I’m a hunter player on the Asia server for classic wotlk, and I wanted to share my thoughts about recent changes to ret and feral, as well as a potential review on the hunter class for trap weaving.
In my opinion, the classic wotlk hunter has a rather perplexing mechanic, particularly for Survival spec. The sniper training talent requires players to stand still during fights, while trap weaving, which is essential for decent DPS, forces players to frequently move in and out of melee range. Although Blizzard removed melee weaving in wotlk to avoid this play style, trap weaving still contradicts the overall hunter class experience.
I wasn’t initially planning to bring this up, but seeing the recent changes to ret and especially feral, which aimed to simplify feral’s play style, made me reconsider. I wonder if Blizzard could take a look at the wotlk hunter’s somewhat unnatural gameplay and implement a potential fix.
I understand that class changes can be risky, especially when it comes to PvP balance and other potential issues. However, taking inspiration from the ret pally fix, I thought of an idea: what if a glyph, preferably a minor one, could replace the “freezing arrow” ability with an explosive trap projectile (in place of the frozen trap)? This wouldn’t require new talents or changes to black arrow damage or mechanics, as those could lead to unwanted PvP consequences. Instead, a glyph could offer players the choice between using freezing arrow or the explosive projectile, making the rarely used frezzing arrow (in PvE) more appealing and providing an ideal fix for trap weaving in wotlk. (Obviously we all know that the trap projectile was introduced later in Cata).
That’s just my 2 cents on the matter, and I’m not sure if Blizzard has plans to review the hunter’s trap weaving play style. Nevertheless, I thought I’d share my thoughts here.
As a player with orange/pink WCL parse (understand parse doesn’t represent everything about the game), I can say that any hunter players at this range would be forced to use trap weaving for dps improvement.
The benefit from trap weaving is obvious: higher overall dmg from explosive trap and a almost guaranteed proc of lock and load for more explosive shots.
If any hunter would like to increase their dps performance in a boss fight, trap weaving is a must as a replacement of using black arrow. Based on my experience, the only boss that may not be ideal for trap weaving in ULD is general vezax, and trap weaving can be used in all other boss fights if you want to improve your dps.
However the initial topic in this thread is not about discussing the benefits of using trap weaving for positive dps increase. It’s more about a review on hunter’s mechanic for this trap weaving play style, especially following the removal of melee weaving in wotlk by Blizz as they don’t feel it’s a natural way of hunter’s gameplay style.
When reflecting on the two class changes made so far (ret and feral), I feel that the class adjustment for ret is to address their challenging performance in dps whereas the class adjustment for feral is to simply the gameplay mechanics.
Just to be clear, I’m not here to complain about SV’s dps performance in ULD, although SV isn’t top-tier dps, it’s certainly not as bad as ret’s performance prior to the adjustment.
SV’s situation is more similar to feral: players are forced to use overcomplex combat strategy in order to make decent dps (Bearweaving vs trap weaving) and I feel both of them
I agree to achieve orange and pink parses its a requirement to trap weave and do it perfectly. But its not necessary to play the hunter class either surv or marks and still achieve decent parses.
I dont trap weave as a marks hunter on my main hunter and feel i do pretty good. Yeah trap weaving would help me be better but im to cautious in my playstyle and dont want to be the reason for unnecessary wipes on like thorim for example.
A glyph to be able to launch explosive trap would make us op and would end up blizzard nerfing lnl to compensate for that glyph.
Anytime hunters come in the spotlight blizzard nerfs us.
Well if we compare the abolished melee weaving in TBC, surely trap weaving is not that “over-complex”.
However in order to make a near perfect trap weaving, a hunter player needs to consider travel distance to melee range, remember trap activate range for each boss fight (as they may have different hitbox and may not properly trigger explosive trap in melee range), optimize CD, GCD, auto shot timer and potential impact for certain boss abilities that may affect the raid(Thorim for example, trap weaving requires precise monitoring of the 7-second window of chain of lightning, otherwise it may cause a quick wipe to all the melee units).
By checking some of the top logs, a near perfect trap weaving would be like this: explosive shot in CD, sniper training buff > 8s, switch to aspect of the cheetah, move into melee range, make sure you place the trap close to centre of the target (trigger range for giants or dragons is a joke), disengage/jump back, switch back your aspect, return back to 5-8 yard and start normal shooting and prepare for next weaving. Constantly going into and moving out from melee range just to place traps.
As to “not anti-thematic to a survival hunter’s gameplay”, first of all, trap weaving is positive dps gain for all hunter specs, regardless of SV, MM or BM. Even if you decide to switch to MM in T10 raids without any trap-enhancement talents, trap weaving is still unfortunately your ticket to maximising dps. I understand trap is part of hunter’s abilities and features. However at this stage trap weaving places SV’s black arrow at a very tricky spot - it sits deep in SV talent tree and is useless for trap weaving as black arrow shares CD with explosive trap. Replacing an ability that’s deep in the talent tree with a general ability that can be learned directly from class trainer, I’m not sure of this is the intended game design.
I agree with this to an extent. We want classes to be complex but trap weaving isn’t a great way to achieve it. It’s not possible for some bosses, it’s often putting your raid at risk due to mechanics, it can be really wonky with boss hitboxes, and as you said it clashes with Sniper Training (+ minimum range on ranged attacks).
It’s exactly the sort of thing that’s acceptable and can even be a bit fun/goofy for classic WoW but if it were a tightly-tuned and competitive environment like modern WoW it really wouldn’t be acceptable.
Ideally we would have had Trap Launcher in for WotLK; that was actually the original plan back in the day but they couldn’t do it in time so they made Black Arrow instead.
Personally I think putting Sniper Training in SV was a mistake. It’s thematically a much better fit for MM and people said as much at the time. It actually became an MM thing later on.
Nevertheless, WotLK is meant to be more a museum piece experience. I’d rather they didn’t go around reworking specs.
Does your guild just drag bosses around constantly? Every fight in there can involve trap weaving.
I would say it’s jarring when combined with Sniper Training and the 5 yard minimum range. Lock and Load was a good way to involve traps in a non-toxic manner but there’s always problems with boss hitbox weirdness that make any sort of rotational trapping toxic. If WotLK were as tightly tuned and designed as Retail PvE it would be extremely toxic.
It’s true WotLK classes are simplistic compared to what came after so ways of creating a higher skill ceiling are welcome. That’s pretty much the story of the Hunter class, though; how can a skill ceiling be introduced without being revolting e.g. minimum range, Explosive Shot clipping, etc. Things are a bit more complex in retail but sadly they really screwed up SV in many fundamental ways.