Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hunter Nerfs in LoTRO

Along with a lot of kickass new content, the latest patch in LoTRO had some major nerfs for the most popular class in the game: Hunters.

I've always been a fan of ranged DPS classes in MMOs (i.e., nukers), and the Hunter is by far my favorite of the bunch (though Engineers in WAR and certain Blaster comboes in CoH are also way up there). They do a screaming ton of damage to single targets, are far from helpless in melee range, have pretty good crowd control if you specialize for it, and get fantastic travel abilities. A group runspeed buff in the teens, and then a series of group teleports. By the time you reach 60, you can teleport to nearly every zone in the game. As "taxi cabs with machine guns" they have no parallel. My main has been a hunter since the open beta, and I've rarely been as happy with a character as I am with her.

All that is why I saw the coming of the last update with a bit of dread. The primary role of Hunters, ranged DPS, got a huge nerf in the last patch. As nearly as I can tell something like a 25% damage reduction, perhaps more. At first I was horrified. However, now that I've had a couple of weeks playtime post nerf I have come to the conclusion that it's not that big a deal. I can still do everything solo I used to, and I still do very noticeable DPS in a party.

If I have any lasting complaint, it's that our stances outside of the high damage/ high threat stance have been rendered pretty borderline. A guardian that is on the ball can now hold aggro against a hunter going all out in their highest damage stance. Save for a long boss fight where power management might be an issue, there's not much reason to ever drop out of strength stance now. It seems a bit silly, and reduces the dimensionality of the class. However, on the whole still one of the most enjoyable classes in any MMO to my tastes.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. My main is a Hunter and if I ignore the numbers, I notice no difference between what I was doing before and what I can do now. I can still take on the same numbers of MOB's at the same difficulty. I think they managed to bring both the damage output and the monster's resists and morale points pretty evenly.