Sniper Training and I'm in love with Marksmanship again!

After the last updates they did regarding MM hunters, I was very sad, and finally, Blizzard figured out how to make me totally forget about those changes, because we're getting back Sniper Training, and it's better than it ever was!

This is MM's new Mastery ability, and in one fell swoop, MM now has by far the best mastery of the three hunter specs.   For those who don't remember,  Sniper Training used to be on our talent tree, and would give you, after standing still for 6 seconds, a 15 second buff for steady shot and cobra shot, and would increase your Kill Shot crit chance by 15%.   The new Sniper Training, requires you to stand still for three seconds out of every six (to keep it up 100% of the time) and will gives you a % bonus to all damage, an additional bonus to crit damage, and gives you an increased range!  

I particularly like that it gives an extra multiplier to crit damage, so which means they'll have extra synergy together.   So if your mastery is at 7%, a normal hit, instead of doing 100 damage will do 107 damage.   A crit, however, won't just double the 107 damage (+ 100%),  it will add the 7% multiplier to the crit as well, giving you 221.49 damage ((100*1.07)+(100*1.07)*1.07).    That's freaking awesome, and goes a long way to making crit valuable again since they removed the bleeds from MM.  

Another things this means is that on stand and shoot type fights, they should be able to tune MM on par with other caster classes and specs.   There will be absolutely no need for the movement tax the Devs have been talking about.  

There are plenty of Hunter changes I'm looking forward to in WoD, but this just got pushed near the top.   Super excited!  I really like that SV and BM will keep their uber-mobile feel,  and Marks (which even in the name leads you to believe their more of a sniper type spec) should be a legitimate choice on non-movement based fights.  

Be sure to check out Bendak's post over at the Eyes of the Beast for a little intro to how Sniper Training feels on the beta.


  1. I love the change too and it will be completely nerfed and here is the reasoning that makes me believe so.

    With healing no longer having as many instants and instants being taken away from ranged classes left and right that means that raids will have a lot less movement. With that said the one class (hunters) that can move while DPSing lose the advantage they used to have where we evened out in the over all with other classes that had to deal with movement. As they no longer need to move their DPS will go up and our advantage that evened us out will be a disadvantage as we will be doing less DPS because we are designed to move when we no longer need to move. So they will boost us up to everyone else and start designing us as if we did not need to move even if we can.

    So we will now be balanced as if we did not need to move, because we won't just like the other ranged and healers won't now. So that buff will basically be up 100 all the time without even trying which in turn makes it too powerful to tie to movement when movement is no longer an issue as we will be doing less movement by design.

    Now, look at all the goodies, more damage from the buff, a substantial amount at that plus increased critical damage plus increased range which sounds interesting and I say you can expect to see a change in sniper training to compensate for the fact we don't need to move to begin with.

    But if the range part stays, can you imagine all those fights we will now be able to out range the boss AoE while all the other classes have to stand there and take it, while we just keep going pew pew. Now that sounds like fun.

    1. Bendak mentioned with 26% ms, he's able to stand 50 yards back with aimed shot. That is insane...

      I've been curious how they're going to balance the more recent movement heavy, multi target fights (there is only one single target fight in SoO, and it's very movement heavy). It seems that blizzard often likes to fix issues with incredibly huge swings to the opposite side of the pendulum, so I can imagine that they'd have almost no movement fights coming up.

      Still, I'm having fun dreaming about how fun this would be in SoO. can you imagine doing H Iron Juggs with a 50 yard range? My guild has probably 8 hunters (two would have to be on alt hunters, but good, geared alt hunters) who could all go MM, and just stand by the gates, and pew pew all day long, out of range of oil, or those red circle bombs... it'd be good times. :)

    2. I agree that the difficulty of keeping the buff up will ultimately be determined by how hard blizzard switches away from mobile to less mobile fights. It will either be too easy on most fights, or extremely hard (harder that maintaining steady focus ever was even at it's lowest duration). If fights still remain somewhat mobile most of the time, they could need to increase the duration a bit like they ended up doing with steady focus. I can't imagine the fights will be so stand still that it will be brainless though.

    3. Now that we have more feedback, it seems most everyone is asking that they increase the duration. The more I think about it, the more this seems like a balancing nightmare. It's a little hard to work through in my head, because no hunter spec has every had anything but a passive mastery, but on, for instance, my resto druid, if I don't keep up my Mastery buff, then I'm going to lose a huge percentage of my heals; instead of getting a boost from using it, you get punished for not using it. So in the end, Blizzard has to balance every class (except for Locks this xpac) around what their maximum possible DPS is. If they do that for for MM in WoD, then we'll have a lot of trouble in any fight that has more than fire on the ground you have to move out of.

      We'll see though. What made me really excited about it was it put a skill cap on playing the spec really well: giving us a way to differentiate ourselves, and pull ahead of the pack. Whether it ends up working that way or not completely depends on how blizz balances things...

  2. It would be interesting if they took the same stance they did with Ferals while their rotation was crazy hard to maintain flawlessly: It's hard, and so much harder than most rotations to play to maximum potential that we are ok with perfect play yielding slightly higher numbers than other specs can produce.