Hunter news from WotLK beta:
- Ranged attacks no longer benefit from the haste effects of Windfury Totem and Improved Icy Talons. This is a nerf to hunter white damage.
- We are also improving the armor on level 83 raid bosses by 10%. This will be a nerf to the dps of any class that does physical damage. For classes that would slide behind with such a change, we'll take steps to adjust them -- though it probably isn't as many as you think. The raid buff stacking overhaul was very beneficial to melee (and hunters). Sunder / Expose Armor alone can be a 20%+ dps increase, which is why we decided to attack the problem from this angle.
- Now the armor change won't affect PvP at all and the haste buff change will only have a marginal affect in BGs and only in Arena teams that include certain comps. However, in order to make sure we didn't nerf hunters too much, we made two changes to Disengage. First, its cooldown dropped to 25 sec (from 30) which can be talented to 16. Second, it no longer requires a target, but does require you to be in combat. Now if someone closes to melee, you can leap back without having to select them first. We require you to be in combat though so we don't see a lot of hunters bouncing around IF / Org or using it like Blink to goofily speed up travel.
#3 is what interests me most; I think most people would agree that hunters were OK in PvE DPS-wise.
Disengage not requiring a target is a great move. If we don't have to be in melee range to use it, it means that we can keep *other* classes out of our melee range by pre-emptively using Disengage, before they can catch up to us.
In fact, we can basically adapt our "jumpshot-kite" method to Disengage... only in reverse!
(Being fairly uncoordinated in game as well as in real life, I'm expecting a lot of deaths from accidental cliff jumping while Disengaging to stay ahead of an elite melee mob I'm trying to solo kite, but I'm sure it'll be fun... :D)