appeals to my “ALL THE AOE” and “BIG NUMBERS EVERYWHERE” cravings.  That aside, Binding Shot with its movement slowing and increase in damage to the target will have the most utility when encounters require the raid to burn a single add ASAP, whereas Glaive Toss will help to control the speed of multiple adds.

*Categories are based upon my opinions and experiences and are subject to change.  Also the very nature of this talent system and boss mechanics will inevitably lead to frequently changing talents.