It’s been a fairly uneventful PTR since my last post about patch 6.2, at least for hunters. I’m starting to get a bit worried that Survival still has no compensation for its significant DPS nerf. Surely something is still on its way because this is how things are looking as of today: Beast Mastery is just as good as it is on live servers, Marksmanship is looking like it’ll be the best single target spec, and Survival is in the dumps. I keep waiting for a build with more tuning changes.
The big news is that Tranquilizing Shot has been changed to the current glyph form as a baseline, meaning it will cost no focus but have a 10 second cooldown. The new version of the glyph removes the cooldown but adds a 40 Focus cost.
I approve of the change because its current form on live is unusable without the glyph (at least in PVE). It was originally hotfixed to the 50 Focus cost on live as a PvP nerf to a single spec (BM). Delirium has a post about the change with some input from PvP hunter Dillypoo. There probably could have been a better way of handling this whole situation, such not allowing its Focus cost to be reduced by Bestial Wrath or not allowing it to remove player HoTs.
Tier 18 armor and weapon graphics
I gotta say I am not too thrilled with the looks of the tier 18 hunter set — Battlegear of the Savage Hunt. There are elements I like, such the belt with the little pouches on it, but if I’m being honest it looks like a generic set of uncommon (green) quality loot. I also think the normal version looks better than the mythic version.
As a matter of fact, I think the mail LFR set looks better than the tier gear. The 6.2 PvP gear shares these same models, just with different colors (the LFR gear is honor gear, tier gear is conquest gear).
I appreciate the ranger theme of the tier 18 gear, but it feels half done. It’s a mix between ugly mail and the ranger cloak/hood. The set would have looked much better had it gone all the way with the ranger theme. It didn’t help that they used my least favorite glove and boot models for the T18 stuff.
I’m sure some people will love it, just as some people loved tier 16 (which I did not like at all). The good news is there’s this little feature called transmog.
The weapons are decent looking, though nothing stands out to me. Nothing unique like a spear launcher or a bow with spiffy visual effects on it.
The good news is the gun drops from the very first boss of the raid. A welcome change in contrast to Blackrock Foundry. The bad news is its lower item level than the others. The normal version is only a 5 ilvl upgrade from heroic BRF weapons. It seems that item level goes up the deeper you go into the raid, but this could change. The crossbow is 5 ilvls higher than the gun, and the bow stands at the top — a further 5 ilvls above the crossbow.
T18 set bonus updates
Nothing major has changed here since they were first announced. Here is their current state:
- 2P Bonus: Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot increase the duration of your Focus Fire by 3 sec.
- 4P Bonus: Your Focus Fire effect also summons a Fel Boar to assist you. The Fel Boar lasts for the duration of Focus Fire.
I do like the sound of these. I could be wrong, but I think these set bonuses would give more incentive to wait until you have 4-5 stacks of Frenzy before you use Focus Fire. Consider what happens during Bestial Wrath: assuming you go in with full Focus, you should be casting 2 Kill Commands and 8 Arcane Shots. That’s a lot of extra Focus Fire uptime in a short period of time. Wouldn’t you rather be extending a 5-stack buff?
We may need to make a “/cancelaura Focus Fire” macro to be able to cancel a low stack Focus Fire for a fresh 5-stack. It seems like it could get complicated, which is why I think it might be beneficial to hold onto stacks more often. I’ll leave that to the theorycrafters to figure out.
The Fel Boar’s power will also scale based on how many stacks the current Focus Fire is using, so that’s another thing to consider.
- 2P Bonus: Your Black Arrow increases all elemental damage done to the target by 10% for 15 sec.
- 4P Bonus: Your Explosive Shot causes a shadow nova on targets afflicted by your Black Arrow.
The 2-piece bonus is rather boring, but damage is damage. It’ll probably look more attractive if you get your hands on the Archimonde trinket which can reset the Black Arrow cooldown.
The 4-piece is still a mystery, but shadow nova implies an AoE explosion to me. Once they make the sets available for testing we’ll see what this really does. It could potentially change your gameplay a little bit, such as strategically placing your Black Arrow on a target which will maximize the damage of the shadow nova.
- 2P Bonus: When you critically hit with Chimera Shot, you have a 40% chance to gain Rapid Fire for 4 sec.
- 4P Bonus: The cast time of your Aimed Shot is reduced by 1 sec.
In the original iteration, the 2-piece bonus was a 100% chance on crit but I guess Blizzard thought it was too powerful. My issue is 40% is low enough that you will inevitably have some terrible bad luck streaks. Just look at Frenzy procs for BM. Those are also 40% and I have gone 30+ seconds without getting one, and those happen 3x more often than Chimaera Shots PLUS you need to crit to even get that chance! It’s crit RNG on top of proc RNG. It wouldn’t be shocking to go for minutes without seeing this proc. Yuck! I think the crit RNG was enough. Maybe a half-strength Rapid Fire for 4 seconds w/ a 100% chance on crit would have been a better compromise.
The silver lining is when you are cleaving you’ll have double the chance to proc it since each “head” of the chimaera can independently crit.
I doubt Blizzard is adding in a built-in graphical alert for the 2-piece procs so you’ll need to set up a weak aura or similar addon to tell you when it procs.
The 4-piece is the real star here. During Rapid Fire you will be able to get off an Aimed Shot for every GCD (assuming you have the Focus).
New pets? Not yet
So far the Iron Warwolf is still the only new hunter pet from Tanaan. Not that I’m complaining — it’s an awesome looking pet — but I was hoping for more. I think a spirit beast Fel Wolf (basically Gara but green instead of purple) would have been nice. It would go well with the Infernal Direwolf mount coming in 6.2.
By the way, if you want that mount you better start saving. It currently costs 150,000 Apexis Crystals and 100,000 gold. On live servers the Apexis cap is 60k so you can’t pre-farm for it unfortunately, but you can gather a bunch of Scouting Missives from your garrison. I’ve been purchasing some of those to prevent myself from resource capping. I’ve also farmed up a bunch of Ogre Waystones for the Mage Tower work orders (which reward you with a couple thousand Apexis per day usually). I’ve nothing else to spend Apexis on, so I’m definitely going for it.
Wain over at Petopia did discover the above boar skin in the 6.2 data, but this is not used in the game yet. I think it’s a nice looking boar so hopefully it turns into a pet somewhere.
Any bets on when 6.2 releases? I’m going to take a wild guess of June 23.