So, there is really only two ways to look at this:
- It’s a desperate bid on Blizzards part to feign some interest in what we the player base think.
- They (i.e. Blizzard) actually DO care what we think!
For our purposes, let’s be optimistic here. Honestly, I do think they care what we the players think of this game and our time within the worlds of Azeroth & beyond. Our play time provides a great and varied amount of practical experience that Blizzard can use to improve this product as well as future ones (Project Titan I’m looking at you!). I think it only makes sense to do such an exercise, and its truly simple for them to filter the results. I suspect someone is compiling all the responses into a simple database in Excel or otherwise and will filter out various responses by key words. *Run search for NOOB, delete all records*
So what does this mean for us really? Well, I would gather not much in the short term; however, if my thought process is on target (and folks, it usually is) they will use this info to target the last round of tweaks and fixes prior to the final expansion for this game. Button up the top list of bugs and priorities as defined by the user base, and then call it a day. The product then goes into a maintenance only mode for them to merely fix any issues that crop up, and no longer support any ongoing upgrades.
Speculation on my part, let me say that again…SPECULATION on my part, but normally I am right on such things. This is the pattern we follow at my employer for our Financial Services products, I don’t think that Blizzard is doing it any differently.
The below list is the questions posed to us as players. I have also compiled the links to various hunter blogs that speak to opinions and such on this subject (one stop shopping is always a nice thing!).
My comments on the questions posed will close us out…ON TO THE QUESTIONS!!!
- What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]
- If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]
- If PvP, what type of PvP? [Arenas, BGs, Rated BGs]
- What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.
- What makes playing your class more fun?
- What makes playing your class less fun?
- How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)
- What’s on your wish list for your class?
- What spells do you use the least?
So a couple snarky points here. You can’t focus on two things. By definition FOCUS means concentration on one thing. So you have to pick! Let’s be honest while PvP is great and many people play heavily in it, the majority of the player base FOCUSES on PvE. It’s really a matter of volume. What spells do you use least is a silly question. They have a tagged database and compile the numbers. They know this info already. Additionally, look at the class and its mechanics. Auto shot, Aimed, Explosive, Cobra, etc etc ANY DAMAGE inducing ability is at the top end, and any quirky, off beat spell is at the bottom. Most people will answer things like Eagle Eye for instance. So, having been a nit picky jerk for a moment, lets get more serious.
PvE play is the primary driver for most players. We level, we raid, we dungeon run, we extreme solo, we sit in trade chat and troll (yes, this is PvE too!). Dungeons are easily the most widely played form of PvE, there are dungeons for all levels. I would almost qualify any pre-Wrath raid zones as dungeons as well to this point. They are easily soloable by many classes, as well as being farm content for a small group of 80+ players (think 3-6 players).
When it comes to PvP I am willing to bet the player base is split fairly equally between Arena & BGs. Rated BGs are probably the minority, but again it’s a hunch no data or anything. They have data already on this, so asking folks this question is a bit silly in my book, but there it is regardless.
Quality of life…now here is some meat & potatoes for us! (Side note: when compiling a questionnaire or survey, you always have the questions you are REALLY asking and fluff around them to distract. This one is actually important to them I am willing to bet) Not having to care/feed our pets is a good quality of life change. No ammo as well can definitely be thrown in here. I personally miss ammo to some extent. I don’t know, something about it was very Huntery and set us apart from other classes. I suspect the change wasn’t about us, and more about the ease of coding ranged weapons for other classes so that THEY didn’t have to have ammo bags for a gun/bow they hardly used, or eventually then having to take up a bag slot with a pile of ammo. These are classes that routinely had multiple armor sets filling precious bag space as it was, so I can understand the complaint on their part. My biggest quality of life item is having as many pet slots as we have now! Taking 5 pets for variability is super awesome compared to the Vanilla days. Also, the sheer size of our stables is quite a wonderful thing. Anyone who played a hunter during Vanilla knows this. Also, the variability in our pet buffs is an awesome quality of life item. It allows us to always be a useful addition to a group, thereby increasing our attractiveness and value. Negatively speaking, we have some bugs concerning our pets that are big pain points. Minimum range is a HUGE one, but that will never go away methinks. I have to say, one item I am annoyed by is the muddy waters between the value of our secondary stats (Crit, Haste, Mastery). Agility is king yes, but the other 3 are so difficult to process at times for a new player. I wish there was some clearer distinction between those 3.
More fun: EVERYTHING! Honestly, playing a hunter is so much fun. All our skills, utility, variability is just full of win!
Less fun: Well, I am going to be brutally honest here: The players themselves. I loathe the players who berate others for any “deviation” from what they feel is the cookie cutter build du jour. There are some base things we all should agree on – example: hit capping is always the right thing to do. Then others, not so much: example: you MUST be Marksman to play here. I don’t think Blizzard could ever change this; but perhaps help facilitate it by balancing things off a bit more from a spec stand point. They are really close now, but there is always room for improvement.
As for my rotation, well I play Survival. So I’m good with it. I do not like the hard cast push of Aimed Shot in MM. It doesn’t feel right to me. SV feels very fluidic. I think this is fluff to be honest.
Spells I use least…ugh, same as most of us. Eagle Eye: nice spell when used, but hardly needed. Counterattack…buh bye! Wyvern Sting is useful but so situational. Why do we have Widow Venom – as useless as Scorpid Sting once was. Please take ALL MY MELEE SKILLS AWAY and just dump minimum range. No min range, we don’t need Raptor Strike or even Wing Clip anymore.
The wish list….I have to admit, I have nothing truly on a wish list! I have some nice to haves, but nothing is a must have any more after nearly 7 years of playing a Hunter.
- Minimum range removal would be nice, but I don’t expect it to happen.
- Dual wielding any ranged weapon ala Titan’s Grip would be nice, but not the end of the world if we couldn’t.
- There are a handful of bugs I definitely want to see fixed still (pet issues being top priority).
- Being able to better serve as a tank, queue as one, stronger pet tanking abilities: all nice, but not necessarily realistic.
If I could get one thing, a true “wish”….Rhok’Delar. I want another Rhok quest line for Hunters. I would even take it one step further. A ranged weapon, special bag, 2H weapon of some kind…cool; however, I want MORE! I want a special pet, and mount from such a quest. Make it EPIC! NO NO! Make it LEGENDARY! The most LEGENDARY quest line in the game. I don’t care if it takes me a year to complete it…ok, maybe that’s extreme…a few months in total would be fine. But that is my one wish. That’s my MUST HAVE if there is one. Give me a legendary hunter quest. Must be completed solo, open world content, or in dungeons where you can go in alone. The Hunter makes a kill and gets a drop item that starts off the quest. Gather materials of some kind. Then sets off to tame a special beast (Make it a spawn that is only targetable by the quest holder…that way there is no griefing). Takes a special taming process. Now move on to gather more materials to build you weapon. Along the lines you have to do similar Hunter things. Use a specific pet type. Special skills, total debuff of all non-Hunter buffs, etc. After you finally have your bow, xbow, gun (yes let us choose which to build TYVM!) you then get a special present from your faction leader…a special Hunter only mount version of the pet you tamed. Better yet, make it a present from an in game Hunter NPC.
Make it challenging. Make it Legendary. Make it all about being a Hunter.
Please do this Blizz. I beg of you!