bow.jpgThe up and coming 2.3 just doesn’t focus on hunters, theres a laundry list of other classes that are getting some love, and/or getting that love taken away. We have a whole new list of profession changes (yay for engineering), some fun new dailies for PvE, PvP and, yes, cooking too. Not to mention, new mounts, a new hunter pet, and the long anticipated Zul’Aman, the new 10 man instance (it’s ZG for the big kids)!

If anyone has been living under a mushroom let me give you a preview of what is in store for me and my fellow Hunters.

Early on in the stages of 2.3, the hunter community was visited by the ever so mystical “Blue Post.” They had claimed that:

1) Serpent Sting, Immolation Trap and Explosive Trap will gain additional damage based on ranged attack power.

2) Wyvern Sting becoming an instant cast.

3) Arcane Shot will dispel one magic effect in addition to its normal damage.

4) Trueshot Aura no longer costs mana to cast and will last until canceled.

Great news right? More so of Arcane Shot in PvP settings! A lot of questions spawned out of this great news about Arcane Shot, but basically the magical effect is chosen at random. Random, but probably quite effective nonetheless.

Next news we heard was the introduction of two, yes two, new ammo pouches! People say that 18 slots is enough. Not for this hunter! Not only am I always carrying a full quiver of ammo, but I end up taking up more space in my loot bags with 8-10 more stacks of ammo. Maybe it’s a bit much, but I’m lazy! I don’t want to make runs every day to the Auction House or to Honor Hold to pick up more bullets. Hurray for the new 24 slot ammo bags, see your friendly leatherworker for details.

So.. now what? What other goodies could Blizzard give us? A deadzone fix? Na.. Blizz will never admit to the deadzone. Plus we’ve been screaming about that for years! So what do we do, we try to adapt. We spec BM, for Beastial Wrath and The Beast Within, we try to back them casters up with Silence Shot, and how can we forget Scatter Shot? But wait.. what’s this? Another Blue Post?

“We’re planning to shrink the min range on ranged attacks to reduce or eliminate the “dead zone”. The only point to the dead zone was to ensure the min range on ranged weapons was enough such that ranged weapon attacks wouldn’t be used while also being melee’d (at least by mobs… players have a bit of slush built in).

Oh happy day, happy day! Finally! Now mages can’t look at you as free Honor Points when they have you snared, all your tricks are still on cooldown and they stand in that “Dead Zone.” R.I.P Dead Zone. So basically “The min range on ranged attacks will be reduced to eliminate the “dead zone”. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to shot at 0 yards, but you will always be able to hit the enemy even if he’s standing between 5 and 8 yards.” And according to those on the PTR: “The min range to shot has been reduced from 8 yards to 4 yards. The “dead zone” is now pretty much removed.” Makes me one happy hunter!

Now we got our Deadzone finally removed! Thank you Blizzard for some love, finally… but wha? You’re changing Aimed Shot? How what? Giving it a Mortal Strike effect? Yes, this is true as well!

“Aimed Shot (Marksmanship) now reduces healing done to that target by 50% for 10 seconds.”

Holy Cats!! Where was this when I was in Arena when the Boomkin and Shammy kept healing one another? Granted Aimed Shot is a 3.5 cast time, but as a Night Elf you can still get a “jump” on expecting people with Shadowmeld still. How wonderful this is!!

Now don’t go yelling that hunters are OP now. Hardly are they OPed since the Deadzone removal and Aimed Shot upgrade. If you play a hunter, you know that these changes should have been done a long time ago and sorry mages, you may actually have to work for that Honor Kill now.