What. The. Hell.

August 10 hotfixes to hunters:

  • Cobra Commander’s Sneaky Snakes (Artifact trait) damage increased by 25%.
  • Thunderslash (Artifact trait) damage reduced by 50%.
  • Thunderslash (Artifact trait) deals 30% less damage with the Dire Frenzy talent.

There are BM hunters who have built their entire play style and gear setup around Thunderslash and its interactions, have gone to some lengths to incorporate this into their BM hunter play since 7.2 went live, have concentrated AP in this and supporting traits. Now this.

No warning.

Not even the common courtesy of an explanation.

Not even any official recognition that this is a major change. It was announced with the same fanfare as a grammar correction in a tooltip.

Silly me, I thought these kinds of wild adjustments is why there is a PTR. Has Blizz now decided the PTR is only for stress testing and raids, and live is where you try to correct all the horrid imbalances of ill-advised class restructuring?

And not for nothin’, but what about the pre-legion pronouncement from Mr. Game Director Hazzikostas that “BM hunters are in a pretty good place now”?

What about his promise to not make huge changes to classes and specs in Legion because of the increased cost to players with artifact weapon investments?

His word is clearly worthless.

Why does Blizz bend over backwards to write pages of explanations to rogues and monks and warlocks about why certain changes were made and about their overall plan for the class, but they stubbornly ignore and insult hunters with these kinds of major changes AND NOT A SINGLE EXPLANATORY COMMENT?

And lest you think this is an interim step that will be remedied in 7.2.5 with the planned class changes then, think again. Hunters are not on the list as needing any special attention in that patch. Why should they? Blizz can always just screw with them at will, can intentionally destroy a spec mid-expansion like they did with SV in WoD, can make play-altering changes in a minor hotfix — all without the inconvenient necessity of showing a bit of respect by actually dialoging with hunters.

I had begun to think Blizz was turning around from the lies and dirty tricks of WoD, was just beginning to restore some of the lost trust, was finally realizing that dialog with their customers pays off. I see I was wrong.

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.

8 Responses to What. The. Hell.

  1. Marathal says:

    I noticed something the other day when I managed to get in a group for the World boss. Yet again I ended up on a PvP server, but this time I noticed something. I had my PvP bonus talents available. So not only did I have my normal tool kit, I also got all of the bonus options I had selected.

    I feel for the Hunter class. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen patch notes, gone looking for any hope for my Priest, and all I see are Hunter changes. So far all I see for my struggling Shadowpriest, is either, you are fine, or instead of 50% healing from one spell, I now get 35%, ummm yay?

    • Fiannor says:

      Hunters are not the only class Blizz has restructured, to be sure, but I think there is a legitimate case to be made that hunters since mid-WoD are the class that has undergone the most drastic changes. Yet it is also the class Blizz most ignores feedback on — they do not generally even deign to engage in any kind of dialog with us. They just make play-altering changes at will, seemingly without any input from actual hunters, and certainly without anything approaching, for example, the reams they have written explaining their changes to Brewmnaaster monks and warlocks. It is far beyond frustrating.

      • Marathal says:

        I sometimes feel I am on the other side of the aisle. I see very little change for Shadowpriests. And the usual comments from the top Priest players is “we’re fine”. That’s great when the class is designed in a way you like, but when it’s so complex and gear dependent average players feel frustrated, there is a problem.

  2. I don’t think that they have a Hunter Designer. The other classes have specialists who tinker and infuse and spend hours fine-tuning.

    • Fiannor says:

      It certainly seems so. And I keep wondering why that is. Worse, though is that not only do they appear not to have an expert hunter on their dev team, but they also ignore all input from top hunters in test modes such as the closed beta.

  3. ScryersHecubus says:

    I’m really not surprised by the nerf. The single point silver trait made up to 10% of some people’s damage with the right gear. That’s more then most of the golden traits do. I would have preferred Thunderslash became a golden trait and Cobra Commander got downgraded. But it was only out for a week on live. So people wouldn’t have had much opportunity to search for gear for the Thunderslash set up. There are always things that don’t get picked up on the beta and need changing in live. People get excited over the numbers (and 50% + 30% looks like a pretty scary nerf). But I haven’t noticed much change in my simmed or live dps from last week to this one. If anything, I’ve gone up a bit.

    • Fiannor says:

      Well, I haven’t noticed any real difference in my dps, but then I have pretty crummy gear. I do know a couple of hunters who saw a significant difference, though. I am far less concerned that Blizz made a nerf than I am that they just made it so cavalierly, not even an attempt at an explanation or even a warning. Also, this is the second major nerf they have done to hunters post-7.2 (the first was the one they made to MM’s Unerring Arrow trait) — it is one thing for things to be missed once in a while on a test realm, but it is starting to look to me like Blizz pays little attention to numbers on the PTR, apparently feeling no compunction about letting obvious imbalances go live, then just make the changes as a hotfix. It just seems like slipshod testing to me, makes me wonder if they are already redirecting resources away from Legion.

      • ScryersHecubus says:

        My gear is reasonable. Just got up to a 900 ilevel with my most recent follower mission. I didn’t try to maximize my Thunderslash damage last week by using the legendary bracers. So that might be why I haven’t noticed a big change. I don’t have a CoF trinket so it didn’t seem worthwhile.

        I agree though more communication regarding big changes would be appreciated. I don’t understand why they’ve done some of the things they’ve done. I’m still sulky about losing the adaptation talent to a legendary item and then not being able to equip said item because I need to use other legendaries for better dps. Would be really lovely to use some of the cool robotic pets for things other than a skin for Hati as well. I definitely miss pet families bringing buffs/special abilities.

        There have been some cool things on the hunter front… new pets mostly. I’m a bit bummed that it’s unlikely that I’ll get a spectral griffin pet any time soon as I’ve more or less switched over to playing horde on another server. I think the switch over on dire beast in the next patch will help those folks who haven’t gotten the shoulders to drop (although like everyone else who doesn’t decide these things I think 2 db charges should be baseline).

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