It’s been nearly 13 months since the last major WoW patch. Can we never have that happen again, Blizzard? Please? Alright then… so what’s there for a Hunter to do on patch day? Well, I can tell you what I’ll be doing.
First I’ll login to every character to collect their transmogs, then vendor most of that gear away (I have a feeling the enchanting market will be flooded). Then I will tame some new pets, probably starting with Thok. Then I’ll go learn all of the items that have become toys in 7.0. Collecting toys is kind of my thing (I even made a damn spreadsheet in preparation). I think I’ll have about ~270 of them on patch day, so getting to the 300 toy achievement in Legion should be easy (you get a recolored Sky Golem mount as the reward).
Then at some point I’ll begin the laborious process of opening thousands of Salvage Crates. From the gear in there, I will learn the appearances I don’t know and probably auction the rest to other transmog collectors. This is the part where it sucks to have only played Hunters for most of your WoW career. I do have some reasonably high level plate and cloth toons to send BoEs to for unlocking (and I think I will need to for the achievements, there’s only so much mail armor).
After that there won’t be much for me to do until the pre-expansion content starts unlocking (demon invasions). I am looking forward to that stuff. I imagine there will be a little more for you to explore if you weren’t on the beta or didn’t spend much time on the PTR.
What is the best Hunter spec for 7.0?
I don’t know. You tell me. 😛
BM, MM, and SV are all really close in damage output for the pre-patch. I think it’s good to experiment with all of them before Legion, so you can choose what artifact to pursue first. Even if you dabbled in the PTR, there is a huge difference from beating on a target dummy and doing regular content over a period of weeks. Try out the new specs in dungeons, raids, solo content, and PvP. Haven’t those dummies suffered enough?
I posted a “getting started” guide of sorts for all 3 Hunter specs over at Blizzard Watch this week. It covers the basics of each spec in 7.0 but doesn’t go into the advanced. If you have no idea where to begin with these new specs, it’s probably a good starting point for you.
In the past, Hunter specs were close enough to each other (gameplay wise) that it wasn’t a huge deal to swap between them. It was sort of expected that one spec would be better for a particular patch and everyone would swap to it. In Legion, I’m not so sure if that’s such a good idea.
Chances are only one of the specs will resonate with you because of how different they are. Play that one. Honestly, just have fun. Blizzard has “promised” that every spec will be viable in Legion, and so far this is true. I know my statement here doesn’t really apply to the hardcore Mythic raiders — they’ll always play the spec with the best potential, and good for them. They’re competitive and it’s necessary. But if you aren’t in that situation (like 95% of us), please just play the game for fun. Whether that’s sticking to one spec, playing two, or even playing all three.
Hunter stat priorities are changing some in the pre-patch, but probably not enough for most people to worry about.
- BM: Mastery > Haste > Crit > Vers (all pretty close)
- SV: Vers > Crit > Haste > Mastery (lol)
- MM: Mastery > Haste > Vers > Crit
Mastery is ahead by a good margin for MM (Sniper Training is a lot better now), with the last 3 stats all being very close. If you’re trying to max out MM, you’ll probably want to swap all your Crit gems/enchants to Mastery.
SV is the odd one out. BM and MM work great with Mastery, while it’s mostly a garbage stat for Survival at the moment. Hunting Companion isn’t very good.
Immaculate gems are being buffed from +75 to +200 stats, so if you have any unused socketed gear it may become a better option in the pre-patch.
Trinkets and Gear
Long story short, Hellfire Citadel trinkets have been nerfed for whatever reason, including the beloved Mirror of the Blademaster. Trinkets such as Infallible Tracking Charm, Stone of the Elements, and Chipped Soul Prism are among the top trinkets for all 3 specs. Yes, even over some Mythic HFC trinkets. Check out Icy Veins for BiS pre-patch trinkets: BM, SV, MM.
I’ll probably rock the Stone of the Elements and Infallible Tracking Charm for BM. I do have the Chipped Soul Prism, but it’s not socketed or valor upgraded.
Tier 17 and tier 18 set bonuses were updated to support the new specs. As for Survival melee weapons, I made an entire post about that. It details some easy ways to get your hands on a melee weapon.
Patch days are always iffy for addons, so I don’t know if your favorites will be updated in time, but I wanted to highlight a couple of new ones that I think are worth having.
- DejaCharacterStats restores all of the details from the old character sheet. For some reason Blizzard removed a lot of this in the default UI for 7.0. I think it’s worth having to see Focus Regeneration alone.
- AdvancedInterfaceOptions restores the huge plethora of interface options that Blizzard also removed in 7.0.
Oh, and keep an eye on World Quest Tracker. It won’t be of any use until Legion launches, but I think there’s a chance that an addon like this could turn into Legion’s version of Master Plan.
If you have any other 7.0/Legion addon suggestions, let me know.
New Hunter Pets
There are quite a few new pets to tame, and Petopia has the full list of everything available in the pre-patch. I hope you made room in your stables.
All but two Mechanical pets will be available for taming if you are a Goblin or Gnome. Many of these mech pets have challenges or gimmicks associated with them. Wowhead asked me to do a complete guide on Mechanical pets, which you can find right here. It’ll show you how to find and tame each mech! Those of you who aren’t Gnomes or Goblins (and don’t want to race change) will have to wait until Legion for your chance at these.
As for non-mech pets, I think my favorite additions to the pre-patch are Thok the Bloodthirsty and the updated Core Hounds. The easiest way to get to Thok is to go to the Seat of Knowledge in Pandaria and queue for the Underhold wing of SoO LFR. You’ll have to kill Malkorok and Spoils of Pandaria to get to Thok, who is just a simple walk up and tame. I was able to solo this fine on the PTR, but if you’re not raid geared you may need a friend to help you out. The orange, green, and yellow Core Hounds were updated with new textures and effects and they look amazing.
Hey, Bendak, what about those new Scalehide and Oxen families? Oh, yeah. Those. It’s not that I don’t like any of them (I like the yaks and mushan especially), it’s that Blizzard decided not to give these two families Basic Attacks (like claw or bite). Obviously this is a bug that will be fixed at some point, but I reported said bug months ago on the alpha and it’s still not been addressed. Hopefully this is at least fixed for Legion. In the meantime, feel free to tame Scalehides and Oxen, just realize that they will be a DPS loss over other families until this bug is fixed. So I wouldn’t recommend using them quite yet. Update: This has been hotfixed.
Speaking of pet abilities, they are in a sad state right now. Group buffs are gone, so any pet that had one has no special abilities now. Pets that had other abilities (like Shell Shield for a Turtle) remain intact. This creates a weird inconsistency where some pets have useful abilities and others have nothing at all. It’s even weirder for Exotic beasts as now some of them have worse abilities than standard pets, which begs the question of why Exotics are even a thing anymore? I campaigned hard for Blizzard to make pet abilities consistent, but no such luck yet. I’m hoping they still have something up their sleeve in this department because right now it feels like they just took a sledgehammer to the whole system and didn’t pick up the shattered pieces (too dramatic?).
So, did I miss anything? Probably. If you have any questions about the pre-patch, feel free to ask below and I’ll see if I can answer. 🙂