Is it too soon to be depressed?

I think I am fighting a losing battle over Legion — I really, really want to be excited about it, but a sense of impending doom keeps washing over me. There are quite a few things I am looking forward to — new transmog system, scaled zones, end game play style choices — but they all keep getting overshadowed by my feeling that Blizz completely sold out hunters. It is nothing short of class betrayal, and I am going through all the emotions anyone does when they have been betrayed.

Worse, in typical Blizz fashion, they are giving me bulls**t reasons for doing so, like when you get dumped and your soon-to-be ex gives you the old “It’s not you, it’s me” line. The stated reason for the massive hunter changes is to “de-homogenize” the classes.

Really, Blizz? You can say that with a straight face and still leave mages untouched? I don’t want anyone to take this as me putting down the mage class, but let’s face it, all mage specs boil down to flinging big balls of magic at a target. The magic may be orange (fire), blue (frost), or purple (arcane), but there is no substantive difference in the approaches of any spec. And yes, before I get hate mail from mages, I completely understand that each spec has some different mechanics and each has a unique fun feel, but the point is, there is almost no other class in the game more homogeneous than mages. Yet Blizz says mages “are in a good place” and really need no major class changes.

Hunters were in the exact same place at the end of Mists and shortly after 6.1, yet for some reason Blizz could not resist screwing with them, again and again. In 6.2 they completely destroyed Survival as a viable spec, almost gleefully admitting it sucked but oh well, haha, too hard to “fix”. They deliberately skewed the Marksmanship numbers to make Lone Wolf the only responsible choice for raiding, then had the *big balls of magic* to use that to justify removing pets from MM entirely in Legion.  Because, well, “Most MM hungers opted for LW.” OF COURSE THEY DID, YOU MADE IT TOO OP TO IGNORE. IT DOES NOT PROVE MM HUNTERS DO NOT WANT PETS.

And to add insult to injury, the most recent revelations about beast mastery tell us that this spec will have almost zero active control over their focus, effectively removing much of the fun choice and skill from this spec. Other changes indicate BM will be very dependent on RNG (even more so than currently) for their damage. In other words, a likely return to rote button pushing, no more priority shot selections, just a mindless rotation.

Blizz is removing every aspect of hunters that I have loved for years, and they are doing so completely, leaving me not even one spec that I can love. If this is not utter betrayal, then I do not know what is.

I understand that every class will change over the course of several years. But it seems to me that there is an implicit contract between the developers and players in the matter of class selection. There are some basic foundations of a class that every player of that class has a right to expect to remain the same. For example, if you pick a class that flings big balls of magic at a target from a distance, you have a right to expect that your class will continue as a magic-flinger, even if some of the mechanics for doing so change over the years. If you pick a class that is highly mobile and uses pets to attack from range, you have a right to expect that class to continue doing so.

I cannot make myself get excited about Legion, no matter how many good features it may have, when I know that I will no longer be able to play the one class I have loved playing from the start, the one class that has been a constant source of fascination and enjoyment for me, the only class — and I have tried them all — that I never lose interest in. It is gone, it will no longer exist in Legion. There may be some interesting aspects of the new hunter class, but for me it as untried as the new DH class.

And therein lies another betrayal from Blizz. Hunters will be, for all practical purposes, a new class in Legion. As with any new class, and judging from Blizz’s history, there are likely to be wild pendulum swings in the viability of the specs. Which means any hunter may be forced to change specs as that pendulum swings. (Don’t say this can’t happen, look at SV as a spec in WoD.) But Blizz will make that very difficult to do, since you will have to spend weeks if not months getting your new artifact weapon and upgrading it for the new spec. If you pick the wrong spec at the beginning of Legion, you will pay a heavy price for it. And with a new class, picking the right spec is a total crap shoot. This is just wrong. We have, by all accounts, months before Legion, Blizz must change the artifact process to allow for seamless spec switching, no matter what class you play. I can think of no reason to not do this, and if there is one I would love to hear it. As long as it does not insult my intelligence by blathering about the immersive importance of following the individual spec quest lines. No. If you have gotten your artifact weapon to level X and switch specs, you should automatically have that spec’s weapon at the same level. End of discussion.

I will keep playing, of course, even with the demise of the hunter class, because I am a shameless fangirl of the game, I admit it. My original Plan B had been to make my mistweaver my main, but now that, too, seems in doubt as a viable spec. Plan C is to go with my druid, spend the rest of WoD learning to heal on it, then in Legion make resto my main spec with “attunement/affinity/whatever they are calling it” to boomkin.

Or, maybe I could learn to love flinging big balls of magic at targets. No, just kidding, not something I am good at. You mages out there should be glad I will not have a mage as my main, because given my luck, doing so would guarantee its eventual class demise. 😉

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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