Updated: If you read this post earlier, there were some more hunter changes added to the notes. Updates are in red.
Blizzard just updated the alpha patch notes with a handful of hunter changes and an explanation of their philosophy on adding the new secondary stat attunements which were discovered in the previous build.
- New passive abilities granting a 5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from equipped items have been added for all specializations
- Beast Mastery: Mastery
- Marksmanship: Critical Strike
- Survival: Multistrike
- Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Pack now share a 10-second cooldown.
- Scare Beast has been removed.
- Frenzy has been removed.
- Focus Fire now naturally grants the Hunter’s pet the ability to gain Frenzy.
- Go for the Throat has been removed.
- Invigoration now also grants 15 Focus to the Hunter’s pet from auto-shot Critical Strikes.
- Viper Venom has been removed and is now part of the new Serpent Sting.
- The Beast Within has been removed.
- Bestial Wrath now naturally includes the effects of The Beast Within.
- Bear Trap has been removed.
- “Survival opts to focus on sustained damage without burst cooldowns. However, if the situation calls for a burst-damage-cooldown, there are a few available via talents. “
- Chimera Shot no longer heals the hunter.
- Concussive Barrage has been removed.
- Master Marksman has been removed.
- Steady Focus has been removed.
- Piercing Shots has been removed.
- TBD: Another change will be made to ensure that Critical Strike is more valuable to Marksmanship Hunters.
- Careful Aim increases critical strike chance by 60% (down from 75%).
- Two new raid buffs have been added to replace Physical and Magical Vulnerability and they will be provided by the following Hunter pets:
- Magic Vulnerability becomes 5% Multistrike buff: Basilisk, Chimaera, Core Hound, Dragonhawk, Fox, Rhino, Wind Serpent
- Physical Vulnerability becomes 3% Versatility buff: Bird of Prey, Boar, Porcupine, Ravager, Rhino, Worm
- Bats now have a special ability to increase their dodge chance by 30% for 10 sec (this was formerly Foxes, which are now Multistrike pets)
The Cheetah change was likely done because hunters could stay in near-permanent Cheetah with the minor glyph (since they never have to worry about being in Hawk now that it’s removed). I won’t miss Scare Beast terribly, but it was nice hunter flavor (and it let us keep those silly feral druids in check). R.I.P. Scare Beast.
The Bear Trap thing is still disappointing. Marksmanship ended up getting a cooldown (Rapid Fire + Careful Aim) which is easily on par with Bestial Wrath, but Survival still isn’t being invited to the cooldown party (or execute party for that matter).
I’m glad there’s a new Multistrike buff as it would have put survival at a disadvantage with the new secondary stat attunements. It’s also worth noting that Lone Wolf hunters will be able to bring the new Multistrike and Versatility buffs as well.
These marksmanship changes were added to the notes later in the day. Concussive Barrage makes sense I suppose when you consider Frozen Ammo. But Piercing Shots? Master Marksman? Steady Focus? That saddens me. Well, I could live without Steady Focus, but I will miss the other two. The notes promise that something else will be added to marksmanship, so it’s probably too early to say the ship is sinking. I’d be lying if I said my excitement for playing MM wasn’t just a little bit diminished by these changes. Hopefully this crit thing they’re talking about is something cool.