I've recently received my 4 year LotRO portrait border and find it.... less than fulfulling. Thus, I've come to the decision to hang up my electronic bow. It's been a good run fellow hunters, but it's been a time coming. To be clear this isnt supposed to be a self aggrandizing or attention seeking thread so much as tendering my views on the game before I paddle away from the Grey Havens for the Undying Lands beyond. Hopefully it will crystallize some people's opinion on things... or at least cause one truly raging flame war .
I cannot really say there was any single thing that has led to this moment, but I won't lie and say that it had nothing to do with the state that hunters are in at present. Sure, a lot of my friends have moved on, but I continued to play anyway. I'm not a completionist, I don't want to spend another year getting a 75 in every class, every mount, and every deed done. My hunter and burglar are enough for me. I -am- a "challengist" though, and I simply don't find leveling a challenge so much as a month of tedium. The only thing left is the hardest end-game content. With that essentially completed (as much as it can be since it's so horribly unattainable to finish in current state) I don't have much else to do but think about more deeply understanding hunter game mechanics. Unfortunately, I suppose it's too hard to ignore the pointed neglect the class has received over the past year as I feel I largely already have probed this subject to exhaustion.
To be clear, I don't think that hunters are in the worst spot they've ever been, but it's not -that- far off from it. If people would take themselves back to Update 1, where hunters were easily at the their lowest of low states in my opinion, the class was underpowered DPS-wise, behind both champs and RKs for single target, with even less mobility and survivability. We had no melee stun, no interrupt (besides with an induction likely longer than the thing we're trying to interrupt), lackluster dps, and ZERO secondary role besides a range tank... which is the same thing as DPSing to be sure. We've come a long way since then, receiving dazing blow, a functional yellow CC line, useful capstones, blindside interrupt and better dps. Sounds awesome right? Unfortunately, all of those updates came back in Update 2... we're on update SIX. Since, we've received: an effective nerf of every stance except precision, two utterly useless skills, a significant upgrade of melee dps (as useless as that is), a mild bonus with scourging blow, a nice but ultimately un-ideal burst dps mechanic with imp. focus, a massive reduction of defenses in both direct and effective terms and a wonderful view of other classes getting some serious love. Wardens, notwithstanding every other class, have seen some very nice buffs... or at the very least, some -changes- if you don't like my view on it. It foments resentment, at least for me, anyway.
The very worst part of it all is that the dev doesn't seem to notice. I very much understand the realities of dev time constraints and priorities. I don't really blame them for prioritizing warden changes and adjusting RKs to account for new content. I do blame them for not communicating with the Hunter community. There has not been a peep from the blue names for months... not even an inkling that they care.
We haven't even gotten the fixes we've needed for a long time. Our bow auto-attack dev magnitudes STILL aren't using the right multiplier -years- late and our now nearly worthless ISotE is still only giving 4 ticks (pitifully small ones at that). You cannot for one second get me to consider those two simple fixes as too much work to not have squeezed in over the last several updates. This kind of lack of interest resonates. Yes, I admit neither of those make or break the class, I never said they did. They are just the tip of the dev-disinterest-iceberg though. We were last given ANY attention with the RoI update. In this we received a few nice buffs and some nerfs which were mentioned earlier. However it's left us in a poor situation in which Hunters are just not in a terribly good place. I'll qualify that statement later. The point is that the last contacts we've had as a community with our dev was a thread in which he seemed to pout a bit at the communities reluctance to have his bow and blade warrior, a Q&A that hinted at future changes... coupled with a little more borderline pouting about our pushback against change.... and then just nothing. Couple this with the hunter's shiny TWO new skills in RoI that were both so hastily lashed together in the last weeks before going live that we received two skills so underpowered that few people have them on their bars and fewer still actually use them. There have been updates since this, and neither of these skills have been adjusted in any way to make them useful. Okay, assume the devs were too busy to get around to doing this. Wait a second, they found enough time to nerf the ToO/Draigoch set/improved fleetness synergy a scant few weeks into the update killing that excuse along with one of the most exciting innovations to come out for the hunter in a very long time. They had plenty of time to devote a few dev cycles on the ONLY two new skills for hunters and make them useful.
**I'll take a moment and comment on Hunter's Art and Split Shot.
HA: This was an interesting thought to include, a stance specific skill output. It's a true pity that it was coupled to idiotic buffs and clunky class mechanic. The precision buff is a joke, the finesse gained from gear nearly zeros out or outright zeros out all avoidance as it stands, why would anyone waste three focus and ludicrously long animation on a lower damage skill for more of it? Why would anyone want the endurance buff that would return less power than the skill costs... over 20s at that? Why is a fast skill so slow? Why does a 10s CD higher power cost skill have so much less damage with so much more elapsed time than a no CD lower cost one? The devs might reply "the buffs", but the only one worth anything is the strength stance buff of +5% ranged damage modifier and quite frankly, strength stance sucks. (PvP people go away, I'm not talking to you right now; the buffs are clearly geared for DPS not bursting and CC, so I speak to its function in DPS). However, you've nearly halving your damage per elapsed time versus the penetrating shot in exchange for a 20s buffs of 5% that suffers diminishing returns compared to actual damage. *so you know, any flat +XX% ranged damage increase has diminishing returns in proportion to your existing ranged damage modifier* Any hunter with 100% ranged damage would only receive 2.5% more -actual- damage increase from the 5% buff. The concensus shows that S:Strength by itself is at least 10% less real world damage than using S:Precision thus, even if you sacrificed NO damage by using HA over PS in your rotation every time off CD and stacked it two high, your DPS loss from S:P to S:S would be ~10% and your net gain of DPS from HA would be 5% (@100% RO). So the idea is to switch stances, right? Well, our stance switch is tied to attack duration and takes the place of a normal speed skill (an induction attack) thus making us sacrifice a focus generating, damage dealing attack with a stance switch..... and then have to do it again to get back into S:P. It's cumbersome, slow and REALLY clunky. There is NO WAY that skill will be useful until they attach MUCH better bonuses, damage or reduced costs to warrant its use over blood arrow/PS/merciful shot.
This shot takes the same amount of induction time as Swift Bow, does less damage than a quick shot per target, MIGHT hit 4 targets, usually less, doesn't generate as much focus as ISB nor IQS, has a terrible 10s CD BUT has an awesome animation. This skill needs more damage, more focus, more radius or an additional buff.... possibly all four. Getting a set bonus to TRY and tease hunters into using is an insult. Set bonuses shouldn't be fixing flawed skills (burgs, you hear me, Well Placed Strike anyone?)
Back to the subject at hand. Both skills are half baked and simply didn't make release time so were nerfed so thickly that they couldn't possibly wind up being OP and cause an uproar later. That in and of itself is bad. Really bad, bad enough to sour the milk buoying up my cheerios... but the fact they've been allowed to languish as useless as they are still is like a colony of ants invading my Cheerios at the same time. Again, don't get me wrong, our class is not broken from the lack of these useless skills, it's the dev's attitude toward the class (or complete lack thereof). It's insulting to be honest. My dollar to pay for the game is as good as anyone elses, why should I suffer being completely ignored? I have, and for too long unfortunately for Turbine's bottom line.
Sadly, it doesn't really end there. Itemization. Need I say more? Coming into RoI, the devs, I don't know.... completely forgot that agility classes existed. The crafted agility gear basically didn't exist. The jewelry was even worse. And then the drop rates on agi items was low (while warden items dropped like candy from a pinata) with every Tom, Merry and Pippen in the Skraid rolling on the lone agi earring drop. Example, I was forced to wear the purple epic earring all the way until Great River ensured me one. I could count on one hand how many agi earrings dropped and you know how many I won the roll on... Yeesh. If I wasn't sure how little concern the devs had for hunters up until that point, I was convinced then. We are, at best, an afterthought in the devs' minds... through and through. Itemization has improved, yes, but not after a painfully long period of waiting for hunters and burgs... mostly hunters because our dps doesn't scale quite as nicely as burgs (I'll decline to elaborate on this). Even so, our one shining moment of the stacked improved fleetness buffs has come and gone almost instantly, and what is our reward for suffering this? Watching burglars receive the most ridiculously good PvE set in game history. Bring that 5/5 set bonus out of the Moors armor into a raid and suddenly a Burg is looking at a near permanent +20% crit CHANCE. Are. You. Kidding. Me. For hunters, crit chance increases dps almost linearly with crit chance. +5% crit chance leads to roughly +5% more actual damage (this varies but lets ignore that for now). For burgs and their crit chain, that's likely better than linear. At worst, it's a 20% damage buff....20%.....TWENTY PER-CENT. As it was, burglars were far too close to hunters in DPS, after a 20% boost, there is no conceivable way for a hunter to compete against a like geared and played burglar. On top of that, burglars are twice as useful...
Importantly, burglars have a 100% threat dump in HIPS, a DPS stance that default reduces threat more than hunter's book (3-4%... possibly less) and a DPS boost as a result of coming out of stealth on the next attack... did I mention they have a bunch of oh %^&* buttons too? Keep in mind, I -have- a capped burglar and I'm still disgusted. Other DPS all around have better aggro control, while we have a stance that neuters our DPS to take advantage of of the threat reduction (that doesn't reduce our overall threat but curbs our future threat generation) that is exceptionally clunky to change in and out of and a 10s non-threat down aggro shedder. Even if we wanted to compete with that burglar, we'd need FAR better threat shedding than we have just to stay away from being skewered with our nerfed defenses.
Even if I ignored all else, there is always the staff itself. Has anyone ever had a GM actually help them with something that really mattered? I bet that ratio of Yes to No is vanishingly small. I won't bother to expound, I'm certain most people won't need a long monolog to feel it's true that Turbine customer service is among the worst in any MMO they've experienced. I'll leave it at that and say, that it's just another signal that Turbine doesn't give a squat about me as a customer and player... completing the circle that's made it so that I'm writing this post out.
That being said, please discuss what I've said, I could go on a lot longer about a lot more than what I have but it'd just serve to make this already long post longer to little more effect. I'm going to monitor this thread for a while and might be enticed to respond but outside of that, goodbye forums. My account will be put on F2P and I'll raid a while longer so my kin won't be short handed for the moment.... but I am done with this game. Good luck all, and keep hunting.
TLDR - I don't think the devs and staff care about hunters, or customers for that matter. Hunters aren't where I think they should be in relation to other classes and are largely an afterthought, for a lot of reasons. Thus, goodbye fellow stalkers of prey, may your bows sing with the death of the wicked.
Last edited by Thraxz1982; May 02 2012 at 08:16 PM.