Primal Roar

This post is part of the Escaping the Crowds series, which focuses on escape mechanism for PvP.

I have teased, you have been tantalized. I have promised, you were expecting. I assured it’s coming, you have prepared.

It was not in vain. After all, I am an honorable person. And here it is.

Hear me Rawr !

Hear me Rawr !

Primal Roar

(Instant, 1 min cooldown) The hunter lets out a primal roar, causing 5 enemies within 8 yards to be knocked back for 10 yards, and become dazed for 2 seconds.

A brand new, out of the box, still packed with that stress-relieving bubble wrap, shiny Hunter ability.

Take a moment, read its tool-tip.

Now take a seat, time to talk.

Before you get too excited, let me state this ability does not currently exist in any form. It is entirely a fiction of my imagination. It is my first skill design, out of (who knows ?) many to come.

One of the goals of the blog is to define new abilities that could add some value to the game. I can’t say at the moment how often I’ll come up with something new, but I think it’ll be at least once a week, and I’ll try to cover all the classes.

Now that everyone has taken a deep breath, relaxed a bit from the initial excitement, and is ready to listen, let us proceed.

This is entirely a PvP ability, meant to help Hunters escape from close-quarters situations. As we have established in the previous posts, Hunters are in need of an escape boost, and I think Primal Roar can grant them this boon.

Once a minute, when the Hunter finds himself under unfavorable circumstances, he can pop this one, which will instantly give him a 10+ yards radius of free space to adapt in. Additionally, the daze effect ensures melee opponents can’t close on him immediately after the knock-back.

Buff-o-meter Score: 9/10

What is this ? It’s my own estimate as to how well the new skill solves our problem.

While it does prevent enemies from coming too close to the Hunter, this skill doesn’t exactly solve the situation where the Hunter finds himself slowed down. The knockback is not strong enough to allow him to gain considerable distance, but it does give him 1-2 seconds to get organized for the next assault.
Overall, it does give the Hunter an additional tool to play with his traps, Concussive Shot, and other escape talents he has, thus increasing his close range survivability.

OP-o-meter Score: 6/10

And what is THAT ? OP stands for OverPowered. This is another estimate, but this time to how likely the new skill may cause balance issues, or in other words (letters maybe), become OP.

First of all, this skill is nothing earth-shattering. Priests had Psychic Scream for ages, and it doesn’t seem to break any balance. Second, it has a long enough cooldown to allow opponents to launch additional normal attacks before it can be used again.
This skill will probably hurt the most melees trying to close on the Hunter, as it allows him to regain distance quickly then attempt to kite them. All melees however presently have skills to catch-up easily enough (e.g. Intercept, Deadly Throw, Frost Shock…), so it is just some setback to them.
Casters might get interrupted by the pushback, but once a minute isn’t something to worry about much.
Situations where being knocked back 10 yards might lead to one’s death or great annoyance might be looked at, more regarding that later.
Special applications such as flushing out stealthers (Hunters already have Flare for that) or breaking out enemy formations aren’t common enough to affect balance, and will render the Hunter less likely to escape for the next minute, which is a fair tradeoff.
Overall, I fail to see how it will make Hunters overpowered in PvP, hence the low OP score.

The PvE Effect: Unnoticeable.
Since Hunters spend most of their time at long range in PvE, this will hardly be used in instances. Moreover, it doesn’t deal damage, so will not affect DPS.
It grants very little utility, with the sole case of giving someone who pulled aggro a second more to breath if the Hunter is close enough to him to use the skill. This will actually give another small reason to take Hunters to dungeons.
In solo situations, it might be helpful to escape, but with Feign Death on 30 seconds cooldown anyways, it will probably be rarely used.
It does however have a pretty high fun potential (AoE knockbacking Murlocs anyone ?).

So it seems like a decent enough ability. It helps the Hunters in PvP without affecting most classes too much in a bad way (well, melees will have a harder time catching up on Hunters, but this is intentional as we have realized Hunters lack in that area), and has minimal affect on PvE.

It is however, clear that people will whine about this ability sooner or later, so let’s see a possible nerf-list to tone this skill a bit.

Nerf-list, what is that exactly ? Good question, it is a list of possible changes to the skill in order to make it more balanced (see Nerf for definition).

  • Change the skill from instant cast to have a 0.5 seconds casting time. This will force the Hunter to stop in order use it, thus allowing melee opponents to slow him before he pulls it off.
  • Remove the daze effect. It’ll give the Hunter less time to freely escape, and he’ll have to rely on Primal Roar + Frost Trap (or similar) combos to get more breathing space.
  • Make the ability castable by the Hunter’s pet instead of the Hunter himself. This is both a nerf and a buff. It makes it harder to use against targets in melee range, as it requires calling back the pet first (assuming he is still nibbling at the caster’s robes). It does however grant a whole new array of possibilities, by sending the pet at opponents as a “knockback bomb”, which is a small buff.
  • Last but not least, change the knockback mechanics to prevent throwing players off cliffs or similar. This way, the Hunter won’t be able to use this skill at the Eye of the Storm flag or Alterac Valley bridge to Dun Baldar and cause mass death by free falling. For example, make the knockback up to 10 yards (less when it’ll cause someone to fall).

Last thing we should consider is meant for the roleplayers at heart (with me as one of them).

Lore-wise: Acceptable.
After all, Hunters deal in the aspect of Beast Mastery, and a master of beasts surely has learned how to roar as one. Once his life spent amongst so many beasts, surely he can let out a shout so fierce it’ll knock people off their feet, no ?

Don’t forget it’s still fantasy.

Thus ends the analysis of the first ability.

Who knows, maybe one day something similar will be trained by Olmin Burningbeard. Until that day, we can always…

Rawr Rawr Rawr


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One Response to “Primal Roar”

  1. Jules Anness Says:

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