Class distinctiveness makes the game more diverse, strengthens class identities and increases replay value. We might therefore suppose that class homogenization is something to always be avoided. Yet, as we’ve seen over the course of WoW’s development, sometimes sharing mechanics between classes can work out well. The function of refreshing a dot/hot as part of a rotation was shared to good effect with DKs, BM and SV hunters, Shadow Priests and Resto Druids. Whirlwind taking a hint from Divine Storm helped Fury’s AoE dps. Based on these examples we might wonder if there are mechanics that hunters could profitably but reasonably adopt from other classes.
In this discussion I believe we should limit ourselves to those mechanics that would help hunters without ruining hunter distinctiveness. We should also not be so greedy that we resemble Daniel Plainview or a trapper keeper. I think that for PVE we should limit considerations to quality of life mechanics because hunters largely need tweaking, not new mechanics, on that front. For PVP I think we should consider those mechanics that would improve high-end PVP without making hunters even more powerful at low levels or in unrated BGs.
The list of mechanics below is guided by these criteria. I do not think that they should all be implemented, nor do I consider myself a personal advocate for all of them. Rather, I merely believe they are each good food for thought.
- Glyph of Polymorph – This glyph, like Glyph of Seduction, removes existing dots on a target before the CC is applied. Such a mechanic would do wonders for preserving our traps from preexisting dots. It would be particularly helpful in the current era where dots are so easily spread via things like Blood and Thunder, Impact, Fan of Knives and Serpent Spread, and so easily generated unintentionally via things like Searing Flames, Piercing Shots, Ignite, Burning Embers, and Deep Wounds.
- Demonic Rebirth – This mechanic reduces the pet rez cast time if a pet dies, but the mechanic has an internal cooldown to prevent frequent use. This sort of thing would be a welcome change to PVP where a hunter’s very long and easily interruptable pet rez seems quite odd amongst the other pet specs. It could also help in PVE for those rare times when the pet dies for no good reason.
- Glyph of Bloody Healing – A similar glyph could increase the healing from Spirit Bond and Chimera Shot. Even if Blizzard does not want to give us a proper self-heal, it would be nice to be able to increase our existing self-heals at some opportunity cost like other classes can. For similar reasons, something like Guarded by the Light could be applied to Spirit Mend to increase it when it is applied to the hunter (which would make sense, since it’s the BM hunter’s pet).
- Resilient Infection – A function of this type (which also includes Sin and Punishment) offers a return of some kind to the player when his or her dot is dispelled. This sort of mechanic would aid SV in PVP where it is hurt a lot when Serpent Sting gets dispelled. It would also give hunters more of a meta game, causing healers to want to think before dispelling SrS. In addition to dot dispels, offering a return for suffering snares, as with Pursuit of Justice, is also worth consideration given that a hunter’s need to run away is about as important as a melee’s need to run toward.
- Improved Slice and Dice – I certainly wouldn’t mind a duration increase like this for Improved Steady Shot, which is strangely restrictive and yet demanding compared to other similar effects. It would also give the MM tree something to put in place of a clunker like Resistance is Futile or Termination.
- Owlkin Frenzy – This class of mechanic (which also includes Masochism, Blessed Life and Focused Will) offers compensation for taking damage. BM hunters already have one function of this type, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera. However, I think another such mechanic could reasonably applied to all hunters related to dots. Hunters are incredibly and strangely weak to dots.
- Sanctity of Battle – A mechanic of this kind reduces a core rotational ability’s cooldown by Haste. I can’t say that I’m a big proponent of this myself, but Frostheim insists that it would simplify the currently complex role of Haste in our rotations.
- Overkill – This sort of function, which boosts resource generation after exiting stealth, could be a way to make Camouflage more appealing in both PVE and PVP.
- Shattered Barrier – A function like this, that imposes a proximity-based penalty to those nearby a finished or depleted defensive cooldown, would be appropriate for hunters and (1) make Deterrence more interesting in general, (2) actually require more thought from min-range humpers than just not firing cooldowns for four seconds when Deterrence is popped and (3) make the choice to cancel Deterrence early for hunters more interesting (providing the effect only occured after the full duration).
- Separation Anxiety – This mechanism is actually from a boss, Shannox, and it adds a buff when the pet and master are separated. For Shannox it is separation by range, but I think it could be usefully employed with line of site for hunters. I don’t think the buff should be as extreme as Shannox’s, not at all, but it would certainly be nice to not have pillars so easily destroy both our damage potential and Focus regeneration.
I would like to reiterate that I do not think that all of these mechanics should be adopted, nor do I think they are panaceas. I instead offer them each individually as food for thought, as mechanics that could easily be applied to hunters since they already exist in-game. What do you think should be added to this list or taken off? Why do you think that Blizzard has not given these mechanics to hunters already?