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.
@Bulletdwarf We’re raising Lock and Load’s duration to 30sec, and giving Survival an additional 10% baseline multistrike chance to help.
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) July 14, 2014
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.
The other change to 30s duration is a welcome one, and was pretty much the first thing I suggested to Blizzard when they implemented this new Lock and Load system. It gives you more potential to strategically hold onto your LnL stacks. The problem is, I don’t think you’ll be able to hold onto them that long without risking wasted procs. You can get some new enchants on the beta for your level 100 premade. As you can see above, I got my multistrike up to 39% fully buffed. This is before the 10% baseline multistrike coming in a future build.
So, 50% multistrike. In first tier PvP gear. 😯
Already with 40% multistrike, Explosive Shot was feeling more and more like a focus dump than a signature shot. It makes the procs feel less rewarding. My concern is survival degenerating into nothing but Explosive Shot and Cobra Shot, with an Arcane Shot every 15 seconds to refresh Serpent Sting. I found myself always short on focus to spend my chain LnL procs. On several occasions I got 6 LnL stacks in just 3 Black Arrow ticks (yes, they can double proc). That’s 90 focus of just Explosive Shots in a short period of time. You can see why there’s no room for Arcane Shot here.
It makes Fervor seem like the best choice so you can use it to dump your crazy chain procs. I don’t know, it feels like there needs to be a payoff for building up all 5 stacks. Maybe something like the idea I had in an earlier post, a new button for survival:
– Loaded for Bear: Consumes all of your Lock and Load charges. Your next Explosive Shot will deal the combined damage of all consumed charges. 1 minute cooldown.
Anything that gives you something to look forward to in the otherwise (right now) hollow rotation, and encourages saving up 5 stacks at the appropriate time. LnL procs become less exciting when they happen almost every 3 seconds.
Damn, I’m rambling. Let’s move onto the marksmanship change.
You know, I’m not even going to speculate on what this could be. I’m just happy Blizzard is taking our feedback seriously. Chimera Shot needs some lovin’, so this is good news. 🙂
Hopefully it’s something substantial to get marksmanship out of its current funk. You can read more about that in WoD Beta: Missing the Mark, an awesome guest post I featured earlier today.
Update: OK, so I lied about not speculating. A comment Garfurion made in the “Missing the Mark” post got me thinking about what could make Chimera Shot a little cooler, and live up to its name. Here’s my idea for an awesome Chimera Shot: After firing, the shot splits off into two projectiles — two Chimaera heads — before converging back on the target. Give it a spiffy graphic so it looks cool. Each “head” could deal independent damage — one head deals nature damage and heals the hunter (like old Chimera Shot did), the other head deals frost damage and applies something else… probably not a slow since Exotic Munitions does that now. Each “head” of the Chimera Shot has an independent chance to crit and multistrike. BAM! Cool signature shot. Blizzard probably has something cool up their sleeve, but you know me, I like to make up imaginary abilities.
- Our new raid utility ability. Mentioned several times in passing, but only on twitter.
- New cooldown button for survival. I eagerly await news.
Side note: Thanks to Celestalon (and other WoW designers behind the scenes) for being awesome. It’s easy to take his community involvement for granted. I’ve never seen developers listen and respond to this much feedback before.