So, Blizzcon weekend came and went – and we were given a lot of information about the upcoming Legion expansion. For the most part I’m feeling quite excited, though I’m still waiting to hear more about artifacts and the new class specialisations.
My main this expansion has been a hunter. I’ve played the class in previous expansions as an alt, and it’s a class I’ve always quite enjoyed. When questing it’s great to have your loyal pet along to help keep the nasties off you, and I’ve always enjoyed the ranged playstyle with a lot of mobility.
In Legion I feel like they’re taking some of the core things that I enjoy about the class away. Or they’re splitting it between the specs, so that possibly none of the specs have exactly what I enjoy about the class.
Beast Mastery probably comes the closest to what I enjoy. A ranged class with a pet. So, I may be forced to play BM, and can then only hope that they keep the specs competitive and doesn’t let any of them fall too far behind the others (forcing you to change – like I just had to do from BM to MM in WoD).
Marksmanship will be ranged, without a pet. One of the reasons Blizzard gave for this change was “because most players choose the Lone Wolf talent”. Well, Blizzard – do you know why we choose it? It’s not because we want to be a pet-less hunter, it’s because it’s the talent that gives the most dps in raids. Whenever I’m out in the world questing, I’m still using my pet. In Legion, if I’m MM – I’ll have to quest on my own. I really dislike the idea of being a hunter without a pet, but at least now I can still have my pet around when I’m questing – even if he has to be dismissed during raids. In Legion, I won’t ever have a pet as MM.
Survival as a melee spec. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I remember playing around in Vanilla testing to be a melee hunter. It wasn’t ideal back then, but it was possible (at least while questing), if you geared properly. If you play a hunter these days though, you probably are doing so because you wanted a ranged class. And you can still be a ranged hunter – you just can’t be a ranged survival hunter. I don’t know… It feels a bit weird, but we will see.
Artifacts for hunters look okay. If I’m BM I would transmog the gun though, since I just never liked the gun animations. My hunter is a night elf, and as such I tend to always want to use a bow. The idea of artifacts is a neat one, but at the same time I’m a bit wary of the lack of choice. It basically means that depending on your spec, you have to use this specific weapon. You can’t decide to use a dagger instead of a sword. Or a 2h instead of a 1h. This is your one weapon, and that’s final.
Sure, you can transmog it – but are they removing some of the restrictions regarding transmogs? Because if they’re not – you may still be stuck using a weapon type you don’t really like the look of. (Like for me, I can’t think of many 1h maces or axes that I like…)
It’s only a visual thing. But with a game that allows us transmogrification and changing hair styles and looks of our characters – I think the visual side does matter. We want our characters to look the way we want, and we want them wearing the armour we like and wielding the weapons we like. With artifacts this is definitely going to be limited.
One of my biggest gripes with artifacts is that I suspect that it will be a hassle to keep up to date on your off-spec. Or if you want to switch spec. A lot of dps players will switch spec between patches if needed, if one spec is under-performing. With the bigger differences in specs, and the use of a different artifact weapon – you may find it difficult to have your artifact ready, not to mention possibly learning quite a different play style.
I know that Blizzard said that there will be catch-up mechanics. But they also said that keeping two artifacts at a similar level will be some hassle. To be fair, for most people it probably won’t matter much. (As a dps, if your spec is under-performing I guess we just have to bite the sour apple and deal with it.) For healers or tanks it will be frustrating though. We’ve often had to have one of our healers go as dps, because if everyone turns up to raid, we have one healer too many. Or that one melee dps that has to tank every now and then when one of the main tanks is away.
For them, keeping their off-spec artifact up to date is going to be fairly vital – at least if the artifacts are going to matter as much to your character as they seem to. So, I’m just not sure if the catch-up mechanics will be enough. Or is Blizzard saying that we have to pick a spec and stick with it?