Monday, February 22, 2016

At a Crossroads

About 8 months ago I committed to writing a series of positive blog posts in an attempt to counteract what I saw as a pervasive negativity in the WoW community. It lasted for one installment. I gave Blizzard the benefit of the doubt regarding their development cycle, and I assumed I would have a lot more nice things to write. I was wrong. And with the information we currently have about Legion and hunters, I have never been so unsure about my future blogging about WoW, playing a hunter in Legion, or even continuing to play the game at all. This will NOT be a particularly positive post.

I never started this to become a WoW "personality." I started this site because I found myself chiming in regularly while listening to The Hunting Party podcast. I can TALK about hunters all day. Ask my friends. Writing about them, without echoing other writers, proved much more difficult. But it was a different era when I started this blog. Today, it's all about the stream, or at the very least, videos on YouTube. The blog format itself is pretty dated, and not an ideal medium for covering a video game, when you weigh it against the other available options. So there is that.

I also wanted to be a voice for the survival spec itself, which I had loved since Vanilla and was virtually ignored by the hunter community until Cataclysm. Well, even I don't play survival anymore. I switched to my SV spec over the weekend. First, the only reason I did was to make it Marksman. Second, I still had the Lucky Coin on my bars. That's how long it had been since I even went into my SV spec! I just don't play it anymore. And that isn't likely to change.

If you're into hunters enough to read this neglected blog, you already know that SV will become a melee spec in Legion. I think that is fine. I agree with Blizzard that three ranged  hunter specs are redundant. Between hunter changes, and the Demon Hunter, I suspect that if they could design WoW again Blizzard wouldn't feel the need for every class to have at least three specs. So while I have no problem with the SV change, I won't be playing it. I've never really enjoyed melee, but if I chose to play it, I'll be playing an established melee class. While it's early, even if I wanted to play melee, the Legion info coming out isn't very exciting. I'm not dealing with pet pathing issues ever again. Been there and done that. To an old fart like me, hunters are ranged. With a pet.

If I play a hunter in Legion, it will be as Beast Mastery, as I have for virtually all of WoD. Bendak accurately called BM, "the last bastion of the classic WoW hunter." I totally agree. The whole dark ranger thing they have cooking for Marksman sounds interesting and fun, and I will probably check it out if the artifact system doesn't make dual specs prohibitive (we desperately need more info on this system). But I need a pet. So BM it is..if I play a hunter.

I have a Priest. Both shadow and discipline sound fun in Legion (the hybrid aspect of disc is especially intriguing). I have a monk. And a rogue. And a warlock. I have not used my 90 boost yet. If I buy Legion that will give me another boost. All these options means there is a LOT riding on Beast Mastery being fun and competitive for me to stick with my favorite class. If it isn't, with the little information about artifacts that I have currently (basically none regarding off specs) I keep thinking I may just have to go with one of my other classes or boost a new one. If I play Legion.

The ONLY reason I'm playing WoD at all is I found a super fun raid team with the perfect schedule for me. I was an inch away from unsubbing when I found them. But I have ridden my 2009 iMac as far as it will go for gaming. There is no way I can run Legion on it. As I was contemplating the purchase of a new system, I remembered almost doing the same for WoD. If I had, I would have been PISSED about it. Let's be honest: Warlords of Draenor sucked. It was the least amount of content for the most amount of money that World of Warcraft has ever sold us. There absolutely were good things about it. But I have never in my life been so disappointed with a video game purchase. So, while I am happy to keep paying my sub while I have this amazing team, buying new hardware just to run what could be another WoD is less than appealing. I am anxious to hear details about Legion's number of raid tiers, dungeons after launch, and again how artifacts will allow/prohibit alts and off specs. Someone recently described WoD by saying Blizzard basically gave up on it. I totally agree. There are plenty of hints that this is what happened. Remember the island inhabited by ogre pirates? WTF happened to that? I was dying to see that! Two raids, no new dungeons, and an ugly Timeless Isle rehash doesn't make for much of an expansion. At least we got a new, interesting final boss. Oh wait, nope. Killed him already. In two other games. And it was more expensive than all the previous (good) expansions. I understand inflation and a price hike was of course inevitable, but pairing it with the thinnest expansion ever was a public relations disaster. Warlord would have been really disappoing at $40. The extra $10 added at least $25 worth of insult to injury.

So I'm at a crossroads. I have a neglected blog named for a spec I may never play again, in a subscription game that does nothing for me outside of three hours every Thursday. To be fair, $15 a month is still a value for 12 hours of quality entertainment. But this game, and the hunter class, used to mean a hell of a lot more to me.


  1. It's definitely hard for me to deal with the changes to hunters in legion. Every spec is a completely new spec. Even BM has absolutely nothing in common with the play style of the current BM hunters. It still has pets, that's the only similarity, really. The rotation/feel of it is completely new. I think blizz is making a huge mistake by not leaving one hunter spec similar to what hunters used to be. It was (and currently is) the most played class in the game, and they're not giving die-hard hunters any reason to buy legion.

    As for SV, it's being screwed by switching to melee the same expansion that Demon Hunters come out. Demon Hunters are getting every cool ability, and SV hunters are losing every cool ability. They even took away disengage! They claimed SV had too many movement buffs compared to other melee specs, and totally neglected that Demon Hunters have not only their own disengage (that actually does damage to their target), but also a rush/dash mechanic (with two charges, that also damages anyone in their way), and infinite double jumps and glides... And SV has too much movement (one 3 minute run speed cooldown) to keep disengage... Screw you blizzard.

    As it stands now, MM is the only spec I can stand the play style of, which I guess means I'm not really playing a hunter in legion (there's no reason the ranger spec should be grouped with "hunters", except they both use ranged weapons).

    So yeah. I get not being excited about legion. The only reason I'm still paying for the game is the hunter community. It's not beyond reasonable to think that removing all three hunter specs (and replacing them with brand new specs) will be enough to kill the community. If so...

    1. So glad I'm not the only one. I've been trying hard to be positive (especially considering I'm not playing the beta), but at this point I'm out of bullets.