Saturday, December 6, 2008

Freezing Arrow, or This Is Not A Fair Trade For Camouflage

Today I ran a Heroic Utgarde Keep (no, the crossbow did not drop) in a five Tauren group: Two Boomkin, Bear tank, Shaman healer, and me. Yes, several cattle drive jokes were udder- sorry, uttered.

So, without a regular CC class (well, the shaman has Hex, but she seemed loathe to use it - more about this later), it was decreed that the CC of the evening would be me.

I saw this as a great opportunity to try out Freezing Arrow in the context of chain-trapping. And my conclusion: It sucks.

My typically chain-trapping strategy is as follows: Lay trap at feet, wait for the pull, snag target either by aggro then waiting for it to come into melee range or silencing/LoS it to prevent it from standing there casting spells at me, run away a considerable distance from trap, lay trap at feet, rinse and repeat.

This strategy was good, not only because it was fool-proof regardless if traps were on CD or not, since I was far away from the mob, it gave me the time for the trap to cooldown while the mob was running towards me. Typically, I could lay the trap down a good 5+ seconds before the pull even happened, so it was rare for the mob to even get a melee swing in.

Freezing Arrow changes that strategy considerably. My first attempts were very similar to a sheep-pull: Shoot the trap at the mob's feet, instant CC, tank takes the mobs' aggro off of me. But now I have a very ugly 10s where my trap is still on CD when the trap breaks, leaving me with at least 5 seconds to deal with the mob without traps. Obviously this is not ideal chain-trapping.

I figured this out quickly, so my next strategy was the land the trap a fair distance away from the mob, in the general area where I figured it would run through to get to the tank. This only bought me an extra second, maybe two. Like sheeping, the tank sees the firing of the arrow and the trap landing as a Green-Light-Go, so my trap CD has maybe a couple of extra seconds to tick off before the mob is trapped, leaving me in the same situation.

The obvious solution is to just lay the trap some where in the middle. The implications could be bad though, because once that trap is down, it can't be moved. So if the mob misses it, well, you only get one redo, and that can only help you once every five minutes, so that had better be left to a last resort regardless. There were several instances of where the tank pulled before I was ready, so I made a quick decision, fired off the Freezing Arrow, only to have the mob miss it and go bash on the healer instead. And since my trap CD was down, my option left was to kite it.

Final decision: Screw it, I'm going back to regular traps. It's not worth the extra time and effort, and it's definitely not worth the potentially bad judgement calls as the result of increased pressure and guick-draw tanks. I'm just going to do what has been a fundamental hunter skill since people figured out how to Feign Death and lay a trap in the middle of a pull. (Remember those days, before traps couldn't be laid in combat, and FD took you out of combat? Sigh... those were the days.) I can do it whenever I want, since tanks rarely see the trap at your feet anyway, so they won't pull as soon as the trap is down.

So, now I have a worthless level 80 spell. Seriously, I want my Camouflage (and my new dances, I distinctly remember that promise, Blizzard). None of this "Camo just felt to us like were giving hunters a rogue ability" when Tricks of the Trade and Hex exist. My first reaction when I saw a shaman turn a mob into a frog: OMG since when do shaman have sheep??? Wait a minute, they are crossing class-lines! Why again don't I have stealth?!

Nope, not cool. But hey, at least hunters are still disgustingly OP for damage, because I'm sure we won't be hit in the kidneys with the nerf bat at all.


Rilgon Arcsinh said...

You know, honestly, I don't really mind it in situations where I find it useful (sudden, unexpected trapping).

And crowd control? Pfft.

Brajana said...

I had the exact same problem, in the exact same heroic, actually... on Sunday night.

It was my first time really using the freezing arrow, and I wasn't completely sure how the mechanic was going to work. I was not happy. After causing the healer to die because I predicted the tank was going to pull a different direction than he did, I decided to go back to the good ol' trap at feet.

After sufficient "l2trap" calls from my guildies.

This could be useful in some situations where emergency trapping is needed. Say, when you spot the healer getting smacked on over on the other side of the room. Just shoot a trap at his feet and he'll probably thank you.

But this is definitely not replacing my regular trap.

Personally, I think this would be pretty neat if it had a Sap-like mechanic, where it doesn't actually aggro the other mobs, so you could shoot the trap off and then the tank could do the pull... but maybe that's just "too rogue" as well. :P