10 years down the road

So, Legion is the very first expansion in my life that I did not buy on it’s release day.

This feels kind of weird (obviously) as 10 years is a long time – in fact, this is the longest commitment of my life at this point… yes, this can be kind of depressing if you look at it this way :D

I might give Legion a shot later on, as a few of my co-workers are playing and they say it’s quite a decent expansion (despite the heavy timesinks and grinds included). Nevertheless, I feel that I’m done for good this time.

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Partly I have decided this when I was goofing around with my hunter in the pre-exp patch. I already got used to my favourite class getting dumbed down by each new expansion, removing action bars one by one as skills and macros went obsolete by the years, but this time, it was something different.

I started out with like 6 action bars in BC, and one of my favourite specs, Beast Mastery got to the point in Legion where you just mash three buttons and wait for a proc. Three.

In my eyes, the message could not be any more clear from Blizzard:

The class’s requirements finally live up to the generic Hunter stereotype, which is the belief that only beginners, mentally handicapped people, and small children play the class.

Clearly, now the Hunter is an awesome class to play if you are new to the genre: you can do everything on the move, nothing is hindered by jumping around, you do decent damage while maintaining PvP viability as well.

Still, as someone who played this class for a decade, it brings a tear to my eye to see the unique aspects of the hunter class get flattened over time.

I have mentioned BM as the ultimate dumbed down spec, but the rest follows closely. Marksmanship is quite okay, but it also relies on random factors, and you get deprived of your pet, which boggles my mind to no end.

How on Earth can you take the epitome of the pet class and gut it procedurally like this?

  • At first, Hunters had good pet control. You could literally control your pet with Eyes of the Beast before the skill got removed. No, it was not hugely useful, but you could do fun little tricks with it, like start-zone PvP flagging (*evil laugh*).
  • Things began to look stabilized as the already OK pet training system (anyone remembers going to the Thousand Needles to tame a panther to learn how to teach Prowl to your other cat?) got replaced by Pet Talents. Awesome. Different pets still had somewhat different DPS, albeit their attack speed got normalized, which was kind of a bummer. Still, there was enough diversity and the option of customization has remained.
  • Then, as your pet management abilities began to fade with EotB taken away, pet talents went down the drain. Also, Pet AI got dumbed down somehow. Parallel to this, other classes began to rise with actually better pet management than Hunters – Warlocks, I’m looking at you.
  • Also, it seemed that almost every other class got some kind of “pet” as time went along…Then, Marksmanship – the prime DPS talent at the time (and still topping the charts as far as I know) got a talent that gave Hunters more DPS with the sacrifice of their pets.
  • So here we are, once the true pet class, sitting without a pet.
  • There is one more specialization left to talk about, which is Survival. Yep, you get to peet your pet while playing SV, but for the love of God, tell me: what is the reasoning behind melee hunters?
  • On the other hand, Beast Mastery gets two pets, which is really-really cool
    – perhaps the only thing that kept my hype up for the expansion – but the hype faded quickly enough. Oh, and Mend Pet also got dumbed down recently.

So, here’s the course of changes:

Every pet has different Attack Speed and DPS, Pet Training, Unique Pet Skills > Attack Speed normalized, Training removed, Talents introduced > Talents removed, DPS normalized as well > Pets removed from key specializations altogether.

Mind you, I’m not saying that the expansion is bad – I’m just sorry that my class lost its complexity along the way.

What I love about the game – PvP, epic boss fights, exploration, the thrill of pushing the raid to the absolute limit while wrecking ripe, fresh content – is still there, and always will be there, and it will haunt me forever probably, telling me to come back.

The only problem is that you need time for that. Time that is so scarce in these days. What’ll happen? I’m going to find out soon enough.

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