Beta Class Balance Analysis

Blizzard is asking for feedback on class balance in the Mists of Pandaria Beta. In the original post, Zarhym wrote, “We want to provide everyone with a quick update regarding the status of beta class design and balance, as well as start collecting more detailed analytics from you. Since you’ve probably seen us say many times in the past that we’re not yet in a place to start dissecting the numbers, it’s worth calling out that we now want you to bring it on!”

For the purposes of keeping this thread as valuable to the developers as possible — they will be actively reading and likely replying to posts here — these are some things to know before posting:

  • First and foremost, as a ground rule let’s keep this one thread free of pleas about ability feedback, DPS being too low or other subjective declarations. This thread should be about information sharing. If you aren’t a theorycrafter, this thread may not be for you.
  • We feel the numbers are in a pretty good place right now. If you’re a theorycrafter who has been waiting for things to stabilize before submitting your class balance analysis, this is your cue to have at it. […]

WoW Hunters Hall will monitor the thread for hunter information and updates will be listed in this article. Here are the relevant conversations thus far:

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Kennyloggins wrote, “It should be apparent by the information present in this thread that multi-shot is in desperate need of a retuning.” [link]

Ghostcrawler replied, “We need to make some adjustments, but aren’t sure buffing Multi is the right solution. As you point out, BM AE is fine. Marks is a little low and Survival is a lot low. These can all be fixed, but if we just buff Multi then we need to nerf BM elsewhere.” [link]

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Zeherah wrote: I’m really just getting started on mechanics testing and updating my site for MoP, so I don’t have a lot of specific numbers feedback, but there is a specific mechanic change I’m concerned about for hunters. The changes to talents have led to a pretty big change in hunter pet focus regen. Currently BM is the only hunter spec which has any talents which regen pet focus. Since pet base focus regen is fairly low, this means that the frequency of basic attacks for non-BM pets has dropped quite a bit.”

Even for BM the regen is pretty low (although that at least will improve with crit rate). I’m not sure if the intention is to make hunter pets do significantly lower damage or to tweak the pet melee attack to do a far larger portion of the pet damage, or if this is just a mechanic that hasn’t really been worked on yet.

The fact that the wild hunt mechanic (which still has the wrong tooltip) has been baked into the focus dump attack makes me think that you still intend for pets to have higher focus regen (as gear improves at least), in which case the current implementation seems lacking. I also hope the intention is not to encourage us to micromanage our focus attacks to stay high enough to use wild hunt.


Ghostcrawler replied, “We essentially took some damage from the pet and gave it to the hunter. We think overall hunter damage is fairly balanced on beta, except for the AE issue noted above.” [link]
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Silvertoe wrote, “I’ve found it incredibly frustrating that Misdirection hasn’t worked from day one. (And still doesn’t.)  Trying to evaluate AoE and other abilities, mechanics, and techniques has been difficult where multiple mobs need to be pulled because they all gather around me instead of my pet at range. Since you’re now asking for numbers, is it possible to bump up the priority for fixing the MD bug? [link]

Ghostcrawler replied, “Misdirection works correctly in a group. There is a bug preventing it from working when you are not in a group, which means you can’t MD to your pet when solo. This will be fixed in a future build.” [link]

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Dibbyrne asked, “Whatever happened to Improved Serpent Sting? It vanished pretty much right at the start of MoP beta, and that’s a huuuuge chunk of Survival’s AoE on live right now. Was there a reason it was removed? Can we see it return, possibly?”

And while on the topic of Hunters, I want to bring up Murder of Crows. The focus cost is astronomically high and is currently the highest costing Hunter ability. Also I don’t quite understand the execute-cooldown-lowering thing that it has. The cooldown gets lowered to 15 seconds, but it has a 30 second duration. Does Murder of Crows stack, or will using a new one overwrite it? What’s the intention there? Regardless, it’s focus cost is way too high to be used efficiently.

Also, Powershot vs Barrage. Currently as is, there is no reason in to take Powershot over Barrage for PvE, unless you specifically need it for the knockback. They have the same focus cost, same effective cast time, same damage… but Barrage has half the cooldown, making it the clear winner. And while they both have the same effective cast time, Barrage is channeled, which means damage happens right away up front. Powershot requires a 3 second cast.

Lynx Rush’s damage, in all the testing I’ve done, is abysmal. It does not warrant a 1.5 minute cooldown at all.


Ghostcrawler replied, “We generally try not to make you choose between Damage and Utility, so tuning talents that are each Damage+Utility can be tricky. It does seem that Barrage always wins on damage right now, so look for changes to one of them in a later build. If you have some data and/or analysis on Lynx Rush, we’d be interested.” [link]

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Skhope wrote, “Powershot and Barrage are both broken. Neither of them are doing 400% weapon damage to primary target. Tested with static damage white bow, no pet and no gear on. On top of that, there’s no scaling from RAP. So, they’re extremely underwhelming for PVE.”

From PVP standpoint, none of the level 90 hunter talents hit harder than my Arcane Shot as they are all mitigated by armor and they’re extremely weak. For example, Powershot requires 3 sec cast, can’t be used in fox and the knockback is smaller than glyphed Explosive Trap.


Ghostcrawler replied, “I believe there was previously a bug with their damage calculations, but that has been fixed. If you can try in the next build that goes to Beta, and provide data, that would be helpful.” [link]
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