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Regional Flag[Hunter] Aspects are now on the regular GCDSource
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#1 - 2012/08/16 10:06:00 PM
Blizzard, Players,

This is a game "feeling" post, not a numbers feedback post.

Putting the Aspects on the normal GCD as it with the latest Beta build feels very clunky and "un-fun."

While I realize the attempt here to make aspect switching macros non-mandatory, I would argue that they already are non-mandatory. In a PvE or PvP situation using Fox for every steady/cobra cast will lose you damage, all be it not much in the PvP area. It is far more effective at current to use situational setups and macros that allows the use of hawk while standing still and being aware enough to switch to Fox via macro (Independently or with a separate key-bound macro for a SS / CoS cast) or manually when you have to move.

The use of the aspect switching macros and using those 100% of the time is just a laziness issue (useful for non-serious situations to save some strain if you took the time to create the macros.) They are not however mandatory to have to reach your maximum effectiveness. However, by putting aspects on the normal GCD it breaks both macro switching and manual switching of aspects to being very cumbersome and greatly limiting the use of Fox to situations where you will be moving for very long term periods where you will not have enough focus to fill GCDs. Especially with talents such as Fervor to keep Focus going... it is unlikely Fox will ever see use in PvE in high movement situations unless that situation is rather long in length (thinking of Atramedes air phase as an example) and lower the amount of time use it will get in PvP.

Another major impact is on the already lackluster "feeling" of MM in the current builds. With Steady Focus lasting only 10 seconds, even with Fervor, MM will need to "waste" another GCD to keep it's buff going whenever it has to move or suffer even greater DPS loss than the other two specs. Which frankly even if Serpent Sting falls off for BM and SV due to improper maintenance during movement (While they use Thrill of the Hunt / Fervor to keep spam going), reapplying it is not a great impact, more so for SV where they will also get an Improved Serpent Sting Damage out of its reapplication to lower the impact further of using focus to reapply.

Game Designer
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#482 - 2012/08/25 09:35:00 PM
A great deal of this thread is just angry venting, so I don't anticipate being able to see a nudge it into a good discussion. Instead, I'll attempt to explain our logic and move on. Do with it what you will.

Having an ability that you always macro because you don't want to think about when to use it is bad game design. If you build a macro because you want to use two abilities occasionally at the same time, we're happy. Examples of this are two cooldowns you might want to pop at once (and you also might have separate keys to pop them individually) or a buff that makes your next spell better macroed with the spell itself (provided you aren't macroing this ability into every ability so that you're essentially using it on cooldown). In both of these situations, you're making the decision about when to use the macro.

Aspects are supposed to be a decision. You should think about when you want to be in Hawk or Fox. If the answer to Fox is "anytime I'm casting Steady Shot," then that's not a choice. If the answer to Fox is "anytime I'm moving," then that's not a choice. If you're thinking "I'm going to be moving a lot for the next few seconds, so I'll go Fox for a bit," then that is a choice. If you're thinking "The next few seconds of DPS aren't critical, so I'll go Fox to build focus back up, and then switch back to Hawk when the boss hits phase two," then that's a choice.

With this change, we don't anticipate hunters to be swapping into and out of Aspects frequently. That is the whole idea of the change. We don't think the gameplay of swapping Aspects constantly is fun, and I suspect most hunters agree. I also suspect most hunters were hoping we'd just scrap Fox altogether, and that still might happen, but it would probably also come with never casting Steady or Cobra on the move.

We have changed Aspects many times since WoW launched, and I won't claim they have ever been super compelling gameplay. I'll further acknowledge that it's entirely possible that it isn't possible to have a strong design for them, and the game is better off without them. However, before we come to that conclusion, we want to try this iteration. As a precautionary tale, we scrapped paladin Auras because we didn't think there was much gameplay there, but plenty of paladins rallied to their defense. They missed Auras. They didn't necessarily like the Cataclysm or perhaps any version of them, but they liked the idea and didn't want us to give up. You all posting here individually may not miss Aspects, but I have 100% confidence we'd see them requested constantly as soon as we removed them.

We have tried, without much success, with the generic design of "there are these exclusive modal options and you pick whichever one fits the situation." The closest we have come to success is having a tanking vs. a melee mode for Presences and Stances, but any DK or warrior will tell you that it's hard to justify having two DPS modes. There is nearly always a right answer. If they are too situational then one just gets neglected. If they aren't situational enough, then you're just constantly swapping in and out. Putting things on the GCD generally adds a moment of decision making because it's a very real cost to change your mode.

Game Designer
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#486 - 2012/08/25 09:55:00 PM
And what about for PvP Ghostcrawler? Where we need to ALWAYS move and ALWAYS maximize our damage? Not, oh, I will have to move so I can swap to fox now... and then Oh, I won't have to move for the next 20 seconds so I can swap back.

Movement should be terrible for a ranged spec. Full stop. All of the various mechanics we put in from Spiritwalker's Grace to Aspect of the Fox are to make moving less terrible, but it should still be pretty terrible. (And if you think there are specs not penalized enough by moving, please let us know, though probably not in this thread. We felt that ranged movement got a bid out of control in Cataclysm so we've definitely made an attempt to scale it back.) If it helps, imagine Hawk and Fox as talents. You can have higher damage, or you can cast your focus-generating shots on the move. Which do you want? It probably depends. Try them both out and see which gives you more success. (And at the end of the day, they aren't talents, so if you really can't bear the thought of making an exclusive choice, you can switch it. Just not for free.)

The system would need an overhaul like multiple other similar things got, like stances, presences and armors once again. I'm not a game designer so I don't know exactly what would work but to me I don't think that swapping between a flat damage increase and an obligatory movement stance is very fun, compelling or effective in terms of gameplay.

Yeah, that makes sense. Off the top of my head (and not promising anything) it would be interesting to try a Spiritwalker's type cooldown where for the next X you could shoot, perhaps anything, on the move.

Game Designer
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#860 - 2012/08/29 02:24:00 AM
As I said above, we're still not convinced the Aspect design is working as intended (which is to provide a decision for the hunter) and long term, we will likely continue to iterate on it.

In the short term, our plan is to revert the recent change and return Aspects to off the GCD. Yes, you might just macro them again, but that seems to be the lesser of two evils compared to having them on the GCD.

I can't provide any information on when this will happen. Hopefully we can fix it before you start leveling from 85 to 90. No promises. I'm just sharing our intent.