Aspect of the Fox is back, changes to Bestial Wrath

Our long-awaited raid utility is finally here.

Aspect of the Fox
Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells for 6 seconds. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. 3 minute cooldown.

I don’t want to say I called it, but I kinda do. ;)

I like this cooldown. For a short period of time we can allow all of our friends to experience the awesomeness of a being hunter. :D The duration seems a bit short, but I suppose if you have multiple hunters in your raid you could chain these together. It’s not unusual for a raid to have 2-3 hunters. It definitely seems like a more healer-oriented cooldown to me (though the casters will be happy to have it as well).

I know some people are going to complain that it’s a buff that doesn’t benefit the actual hunter using it (except Focusing Shot), but that’s not the point of a raid utility cooldown. It’s supposed to help your raid as a whole, right? Hunters have always complained about other classes bringing mandatory raid utility, so you can’t be surprised when the utility we get isn’t mandatory. In the end, it’s something we didn’t have yesterday, and it’s going to indirectly lead to more damage and survivability for your raid (or arena team — don’t forget about PvP benefits).

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Reforging 2.0: Consumables and Enchants

I have a love-hate relationship with reforging. I love using it to min-max or make a piece of subpar gear into something decent. I hate having to juggle hit and expertise caps (and having to use a reforging calculator to do it perfectly). Without hit and expertise, reforging is just about customizing your stats. No calculators or external tools required. All the good, none of the bad. So you can understand why I was initially a little disappointed at its removal.

I know the goal was to reduce the amount of extra work needed to be done in order to make a piece of gear usable. When you don’t need to valor upgrade, reforge, gem, and enchant something you can just equip it as soon as it drops. Unless, of course, it’s a neck, ring, or cloak. Then you’ll want to make sure you have an enchanting scroll ready for it.

Blizzard wasn’t kidding when they said they wanted fewer but more powerful enchants.

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WoD Beta: Adventures in Gorgrond gallery

I recently leveled from 92-94 in Gorgrond, and I really enjoyed this zone. The mix of lush jungle and desolate badlands makes it interesting because the scenery is always changing. It feels like there’s multiple zones in just one. There’s lots of little nooks and crannies to explore, mountains to climb, and big trophy mobs to kill. Killing one of these big elites gives you a quest item which rewards a bunch of XP and supposedly a trophy to display in your garrison (doesn’t seem to work yet).

I encountered several new beasts in my travels, some of which I was able to tame. You’ll also find pictures of some of those in this gallery. You can click through to any of these pictures for a full size 2560×1440 version. I imagine some of these would make nice wallpapers. Enjoy. :)

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WoD Beta 18566: The new Chimaera Shot (and more!)

The amazing header image for this post was created by Draven aka SpiritBinder of Unfortunately, Chimaera Shot doesn’t look quite that cool in the game!

Another build, another round of hunter changes. The biggest is the newly updated Chimaera Shot (formerly Chimera Shot), but there are also some new perks, some updated visuals, and several bug fixes.

Chimaera Shot
  • Renamed Chimaera Shot (old: Chimera Shot)
  • Now hits 2 targets, one for frost damage, and one for nature damage.
  • On a single target, it randomly chooses nature or frost damage.
  • Still does the same damage as old Chimaera Shot, there seems to be no penalty for the new cleave component.
  • Each Chimaera “head” independently crits and multistrikes.
  • Seems to choose the closest target for the second shot.
  • Currently it’s not “smart” and will break CC on the secondary target.
  • The visuals might be temporary since they are using a Dragonhawk head rather than a Chimaera!

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All-hunter raiding

There’s few things cooler than watching 25 hunters take down level 90 raid bosses. You’ll come for the hunters, and stay for the Glaives spam. It’s a glorious sight to behold.

A group of US Horde hunters, organized in part by Artemishowl of Blood Legion, has been tackling tier 14 and tier 15 Mists of Pandaria raids with nothing but hunters. So far, they’ve cleared tier 14 (normal and heroic versions), and normal tier 15. Their next raid is set for July 19 at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT and they’ll be attempting heroic Throne of Thunder. There are several streams you can watch. I have usually been tuning into Ricket’s stream.

If you’re a Horde hunter playing on US servers, you may be able to join in on the fun, or at least be a backup. There’s a few requirements to join, like 575 ilvl and heroic experience. You can find out all the details on the MMO-Champion hunter forums, including where and when to watch and how to sign up.


WoD Beta: Improvements to Lock and Load and Chimera Shot on the way

Celestalon has been tweeting more about hunters, and we have some good news for both survival and marksmanship to talk about. None of these changes are in the build (or patch notes) yet, but they should hopefully make it in soon so we can test them.

Lock and Load

We’ll start with the survival changes. One is a nice quality of life change (and opens up some new gameplay avenues), and the other will help survival at lower multistrike levels. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, Black Arrow now procs 1 charge of Lock and Load every time it multistrikes.

Patch 6.0 at level 90 would have been really awkward without this baseline chance. If you have Haromm’s Talisman, you should be able to get around ~20% total multistrike with the appropriate raid buff (more if they add level 90 versions of the multistrike flasks and food) when patch 6.0 launches.

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WoD Beta: Missing the Mark

Editor’s Note: If there’s one thing most hunters will agree with on the Warlords beta, it’s that marksmanship and survival are simply missing “something” in their current state. I thought Jademcian articulated the reason for this better than I ever could, so I asked him to do a guest post for the site. Hopefully this will spark some more discussion and help improve these specs before release. -Bendak

A few days ago I made a four part post on the beta class forums for a discussion regarding Marksmanship. Many of the posters seemed to  enjoy Beast Mastery while feeling Marks and Survival were hollow by comparison. In my post I made a few remarks on Marksmanship based on the discussion then went into a comparison between it and Beast Mastery, why I thought one felt more complete than the other and an example of what could be done to make Marksmanship feel the same ‘completeness.’

Bendak asked if I would write about that post here, on his site, and I happily obliged because I think it’s something the hunter community may be able to use to fuel player/developer conversation. The first step is identifying that something feels missing, the second step is figuring out what that thing is, and the third step is in Blizzard’s hands. So, whether you like Beast Mastery or not, or what was axed from Marksmanship, I hope you find my thoughts a useful tool for communicating your own.

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Pet of the Week: Flying Rylaks

It’s going to be hard to top last week’s pet, but today we’re taking a lot at another new pet from Warlords of Draenor. The Twinbreath Skystalker is part of the new rylak family, or at least it’s supposed to be. For now it’s just classified as a chimaera until they add the rylak family to the game. Rylaks will be exotic pets.

This isn’t a rare pet, you can go out into the middle of Frostfire Ridge and find several of them flying around, and others being captured by Thunderlord orcs. Unlike other flying pets, rylaks spend all of their time on the ground once tamed. Well, almost all of it…

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More changes to T17 Hunter set bonuses

Beta build 18537 went up and with it comes the third round of changes to hunter tier 17 set bonuses. There’s some real cool stuff here, but knowing how often these have changed so far, don’t get too attached. Although I’m sort of already attached to this new BM one…

Beast Mastery
  • 2-piece bonus: Kill Command has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.
  • 4-piece bonus: While Bestial Wrath is active, one additional pet is summoned to fight with you.

The 4p bonus was unchanged from before, only the 2p bonus is new. Yeah, so, this is pretty awesome. The best pet is a big red pet. These are the types of set bonuses I’d come up with on a wish list. Stuff that is sitting right on the line dividing realistic and too good to be true. I know some people dislike RNG bonuses like this, but I’ve always liked them.

I still wonder if the 4p bonus is just going to summon a Dire Beast or if it’ll be an actual pet from your current active pets with full abilities and all (or at least basic attacks).

What I would change: Nothing, except maybe a guarantee that the second pet it pulls out will be the first available one in your list. Say you have pet 3 summoned, it will summon pet 1. If you have pet 1 summoned, it would summon pet 2.

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