Well, the PTR is up and running, and hunters are reporting changes everywhere. Honestly, there are so many changes at the moment it’s making my poor, delicate, and valuable head spin.
But, the thing to remember is that many of these changes are going to change, be removed, or otherwise “not be technically feasible.”
Either way, it’s a good idea to look at them as they stand to better grasp what might happen to them later. So, lets take a look at them…
Oh man, I have a feeling about this…
You can find the list, by the way, on MMO Champion.
- Improved Aspect of the Hawk now has a new spell effect.
Like the stacking of clams, this will be seen as the most broken change in the history of the game! Can you imagine? Beastmasters will be over the top!
Actually, this is bullshit. We’re the lowest DPS spec, and we get… well, this. Woo. I suggest every Beastmaster out there to brace yourselves, as your Marksmen and Survivalist cousins actually get useful changes.
- Pets get a new tier of talents!
Well, we finally got some news on the talents. If you want to see them, I suggest taking a look at Less QQ, More PewPew. Drotora has some screenshots of the talents.
Will this give the BM tree a much needed buff? I doubt it. The problem with BM lies not with the pet anymore. The hunter needs to deal more damage, as most of the fights in raids right now are very pet unfriendly. I suspect that this will continue throughout end-game raids, as to do otherwise would severely limit Blizzard’s ability to creat challenging and interesting content.
So, even more reason to keep a pet alive. As if we needed any more.
- Ranged Weapon Specialization: Points reduced from 5 to 3, 1/3/5%.
Thank goodness! You marksmen people don’t have to sink so many points into here now! Because, now you will be putting them into Piercing shots. See why below.
- Wild Quiver (Tier 9) now increases your chance to shoot an additional shot when doing damage with your auto shot, dealing 80% Nature damage, by 4/8/12%. (Previously it dealt 50% nature damage and had a 4/7/10% chance.)
This is good. The talent was lackluster before, and it’s somewhat less so now. Actually, a 30% boost in damage isn’t bad, but the chance for it to procure still… kinda sucks. Sorry.
- Piercing Shots (Tier 7) Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec. (Previously triggered 2/4/6% armor ignore).
Where before this talent underwhelming, behold. It is now big, and scary! Or at least, that’s how it looks. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a clue whether multiple crits in a row refresh the bleed, or add multiple bleeds. Look at the marksmen blogs as time goes on: they’ll have an answer.
Either way, this is a great change to Marksmanship, and hopefully a useful one.
- Hunting Party (Tier 10) is now a 3 point talent, increasing agility by 1/2/3% and your Arcane Shot, Explosive Shot and Steady Shot critical strikes have a 33/66/100% chance to grant up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of the maximum mana per second. Lasts for 15 sec.
Well, now we know what the “passive bonus” is. 3% more agility. Just when you thought 15% was enough, they make with another 3% for 18% total.
This makes Survivalists happy. Understandably so, too. Less points, more bang for your buck. Everyone will put 2-3 points in this talent, no matter what.
- Lock and Load re-designed: You now have a 33/66/100% chance when you trap a target with Freezing Trap, Freezing Arrow or Frost Trap and a 2/4/6% chance when you deal periodic damage with your Immolation Trap or Black Arrow to cause your next 2 Arcane Shot or Explosive Shot spells to trigger no cooldown, cost no mana and consume no ammo. This now has a new spell effect and sound.(Previously worked on all traps and included serpent sting)
A mouthful, but the basic gist is this: no more trap dancing. For PvErs, this is a sad day, for your unique playing style will be missed. For PvPers, this changes nothing. With the other changes that follow, it will be imperative that Survivalists remain at range. Continue reading to find out why.
- New Talent: Trap Launcher: When activated, your next Trap will be launched instantly at the enemy target. 1 minute cooldown.
If the earlier L ‘n’ L change didn’t make it clear, this sure did. People have been begging for something like this to come out for some time.
My issue is this: now that it’s a talent, our Frost Arrow is useless to Survivalists. Why on earth would you use a trap that doesnt necessarily land(Frost Arrow) when you have one that gets shot directly at the unfortunate victim(Trap Launcher)? Survivalists got a boon here: but at the cost of your lvl 80 ability.
Heh. Not really a loss anyways.
- T.N.T. re-designed: Increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot, Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2/4/6%, and gives your Explosive Shot a 33/66/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Immolation Trap effect on the target.
Trap-dance… is deader than de-ead…
You shoot your imolation trap, then use explosive shot to keep the imolations trap running.
Trap dancing dies in 3.0.1.
- Wyvern Sting duration increased from 12 sec to 30 sec. PvP duration reduced from 10 sec to 6 sec.
Well, this is good and bad, obviously. In PvE, Wyvern sting can now be used to help control a situation gone wrong: just use it on the mob that’s out fo control, and you have yourself 30 seconds take care of everything else.
PvPers will start crying though, as this wonderful 10 second CC has been nerfed into almost half that amount. It’s still very useful, but it means that hunters can’t perma CC someone for awhile now.
- Improved Wing Clip: This talent has been removed.
By the way, this change was labeled under “Beast Mastery.” Yeah… this was actually a survival talent.
This talent was useful for PvP only, but it was actually pretty good when it worked.
With all the things Survival is getting though, I wouldn’t be sad at all. This talent was useless anywhere other than PvP, and even then, it wasn’t a sure thing. Less Random Number Generator is a good thing.
- Trap Mastery moved from Tier 9 to Tier 2 and is now a 3 point talent. Increases the duration of Frost and Freezing trap by 10/20/30%, Periodic damage of Immolation and Explosive trap by 10/20/30%, and number of snakes summoned by Snake Trap by 30%. (Previously was just 1 point)
This is hardly what I would call a “replacement.” In TBC, this was the exact same thing, except one tier lower and it was only 1 point.
Now, it’s a tier higher, and it’s another point sink.
Personally, if they had just left it at one point, it would have made more sense. Plus, Survival hardly needs more point sinks. Survivalists already have Master Tactician, Expose Weakness, and at least 3-4 more point sinks in the tree.
What I think will happen is that this change will go through, and most people will pick this over Hawk Eye.
- *New Talent* Black Arrow (Tier 9) – Fires a Black Arrow at the target, increasing all damage done by you to the target by 6% and dealing [ 10% of RAP + 785 ] Shadow damage over 15 sec. Costs 6% base mana. 5-35 yard range. Instant Cast. 30 sec cooldown.
I think I am going to dub this the beginning of “warlock syndrome.” Another shot added to an already very complicated shot rotation adds even more difficulty and cumbersomness.
Either that or it doesn’t stack with serpent sting, and this will be a replacement.
Either way, Survivalists get a shot that hunters in general have been begging for since Vanilla WoW. Lucky bastards.
- Sniper Training (Tier 9) has been changed to increase the critical strike chance of your Kill Shot ability by 5/10/15%, and while standing still for 6 sec., you gain Sniper Training increasing the damage done by your Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, Black Arrow and Explosive Shot by 2/4/6% Lasts 15 sec. (Previously increased damage and critical strike chance based on your range to the target)
This puts the nail in Trap-Dancing’s coffin. Stand still, at range, and get a damage boost. Trap-dance, and you will fail. Simple as that.
- Kill Shot no longer has a minimum range. It can now be used in melee range.
This is good! Kill shot is now a ranged execute in every way. Not too shabby for PvP, useless for PvE.
- Disengage cooldown increased to 30 secs. (Previously was 25 secs)
This just in: a Blizzard employee has been found dead in the Hudson River. Police suspect that the culprit might have been the crazy canadian shouting “death to blizzard” on the waterfront. More at 11.
In short, this sucks. Try again, Blizz.
- *New Skill* Call Stabled Pet – A pet of your choice busts out of its stable and joins you no matter where you are, replacing your current pet. Cannot be used in combat. Instant. 30 min cooldown. Requires Level 80.
Believe it or not, this was also filled under Beast Mastery, although this change affects everyone.
Needless to say, this has been a long time coming, and so long as they don’t pull a “technicality” out of their rear, this change should go through.
So, dance for now. Be happy! Be merry! But hope like hell that you can learn this ability at a lower level, cause learning it at 80 is way too late. Like, lets learn this around 30, so we can level 2 pets at once while out and about.
Oh, and imagining Link “busting out” of his stable reminds me of Homeward Bound.
- Frost Trap: If the target who triggers Frost Trap is immune to its effect, the Frost Trap area effect will no longer be triggered.
Well, aint this a load of crap. It’s not a big change in the least, but it still annoys me. My AoE trap becomes useless if one person who’s immune steps on it. Harumph.
- Glyph – Aimed Shot — Reduces the cooldown of your Aimed Shot ability by 2 sec. (Old: Reduces the mana cost of your aimed shot ability by 20%)
There goes my reason to keep Aimed Shot in any way, shape, or form for PvE. Good for PvP though. Why? Well, less cooldown time means more aimed shots, more aimed shots means more damage while kiting those pesky melee classes, and that make Klin a happy elf.
- Glyph of the Monkey — While Aspect of the Monkey or Aspect of the Dragonhawk are active, each time you dodge you gain 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec. Can only occur every 20 sec. This speed does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects. (Old: Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey — While Aspect of the Monkey or Aspect of the Dragonhawk are active, each time you dodge you gain 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec. This speed does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.)
Well, I hope everyone had fun with getting 3 or so dodges in a row with this glyph. It’s still very useful in PvP, but it means that you can’t be Speedy Gonzales anymore.
More to the point, the 20 CD shouldn’t have been an issue in the first place, as you should have been out of melee range for that long anyway.
- Glyph of Wyvern Sting — Decreases the cooldown of your Wyvern Sting by 6 sec. (Old: Decreases the cooldown of your Wyvern Sting by 15 sec., but decreases the damage it deals by 20%.)
Woopdedoo. Not much to say here folks: nerfed. Wyvern sting has a 60 second cooldown. Reducing it by 15 seconds, but losing damage, was much better than reducing it by 6 seconds. This ability was meant to Crowd Control, not deal damage.
- Glyph of Snake Trap — Snakes generated by your Snake Trap take 90% reduced damge from area of effect spells. (Old: Your Snake Trap creates 2 additional snakes)
PvP just got a new glyph. This alone should make snake traps much more worthwhile in PvP, as the only reason we didnt use it was because everyone had AoE and killed them instantly.
Now our little snakes can live long enough to poison some people.
Happy? I know I am.
- Glyph of the Hawk — Increases the haste bonus of the Improved Aspect of the Hawk effect by an additional 6%. (Old: Renamed from Glyph of Improved Aspect of the Hawk)
Wow. Aspect of the Hawk is getting love this patch. A new spell effect, and and renamed glyph. This will surely upset the balance.
- Glyph of Chimera Shot *new* — Reduces the cooldown of Chimera Shot by 1 sec.
I’m going to leave this one for the marksmen, but 1 second off of a very powerful shot is never a bad thing… but it’s still only one second. Take it or leave it, I guess.
- Glyph of Explosive Shot *new* — Increases the critical strike chance of Explosive Shot by 4%.
This will be a must have for Survivalists. ‘Nuff said.
- Glyph of Kill Shot *new* — Reduces the cooldown of Kill Shot by 6 sec.
Errrm, okay. I like it. It’s good for PvE on a boss fight, as it means you can get off 3 now instead of 2.
In PvP, your kill shot should kill them, so this shouldn’t be too big.
- Glyph of Explosive Trap *new* — The periodic damage from your Explosive Trap can now be critical strikes.
Good for AoE fights, just launch an eplosive trap into a group of mobs and watch em burn!
- Glyph of Scatter Shot *new* — Increases the range of Scatter Shot by 3 yards.
My experience with scatter shot has been this: use it when your opponent is too close. Otherwise, don’t bother.
So, I think it’s safe to say that this glyph is made of suck for now.
- Glyph of Raptor Strike *new* — For 5 sec. after using Raptor Strike, you take 20% less damage.
Adding… more activated abilities?
This is good, but it’s already hard to find room for glyphs in PvP as is. This will have to be one of them though, as 5 seconds of 20% reduction is not to be messed with, especially when confronted with angry rogues, warriors, paladins, just to name a few.
- Roar of Sacrifice can be used on the hunter only.
Nerf. No two ways about it: Roar of Sacrifice isn’t nearly as useful.
Before, you could use it on a healer to give them the boost they needed. Now, not so much.
Still good for you, but not for the team.
- Stampede (rhino) only affects 1 target, but adds a 25% bleed damage debuff (that does not stack with Mangle etc.) in addition to its knockback.
This is not cool. The one thing… one thing I really thought was pure fun has been smashed, bashed, drawn, and quartered. It’s still good for PvP, as a bleed effect is always welcome, but the lack of multiple targetness makes rhinos a lot less desirable in Battlegrounds…
Goodbye, Rhino bowling.
Rhino. We Win.
My prediction is this:
Blizzard is going completely crazy. Survivalists are getting huge, flashy buffs. They are already the top DPS spec for Hunters.
Beasmastery, the lowest performance spec for DPS, got some visual changes mostly. Yay. Now my tier 1 talent that everyone can get looks spectacular.
Marksmen got a buff too, although they aren’t nearly as spoiled as Survivalists right now.
The short and skinny version?
BRK should stick to Survival, it would save him a lot of gold.
Marksmen and Beastmasters will fight each other for 2nd best, but MM will likely win that one.
Rhino Bowling will get a massive funeral. Trap-Dancing will go unmourned, despite how interesting he was.
The sales of Tylenol and Advil will go through the roof as people read these notes and an epidemic of headaches ensues.