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Hunter Druid and Mage Of Cataclysm Guide

The biggest change is one we’ve known about for awhile now. Hunters will no longer use Mana and instead will use Focus which is like Energy but regenerates a bit slower. This is going to change the game for Hunters big time because their rotation will now be similar to a Rogue’s rotation. They’ll need to micromanage their Focus in order to stay ahead of the game unlike now where it’s just straight “pew pew pew.” This also means that there won’t be a specific long period of time where a Hunter is out of Mana and can’t shoot; fulfilling Blizzard’s promise to make Hunters focus purely ranged attacks.

Is this a big change? Yes it is, but is it a good one? Time will tell. Right now Hunters shoot everything they have until they’re out of Mana then kind of sit there and shoot what mana they have as they get it. This kind of adds a bit of finesse, but at the same time abilities will need to be changed to compensate for this new resource method.

The removal of ammunition is bad for the economy, good for Hunters. The meatsink may be gone but Hunters will no longer be tied to a city or repair bot in order to be able to attack. This is going to help a lot of newer Hunters out even more because one of the biggest problems for newer players is understanding how important it is to keep stocked up on ammo along with the huge issue of having enough of it with limited bag space.

The pet changes are pretty big too. Newer Hunters will get a free pet at the start helping define their class at an earlier level. Pet swapping on the go is also important because it allows Hunters to keep a set number of pets in rotation so they can use a specific pet one battle and then a different one in the next. Pets will also debuff with a weaker version of a class’s debuff like Rampage or Curse of Elements. This is huge because it gives Hunters more group utility; especially in 5-man to 10-man instances where any one debuff is a huge boon.

The removal of some melee abilities I see as a “meh” because most Hunters don’t use them anyway and it confuses newer Hunters who try to melee everything down.

The new abilities are interesting to me, but I don’t see them as being anything impressive. Cobra Shot seems to be great against heavy armor users like Warriors or Paladins and possibly bosses, but we’ll need to see the damage comparisons to put in a yay/nay in on this.

A lot of good changes are coming for Druids, but it looks like Blizzard is planning on keeping Restoration Druids pretty much where they’re at now. This isn’t anything new for resto Druids who have been pretty much the same since launch. The biggest changes to me are the fact that haste will innately apply to all HoTs but won’t be reducing the duration. This is a lot better than the strange glyph they added to make haste affect Rejuvenation.

Restoration Druids will also be losing permanent tree form allowing them to show off their gear more. Tree of Life will be turned into a cooldown instead and will offer either better healing or make heals behave differently. If it balances out (i.e. not an out and out nerf) then Resto Druids will be better off for it for nothing else other than the ability to not look like a tree all the time. Additionally, it opens up using some of the Balance spells while healing that would normally require you to shift out of tree form. Cyclone anyone?

Efflorescence, the new talent which will make a spot of flowers on the ground from a critical Regrowth sounds interesting, but I honestly expect it to not matter much except for tank healers where the tank will probably be standing in the heal all the time anyway.

Feral Druids have a lot to look forward to. A kick/pummel for them is HUGE because Druids have little in the way of active interrupts. Thrash seems like an excellent AoE for Bears and will help put bleeds up for cat Druids. Stampeding Roar seems pretty good, but looks to be more of a situational PvP ability than anything else. Wild Mushroom is something I don’t want to even consider until I see it. Gimmicky spells like that are kind of “meh” until you get to see if they work out or not.

The masteries are pretty interesting. Eclipse seems to be a way to make Moonkins a bit more simplified and offer a bit more interaction and keeps them from spamming just one spell. Bleed Damage is a passive and passives are usually good. Savage Defense is already in the game, so we know how that one works out. HoT Scale Healing seems interesting and will probably be another great passive. I mean, more healing when a target is about to die? Yeah, pretty solid.

Vengeance is something I’m not too sure on because most Druid leather has a ton of DPS stats on it anyway. More damage is always good, anyway, for generating threat and will at least improve single target threat generation for Druids. Of course threat is currently super easy for any tank class to get right now.

Well that’s our preview of the Druid and Hunter. Check back tomorrow when we’ll finish up with the Mage (the preview is currently unavailable).