Freeze warning in hell!

Holy cow, finally we get a reasonable Blue post from Ion Hazzikostas on the subject of hunter concerns. Not only linked above but also quoted here just because it is such a Big Effing Deal:

Hi.

If it seems like there’s a lot of “listening to feedback,” and not much in the way of answers or concrete plans, it’s because we haven’t yet formulated those answers, not because there won’t be any or because we don’t care to.

Overall, the 7.0 patch and the Legion expansion probably saw more total change to class mechanics than any other single update in the game’s history. And hunters were among the most affected. That sort of revamp represents the beginning of a cycle of feedback and iteration, not an endpoint, and we know there’s a lot of work left to do here.

In the weeks immediately following launch, the team has primarily been focused on fixing bugs and on overall spec balance. Numerical tuning isn’t everything, but it can be done straightforwardly, often via hotfix, to get changes into players’ hands as quickly as possible. The team’s goal in this phase is for players of each spec to feel like they can succeed in the Legion endgame. But, of course, numerical viability doesn’t mean much if you aren’t enjoying the feel or mechanics of your class.

The next phase of iteration will focus on talent rows that seem devoid of choice, often because there is one dominant “correct” option. Through a mix of numbers balance and some redesign where needed, we’ll aim to improve talent diversity, opening up new playstyles and options in the process. That is our plan for all classes, but it applies especially to hunters, where talent diversity is often sorely lacking. These types of changes require more testing time and iteration than pure DPS tuning: This is why planned changes to priests’ Surrender to Madness, or paladins’ Crusade, were delayed until a later patch in order to allow for more thorough evaluation.

Finally, we’ll move on to evaluating base class and spec toolkits. Those types of changes are the riskiest to make, especially in the middle of an expansion, because they affect the core experience of every player of a given spec. But we don’t plan on waiting an entire expansion to address concerns like the ones that have been raised in this thread. All sorts of potential changes are on the table. For example, in retrospect, while a focus on traps strengthened Survival spec identity, taking so many traps away from Marks/BM entirely was harmful to hunter class identity. But changes like those can only happen in a full patch, and will benefit from a lengthy PTR cycle.

PS: Yes, I realize that hunters don’t have an ability called Deterrence anymore, and I should have said Turtle instead. Force of habit – I also still called Hand of Protection “BoP” for years (though now it actually is BoP again…). Sorry.

I realize I am gullible, but this is a substantive communication, and it really gives me hope for the class I love. Thanks are due to the entire hunter community for keeping the pressure on Blizz — in a respectful way — through months and months of disappointment and rejection.

I’ll parse a little more of this in a subsequent post, but I wanted to get it out there for now.

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.

6 Responses to Freeze warning in hell!

  1. Marathal says:

    Very nice to see they are working on it and it wasn’t just brushed under the rug.

    I hope we will get a similar comment fro Priests, because out top pick pretty much is a you must take.

  2. How long must this take to get some happy hunters?
    Seriously, politically I’m very glad to see a full length response; players were disgusted at their treatment or lack.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I do think we need to see some action very soon. If this becomes just another Blue post designed to lead us down the garden path and shut us up … well, I don’t know, but it will I think show Blizz’s true contempt for its players.

  3. Grumsta says:

    Nice to finally see something: but would it have killed them to at release something along the lines of the first two paragraphs 6 or even 8 weeks ago with a quick “hang in there guys, we’ll get back to you” at the end?

    If it takes this long to say “we’re aware of the issues”, how much longer for “we’re working on it….” and then finally “here you go guys”.

    Anyone willing to bet against flying being live Legion before Hunters issues are addressed….?

    • Fiannor says:

      Total agreement here. Think it will be a tossup on the flying thing, but I only say that because I do not expect flying before the final patch in this expansion. We already know it will not be in 7.1, and honestly I do not expect it in 7.2 either. As I have said before, I know Hazzikostas hates flying, and what he is doing is slowly making it less and less available, with the eventual goal of eliminating it completely.

  4. Pingback: In the cold light of day | Misdirections

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