Blizzard finally put out the official 6.1 notes and we got some buffs in the talent department. Check these out.
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. 😆 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.
Trap and pet changes
Datamining already revealed the trap changes, but I believe the rest of this is new.
- Trap Mastery no longer reduces the cooldown of all traps and Black Arrow by 6 seconds.
- Black Arrow now has a cooldown of 24 seconds (down from 30 seconds).
- Enhanced Traps now reduces the cooldown on all traps by 33% (down from 50%).
- Basilisks now have a pet family ability. Stone Scales reduces damage taken by the pet. Previously, Basilisks did not have a pet family ability.
- Hydra pets should no longer be excessively large.
- Spirit Beast’s Spirit Beast Blessing now also provides a 5% increase to critical strike chance. Does not stack with other critical strike chance buffs. Previously, other exotic pet families provided buffs to 2 stats while Spirit Beasts provided only 1.
We talked about these trap changes on the last Hunting Party Podcast with RogerBrown from Method, but the gist is that they wanted to tone down the OP 12-second cooldown on Survival traps (mainly for PvP reasons). The end result is Survival now has 20-second cooldown traps (versus 30 seconds for the other specs). Black Arrow had its cooldown adjusted to account for it being removed from Trap Mastery. It’s the same as it was before.
Poor Basilisks finally have a special ability. Originally it was supposed to be Multistrike, but this new one sounds like a variant of Shell Shield.
The Hydra change isn’t in yet, but I never really considered them to be obnoxiously big.
I’m loving the Spirit Beast buff, but they’re wrong about all other exotics providing buffs to 2 stats. Core Hounds, Chimaera, Quilen, and Devilsaurs all provide 1 buff to stats. They do have extra abilities, of course, so perhaps that is what the notes were meant to convey. Cats also have stealth so it makes sense that it doesn’t count for one of the Spirit Beast’s 3 specials.
Now to see where I can find some more tunes for my jukebox.