Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cataclysm Hunter Skill Changes: Misdirection, Aspect of the Fox, etc

A recent Beta build introduced several new Hunter skill and talent changes, which in my opinion will have a pretty big impact on how the Hunter class will play in Cataclysm.

Misdirection - Transferred threat is no longer permanent and will fade after 30 sec.

(Note: The same applies to Rogue Tricks of the Trade)

The way I read this is, after Misdirection is applied, any threat that is transferred to the target will disappear after 30 seconds. Not return to the hunter, but just disappear.

I think this is a great change, and will make threat management a whole lot more interesting. With this change I now see Misdirection and Tricks of the Trade only used at the beginning of a fight, or to misdirect new spawned adds to a tank. The tank then has 30 seconds to build aggro on the misdirected target, before the transferred threat will drop off. This will put a lot more focus on watching threat not just for the hunter but all other classes as well, as all players will now have to take the threat loss into consideration. I would also say that this puts classes with an efficient threat drop ability (hunters, rogues, Shadow priests) into the dps drivers seat, as those without will have to really control their dps.

Aspect of the Fox - Now allows you to shoot Steady Shot and Cobra Shot while moving and causes you to gain 2 Focus whenever you take damage. (Old - allows Auto-Shot while moving and increases focus regeneration by 20%)

Blizzard have indicated that they did not want one Aspect for all situations, and I think this change will split the Aspects into two categories: Aspect of the Hawk for stationary fights and Aspect of the Fox for fights with lots of movement. It also means that we can keep our full rotation even on the move, and I expect that having Modifier Aspect switching macroed in with Steady Shot and Cobra Shot, will be mandatory for raiding hunters.

Hunting Party/Survival Talent - now also triggers a 20% ranged and melee attack speed buff.

I am guessing that this is a replacement buff for the current Expose Weakness, which is no longer part of the Survival tree.

Serpent Spread(New talent) - Targets hit by your Multi-Shot are also afflicted by your Serpent Sting equal to 50% of its total duration.

Now this is just plain awesome. With this I expect Multi-Shot to get a lot more use on multi-target fights. Expect Multi-Shot to become part of Survival Hunter Shot rotations, at least on multi-target fights.

Silencing Shot - Damage component removed.

This to me makes sense. As Blizzard have stated, Silencing Shot is supposed to be a situational utility, and not something that is macroed to every other Shot.

That's it from the Cataclysm front for now.

Keep on hunting,


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