The big announcements
It seems very likely that we'll get an announcement about what the next expansion will be and perhaps some vague language about when. But unless the expansion is Rise of the Hunters (Fall of the Elven Nations), this isn't directly related to us. The class info usually comes out of the class Q&A session, which will be Saturday afternoon.
But very interesting is a new panel on Friday afternoon: World of Warcraft Class Talent System. Having an entire panel on this topic suggests that we're going to hear about some significant changes -- probably in relation to the new expansion -- about a new talent system revamp and expansion, and we may very well learn some hints about awesome hunter ideas (stampede?).
The class Q&A is of course open to all the support classes as well as us hunters, and this year it covers professions and items too. This means that we can expect only a handful of hunter questions to get answered at the panel. And you can bet that just as at least one hunter will waste one of our precious slots with a silly or pointless question, at least one of the others will be about minimum range.
When Blizzard recently had its class design feedback thread, hunters overwhelmingly complained about minimum range. They complained about it in nearly every possible complaint category. With that kind of feedback, I'm going to be very curious to see what the response is when it gets brought up at the con.
Minimum range did come up at Blizzcon 2010 when a hunter asked about it and he had some back-and-forth with the developers. Here an excerpt of their responses:
It's part of the overall flavor of the hunter class unfortunately, and it goes hand in hand with using ranged weapons. That said I'm very sympathetic to the reality on fights like Lord Marrowgar, and other bosses that have very large hit boxes -- which works to the advantage of melee because it lets you spread out -- but effectively it's subtracting from the viable range for hunters. That issue in particular is something that we've discussed addressing because it is intended to make life easier for you, not harder, and life would be easier for you on Marrowgar if you were smaller and that's just not how it's ideally going to work....
At the same you can shoot while moving and a mage can't channel his spells while moving, so there's trade offs right? Or a rogue or a cat they can't do anything when they have to run around the room, and you can. So there's different classes have different strengths in different situations.
It's interesting that the hitbox issue was indeed addressed -- kind of -- by making some of the Cataclysm
bosses that required clumping into melee ignore minimum range. It was great, for PVE, but also inconsistently implemented.
I have to think the pressure of this question has increased with the massive hunter feedback, and I wonder if we won't hear the first speculation about the possibility of removing it.
What else we heard last year
At the Q&A, we had a hunter try to argue that we should get Aspect of the Cheetah
with no penalties at all, just a flat 30% movement increase always; unsurprisingly, that didn't fly. We also had someone ask for cooler proc enchants like the melee got, and the Blizzard developers said that they were going to be evaluating the scopes and looking for a way to make them cool and interesting -- and we eventually saw Flintlocke's Woodchucker
In a less official capacity, we heard from Ghostcrawler that Counterattack
was on the list for review but that Blizzard wouldn't get to it soon. We still have it a year later, and it looks like we may have to wait for the next expansion. We did get GC-speculated buffs to Multi-Shot
and weapon damage normalization changes. We heard that pets would likely have their talents changed to make it possible for them to become crit-immune. That one also came to pass, and now we've had a hunter solo Atramedes
(mostly due to the lack of a hard enrage and the ability to bypass the soft enrage -- but pet tanking was also needed).
Ghostcrawler said that it was also possible that we'd get non-visible pet collars
at some point, and it breaks my wee Dwarven heart that my pet is still without an awesome pet collar option.
What do you want to learn?
I'm going to be at BlizzCon (and depending on when this post goes live, I may already be), and you can bet I'll be keeping my eye out for Ghostcrawler at the various parties where he's known to make an appearance. If I do have 15 seconds to ask a quick question, what one question would you want me ask him?
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