Hunter changes in patch 6.1: Talent buffs and more

Blizzard finally put out the official 6.1 notes and we got some buffs in the talent department. Check these out.

Originally Posted by Blizzard
Talent Balance

Developer Commentary: A primary focus for class changes in Patch 6.1 is improving overall talent balance. Not every talent needs to be useful in every situation; and in fact it’s often better if they have strengths and weaknesses. But we do try to have each talent be useful in some situations, and make them close enough in value that if you really enjoy the gameplay of a talent you don’t feel like you’re dragging your group down by using it.

For these changes we focused primarily on tuning (tweaking numbers), and nearly all changes are buffs to underperforming talents. The goal is to reach more variety of viable builds, without bringing down the existing popular choices.

  • Barrage damage has been increased by 21%.
  • Exhilaration now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%).
  • Glaive Toss damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Powershot damage has been increased by 62%.
  • Stampede now lasts 40 seconds (up from 20 seconds).

Here is the main thing I take away from this: Blizzard desperately wants us to use Powershot.  :lol:  If it’s as good as it sounds, Powershot may become the new single target DPS talent of choice because it’s not like it was that far behind before this. This is all good news though, because in some cases (like with Survival) there was almost no benefit from using a level 90 talent for single target damage. This will obviously change now, and Barrage just got 21% more awesome for AoE if that was even possible.

The more shocking one is that Stampede now lasts for 40 seconds (whoa!). Yes, A Murder of Crows was that good to justify this. I feel like this could push Stampede to be the best on many single target fights, especially when the cooldowns line up nicely with fight duration (i.e. Stampede would kill it on a 6 minute fight). AMoC still has the benefit of being able to reset the cooldown if used smartly on multi-target fights. I love the sound of it as a BM hunter, so I’m hoping it’s as good as it sounds and that there’s no strings attached (like reduced damage on the Stampede pets).

The Exhilaration buff was desperately needed. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

None of these changes except the Barrage buff appear to be live on the PTR yet so I can’t test much. I’m sure Simulation Craft will be updated within the next day or two and then I can start playing around with that at least.

I’m still holding out hope for a Kill Command buff to give a small kick to BM single target DPS.

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 209: RogerBrown is in Town

In this week’s episode we welcome a very special returning guest to the HPP — RogerBrown from Method! Artemishowl also makes her return the podcast as a regular host alongside Darkbrew, Delirium, and yours truly.

We talk about hunter specs, give some tips and tricks, and Artemishowl and RogerBrown talk about their world first Highmaul race experiences. It was a fun show and we look forward to getting RogerBrown on the show again in the future, perhaps after Blackrock Foundry progression.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 10:00 am ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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WoW’s patch 6.1 anti-aliasing options compared

There was a vocal minority of players who were pretty upset when the old MSAA options were removed in patch 6.0 in favor of visually inferior (in most cases) post-processing AA options. Heck, Blizzard even wrote a technical blog explaining why they decided to remove MSAA. In short, their reasoning behind its removal was because it caused too big of a performance hit.

This wasn’t surprising since MSAA is very performance unfriendly, especially if you run the game at a higher resolution. Blizzard has always aimed for WoW to work on the lowest common denominator of PC hardware, but many argued there was no reason to take away the other AA options from people who do have the hardware to utilize it. I personally have a GTX 780 video card which is overkill by about 5x for WoW, but it is nice to be able to turn on every single option to max and still run the game at 60+ fps at all times.

The good news is that Blizzard listened and they have re-implemented MSAA as an option in patch 6.1. They’ve also added two new options, both even more performance hungry than MSAA.

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Mastery and Haste Buffs: What does it mean for BM?

Beast Mastery remains as my favorite spec. It might not pull off the single target numbers of Survival, but it’s pretty darn close. It also has Beast Cleave, the most badass AoE in the game (especially with that new claw effect it received in 6.0). And most importantly, I just enjoy playing it more than the other specs. Recently there were a couple of hotfix buffs to stats which gave a decent little bump to Beast Mastery, though not as big as I was hoping.

  • Mastery: Master of Beasts’ effects have been increased by 12.5%.
  • The Haste stat is now 11.1% more effective. For example, characters at level 100 now receive a 1% increase per 90 Haste (up from 1% per 100 Haste).

Combined, these buffs only result in a 2-3% overall damage increase for BM (perhaps slightly more for AoE damage).

Prior to this, Multistrike was (barely) the best performing stat for BM in single target, but now it is Mastery. The question is, should you bother swapping your enchants from Multistrike to Mastery?

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Patch 6.1 PTR: Tooltipageddon

There’s not a whole lot of hunter news for patch 6.1 thus far. All of the spell changes you may have seen on a site like Wowhead or MMO-Champion are simply tooltip updates from 2 months worth of hotfixes. There might be some in there that are actual changes, but if they are then it is minor. I’ve totally lost track of them all at this point. We won’t know for sure until Blizzard puts out actual patch notes.

The one actual hunter change is the increase in range for pet battle resurrection spells: Dust of Life (Moth), Eternal Guardian (Quilen), Gift of Chi-Ji (Crane). They have all been buffed to 40 yard range, up from 20 yards. This will make hunter battle resurrections a heck of a lot more reliable from now on. You can thank Artemishowl (WHU) for this one. She pleaded with the devs at BlizzCon to make it happen.

Here’s a few other bits that stood out to me from the datamining. As of now the servers aren’t up so I can’t check any of this for myself.

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Hunter stats, or why multistrike is your new best friend [Updated]

Jan 14: This article has received some updates due to hotfixes. Updates are in red.

Multistrike is good. Really good. You should probably enchant all of your gear and gem with nothing but multistrike for the time being. The one exception would be if you exclusively play Marksmanship. In that case, I’d probably still stick with crit — at least until your buffed crit is above 40%. After 40% (43% technically) its value starts to diminish because the extra crit is wasted during Careful Aim.

Anyway, back to multistrike. Even if one of your specs is MM, I’d still enchant with multistrike if you equally play another spec along with it because multistrike is no slouch for MM either.  For Beast Mastery, it’s not light years above the other stats. However, it’s usually at the top, or at least tied for the top (will vary slightly based on your gear). Update 1/14: With the recent hotfix to the value of BM Mastery, the Mastery stat is now the top stat for BM. However, Multistrike is still good and not too far behind. As someone who plays both BM and SV, I won’t be switching my enchants away from Multistrike at this time. Multistrike’s true value is unleashed with Survival. With my gear currently, 1 point of multistrike has nearly the same value as 3 points of haste. Wait… what?

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 208: Happy New Year

Happy New Year! In 2015’s first episode Darkbrew, Delirum, and yours truly talk about Survival’s rise in popularity, whether or not its worthwhile to use Explosive Trap in your rotation, and we also give some tips for completing follower raid missions.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 10:00 am ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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Hunter Transmog: Alliance Rifleman 2.0

My first “Alliance Rifleman” transmog was based on the vanilla hunter PvP gear. The problem with that one is unless you’re high ranked (or earned rank 9+ in vanilla), it’s unavailable to you.  This new one, however, is available to anyone who builds a Dwarven Bunker in their garrison. Even though it looks like plate, it can be worn by any armor class. It just so happens that it looks pretty badass on a dwarf. Sorry, Hordies, this one is Alliance only (except the gun and goggles).

Head: Steamworker’s Goggles
Shoulder: Stormwind Shoulderguards
Chest: Stormwind Chestguard
Tabard: Stormwind Tabard (new version)
Belt: Stormwind Belt
Legs: Stormwind Leggings
Boots: Stormwind Boots
Gloves: Stormwind Grips
Weapon: Shrediron’s Shredder (Level 3)

I’ve put this set together in a Wowhead item comparison so you can quickly view it on other races in 3D (click the little triangle above the item icons).

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Looking back at 2014: The first year of Eyes of the Beast

I started Eyes of the Beast just 10 months ago, but it feels much longer! It all started when WoW Insider cut their class columns (I was the current writer of Scattered Shots), and I decided that I wanted to continue writing about my favorite class. In my attempt to come up with a clever name, I began entering hunter spells into domain name searches until I saw that was available. I think I bought it 30 seconds later.

At the time, the WHU and Hunting Party Podcast had both just shut down (both resurrected now!) and I felt like the hunter community could use another regularly updated site to compliment the few that were left, notably The Brew Hall. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive. I was shocked to have more than a handful of people reading my site, and that was because of everyone who linked to me or retweeted me. Thanks.  :mrgreen:

Stats for 2014
  • 191 published posts
  • 1,480,000 page views
  • Most popular post: How to tame Gara with just over 300,000 views
  • Most popular day: September 9, 2014 with 34,105 views
  • Most active commenter: Garfurion with 58 comments
  • Top 3 referrers (besides Google): Petopia, Wowhead, Reddit
  • 465,000 outbound clicks to Wowhead
  • Visitors from 193 different countries
  • Top 5 countries (in order) were the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 207: Spec Parity

On this episode, Darkbrew, Delirum, and Solar discuss the latest round of buffs and nerfs to hunters. Just how close are the 3 specs now?

There’s also some talk about raiding and hunter soloing in this final show of 2014. I had to miss this one but I should be back for the next.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 10:00 am ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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