WOOHOO! Marks pets back for Legion!

This will be a fairly short post, but as I am sure many of you have already heard, Blizz has reversed its position on real hunter pets as an option for MM hunters in Legion.

A moment while I do my happy dance.

Still dancing.

Okay, finish move coming up here.

There. Done.

This. Is. Huge. It is so momentous that I quote Celestalon’s comment from the forum here in full:

Celestalon
Game Designer
Hey Marksmanship Hunters. Here are a few changes that didn’t make it into today’s build, but we’re planning for a soon upcoming build:

One of the most common points of feedback we’ve heard is that all of the specs are cool on their own, but none of them maintain the existing “Hunter + Ranged Weapon + Single Pet” archetype that people have grown attached to (Survival is now Melee, Marksmanship has lost its pet, and Beast Mastery has added a ton of additional pets).
Marksmanship losing its pet has been one of the most impactful, but contentious changes we’ve made this expansion. We’re going to try returning the pet to Marksmanship, baseline, along with Lone Wolf as a level 15 talent (and very competitively tuned), so that this is a choice again.
Exotic Munitions is being removed, and Black Arrow will be moving down to where it was, since the Lone Wolf + Black Arrow combination proved to be very popular and fun (the newest version of Black Arrow, where the minion reliably spawns and taunts the target, that is).
Keep those in mind for feedback on this build! Thanks!

I am (almost) speechless. This will, in my opinion, make MM an option for me in Legion. Hell, what am I saying, it will make Legion an option for me now.

Couple of comments on this bombshell, one pessimistic and one optimistic.

The pessimistic comment is that we still have no idea how MM pets will — or possibly won’t — affect the overall Legion MM spec balance. For the last couple of years, the devs doing class/spec balance have pretty much blown it, with wild over-corrections and pendulum swings affecting nearly every class. It is entirely possible that returning real hunter pets to MM in Legion will turn out to be mostly an empty gesture, because the balance with LW will turn out to be so OP that pets are not a real MM choice except for soloing. (However, Celestalon did say LW would be “very competitively tuned”. I don’t know if that was a hint that LW would be over-tuned, or if it was a hint that in fact either choice would be viable in raids as well as in solo questing.) For some more in depth comments about possible impact on MM, as well as an excellent summary of its current alpha imbalances and shortcomings, check out Delirium’s post today.

But the optimistic comment is that Blizz actually listened to, considered, and weighed the fairly intense hunter response to their decision for a petless MM spec. Celestalon’s comment indicates they understood the emotional attachment many hunters have for their pets, as well as the logical argument that there seemed to be no reason not to at least give MM hunters a true hunter pet option. I have to think that making such a change at this relatively late stage of class development will consume a lot of dev resources, and I give Blizz high marks for going ahead and doing it anyway.

This is now at least two instances of Blizz reversing itself on major Legion mechanics — the other one being the flap over the water strider mount. It is beginning to look as if there has been a significant change in Blizz’s attitude towards interaction with players with legitimate concerns. The nasty, confrontational attitudes — on the parts of players in forums as well as Blizz — seem to have changed for the better. We seem to be in a mode of legitimate debate, which I applaud. No one expects — nor should they — for Blizz to blindly change everything that players dislike about Legion. But it is satisfying and encouraging to see them truly weigh players’ arguments for specific changes.

If I had been told I could have only one wish for Legion hunters, the one I would have chosen is for MM hunters to have a true pet option. It looks like that wish has been granted. The devil will be in the details, but I am a happy camper for now. Thank you, Blizz.

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.

3 Responses to WOOHOO! Marks pets back for Legion!

  1. Amourice says:

    Now here’s hoping they fix BM to fit the fantasy they stated they wanted and above ALL… They manage to truly balance all the specs. It would be amazing if every dps spec in the game could be played in a raid without underperforming.

  2. That’s good news! I never really liked Marks in its current incarnation, but I’m willing to fire up alpha and give it a shot (ha ha get it). Plus their artifact is a bow, at least…