1. #1

    The soul of hunter

    The hunter class has a fundamental flaw; the class doesn't have a foundation. This isn't exactly new, however I expected they would eventually solve that problem.

    In review it's obvious that bm, mm and sv have entirely different gameplay styles. In short;

    BM = Full instant ability spec
    MM = Caster-like gameplay
    SV = Melee spec

    The general class tree provides no meaningful shared experience applicable to all specs. It's just a couple of shared abilities, half of which barely impact the gameplay of the specs.

    The biggest concern is the insane differences in dps mechanics, there's essentially no similarity (I am not writing down a list of 6 pages regarding everything). Even right down to the resource management MM & BM work fundamentally differently. The resource might be called focus on the surface for both specs, but it is definitely not the same resource in practice. Infact it would be appropriate to call into question the purpose of focus for BM - it does not serve a necessary function.

    The differences between the 3 specs are so enormous that they can almost be seen as individual classes rather than specs of the same class. Therefore it's logical to assume most hunter players only enjoy 1 out of the 3 specs, or at the very least they will have a major preference. A MM hunter might not consider playing a melee spec or a spec that can be considered easy. Likewise BM hunters may not want to play a casterlike spec or a melee one. SV mains probably don't have a lot of interest playing ranged.
    This is all very theoretical, however the practical result of it is that plenty of hunter players regularly face a problematic decision whenever large meta shift occurs; they are forced to play a spec they don't like or recognize as an actual hunter spec for various reasons. Potentially hunters might also find it difficult to switch out of their preferred spec because the playstyle is nearly antithetical – which would partially explain high representation for bm (and to a lesser extent mm) when it's at the bottom. Another practical consequence is that you never really know what you get whenever you invite a hunter to your group.

    It gets worse when you put it into perspective. You do not even have to go back to a previous version of hunter; you can compare to other classes right now. Warlocks have a clear shared foundation between specs. They are all ranged, they all have a caster gameplay style, a shared resource system (for the most part), they deal with mobility similarily, etc. Many shared elements that hunters do not have. It's not surprising many warlocks frequently switch specs without issue. There are also more important general trees. Paladin comes to mind; auras, wings, divine toll and so on are actually a crucial part of their shared class tree. For paladins this provides a decent baseline.

    The lack of foundation is a plague upon the current hunter design. While I recognize the playability and functionality of the specs by themselves out of context, it's hard to appreciate the class as a whole. What exactly is the hunter class suppose to be? How would you define the class? There is no adequate answer. They lost sight of that. If the hunter class does not have a core, if the only purpose of the class is to facilitate the existence of completely different styles of gameplay and fantasy, then the class no longer has a soul.

  2. #2
    The worst part is it's intentional. Blizzard went out of their way to take a class that previously had a solid foundation and mutilate it into 3 poorly defined micro-classes. And much of the playerbase cheered them on in the name of "class fantasy" PR. We've been playing catch-up ever since.

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