The Legion alpha and beta process has been a long one. I’ve been in for nearly 7 months, and I wasn’t even in the first wave. One would expect a good deal of iteration over such a long period of time, but for Hunters that really hasn’t been the case.
Blizzard was receptive to feedback about cosmetic “class fantasy” issues. The most notable example is Beast Mastery being a literal zoo of impersonal pets you didn’t tame yourself. Many Hunters didn’t like this. Shortly after the BM spec was unlocked, Blizzard responded to player feedback and made compromises by adding in the Glyph of the Dire Stable, Dire Frenzy, and Essence Swapper. They also listened to MM Hunters who missed having the option of a pet. On the topic of tameable pets, I think they took much of their inspiration from player feedback and suggestions. They did an amazing job with new tames this expansion.
This brings us to how the class actually plays. On this front I felt there was little iteration or developer communication at all. It was basically the complete opposite of what happened in the pre-Warlords testing. I couldn’t even keep up with all the blue posts and tweets back then. Leading up to Legion, I’ve watched the specs stay mostly the same despite overwhelming negative feedback.
Well, this is a first. In Legion (well, technically patch 7.0) Hunters will be able to venture into Siege of Orgrimmar and gather parts to make their very own Iron Juggernaut pet — in four different colors! To fully discover all the ins and outs of this taming challenge took many hours of searching around SoO, and the rest of Azeroth for that matter. I spent most of the time searching around with Valnaaros from the Petopia forums.
One of the parts needed turned out to be extremely well hidden, and when we didn’t see it on first inspection we assumed it was found elsewhere. After visiting every gnomish and goblin type area in WoW, we finally went back to SoO and found the missing piece. If you want to discover all this for yourself, skip the guide section below. The first part will have no spoilers.
Ever wanted to tame Tortos? Well, now you can — sort of. In lieu of actually making the boss from Throne of Thunder tameable, Blizzard has re-used Tortos’ model for a new turtle species, the Lowland Manashell. These turtles are found in Suramar, the level 110-only zone in the Broken Isles. More specifically, in the river north of Shal’aran (the main hub of the zone).
While it’s not an actual rare, the Lowland Manashell isn’t very common. Sometimes when I visit the area there are none of them spawned. I believe it may share a spawn with the common turtles in the area, and every time one of those spawns there is a chance that it’s one of the Manashells. I’ve also only seen one up at a time thus far. They can spawn anywhere along the river there, including under water or above the waterfall. If you don’t see any, try killing regular turtles in the area. A “/tar Lowland Manashell” macro is helpful.
The glyph system in Legion is changing in several ways. First, there are no more major glyphs, only cosmetic minor glyphs. Second, glyphs are now applied to the affected ability directly and are consumable. You can no longer permanently learn a glyph. For example, when you right-click one of the Dire Beast glyphs it will open up your spellbook and highlight Dire Beast, which you then click to apply.
Hunters have a few cool glyphs and a few that could still use some work. I’ll explain them all below, but you can also watch this video to see them in action.
The latest alpha build (geez, it’s still alpha after 5 months?) is the start of class number tuning. Beast Mastery Hunters saw some fairly big numbers changes on both abilities and talents, a lot of them for the better. Survival and Marksmanship saw fewer adjustments. Here’s what Celestalon had to say about this build:
Originally Posted by Celestalon
Tuning has started! A very rough pass has been made over all classes to get them into the same ballpark. Note that we have not yet finished a first tuning pass on artifacts yet; some specs are still significantly under- or over-powered with full artifacts. At this point, class mechanics are firm, but not necessarily set in stone yet.
The last sentence is the big one. Class mechanics are now “firm” but it looks like they’re not opposed to future changes. There has been a lot of feedback requesting changes to some aspects of the class, but Blizzard has stuck to their guns so far. At this point I wouldn’t expect any major changes to core mechanics, such as getting a traditional Focus generator back for BM.
I think it’s safe to say that Friender the mechano wolf is the first legitimate taming challenge discovered in Legion. We have Treble and Rush, which are found via track hunting, but Friender is something completely new. Shout out to Kyfus who was the first Hunter to discover this one.
When Blizzard first announced mechanical pets they specifically mentioned a mechano strider challenge in Gnomeregan. So far, we haven’t seen that one specifically, but it’s possible that Friender is the end result of that original idea. He should be tameable once the 7.0 prepatch goes live before Legion.
To begin, make sure you can actually tame a mechanical pet. Gnomes and Goblins can do so innately, but other races must obtain a Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix from their local engineer. Unfortunately, engineers won’t be able to craft this until Legion, so only Gnomes and Goblins will be able to do this in the prepatch.
I apologize for the extended absence. I’ve been extremely busy IRL and any time I’ve had to write about Hunters has gone to my bi-weekly Blizzard Watch columns. Things have calmed down a bit and I should be able to get some regular posts going again. The good news is… I didn’t really miss that much. Hardly anything has changed for Hunters in the intervening month or so. I have been playing all the new builds, but not as much as I’d like. That should change now. My favorite part about the beta is finding new pets and that looks to be in full swing now.
I’ve got a few posts in the works, so stay tuned. 🙂 Also, thanks for sticking around!
Do you remember rare pets from Mists of Pandaria such as Portent, Hexapos, and Savage? These pets required you to look for their tracks to hunt them down. We didn’t get any new rares like this in Warlords, but it looks like they are returning for Legion!
This time, instead of animal tracks there are little puddles of oil. The first one discovered (by Bambu on the Petopia forums) is Treble, a mechanical dog found in Highmountain. He wanders quite a big area and was a challenge to track down. I ended up finding him right near our class hall, Trueshot Lodge. Unfortunately, nothing can be tamed on the Broken Isles yet due to a bug. I did snap some pics though!
Shortly after I wrote this initial piece on what I felt was wrong with the Beast Mastery fantasy in Legion, the developers announced that they planned on adding a glyph so that Dire Beast would pull from your own stable of pets rather than use random ones from the wild. This addressed one of the primary concerns, but the other big one was Hati.
Since then, Hati has seen a model update (as seen above) and most Hunters seem to agree that it’s a heck of a lot better than the old model. In addition there are different colors of Hati to match your artifact color. After they did this, I was fairly certain that was it for Hati. Having every single BM Hunter stuck with the same wolf wasn’t ideal, but at least it was a brand new model.
However, in the most recent build a very interesting item was datamined.
This post is brought to you by Warcraft, in theaters this June!
Seriously though, check out that dwarf! Lothar can’t believe that someone called him a Huntard to his face like that. Clearly they didn’t see that this dwarf was packing. Let’s pretend he is a Marksmanship Hunter so that it’s relevant to this post.
The big news came in yesterday: Marksmanship’s pet is returning in Legion! Lone Wolf is coming back as a talent, only now it will be available at level 15. Here it is, straight from the sparkly dragon’s mouth: