Shadowlands Hunter Nerfs?: December Hotfixes

With last week’s recent Hotfixes released for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, players are up in arms over a particular Hunter balancing fix.

The particular hotfix in question revolves around Marksman Hunters and their Wild Spirits Night Fae Covenant ability.

December 7 Hunter Hotfixes

The player controversy comes from, what appears to be, a big 25% damage boost listed in the hotfix notes, but are these more Shadowlands Hunter nerfs than buffs?

Many seem unhappy with what, at first glance, appears to be a huge damage buff for Marksman Hunters. However, when you break it down, this is more of a rebalancing, or nerf, than it is an overall buff.

Players more familiar with Hunters, however, are acknowledging that this really isn’t a flat damage buff, as many are claiming that before this hotfix, damage output was higher due to mastery gains while using Wild Spirits, which equated to a much larger damage boost than 25%.

So, what that really means is, this hotfix may be a flat 25% increase potentially benefitting newly 60 Marksman Hunters, but this is an overall more so a nerf as better geared players were seeing a larger than 25% damage boost with the mastery stat stacking twice.

December 14 Hunter Hotfixes

The latest batch of Hotfixes for Shadowlands has Marksman Hunters seeing two more nerfs in the form of damage reduction to their Aimed Shot and Arcane Shot abilities.

Both of the Hunter shot abilities have had their damage reduced by 5%.

While these aren’t game-changers, this format is typical Blizzard fashion and tends to upset the players of that class, and either has no effect on the rest of the community, or is a positive to those either competing for damage or now not getting hit less hard due to the reduction.

shadowlands hunter nerf wow


Hotfixes are always a tenuous interaction between Blizzard and the player base either due to players being unhappy with design choices, Blizzard taking things too far and nerfing classes into irrelevancy, or changing up other gameplay elements.

With a player base as large as World of Warcraft’s it’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time, and there are always going to be outspoken players upset with Blizzard’s design choices; that’s just par for the course.

That said, I feel that Blizzard has been doing this long enough to the point that they could, but not necessarily should, have a better grasp on what they do with class tuning, and gameplay elements.

For all things World of Warcraft and Shadowlands related, head over here, and for a more robust look at hotfixes, you can head over to Blizzard’s official postings here.

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