Legion Alpha Update: Where’s my Beast Mastery?

I need some Beast Mastery in my life. I’m just not feeling much of an attachment to SV or MM yet. I hate to say it, but Blizzard may have changed them too much for my liking. Normally I am receptive to change and try to see the positive side to this sort of thing, but I still haven’t been able to warm up to these new specs yet. I’ve tried. Trust me.

To be fair, it’s still incredibly early in the process. The Legion alpha/beta feels like it’s progressing slower than Warlords ever did (that may be because of the holiday break). There’s still a lot not there yet. Not just entire zones, but entire specs, entire abilities, and entire talents. Once SV and MM are polished experiences, I could feel very differently.

As for other Hunter news, it has been rather sparse lately. I still can’t tame any new pets, which was one of my favorite things to do during the Warlords beta. There are a few new beasts out there (like that awesome wolf in the header image), but there is still a bug with taming. Once that is fixed I plan on going out hunting and filling up the stable with everything new! I’m also excited to try out mechanical pets once that is sorted out.

One thing that has sprang up is some replacements for minor glyphs, such as Pet Training Manual: Play Dead, Pet Training Manual: Fetch, and The Art of Concealment (Chameleon is simply a rename of Aspect of the Beast). We don’t know how these manuals are acquired yet, but it looks like making your pet feign death could be a separate ability not tied to Feign Death. That may actually be handy for some things.


Not sure what this wolf is for, but it looks like a lightning draenor wolf

Survival updates

  • My overall opinion on Survival has not changed (read my previous posts on the subject). I still think the pet interaction isn’t quite there yet. That’s not what you want when only two specs can even use pets. I’m going to keep beating this dead horse until it’s truly dead: I think the Survival pet needs to stay beside the Hunter at all times in order for this to work.  I will even give up some pet control to have this happen. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Mongoose Bite has changed quite a bit. Now the buff lasts 12 seconds instead of 3 seconds, BUT new Mongoose Bites do not extend the duration. In simplest terms, this has simplified the rotation and made it a little more forgiving. Prior to this you were encouraged to weave other abilities in between Mongoose Bites, and now you are encouraged to save up 3 stacks and burn them all in a row (and hope you get more procs before the 12 sec buff wears off). At the risk of sounding like a casual who doesn’t want a complex rotation, I prefer it this way to be honest.
  • Disengage has been removed from Survival. I will miss it dearly. The Posthaste talent has been adjusted so it works with Harpoon instead. Demon Hunters are melee and have the ability to quickly move backwards or forwards, but they are special snowflakes.
  • Aspect of the Cheetah now has a 3 minute cooldown, up from 1 minute (this applies to all 3 specs). So, we went from a nearly permanent 30% movement speed increase to a 3 minute sprinting cooldown. Not too happy about that, but I think movement enhancing abilities are getting toned down across the board so Demon Hunters can stand out more.
  • I really hope we get a Trap Launcher toggle back as I find that 80% of the time I am just dropping the trap at my feet anyway, and the extra click and trap aiming seem unnecessary for a melee spec.
  • Fury of the Eagle has a 45 second cooldown now, which makes a lot of sense. It had no cooldown before so you basically spammed it for free damage. Now that the Mongoose Bite buff lasts 12 seconds, you actually have time to fully use it.
  • It’s still super early and a lot can change. Some people feel the opposite, so don’t get too discouraged over my general lukewarm reception of Survival thus far. I never went in expecting to love playing in melee.

Marksmanship updates

  • I’ve seen some people complain that Marksmanship is too squishy or it’s too hard to play without a pet while soloing/questing, but I think that’s because they are doing a lot of face tanking and expecting to survive. Marksmanship in Legion is all about kiting and slowing down your target, and in my opinion there are tools to do this adequately. You’re not going to be able to solo as well as Beast Mastery, but that is one of BM’s strengths.
  • You still take damage from ranged attacks and DoTs though, and the one thing I think Marksmanship does need is some kind of maintenance heal to replace the removed Kill Shot heal. I think every DPS spec in the game needs a maintenance ability like this, and right now all Marksmanship has is a 2-minute Exhilaration.
  • The Focus pool has been reduced to 100 from 120. I didn’t even notice until someone told me. With how fast Focus regenerates now, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
  • Bursting Shot’s range was doubled to 20 yards (very nice). For reference, this ability gives a small knockback to enemies and confuses them (think Scatter Shot).
  • The 5th tier of PvP talents has completely changed. You choose between one of the following:
    • T.N.T.: Reduces the cooldown of Bursting Shot by 10 sec.
    • Explosive Shot: You fire an explosive charge at the target, stunning the target and dealing Fire damage every sec for 4 sec.
    • Freezing Arrow: Fires a Frozen Arrow, incapacitating the target and all nearby enemies within 6 yards of the target for 8 sec. Any damage caused will break the ice.

So, traps aren’t 100% removed from Marksmanship. They can at least have the option for one in PvP!


15 thoughts on “Legion Alpha Update: Where’s my Beast Mastery?”

  1. If my main man hunter here can’t warm up to SV or MM changes, don’t think I will. :/ yikes. I suddenly don’t regret cancelling my Legion pre-order.

    Took one look at the skills and how all of the classes are being even MORE simplified, and got sick to my stomach. I’ll keep watch I suppose. Hope you like BM, Sir Bendak! <3

    1. See, I trust Bendaks information but I just dont go on that. Alot of others are enjoying the changes. No one can tell whats right for you but you. Im waiting on getting my hands on it first before I decide.

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing BM. The tidbits I’ve heard are exciting. 2 things I wouldn’t like however would be forcing myself to use a gun (been using a bow for the last 7 years) and potentially having a WotLK model tied to Legions artifact weapon.

    1. Not sure if you noticed, but in the last couple builds there have been new artifact looks for some of the other classes. Maybe Blizzard will add a bow look for the gun? There’s always a chance! I always thought some kind of engineering-inspired compound bow could work for Titanstrike.

  3. Lets hope the lightning wolf is another Hati skin, because if he have to be stuck with Lightning Wolf I would much rather be stuck with that.

    Also is that wolf in the header image corrupted/undead?

  4. Regarding “To be fair, it’s still incredibly early in the process. The Legion alpha/beta feels like it’s progressing slower than Warlords ever did […] There’s still a lot not there yet. Not just entire zones, but entire specs, entire abilities, and entire talents.” — wasn’t it last January (yes, one year ago) that the next expansion (Legion) was supposed to be “almost feature complete”? Are they iterating backwards?

    ( Keeping that in mind I have a really hard time understanding why some people already preordered Legion. Not burnt enough by WoD? I don’t get it. )

    1. I believe this is what you’re referring to. It was an “anonymous leak” not an actual statement from Blizzard:

      Some things are kept internal until they are ready to show them. I have no doubt BM is playable, they’re just holding it back for some reason. Looking back at previous expansion betas, they are kind of messy until the last 1-2 months when everything starts falling into place, so I’m not too worried. I just think it’s going to take a little longer than Warlords did based on what I’ve seen so far. Warlords was about 5 months from alpha to release. For Legion, it’s already been 2 months and we’re still in alpha. I think June is the earliest we will see Legion released.

      1. You’re right about the “statement”. I don’t know if it was authentic but not ment for public eyes or just some made up BS. After all… reddit, you know. I remember back then we made fun of it in our guild chat. But: Let’s just say it doesn’t sound that different from dev interviews of that time period. I think they were actually (at least in their heads) ready to pump out the next WoD sized “expansion” back to back with the Warcraft movie release. Which was 12/2015 at this point if I remember correctly. Four new zones, six dungeons, one raid and some new garrison missions — sounds plausible (yes, I’m exaggerating). Of course all that was before the SHTF…

        “I have no doubt BM is playable, they’re just holding it back for some reason.” The reason might it’s as “meh” as the other two specs. Or it’s way too awesome to show. Let’s just hope for the latter.

        It’s an alpha and we all know how even betas turn everything upside down up until the very last minute and beyond (looking not only at you, Aspect of the Fox). Usually I’d agree that’s nothing to worry about. There will be a more or less polished product for sure. It’s just that after WoD I’ve lost the faith that “they get it right”.

        It already doesn’t feel like WoW anymore. And the dumbing down goes on. Not because of “not yet finished reasons ya know” but that’s what they want. Maybe I just don’t see the whole picure here and it will stop as soon as every class is perfectly playable on a four button game controller and everyone is happy. Who knows.

        Sorry for the rant. I’m just frustrated. I’ll login to my frakkin’ garrison, throw a “hello” into the empy guild channel, smile at the three people in Warspear and… don’t know. Let’s just hope Legion is a huge success, the movie rakes in some Academy awards and this nightmare ends for good.

  5. The alpha started sometime in the summer. Blizzard employees I know and another lucky sob were feeding my guild tidbits back in July. Seems this time around they are choosing to skip calling it beta.

    I agree with you on SV. The pet feels pretty useless and while the mongoose bite changes make the rotation more reliable… I just don’t enjoy it.

    MM on the other hand. Having a blast sometimes one shotting mobs. Haven’t had much reason to kite things beyond elites with particularly annoying mechanics. I feel really torn though. I’m BM in my heart but really enjoy how powerful MM plays right now. Hopefully BM is amazing. I miss seeing my pets on live and am hopeful they get balance right. Would be a perfect world if all three specs were evenly matched. Though I won’t mind if it becomes optimal to swap between MM and BM based on inherent strengths and weaknesses for boss fights.

  6. Im rather glad that they take their time with the Alpha /Beta process. Not that I enjoy being stuck in WoD on live, but if it helps to avoid another WoD Im all for patience.

  7. Looks like Beastmastery is up next, along with multiple changes to SV and MM. I just want to say thanks for keeping us that are not in Alpha informed on whats going on.

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