So the big news you probably already know about is that Aspect of the Fox has been completely removed from patch 6.2. I certainly expected some kind of nerf, perhaps a short debuff to prevent the chaining of foxes, but I did not see this coming.
Here’s the list of changes from Blizzard:
- Aspect of the Fox has been removed.
- Aimed Shot now deals 15% more damage.
- Mastery: Essence of the Viper has increased in effectiveness by 19%.
- Explosive Shot now deals 15% less damage.
- Serpent Sting no longer deals an initial “tick” of damage when the periodic effect is first applied.
- A Murder of Crows now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets.
- Barrage now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets. Additionally, the ability no longer hits invisible or stealthed targets.
- Mastery: Master of Beasts has been increased in effectiveness by approximately 20%. I gained 10% extra pet damage on the PTR (with my mastery buff).
- Kill Command was buffed slightly (288.9% of RAP to 297.3% RAP)
OK, make sure your safety harness is secured. We’re back on the Warlords of Draenor Hunter Rollercoaster.
Just what the heck is going on here?!
Before you freak out too much, you should know that a lot of this is obviously going to change. The Survival changes are a fairly big nerf on their own. Instant Serpent Sting ticks are responsible for quite a bit of Survival’s output (especially in AoE). I’m not convinced the mastery buff offsets that, so I think something else must be coming.
It looks like they are positioning Marksmanship to be the top single target spec. Still no hope in sight for AoE, but the PTR is young.
Beast Mastery buffs? Seems fine. 😆 In all seriousness, a big part of the reason BM is doing so well right now is the Rylakstalker 4-piece bonus. The spec itself is basically being propped up by a set bonus that is in a different league. When you look at it like that, the buffs are less surprising.
The PvP talent nerfs made me kind of happy. Why would I be happy about a nerf? Because they are nerfing it only where it’s a problem… in PvP. It’s unfortunate that Tranquilizing Shot was a victim of this a few weeks ago, but at least it wasn’t a DPS ability.
This PTR is also likely going to last for months, so nothing is final.
What does the Fox say?
I know everyone is freaking out about this one, but I just kind of shrugged it off. I know for me personally, I am not brought to my raid because of this ability. Perhaps someone in a top end guild would feel differently, but I think hunters still bring a lot to the table.
We can still (mostly) DPS on the move. We’re still going to be amazing at doing all of those dirty jobs no one else wants to do. We do competitive DPS. And we look really damn good doing it too.
What I’ll miss most is mounting and hearthing on the run.
And seriously Blizzard, you couldn’t even keep it for a single expansion? 😆
The final boss of Hellfire Citadel drops these trinkets that change based on your spec. I took screenshots of the current hunter ones for each spec.
A cool concept, if you ask me. If you’re wondering, the numbers do change based on ilvl. The screenshot shows Mythic versions.
The Beast Mastery trinket fills me with joy. Permanent big red pet (for the Mythic one anyway). Oh god yes. Don’t change this, Blizzard.
The Marksmanship one plays well with the Sniper theme but man is that going to suck when you have to stack on the ass of the boss. If you can stand at max range, it’s a nice DPS buff though.
The Survival one? Godlike for multi-target fights since you will be throwing Black Arrow on everything, but what about single target fights? Unless Black Arrow can stack, this will be pointless there.
All subject to change, of course.
To be continued…
I’m sitting inside the new raid, Hellfire Citadel, as I type this post. I see nothing to kill for now, but the environment looks pretty cool. It’s huge, like a cross between Ulduar and Black Temple.
There will be more hunter stuff to talk about soon, I’m sure. I haven’t had a look for new pets or anything quite yet. I’m hopeful Tanaan Jungle will offer up something new in that department.