Thrill of the Wild in Legion

So, here we are; the Legion pre-patch likely less than a week away, and hunters are still in a fairly terrible place, from my perspective. All three specs received complete overhauls (now having only the names in common with the previous three hunter specs), and all three ended up significantly less fun than they have been for the last two expansions.

To be clear, I'm not talking about the specs in relationship to other classes.  Overall, "tuning" is something that I care about, but it's not make or break for a class.  It's important for determining what spec you want to play in high-end raiding.  It is not, however, something that makes you love a class. For the last 6 or 7 years, I have loved playing hunters, and at this point, I think they're just ok.

Having fun playing the class, for me, is the basis of the entire game.  If I don't like the playstyle of a character, none of the dailies or dungeons or raids will be fun, regardless of how compelling their stories are.  And on the other hand, when everyone else hated the grind of 5.0 dailies, I was still having fun, because I just loved playing my hunters back then.

This is, unfortunately, no longer the case. While I'd like to think that in general I'm appreciative of the developers trying new things, experimenting and trying to make the game better.  In the case of all three hunter specs, they've ended up with results that are significantly worse than what they had when they started. And really, that wouldn't be a problem either, except, as far as I can tell, the developers who are in charge seem to legitimately think that they've made a good class, despite months and months and months of feedback from hundreds of different hunters in the beta expressing dissatisfaction with every single hunter spec.

Thrill of the Wild Going Forward

For any of you who follow this site regularly, you probably noticed I took an extended break from posting alpha/beta updates. I had actually taken a break from playing WoW too, for the most part. I've officially stepped back from raiding in the more "hardcore" team I was on.  And am planning on only raiding on a 6 hour per week weekend team in legion.

As such, I don't know how much "cutting edge" theorycrafting I'll be doing.  In the past, anything I've posted on this site happened because I was having fun, got excited about whatever I was working on, and then decided to write it down.  When I was covering "news", it was because I was excited to hear about whatever changes were coming, and wanted a venue to express that excitement.

For the time being, I'm planning on starting to blog on here again, at least once legion drops, but really, it depends if I can find something to be excited about: a reason to love playing hunters.  I don't want this to turn into a blog where I just complain the current game, and talk about how much better the good ol' days were.

I'll be out of town next week, taking a group of kids from my work on a camping trip, and will miss the actual release of the pre-patch (most likely). Part of me is holding on to hope that perhaps we've all been playing the specs wrong so far, and once they're released into the game, someone who wasn't on the beta or ptr will find a way to make them fun again. Even if that does happen, I want to try to give these new specs as much of a chance as I can stand to.  I plan on finishing updating my DPS spreadsheet before the end of August, and I'll try to post any fun spreadsheets or theorycrafting I come up with while trying to optimize my hunters.


  1. What you’ve written is very understandable, as the Hunter class is the only one I’ve played for over ten years. Plus, most Hunter-centric posts are resonating with your same thoughts. We’ve seen changes, abilities and talents to some extent always shift one way or the other during expansions, yet this is the most drastic Hunter overhaul to date. Blizzard wanted to do that, and I would say they succeeded. Whether or not it’s an accomplishment, remains to be seen. For those coming in new to the game, this new way of Hunter play style will be all they know, and they may love it. For those who bring their Hunters out of the alt stable months before a new expansion drops, may actually like the new direction as well. It’s said the new Hunter gameplay appears to be liberated from all those “cumbersome,” “extra,” and “not needed” shared-core Hunter abilities, that most of us never saw as such and in fact probably had grown to love. Being in tune with the Hunter, there is a symbiotic feel for all the abilities that now will take on a much different playstyle from over a decade of what was considered the norm. Even with changes from past expansions, we Hunters have always found a way to survive, to be the marksmen (and markswomen) that we needed to be, and wield our beasts to master what needed to be mastered. This time around, it is a bit more drastic on the learning curve, which really feels more like the forgetting curve, as many shots/abilities that were near and dear to the Hunter Class are now relegated to a specific Hunter Spec. I feel myself swinging back and forth along the “change curve,” and believe that it’ll turn into quiet the roller-coaster ride of emotions before that last bit of ammunition is spent. One thing I keep wondering though, is why leave the Survival spec labeled as such and why not just call it Gladiator? For any core Hunters out there, you know as well as I do, that we all are Survivors, whether one plays that particular spec, or not. Try to really get into the mode and fantasy playstyle of your chosen Hunter specs (I hope I can, for it feels easier to type, then to do), but, don’t give up! Just re-load, take aim, and HAPPY HUNTING… be it with your loyal pets and new animal friends of the wild that come to your aid, your trusted gun or bow, or your brand spanking polearm (talk about a blast from the past). Okay, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one as the only Hunter weapon, but… it’s a Hunter Spec and the most important thing there, is Hunter.

  2. I couldn't agree more. Just came back from a one year hiatus and I find every spec to be boring and clumsy. So sad to see this happen. This has been my favorite class since vanilla. I have 8 hunters on different servers. I don't plan on playing any of them now. On a positive note.. I'm loving my prot warrior. :)

  3. I stopped playing about five months ago, and picked back up in time for Legion pre-events, and was surprised to see all the numerous changes. The biggest one I've noticed is that, as a mostly solo player (I liked playing solo quest lines and roaming through old dungeons solo), I feel like it is much harder to solo with all the changes. I hate how all the pets have been needed before, but now it feels like the actual players have been neutered just as much as the pets.