Monday, September 15, 2008

Gettin' Philosophical

Recently, Bell over at 4 Haelz had a rather heartfelt post about why she can't get too excited over Wrath of the Lich King... one of her quotes is:

Perhaps some of it is the impermanence. I can’t get interested in anything that I know might be gone or changed or revamped or whatever in days or hours or minutes. Perhaps some of it is that it is possible my class (whichever class at that time I happen to be) could be much less important to the raids, and it’s a little hard to imagine that your niche is no longer your niche.

Now I guess what I want to say here is: I understand perfectly where you're coming from.

It's really hard for me to really seriously play poor Tawyn and Lunapike and "the gang" because it feels like I'm dancing on a cloud or something, and it's ready to dissolve at my feet.

But that last line there really hit home for me, "It's a little hard to imagine that your niche is no longer your niche."

Blizzard is taking my shot rotations away. Let me explain that. Shot rotations are one of my favorite aspects of the hunter class and one of the things that really, at the time, sort of set me apart from a lot of other hunters. It was always this intuitive thing for me. I got Tawyn to level 62, got Steady Shot, went out and killed a mob and after I'd killed that one mob I knew what a shot rotation was. It has always been instinctive and natural and a matter of pride that I knew what it meant to weave my shots in the correct order and timing, and that a few other hunters actually came up to me in game and asked me to explain the concept to them.

Blizz is taking it away, and while I fully understand their reasons for doing so, and it will certainly mean an increase in hunter DPS-- I sometimes feel like I'm sitting here clutching my security blanket tightly, knowing that any day now Blizz is gonna come and take it away for good.

But you can't have your blanket forever, or you'll wind up strung out on bedspreads.

So I decided that change was necessary, it happens and we gotta evolve with it. I've accepted it. Some stuff I like will be going away, it's true. I was on Beta the other day and spent about a half hour battering away at those training dummies, trying to figure out a way to salvage the shot rotation playstyle, but it's not there anymore, it's button spamming from here on out.

But you know what? There are a ton of fun new abilities to play with. I am madly in love with the new Disengage. It puts you back at range instantly. I love it with a passion and have this little "aww man" moment when I try to use it in Burning Crusade now and it doesn't do anything. I love the new pet stuff. I am digging the way the new Kill Command almost works like a backup Intimidation.

But most importantly... I still love "huntering".

Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand... I don't care, I'm still free, Blizz can't take my class from me.

I went out into the wilds of Northrend and it was just us. Tux and I. We've been together since he was level eight and I was level ten. Tux patiently taught me what it meant to be a hunter. Even when I didn't feed him at first because I didn't know I was supposed to. Even when I didn't teach him Growl because I didn't know about it. Even when I ran around Raptor-Striking stuff and letting him die. He has been there the whole time. And in the Beta the other day, for those fleeting fifteen minutes before the server crashed, it was just us running around experiencing the wonder of an all new world and all new stuff to learn. Just like the old days.

Huntering is alive and well.

It is still a really scary thought in many ways. For a while now, I have been a hunter teacher, and knowing that I have to become a student again is sort of a scary proposition. It will feel out of place. But then Boozsha said something interesting. He said, "Well when WoTLK these 70 blogger hunter masters will have to start leveling(most likely). It is going to be great to read these post about them leveling again."

Now euphoria from being mentioned in the same breath as BRK and Drotara aside, he has a really good point. We have a lot that we can teach to each other and learn from each other and it's exciting.

And that is why I am embracing Wrath of the Lich King. Is it gonna be scary? In many aspects, yes. Is it going to change a lot of things I was really comfortable with? Yes. I do admit that in a lot of ways these last few weeks before the 3.0 patch are gonna have me feeling like The Kiwi*, spent simply pewpew'ing stuff in casual Heroic and Karazhan jaunts and reveling in my last flight of the 2.0 hunterdom I finally feel like I have mastered after working on it for so long. But unlike the Kiwi, I have more flying left to do.

I'll see you in Northrend.

* If you can get through that movie without tearing up, you are a stronger hunter than I. /reaches for box of Kleenex


Neggles said...

Personally, I can't wait to "be level 11" again. Leveling my hunter will be like a second, er, third childhood!

Rilgon Arcsinh said...

All disrespect for Drotara aside (because I think he's a talentless, rude hack), I agree with a lot of your points. What I will disagree with, however, is the fact that shot rotations are gone.

Shot rotations are a necessity of our class, period. Making sure we use the right shots at the right times, getting the most out of a global cooldown. It's had many forms - the 10-second rotation pre-BC, BC's 3:2, 1:1, and 1.5:1, and now, in Wrath, your shot rotation is largely going to fall upon your class. I'm thinking of coining it as the "5-shot rotation", because every spec seems to fall into nice, neat rotations that consist of 5 shots.

You will still have to relearn how to play, just as I had to when I moved to Wrath. But that's the best part about it. ^^;

Rilgon Arcsinh said...

Err, as I had to when I moved to TBC, rather. :)

Boothy20 said...

All these Firefly references recently. Now I'm gonna have to watch them all again.

Thanks, Pike. :/

Cel said...

It's time to give up your woobie.

Pike said...

@ Rilgon - you are perhaps right about the shot rotations, I suppose what I meant was, the timing has all been screwed up now via untying Steady/Auto and lengthening the "cast time" of Steady. But if there is another Shot Rotation in there for me to find then that makes me happy XD I just haven't found it yet.

@ Boothy20 - that's the whole point! =P

Awlbiste said...

Oh god. That's so... morbid.

Sade said...

I've been wanting to get on the beta and mess around some more, but good lord, the lag the other day was brutal. Like, unplayable brutal. Has it gotten any better in the last few days? ._.

krizzlybear said...

have you temporarily forgotten that you get freakin core hounds and devilsaurs and chimeras and FREAKING HUGE RHINOS!?

i'm so jealous of hunters right now, that i'm actually tempted to actually level one past 20 when wrath comes. right now i'm just too turned off by the requirement to learn skillups through taming other beasts, similar to warlocks having to buy individual tomes for each skillup for their pets.

Stupid Mage said...

I honestly can not wait to read what you have to say when Wrath comes out. The tips and insight that you and the other Hunter bloggers have provided has saved my ass countless time.

So thanks, and keep up the awesome work.

Featherkitty said...

Youyyyyou have to restart lllllevliling bbbuuuttt i woooorrkkked ooonn mmmyyy chharcter sooooo llllonggg

Rakhman said...

I agree that it's sad that the hunter shot rotation timing is going away; it is one of the aspects of the class which made it interesting and challenging to play well. Will it become just another button mashing class? I don't know, the cool pets and what-not can't really help with the fact that the class has lost some of its complexity, some of the finesse required to play.

However Rilgon has a point that we still cant just mash Steady shot, we need to know how and when to use all the skills to help us and our parties.

Plus the new BM stuff does look really cool.

Escada said...

I can definitely relate to this post. I am just starting to get the hang of things as a hunter, and training my pet and picking out the best things to teach him to prepare him for arena and bgs. But now...there will be no having to tame other pets to learn something. It all seems almost too easy..those were all parts of being a hunter, whether they were annoying or not it was something you had to do.

But! alas, things do change. I will be glad to take Escada out into the snow covered peaks and level again. :)