Perspective

There is a mini-storm going on in the Legion beta forums right now, regarding a recent and sudden (that is, no warning) change in max camera level permitted in Legion. Essentially, Blizz rather abruptly disallowed players to use the “/console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 4” command that gave a huge boost to camera zoom levels in the game. Instead, they are limiting camera zoom range to the default UI slider, a smaller range than the max CVar hardcap unlocked by the console command.

As might be expected, there is huge wailing and gnashing of teeth over this from some corners of the playerverse. I admit I have for some time had my camera set to allow for zooming out to max, although in practice I rarely used it. I am sure the max zoom was very useful to some players and I take them at their word that the change will adversely affect their play. But overall my impression of this little flap is that in any practical sense it is very small potatoes, people pole vaulting over mouse turds.

I will resist the temptation to make this into an allegory about how Blizz does not think the big picture is important, and since it is not important to them, they wish to forbid the rest of us from seeing it …

Still, the camera discussion is kind of a useful segue into a larger consideration of perspective in the game. Some things that occurred over the weekend gave me pause to try and sort out a reasoned approach to this game going forward for me.

First, I spent some more time on the beta, continuing to level my BM hunter, starting a MM hunter, and getting my resto druid to Broken Isles and through the initial artifact quest line. I was struck by the vast difference in my perception of these two experiences. My overwhelming impression of playing my hunters was one of sadness for the demolition of a class that was once awesome to play but will no longer exist as soon as the pre-patch goes live.

Contrast this to my impression of playing my druid, which was one of pleasant surprise for the improvements made to the leveling abilities. As a disclaimer, I did not try any group healing on this alt, and I am not skilled enough at druid healing anyway to be able to detect any but the most obvious of healing changes. But I found the added damage abilities afforded by the Balance affinity talent to be surprisingly effective, to the point that I believe leveling as resto might be possible. In addition, I felt like the class hall area was in complete harmony with what I believe to be the druid “fantasy”. I actually felt, once I had reached the Dreamgrove, that my druid had come home. It all just fit. This is not at all what I felt when my hunter reached the hunter class hall — it was just another location, a place to transact some business, a place with no real connection to any previous hunter lore in the game, a place invented for Legion because well hunters have to go somewhere and Blizz couldn’t be bothered enough to actually put any thought or design into it when they had already put so much thought into how best to destroy the class.

I know that sounded bitter and it was. It leads me to my second thought-provoking weekend experience. Bendak over at Eyes of the Beast posted his thoughts on the state of BM hunters in Legion — and Blizz’s steadfast refusal to address major shortfalls — and it was a stinging indictment, tinged with wistfulness for what might have been, as well as with an air of resignation and pessimism for the spec. Ever since I discovered hunter blogs, I have looked to Bendak to point out that pony in what I would invariably see as a barn filled with poop. As I have written before, he is a hunter’s hunter, someone who looks to the big picture to help hunters see the positive aspects of expansion changes. When Bendak holds out little hope for the one remaining spec that most closely resembles the class many of us fell in love with years ago, well that pretty much seals it in my opinion. If Blizz refuses to seriously consider the legitimate concerns of this respected hunter, then there is zero chance that anything will improve for hunters in Legion. What you see in the beta and in the PTR is what you will get. Please adjust your camera to limit your field of view.

The last thing that happened over the weekend was that I finally pre-purchased Legion. I know this sounds crazy, given what I have just written, but I tried to apply a “/console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 4” command to my view of my relationship to the game. What I saw when I did this — and it really is no surprise to me — is that some parts of Legion will be fun and engaging, and I am just not ready yet to give it up, despite my rants and criticism of it. (I write those things because I care about the game, if I didn’t care, I would not devote hours to it and writing about it every week.) I will remain disappointed –and yes, furious with Blizz — over what I and many others see as the complete destruction of the hunter class, but I will hold out hope that the next expansion or possibly even a Legion patch will see some improvement. That may not happen, of course, and Blizz’s betrayal of hunters will remain a heavy weight on the “leave the game” side of the scale for me. It’s just that so far, anyway, it has not tipped it.

Blizz continues to make it more and more difficult to control your personal view and perspective on the game, but if you squint a bit you find it is still possible.

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.

9 Responses to Perspective

  1. I think that the thing that gets me is that there will be a lot of hunters who continue to play hunters and it will be said that we are a fair proportion of the player base as satisfaction, even if we are unhappy. Like the Profession Q&A guy who summed up gemming and socketing in WoD as “it sold well in the AH”, not even catching the drift of why someone would really like Jewelcrafting.
    I hope it gets better when our stats go up and we get some pieces that we like, I hope future patches have a decent payday in game play for the hunters/

    • Fiannor says:

      Yes, absolutely right. There will be many hunters who continue to play BM because, like me, it really is the only remaining spec that retains even a hint of classic hunter play, and inevitably Blizz will point to those numbers and say, “See? LOTS of hunters play this spec, can’t be that bad.”

      It really is demoralizing, and I can only keep thinking that Blizz would never have had the nerve to destroy, for example, the mage class as they have hunters. I don’t get it, I really do not understand why they have it in for hunters.

  2. Davy says:

    I’m honestly heartbroken about the hunter changes. I have spent so much time in beta, and I guess i was hopeful that it would be changed at the last minute, but last night I realized that a fix wasn’t coming. I went and did some heroics on live today, it felt so amazing to be powerful and in control, I will really miss it. I worked hard to get my hunter geared and to do well in my guild, now I have no idea what I’m going to do. I know it’s just a game, but my hunter and I have been through alot over the last 11 years, and giving him up seems unthinkable. Then again, there will be at least two patches this week, two chances, maybe they will have mercy on us. How can they not know how bad this is? Ugh.

    • Fiannor says:

      I completely get where you are coming from, because I feel the same way. I am just baffled by Blizz’s continuing refusal to do anything to change the horrible aspects of hunters in Legion, especially in light of the large number of concerns well expressed for months by some of the best hunters in the game. As you say, “How can they not know how bad this is?”

  3. Pingback: Beta: Beast Mastery – Coffee Cakes and Crits

  4. ScryersHecubus says:

    I got a chance to play on the demon invasion ptr yesterday. I actually enjoyed the new beast mastery for the most part. My pet was able to handle most demons without too much of an issue. I don’t mind casting mend pet as a part of the rotation. There is certainly time to do that. Spirit bond was a much nicer way to keep ourselves and our pets up. The pets not really assisting on assist stance is problematic. I really hope that is not what the developers feel is part of pet management. Losing adaptation isn’t good either. BM should have an uber-pet. Getting adaptation back (sort of) as a legendary doesn’t feel right. I enjoyed the juggling short cool down aspects. Dire frenzy was neat. Overall I’m looking forward to continuing to play BM in legion.

    I actually found MM to be weird. Get hunter’s mark up to cast marked shot times 3 for maximum vulnerability. Or take the talent that only leaves vulnerability up for 6 seconds… I had a tough time getting into the flow of it.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I Have been trying out the new MM for over a week now, but I just can’t get the hang of it, for the reasons you list. To be fair, though, I never really got the hang of MM/LW in WoD, either, although I have played it now for about a year. So I am sure that I will be playing BM in Legion, it seems like the only remaining hunter spec that retains what I think of as the flavor of the class. I might eventually do MM as a secondary spec and pursue the artifact on it, but not until we are a few months into Legion at least.

      The thing that troubles me most about BM is that it seems not to fit even the “fantasy” Blizz has adopted for it. For a spec that is supposed to be a Master of Beasts, we have no control over any of them at our command, except for our regular pet, and even that one seems to have forgotten its obedience training! I can only hope that the horrible pathing issues, the overall puny survivability, and the failure to attack on assist are tweaks Blizz intends to fix soon. (Although there was a new beta deployed yesterday, and Blizz didn’t touch any of these pet issues.) And I really really miss traps — even basic skills like kiting have to be relearned without them, not to mention the very significant raid cc loss (Wyvern Sting is just not as effective).

      But the one thing that troubles me the most is the one Bendak pointed out, that our artifact weapon in reality is Hati, and the 2-minute cooldown if Hati dies means we are essentially weaponless for that time. I cannot imagine Blizz even thinking about depriving, for example, a warrior of his sword for 2 minutes in the middle of a boss fight. I suspect Hati was intended to be our “uber beast” as you put it, but it is one over which we have zero control. At the very least, I should think that Hati ought to mirror our normal pet commands, so that whatever we do with our pet, Hati is tied to the same effects, and this includes things like stance, rezzing, and some movement mechanics such as the teleport aspect of Blink Strikes. (Right now, Hati kind of slowly ambles to the target.)

      I know what you mean about juggling the short cooldowns, to me that is probably the most engaging part of the new BM. (But that Dire Beast scream – Every. Single. Time. – has got to go. I can imagine it REALLY getting on raid members’ nerves after about a minute of it. !!)

      • ScryersHecubus says:

        I’ll have to hold off on comments around Hati for now. I likely won’t get a chance to see Hati until the expansion officially drops. Certainly the comments that I’ve seen about it are troubling. But all of the comments that I’ve read for the specs I play on the Legion beta testing are full of “this sucks/spec is broken”… BM is changing more to a Rogue-like playstyle. That will be an adjustment for a lot of folks. I’ve currently got a level 100 of every class apart from a warrior and a mage. I’ve enjoyed playing rogues over the years (but never enough to try raiding with them outside of a bit of LFR).

        It does seem odd that Hati has a 2 minute death cool down instead of being resummoned when you rez your pet. If that stays, hopefully it would get cleared in a raid setting, like heroism is on every boss. Certainly you should be able to heal Hati as well with mend pet. Unless they really want us spending time on bandages for pets or something… Blech.

        Pet pathing issues are always problematic for beast mastery, even with blink strikes. I don’t mind Hati ambling over so long as BM is balanced around the idea that Hati isn’t on the boss 100% of the time.

        I almost always play WoW with the sound effects/music off so I haven’t noticed the dire beast scream. Does it do that with dire frenzy too? I prefer dire frenzy so far on that talent row. I’m thinking of switching Hecubus to a gnome. A gnome scream could be fun 🙂

      • Fiannor says:

        Yeah, I had not thought of that, but the play style comparison to a rogue is spot on. I leveled a rogue several months ago — my first ever melee alt — and am currently finishing up the last part of the legendary ring quest line on it. I am not a fan of melee, but I have found the rogue play style to be somewhat intriguing. Maybe I will have a more positive attitude towards BM if I can think of it as a ranged rogue instead of a poor substitute for my favorite but long lost SV spec. Thanks! 😉