I love you all. You tank for me, you heal for me, you provide lotsa DPS alongside me. I respect you and appreciate you and we’re buddies. But I’ve been running into a little problem in some instances and heroics I’ve been running and it’s caused some confusion and panic and at least one messy wipe, so it’s time to discuss it.
At level 80 hunters get Freezing Arrow, which allows them to trap something at range.
“Oh cool, trapping just got easier for hunters and they can trap casters now, right?”
Well… sorta. But there’s something very important to know about Freezing Arrow.
If you ask a hunter to open a pull with Freezing Arrow, do not expect that hunter to be able to chain trap afterwards.
To understand this more fully, let me give you a little bit of background info on trapping. A max-rank trap lasts 20 seconds, and the cooldown is 30 seconds. To get around this, the hunter works with two very important things: time and space. She lays down her trap and before she starts the pull, she waits a bit to allow her cooldown to tick down to ensure she will be able to have a next trap ready. Then when she pulls, the act of the mob running towards the trap gives her more precious time. When she does her next trap, she runs far enough away that the mob will, again, have to run, which will give her more time.
Given enough time and space, a skilled hunter could theoretically trap like this indefinitely, despite the cooldown limitation.
Freezing Arrow takes those things away. Say there is a group of four and you want one trapped. The hunter traps one and immediately that aggroes the three surrounding mobs. The hunter is given no time and because the mob was immediately rooted in place without having to run, she is really given no space either. When the trap breaks she will still have 10 seconds left on her cooldown– and cannot trap again.
Now this is fine if all you needed was one mob out of the way for 20 seconds. But if these are hard-hitting mobs and/or the healer is a little undergeared, or something else goes wrong… well, the hunter can’t help you out for 10 seconds. And it’s not her fault. It’s simply the limitations of her abilities.
Now are there exceptions? Well, of course. Deep Survival hunters get a trapping talent that will help them out a little here, and Marksman hunters have Readiness which means they can trap twice in quick succession. But even these exceptions have limitations. Be sure you check with hunters before starting a Freezing Arrow pull to see if they have these talents or are even comfortable trapping this way. For some of us old-schoolers who did it the old way for a long time, we’re still sort of practicing with this newfangled arrow.
One other thing– Freezing Arrow can miss. It’s not like the rest of our shots, it’s more like an “AoE”. Not a big problem if the mob is standing still, but potentially a problem if the mob is moving around a lot.
Okay, that’s all from Pike for now. I really wanted to get this out there because I seem to keep running into it being a problem. Just remember that as a general rule, you shouldn’t ask a hunter to open a pull with Freezing Trap if you want it chain-trapped. And if the hunter volunteers to do so, and they are a BM hunter… then, well, tell ya what, I’ll make a “Freezing Arrow for Hunters” post soon and you can direct ’em here. =P