Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strain)

Well . . .wow. Changes is right. Koraa dropped by the forums, which I am sure most of you heard/saw, and left quite a doozie for us to try and wrap our heads around. Some of the details are going to come later and, very unfortunately, some of our talents won’t even ship in a finished manner. So let’s take a look at what some of this means and what we can discern from the blue posts that popped up last night.

- Aimed Shot – This shot will now be instant cast, its effect/cooldown will remain unchanged.**

Edit: ** We’ll most likely have to reduce Aimed Shots damage if it becomes instant, somewhere in the ballpark of more than arcane shot/multi-shot on a single target but less than what it is now.
That one came out of the blue (Get it, out of the “blue?”) and wasn’t something anyone could predict. What does this mean? It adds another tool to our arsenal for shooting on the run. Arcane Shot, sort-of Multi-Shot, the upcoming Kill Shot (but not until LK release) and now Aimed Shot. While the damage is supposedly getting nerfed, we can hope that it’s large mana cost will also be nerfed to compensate. Another hope is that it will no longer reset the swing timer. In a PvE situation this can be mitigated the way Warriors use Slam, but the point remains.

Scatter shot – This will now be an 11-point Survival talent.
Well then. The obvious first, you won’t be picking up Scatter Shot and Chimera Shot when the patch hits. However as soon as you level once in the expansion it won’t be an issue. The change is quite perplexing. But a welcome to change to many people, making this much needed PvP talent not quite trainable, but much more accessible.

Readiness – This will now be the 21-point Marksmanship talent.
And taking Scatter Shot’s place? Why Readiness of course. Wait, what? A curious flop for Readiness. The first thing that pops into my mind is a 50/21 build with back-to-back Bestial Wraths. After all, if Blizzard thinks that all pet DPS should be nearly equal, might as well skip the exotic.

Trap Mastery – This will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we’ll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships).
And taking the place of Readiness . . . Trap Mastery? Koraa said it best, it’s not sexy. And my issue with it is that WotLK is shipping with our talents not finished. They are going to change it after it ships. I am personally not a fan of the idea. At all. I can’t comment too much since they are changing it, we just don’t know when.

- Surefooted is swapping places with T.N.T. (so Surefooted is now in tier 2)
Good change. This makes the hit talent more accessible to those who want it.

It also looks like PvP Hunters are going to screwed since we have no idea when Aspect of the Viper is going to be fixed. While Koraa said that changing Viper to passive regen is “Done =)” they started the post with our upcoming changes with this gem:
Unfortunately we won’t be able to do the Aspect of the Viper change I discussed yesterday (passive instead of requiring you to attack the target) at this time because of technical limitations and its potential to shake up our current balance goals. However, we will evaluate it as an option for a future patch.
Any smart Arena teams will exploit our broken mana mechanics in a heart beat, knowing we cannot regen without dealing damage. You think pillar humping is bad now? Those pillars are going to have file assault lawsuits after these changes go live.

I have to be honest, making a Death Knight is more and more appealing as time goes, especially for PvP purposes. It’s obvious Blizzard went out of their way to finish this class. And it is a blast to play, it’s got awesome unique elements, and not like any other class. I want to say it’s “easier” but that’s not the right term. I can lay down a fat beating on someone in the Arena with half the hotkeys I need for the Hunter. And how does Freezing Arrow match up to the friggin’ awesome Army of the Dead? Considering I was able to click in some talents, queue up for scrimmage matches and go 5 for 5 says a lot, especially considering what you could do once you master the class mechanics.

There are some good changes coming down the pipeline. But are our core issues going to be addressed? That is what remains to be seen. We still have time for things to be fixed. Not much, but “I’m not dead yet. I think I’m going for a walk.”

So here is a fun picture I forgot to share the other day:

Thoughts, comments, etc. You know the drill!

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.