Hunger For Blood has been a controversial Rogue skill since the very day it was introduced as the new 51-point talent for Assassination. In the beginning, it was necessary to build up three stacks and then maintain those on a short timer (let it drop and you were sacrificing both your rotation and your overall DPS).
This mechanic quickly proved annoying, but the flat damage increase was too essential not to take advantage of. This particular aspect of HfB has been both troublesome for players and, at least in some ways, beneficial for the class design team. And we can look to the first few change to see why…
Right from the start, it was a clunky spell to add to the Rogue’s rotation, costing almost more Energy than its 3% damage buff per application was worth. In order to assuage the community’s mild annoyance (read: frothing rage), they bumped the coefficient up tp 5% per application for a total of 15% at max. Now you can see why the devs liked this (hint: the nature of HfB makes figuring out the math super easy).
Unfortunately, that also makes it an incredibly boring talent for the player. Several months later, it was simplified further to a single stack that provided the full buff for 60 seconds. Less clunky, maybe, but still banal.
It hasn’t changed much mechanically since then, but the great poison-swapping fiasco towards the end of last year saw Rogue DPS shoot through the roof. Since effectively dealing with that problem meant changing a core aspect of the game, Blizz gave Rogues their poison boost carte blanche and cut Hunger down to 5% to bring them back in line with everyone else.
Confused yet? Well, I wouldn’t worry your pretty little head any longer, because the slate is being wiped clean. Hunger for Blood is G-O-N-E, outta here!
It’s going away for Cataclysm.
No word yet on what it may or may not be replaced with, but the decision to remove it from the game makes sense considering that their modus operandi for Cataclysm has been to remove as many of the flat buffs from the talent system as possible. Logic dictates the associated glyph is going in the can, as well. At the end of the day, I think this is a wonderful to decision and, to be frank, it was just a troublesome skill in the first place. Good riddance.