Reflections on the Current State of Hunter DPS

Morynne —  January 9, 2012 — 7 Comments

Now that I’m back from my time off, over a massive cold, and have a few more raids under my belt I feel like I can talk about what’s going on with Hunter DPS.

We had a great run in Firelands.

Hunters seemed to be made for that tier of content.  The encounters were largely hunter friendly with very few stack up mechanics, and there were many range friendly fights.  Hunters were topping meters, and leading the pack on DPS until some legendary weapons were completed.  As legendaries were completed, you started to see Hunters fall down the DPS meters a bit, but not out of competition.

Punching Deathwing in the Face

The state of Hunter DPS in Dragon Soul is pretty unique.  Melee classes were buffed pretty significantly through AP, and casters have their legendary — making Hunters one of the only classes that didn’t see any real boost to DPS from Firelands to Dragon Soul.  This caused Hunters to fall further and further down the meters, not to say that we’re not seeing impressive performance from Hunter players — there are some exceptional players out there.  I know that my DPS has gone from in Firelands, top 7-8 DPS after legendaries were created, to scraping the bottom above the tanks in Dragon Soul in our 25-man raids.  Did I change anything? The only thing that’s changed is gear.

Now, let’s be clear here.  This is not a cry for a buff to Hunter DPS.  Blizzard is up against a very difficult challenge for balancing lots of classes with legendary weapons in range, and melee not only getting the AP boost, but also Rogues getting their legendary.  Blizzard needs to be able to balance Hunter DPS with the DPS of those range that do not have a legendary weapon.  Does that require a huge boost to Hunters? Probably not.

Blizzard did just announce in the 4.3.2 patch notes that a small buff is coming.

  • Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  • Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  • Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

Do I think this is going to be enough to help us out?

I think so. The ~700 AP buff that Hawk is getting will increase our DPS enough to mimic the melee buff that was granted.  Black Arrow lasting longer will give us an extra 5 seconds to proc, which should increase our Lock n’ Load procs, and with Lock n’ Load not being consumed by Arcane Shot, we’ll be sure to get the maximum bonus available.

Now this is all speculation on my part, but I do think Hunters will regularly appear higher on the damage meters than they had been, and I have a feeling that it’s going to continue to be Survival on top of the three specs for Tier 13 raid content, not to say that Marksman and Beastmastery will be far behind, if at all.

What do you think of how Hunters have fared this tier of raid content?


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Morynne is an avid hunter, and prefers Marksmanship. She has co-hosted the Hunting Party Podcast, and appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. For more information, click here.

7 responses to Reflections on the Current State of Hunter DPS

  1. I don’t think very well at all, there are a few good hunter fights (such as Yorsahj and Hagara), yet our obvious lack of surviability becomes apparent easily. The change to deterrence [as a damage mitigation mechanic] is not enough to activly help due to the long CD, not to mention that we effectivly can’t attack during it’s duration. The changes to hawk in MoP will be nice, but we are talking about this tier :P

    Our DPS has slowly become less-sexy [when comparing to the other classes].. kind of the opposite of why I love my hunter :P – The AP buff for melee, the legendary staff and daggers [the 397 versions are pretty wicked], as well as the DW weapon for strength users (Gurthalak) all see us being shafted..

    Our BiS bow, Vishanka, is lacking the ‘oomph’ that Gurthalak has, people will argue that we get the polearm off deathwing as well, but it would be nice to see Vishanka doing more that 1-4% of our damage when you see Gurthalak hit ~20% (the Arms warrior hit 40% on H Yorsahj with Gurthalak, that is a tad silly).

    We will have to see how it plays out, thanks for the read Morynne!

    It will be interesting to see how we fare once the new changes to Hawk come in, it is a fair amount of AP, but will it be enough to see us competitive?

  2. I tend to agree. I think Blizzard kind of messed up by buffing all melee instead of just the melee that needed it and having legendaries for too many classes at one time.

    As a non-SV hunter (I play BM), I’d like to see some more attention to BM and MM to bring them closer to SV. However, I doubt that will happen since Blizzard focuses on balancing at least the top spec per class rather than balancing all specs.

    Hopefully, things will get balanced well in MoP and we’ll see a hunter legendary gun in the early tiers.

    • I find BM to be quite good at the moment, it only has a weakness once you have a big target switching fight (like H zon’ozz) or where mechanics become a problem (Phase 2 attacking the drake on Warmaster Blackhorn). On single target, it is still looking good (and fine to play). I tend to go BM for H Morchok, N Zon’ozz, Ultraxion and it actually does quite well on hagara.*

      Here is a parse of Hagara where I played BM, there is nothing wrong with that :) [lol at the shammy and druid deaths muahaha]

      I agree that MM and BM could use a tiny bit of love, yet the AP should treat BM quite kindly from the AotH changes, so I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

      *note that my raid team (10s) is missing the 3% dmg buff, so they always love me going BM

  3. Has anyone ever discussed about added legendary quests to existing legendaries? How cool would it be to have the war Glaves or Thunderfury get an upgrade by doing an additional quest. I personally would love to do that for the Sunwell Bow. Just a thought, since they wont let us trasmorph Legendary weapons.

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