Man! It's been an exciting couple of days in terms of "woah my blog thing exists".
- I've gotten a couple comments!
- And an email!
- And been linked twice in one day on WoW Ladies!
The email was a short one asking for my thoughts on focus. In short: I'm totally excited about the focus change. Hunters are a physical DPS class, and having our mechanics depend on blue rage has just always been weird. I've heard it rumored (although I can't back this up) that the original hunter design used focus or energy of some sort. They couldn't figure out how to balance it (not that vanilla was balanced) before release and the use of mana was a kludge.
I mean, what other caster has a white-damage swing timer? What other class in BC was required to DPS with a macro such that its casting-time ability didn't interfere too much with its auto-attack? Who else had to farm and chain-chug Fel Mana Potions? Which other caster mortal strikes its own damage as a mana regen mechanic? It's all just weird. Our mana management technique consists of "max DPS until you're out of mana, then viper for as little time as is possible". It's not fun and it doesn't add anything to the class.
From what I've heard/read, they're thinking of maybe changing steady shot to grant you a short-duration buff that increases focus regeneration. That alone is way cooler and bodes for way more dynamic DPS button-mashing than anything we do right now. Like rogues and warriors we'll be able to blow our potion cooldown on haste or crit pots instead of mana pots, while long fights won't punish us uniquely. Resource management will be an ongoing mini-game for the course of the boss fight, rather than hitting a brick wall and having to awkwardly heave ourselves over it with AotV.
I am excited about the next expansion overall, and for me, the focus change is just another example of everything they're talking about doing right. It's always possible to screw things up, of course, but so far it looks great. Here's a great thread with a bunch of posts from GC explaining the vision behind the focus change. I agree with pretty much everything he says here and I think his posts provide a ton of insight.