If I could change Beast Mastery in 8.0, I’d probably do something like this

Beast Mastery had a rough start in Legion, but I think Blizzard managed to get it in a decent place considering where it started. Giving 2 charges to Dire Beast as baseline was huge. One of my other favorite patch changes was increasing the range of Kill Command and Dire Frenzy to 40 yards, as it almost eliminated BM’s target switching issues. I think gear has a part to play here as well, because the spec isn’t nearly as fun to play with low levels of critical strike for example. In terms of engagement and fun, I thought BM was a 3/10 at the start of Legion, and now it’s more like a 7/10. There’s still room for improvement.

I think Beast Mastery’s weak points are talents (lack of choice, some dead talents) and an overall lack of identity. When I say identity, I don’t mean class fantasy. I mean as in what is BM supposed to be good at? Single target? AoE? Cleave? Dungeons? I’ve always thought we were supposed to be the best at high movement fights, but the evidence says that our freedom of movement hasn’t really done us any favors on those fights. I don’t ever feel like there’s that one boss in a raid that’s “the BM boss.” I think this lack of direction or clarity is at least partially responsible for our current performance.

Anyway, on to the point of this post before I stray too much into balance, which isn’t the point. How can BM improve in Battle for Azeroth? Will Blizzard make any serious changes or are we just getting tweaks? I’m under the impression it will be the latter, so that’s why my proposed ideas don’t change the fundamentals too much. But I do get a little more crazy with the talent suggestions since I think BM needs a lot of improvement there.

Quick disclaimer: Do not look at these suggestions as pure DPS additions to what we have today in Legion. Focus on the gameplay elements more than the damage itself. Assume that everything would be balanced numerically to make all this work. Most of my numbers in here are just for example (unless I discuss the number specifically below the ability/talent).

I’ll also warn you that this is a little self-indulgent, which is why I’d rather do this as a blog post than a forum feedback post. I’ll still give feedback in the BfA beta, but more targeted feedback. Not monstrosities like this.

We all wish Chimaera Shot looked like this. Art by Draven aka SpiritBinder

Core Rotation Abilities

Like I said, I think we’re just getting tweaks and not a revamp. So I’m not going to bring up the focus generator shot (well, except for that) since I don’t think it’s in the cards.

Dire Frenzy
2 charges, 12 second recharge (reduced by haste), 2 charges
Causes your pet to charge at the target and perform a flurry of 5 attacks, gaining a stack of Frenzy, which grants 40% increased attack speed for 8 sec, stacking up to 3 times. 40 yd range.
Generates 24 Focus over 8 sec.

  • This is now the baseline instead of Dire Beast (this was active at BlizzCon). Dire Beast is now a talent that replaces Dire Frenzy.
  • I believe there should be some sort of base UI functionality for these stacks like other classes have for their secondary resources. Something like 3 little beasty orbs below your unit frame or the pet’s unit frame, so people can keep track of this without the use of WeakAuras.
  • There’s more to those frenzy stacks though…keep reading.

Kill Command
40 Focus, 10 second cooldown (reduced by haste)
Give the command to kill, causing your pet to savagely deal Physical damage to its target.  40 yd range.

  • Focus cost increased from 30 to 40 and cooldown increased from 7.5 to 10 seconds. Should deal relatively more damage than it does today.
  • Cobra Shot costs less Focus than before to compensate. Basically I swapped the Focus costs.
  • Cobra Shot also reduces the cooldown of Kill Command by 1 sec, so factoring that in, the effective cooldown is nearly the same (or less) as it was before, only now you are pressing a button to get there instead of waiting.
  • Visuals: Kill Command needs a visual overhaul so there is some feedback when you use the spell. What if the hunter literally shot a projectile at the target as a way of commanding the beast to attack it? Oh and you know that glyph warriors have that leaves a flame trail when they charge? I’d love to have something like that (not flames) for the pet when it charges in.
  • Having it originate from the weapon would also give an excuse to allow Kill Command to scale off of weapon damage. Weapon scaling is always a BM problem.

Cobra Shot
30 Focus
A quick shot causing Physical damage. Reduces the cooldown of Kill Command by 1 second.

  • Base Focus cost reduced. Should deal relatively less damage than it does today. By lowering the cost of the “filler” shot, you could theoretically reduce overall downtime and put more emphasis on the signature ability (Kill Command) by having it cost more (and punish you more for overspending Focus).
  • Apparently the Kill Command cooldown reduction was already in the BlizzCon build, so I ran with it. Note that the Kill Command cooldown was increased to compensate for this. If you’re wondering how this affects Killer Cobra, see the talents.

Chimaera Shot
40 Focus
A two-headed shot that hits your primary target and another target within 8 yards, dealing Nature damage to one and Frost damage to the other. Also activates Beast Cleave.
Beast Cleave: Your pet’s melee and basic attacks also strike all enemies within 12 yards for 150% as much for the next 4 sec.

  • This is a replacement for Multi-Shot. There’s no cooldown and no Focus regen like the old talent, just a Focus cost.
  • Damage should be tuned so that it’s not quite as Focus efficient as Cobra Shot in single target. It costs more Focus and doesn’t reduce the Kill Command cooldown, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Multi-Shot in its current iteration is kind of silly. It hits for almost nothing and it may as well be renamed to “Beast Cleave Activator”, so why not make the actual shot coming from the bow/gun meaningful? I’d rather do noticeable damage to 2 targets than tickle 10 targets.
  • Still activates Beast Cleave like Multi-Shot did.

Bestial Wrath
1.5 minute cooldown
Sends you and your pet into a rage, increasing all damage you both deal by 25%, and reducing the Focus cost of all abilities by 25% for 15 sec. If Bestial Wrath is already active, its duration is increased by 15 seconds. Bestial Wrath’s remaining cooldown is reduced by 12 sec each time you use Dire Frenzy.

  • Added Focus cost reduction in an attempt to reduce downtime,  and make up for Aspect of the Wild, Roar of the Seven Lions, and Slithering Serpent’s removal.
  • Also I added a stipulation that it EXTENDS the duration of Bestial Wrath so when you have those rare moments of exceptional RNG, you can fully benefit from that good luck streak instead of having to wait for the current BW to expire.

Focus Fire (for when using Dire Frenzy)
1 minute cooldown
Draw strength from your beast by consuming its Frenzy, increasing your Attack Power and Haste by 6% per stack. Lasts 15 seconds.

  • Replacement button for Titan’s Thunder (artifact ability).
  • Even more rewards for proper management of Dire Frenzy. I think BM needs more small things like this that allow the best players to push to new levels.
  • Should have some kind of animation of energy being “sapped” from beast to hunter.

Command (for when using the Dire Beast talent)
1 minute cooldown
All of your currently summoned Dire Beasts have their duration extended by 12 seconds.

  • Replacement button for Titan’s Thunder (artifact ability).
  • This is what Focus Fire turns into if you choose to use the Dire Beast talent instead of Dire Frenzy.
  • Note this does not make them generate more Focus.

Stampede
3 minute cooldown
Summon a herd of stampeding animals from the wilds around you that deal damage to your enemies for 12 sec.

  • Replaces Aspect of the Wild as a cooldown button.
  • It also replaces some of the lost AoE damage from Hati’s Beast Cleave, and the Surge of the Stormgod and Thunderslash artifact traits.
  • Behaves the same as today’s talent.
  • Gives us a genuine AoE cooldown that we can always use. As we’ve seen in Legion, BM is sorely lacking in this department.
  • I never thought this worked well as a talent, but as a baseline cooldown I think it could be great.

Passive Abilities

  • Wild Call: Your auto shot critical strikes have a 40% chance to reset the cooldown of Dire Frenzy (and Dire Beast).
  • Kindred Spirits: You and your pet gain an additional 20 maximum Focus.
  • Healing Shell: Aspect of the Turtle also heals you for 40% of your maximum health over its duration.
  • Invigoration: Kill Command heals you for 15% of the damage it deals.

Note: One With The Pack talent is removed below, which is why the baseline of Wild Call is buffed from 20 to 40% — the talent is removed because it had become too mandatory for the gameplay (and overall fun factor) of the spec in my opinion.

Talents

As I said in the intro, I think talents are one of the main weak points of BM right now. Some have become mandatory for the fun factor (One With the Pack) and some are amazingly under-tuned (Barrage). So admittedly I went a little overboard with these… but maybe there’s a tiny chance someone at Blizzard reads this and it triggers an idea in their head.

Level 15

  • Dire Stable: Your Dire Frenzy (and Dire Beasts) generate an additional 12 Focus.
  • Go for the Throat: Your Focus-costing shots and Kill Command deal 25% more damage to targets below 20% health.
  • Sharpened Claws: Your pet’s basic attacks have a 25% chance to cause the target to bleed for 150% AP over 6 seconds. Your shots also deal 10% more damage to bleeding targets.

Dire Stable is the same as it is today.

Go for the Throat gives a very moderate execute phase. It’s sort of the opposite of Big Game Hunter, which never really found a place. Let’s be honest, execute is more fun.

Sharpened Claws is an attempt to have a little more interplay between hunter and pet. Basic Attacks are Claw/Bite/Smack and they happen every 3 seconds.

Level 30

  • Dire Beast: Summons a powerful wild beast to attack your target for 8 seconds. All of your pets deal 5% increased damage while the Dire Beast is active (this effect stacks). Generates 36 Focus over 8 sec. 12 sec recharge (2 charges). Replaces Dire Frenzy.
  • Unleash the Beast: Dire Frenzy now hits all enemies within 12 yards, and deals 100% more damage to the primary target.
  • Thrill of the Hunt: You have a 6% chance per 10 Focus spent on Focus-costing attacks to trigger Thrill of the Hunt. Thrill of the Hunt reduces the Focus cost of your next 3 Focus-costing attacks by 50%.

As you can see, Dire Frenzy and Dire Beast have swapped places. This was active at BlizzCon and I have to assume this is the direction they’re headed. It generates 50% more Focus than Dire Frenzy. In addition, I baked the current Mantle of Command passive into it, only it can stack based on the number of Dire Beasts you have active. The bigger your zoo, the more damage they all do. Combine this with the “Command” cooldown listed above and it could get pretty nuts.

Unleash the Beast is the Stomp replacement. I felt like your pet stomping when it’s already there didn’t make much sense, but the end result is basically identical. Range is 12 yards to match Beast Cleave’s range (important since it emanates from the pet, which you don’t always have positional control over, especially on bosses with bigger hitboxes).

Thrill of the Hunt is as it was back in WoD. It would work out so that Kill Command and Chimaera Shot have a 24% chance of triggering it, and Cobra Shot an 18% chance (or 18%/13.5% during Bestial Wrath). You can imagine how cool it would be to rapidly blast off 3 cheap Chimaera Shots in a row while cleaving, or more quickly get your Kill Command cooldown finished by spamming  nearly free Cobras. I always enjoyed that talent.

Level 45

  • Posthaste: Disengage also frees you from all movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 60% for 5 sec.
  • Spirit Bond: While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 3% of total health every 2 sec.
  • Survival of the Fittest: Activating Disengage reduces all damage you take by 15% for 4 sec.

Notes: Well, Posthaste has gotta stay. The other two options are not competitive on live — it’s Posthaste or nothing. Now you’ve actually gotta think a bit with options like this. I really want Spirit Bond back, as I think it’s a big quality of life talent for world content and soloing, and potentially some boss encounters and/or M+ affixes. Survival of the Fittest is a current MM artifact trait, and I think BM really needs a damage reduction option like this. We are extremely squishy (not counting Turtle every 3 mins).

Level 60

  • Bestial Fury: Increases the damage bonus of Bestial Wrath by 15%.
  • Savagery: Dire Frenzy (and Dire Beast) increases your Critical Strike chance by 3% for 8 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Furious Swipes: Your pet’s basic attacks deal 100% more damage, and Beast Cleave lasts twice as long.

Bestial Fury is simple but a good talent I think. The better you are at maximizing your Bestial Wrath windows, the more you get out of it. Didn’t see much reason to change this.

Savagery is a talent they had active at BlizzCon (using the “Thrill of the Hunt” name, which I already used above) and I think it could work well. As it’s tuned now, it would do slightly more damage than Bestial Fury at 3 stacks, and slightly less at 2 stacks.

Furious Swipes is the passive option that the row needs — it gives a little more single target and beast cleave damage, and the extra Beast Cleave duration is a big quality of life improvement.  I ditched Blink Strikes because the blink had become redundant with a 40 yard range on Kill Command and Dire Frenzy.

Level 75

  • Binding Shot: Fires a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 8 yards for 10 sec, rooting them for 5 sec if they move more than 5 yards from the arrow. 45 sec cooldown.
  • Intimidation: Commands your pet to intimidate the your target, stunning it for 5 sec. 45 sec cooldown.
  • Prey Drive: Reduces the cooldown of your pet’s Dash and Charge by 50%, and your pet’s Kill Command slows the target by 50% for 4 sec.

Binding Shot changed from a stun to a root since that is a change Blizzard has already made in BfA (at BlizzCon anyway)… I guess they felt AoE stuns are too powerful. I thought perhaps the range should be slightly increased to offset this huge nerf.

Intimidation’s cooldown lowered from 60 to 45 sec to be in line with Binding Shot, and I’d also prefer if it used the stun on the Hunter’s target, instead of the pet’s current target (since there can be a lag) along with maybe a short-range charge to achieve this when necessary.

Wyvern Sting seemed a bit unneeded now that we have Freezing Trap back, so I put something new instead: Prey Drive is all about your pet’s desire to keep biting and clawing your target as much as possible. The CC portion is relatively weak, but your pet gains permanent Dash (or a very short cooldown on Charge). I thought it would be a neat trade-off, but now I’ve probably gone and pissed off a Wyvern Sting enthusiast out there.

Level 90

  • A Murder of Crows: Summons a flock of crows to attack your target, dealing Physical damage over 15 sec.  When a target dies while affected by this ability, its cooldown will reset. Costs 30 Focus. 1 minute cooldown.
  • Lynx Rush: Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 sec. Total damage is increased by 25% for each additional target. Your pet will Lynx Rush to targets within 12 yards of its primary target. 1 minute cooldown.
  • Master of Beasts: Call Pet now summons a second pet from your stable, which benefits from Bestial Wrath and Beast Cleave, and deals damage from Kill Command.

Couldn’t bring myself to remove AMoC, it’s a classic talent at this point. I also couldn’t think of a better replacement for a “single target cooldown” button. Damage-wise, it needs to be slightly better than Master of Beasts for pure single target since that’s its only purpose.

Lynx Rush is an old talent from Mists of Pandaria that I miss (maybe it’s nostalgia). When you use it, your pet quickly leaps from target to target, dealing heavy damage (hits are divided as evenly as possible among the targets). If there is only 1 target, all 9 attacks hit that target. I also suggested that it does more damage based on how many total targets are going to be hit by it —  this way it’s still usable in single target, but its real strength is multiple targets. I thought this was more interesting than Barrage, but if Barrage has significant changes I’d be OK with that (its opportunity cost is insanely high, which is why it doesn’t work for BM currently).

Master of Beasts is a way to bring Hati back for those who like having 2 pets. I originally had this in my level 100 row, but I thought it would be better suited here so you don’t lock out the cool level 100 talents for those who want dual pets. Damage wise, the second pet would need to be fairly weak in single target (or else you have to make the competing talents too strong), but I think its Beast Cleave contribution should still be fairly high. The end result is a little extra damage and the aesthetics of having two pets. The current item that changes Hati’s appearance needs to be turned into something permanent in the BM spellbook, but can otherwise function the same.

Level 100:

  • Bestial Evolution: When you use Bestial Wrath, you also take on the aspects of a random beast.
    • Wrath of the Wolf: Your Haste is increased by 20% and Focus costs are reduced by a further 20%.
    • Wrath of the Bear: Increases the damage bonus of Bestial Wrath by an additional 20%, and all damage you take is reduced by 30%.
    • Wrath of the Serpent: Your Critical Strike chance is increased by 20%, and your Focus-costing shots apply a deadly venom to the target, dealing Nature damage over 15 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Wild Shot: Charge and launch a volley of wild energy at your target, hitting all enemies within 12 yards for <a lot of> Nature damage. Any of your pets hit by the volley are empowered by the wild energy, increasing their damage done by 100% for 10 seconds. Costs 30 Focus. 3 sec cast (castable while moving). 45 sec cooldown.
  • Killer Cobra: During Bestial Wrath, Cobra Shot resets the cooldown of Kill Command, and increases the duration of Bestial Wrath by 1 second.

Bestial Evolution turns Bestial Wrath into a super cooldown. It randomly chooses one of the 3 beasts to augment you with. The visual effect for Bestial Wrath should change for each one – at a minimum the color should change, but I think it could be taken further (maybe a spectral beast over top of the hunter or something). This would make each Bestial Wrath a little different and I think it’d be pretty fun (as long as one of the 3 isn’t drastically worse than the others).

Wild Shot adds a casted shot to the mix with a relatively short cooldown. Its primary use is for AoE damage, but it also benefits you in single target because of its dual effect. Not only does it damage enemies, but it buffs your pets (only if they are hit by the volley). I think it’s important to have abilities like this that emphasize the interplay between hunter and pet (there’s one that does the reverse in the level 15 row). I also think it’s important to have a good AoE option in this row — one with a short cooldown that has more practical use than Stampede ever did as a talent.

Killer Cobra is very popular so I’d be hesitant to remove it. However, since Cobra Shot normally reduces the cooldown of Kill Command by 1 sec, this talent would be redundant.  So I made Cobra extend the duration of Bestial Wrath by 1 sec so that it keeps its secondary benefit in another form. I think it needed that extra kick to compete with the other talent options I came up with anyway.

Bonus Talents

Here’s a few of other talent ideas I had at one time or another, but didn’t make it into the above list. Also, you never know if Blizzard will decide to add another talent row for 120.

  • Hydra Shot: A three-headed shot that hits your primary target and up to 2 other targets within 8 yards, and activates Beast Cleave. Any heads that don’t find a target will strike the the primary target for 50% damage instead. Costs 40 Focus. Replaces Chimaera Shot.
  • Cobra Strikes: Firing 3 Cobra Shots in a row causes your next Cobra Shot to cost no Focus and deal 200% increased damage.
  • Endless Wrath: Kill Command now extends the duration of Bestial Wrath by 4 seconds.
  • Pack Leader: Aspect of the Pack increases your movement speed by an additional 15% (30% total for Hunter, 15% for party members)

Utility Abilities

No changes:

  • Disengage
  • Freezing Trap
  • Tar Trap
  • Counter Shot
  • Exhilaration
  • Aspect of the Turtle
  • Concussive Shot
  • Feign Death
  • Mend Pet

Changes:

  • Misdirection — Your pet gains 35% damage reduction when misdirected.
  • Aspect of the Cheetah — cooldown reduces from 3 minutes to 2 minutes.
  • Tranquilizing Shot — re-added shot that was seen at BlizzCon
  • Aspect of the Pack — Increases movement speed by 15% for all party and raid members within 40 yards. New raid-wide passive seen at BlizzCon.

Pets

Pets have been in a bit of a mess since raid buffs were removed. There’s only a handful of families with useful abilities and it just seems very unfinished to have so many pets without any special abilities.

Pet Idea #1: Old style raid buffs for pets

Since raid buffs are coming back in BfA, give each pet family one of these buffs to use again. Just like it was before. This seems like the simplest solution.

Pet Idea #2: Bring back pet talents

Remove all buffs from pets except for flavor abilities such as Rest/Play/Trick/Surface Trot/Prowl, and use a simple talent tree instead. For example:

Tier 1 – Specialization:

  • Ferocity: Gives all current Ferocity abilities.
  • Cunning: Gives all current Cunning abilities.
  • Tenacity: Gives all current Tenacity abilities.

Tier 2 – Augmentation:

  • Eternal Guardian: Returns the spirit to the body, restoring a dead target to life with 60% health and 20% mana.
  • Ancient Hysteria: Increases haste by 30% for all party and raid members for 40 sec.
  • Mortal Wounds: Your pet ferociously bites the enemy, reducing the effectiveness of any healing received for 10 sec.

Tier 3 – Exotic Beast Lore (BM ONLY):

  • Spirit Mend: Your pet heals the target (hopefully for more than Spirit Mend does today). 30 sec cooldown.
  • Shell Shield: Your pet takes 50% reduced damage for 12 sec, and heals for 50% of its health over the duration. 1 min cooldown.
  • Tendon Rip: Slows the target’s movement speed by 50% for 6 sec. 10 sec cooldown.

Conclusion

Wow, you made it.

How do I TLDR this? Let’s just say that I think BM is a decent place, but it needs some direction along with some talent improvements.

I’ve said this before, but after the Legion alpha/beta process I was pretty turned off (burnt out really) on giving feedback. I felt like previous expansions had a lot more back and forth between the developers and players as classes were developed. Very little if any Hunter feedback (aside from some class fantasy stuff) was heeded prior to Legion’s launch. It was really quite strange. And it wasn’t just for BM, but all specs. Like I said in the opening of this post, they eventually did listen to some of it and make some great changes after launch.

I am hoping that Battle for Azeroth’s class development process is different. I do not expect BM to look anything like my little fantasy written here, but when the beta comes around I am going to give an effort to play it and give feedback once again.

28 thoughts on “If I could change Beast Mastery in 8.0, I’d probably do something like this”

  1. Hey Bendak!

    Your contribution is a real beast, but we wouldn’t be real beast masters if we couldn’t tame it, would we?

    Thank you very much for your detailed thoughts and for some nostalgic moments!

    I sincerely hope that Blizzard will at least be inspired by this.

    Thanks.

  2. I’d rather see aspect of the pack as a useable ability like stampeding roar that a passive. It works work exactly like aspect of the cheetah, but with the aoe of stampeding roar.

  3. I would love more interaction with my pet! I have had 2 pets for a while now, and only switch out for mythic plus or the mage tower for the buffs. I feel like we have lost buffs since everyone has a buff now or special ability, we really havent had any since aspect of the fox. We should get to choose a buff for the pet, that way we arent bogged down by certain families. Maybe have a quest line in order to unlock it or a challenge for hunters like we usually do to get the spirit beasts!

  4. This version of BM sure does look good, but I would like to work out the priority and do a lot of testing before actually settling on an opinion. At any rate it does seem very interesting and takes us out of the comfort zone (which is always a good thing).

    The exception to that is the pet talents. That seems a bit too much of wishful thinking, because Blizzard would never give a ress/lust to all hunters regardless of having exotic pets.

    1. Man I wish we could edit our comments.

      I have always seen BM as much more than a pure DPS spec. It has always been very heavily focused on utility as well. aspects, raid buffs, pet buffs and abilities, traps… we have always performed at our best when doing stuff no one else could. I will never forget tanking Gluth’s adds on Naxxramas for example.

      Your take at BM for 8.0 certainly restores some of that utility aspect. People who only care about DPS are kind of missing the point of BM, and they might get better satisfaction playing MM.

    2. Well, SV and MM hunters already have access to battle res and blood list with pets. They just have less pet family options. So it doesn’t seem too far fetched.

  5. Great post. Would that it could all be so in BfA. Still, the best news is that you will be back at it in the BfA alpha/beta, giving the detailed, realistic feedback you are so great at. Here’s hoping the devs will be better at engagement this time around. They would be well advised to do so — I feel like none of them have the “feel” of BM hunters to the extent you do. Thanks for being our voice!

  6. Nice post!

    For pet abilities, I’d rather just have option 1 as it was before. Simple and gives you a reason to bring different pets other than just looks.

    For talents:

    Master of Beasts should definitely be a level 100 talent, for a couple of reasons. I don’t like Wild Shot – it’s trying to do too many different things to me. Putting MoB at 100 gives 3 very distinct playstyles that all have merit. What I’d also like to see with MoB is that the second pet counts as a full pet (varying only the base damage factor for balance, taking in to accout it also Frenzy-ing and the extra 5% from DB) – it should bring all of its utility as well: the additional raid buff and active ability. That’s some work for the UI developers (trying to get the extra Rez or Spirit Mend on the pet bar without having a full second pet bar would be ideal, having it just in the spellbook works if a little clumsy).

    At 90, fill that spot with an upgrade to Chimera Shot (more targets/damage? Leaves a fire/lightning/Frost patch at impact point(s)?) I think AMoC and Lynx have their niches already (and Lynx is just fine for pure ST as well – AMoC’s “niche” is when you can use it on medium-lifespan adds and get the resets). Putting a pure extended-AoE talent there is fine I think.

    The only other thing is having FF and the level 90s both at 1 minute CD is a little weird. (Same as now, unfortunately *laugh*). Maybe make Lynx at 30s?

    1. Like I said, I originally had MoB in the 100 row, but then I wondered if it would feel like you’re locking out dual pet Hunters from the more rotation changing talents. However, if they took your suggestion to make the second pet have more utility, then that would be something completely different and more fitting of a 100 talent. I don’t even think you need a second pet bar, just perhaps 1 extra slot on the existing one to hold the special ability for the second pet.

      As for a Chimaera Shot modifying talent, I had an idea for a talent like that which didn’t make the cut, but I just added it to the bottom of the talent section under “bonus talents” along with a few others. It’s called Hydra Shot.

  7. Hi Bendak! Your post is really great and quite different from the usual: “Pls make my class completely overpowered”-stuff that is normally to be expected from people that do propsals for the development of their own class. As someone who is a mythic bm raider and has sticked with the specc the whole addon I always found some peace reading your blog posts. The wow forum is usually a bit whiny and not very productive in terms of giving realistic feedback. Is there any possibility that we can bring more attention to your post? I really really want Blizzard to read this!

    Best regards,

    Flo aka Vaijara

    1. Thanks! A couple of people have tweeted the post to @WarcraftDevs but I don’t really want to spam them about it myself. So it’s possible one of the devs has seen it.

  8. Continued excellence. Thank you once again for articulating the current weaknesses of the BM spec and providing REALISTIC options that could be implemented that would certainly go a long way to help close the gap between BM and the rest of the dps world. Here’s to hoping someone at Blizzard with half a brain actually sees this or your other feedback and for once listens.

  9. Please get a job at Blizz in the class design department Bendak. Your ideas got me excited…and then I remembered its a wish list, and not something that is actually happening. We can only hope a Dev reads it and takes it onboard.

  10. Don’t want to be Chicken Little here…..and I know data mining isn’t always the end all be all way to get information, but I sure do see what appears to be a whole lot of higher red numbers being replaced with a whole lot of lesser green ones when comparing the latest spell and ability tooltips from the Alpha or Beta (mmo-c vs. wowhead) info that’s been mined. I know we have a long way to go prior to the release of BfA, but if they didn’t listen before, why should I believe they will listen now….please talk me in from the ledge.

    1. That’s across the board though. Because they’re doing another numbers squish for Battle for Azeroth. Basically everyone is losing damage.

  11. I have just seen on Wowhead that a few things have been datamined from beta. Most interesting for us is the swap between Dire Beast and Dire Frenzy.

    Whatever they do between now and the pre-patch, I hope they do a better job of responding to our feedback. I can barely remember the last time a blue post appeared on the hunter forums.

  12. Greetings Bendak
    Great post with many interesting additions for the spec.

    We spoke a while ago via email where you came with feedback on a suggestion-post of my own about BM. I have since taken your advice and ended up creating an entirely new post that is more thought through and on point than the last one.
    New one can be found here: https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/17617782664
    Yeah, mine can be found on the forums, if anyone got an idea of a better place to post it or if you have thoughts on the post itself, I very much would love the feedback.

    Anyway, back to the above suggestions

    Core Rotation Abilities

    Dire Frenzy – like you, when playing with DF I would love to have some way to track the amount of stacks by default rather than getting addons to do it. Currently using NeedToKnow for that.

    Cobra Shot/Kill Command focus cost – Very much agree with the fact that Kill Command should be, by far, the ability causing the most damage while also having the highest focus cost. Cobra Shot is just a filler spell that in itself shouldn’t do a lot of damage/have a high focus cost. I would prefer if Cobra Shot did less damage on use and instead had ways of improving other abilities/CDs in your toolkit.

    Bestial Wrath – to have the focus cost reduction from the legendary waist in Legion feels like a must at minimum, any ways we currently have to “save” focus, really hope we get to keep them in some way as I do NOT want to go back to what we had in the beginning of Legion.

    Titan’s Thunder replacement abilities for Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy – While I get that some players want ways to have more damage and more abilities coming from for their hunter instead of putting so much focus on their pet, I’m one of those that prefers to focus on the pets.
    Dire Frenzy version – Not a fan of taking power away from my pet(s), also I’m not sure this will actually be worth it over just aiming for as much uptime on 3 DF stacks as possible, but then again, at this stage I tend to focus more on the mechanically interesting part rather than the numbers.
    Dire Beast version – Like the idea of increasing the duration of dire beasts, however in this case, this version feels less engaging than what we have on live with Titan’s Thunder.

    Cobra Shot – Like I said above, this suggestion is a good one.

    Chimera Shot – Really like the idea of this replacing Multishot, on live, having multishot hitting for virtually nothing and the only real thought process on your AoE capability here is to make sure you do not run out of focus. Instead, making the base damage output from Beast Cleave higher but you cannot use it all the time over Cobra Shot. Requires more thought/planning but instead awards a higher AoE potential. Yep, like it.

    Talents

    Level 15
    Dire Stable – by default not a very interesting talent but I guess it’s here to stay. My biggest worry with this talent is that if you have this while also having a higher Wild Call proc-chance by default, this is going to provide much more focus than you can spend if you have more than average luck on the RNG side, cannot say for sure though as currently, we cannot. If this would be the case then part of this talent is being wasted.

    Go for the Throat/Sharpened Claws – like both of these ideas, though I wonder, if you were to pick Sharpened Claws and your pet’s Basic Attacks were to proc the bleed back-to-back, what would happen with the already applied bleed? Is the duration of it extended or simply refreshed? Would it refresh the duration + stack, causing higher damage? I feel there are several interesting ways this talent could work out.

    Level 30
    Having one talent(Dire Beast), to replace another ability(Dire Frenzy), while another talent(Unleash the Beast), simply is a flat out good improvement on the default ability and then bringing in a 3rd talent(Thrill of the Hunt) that instead is directed on saving focus, the third one(being Thrill of the Hunt) having the potential of being extremely good depending on your RNG, either the last one has to have a passive CD built into how often it can proc or it will be very hard to balance compared to the other talents. Having these 3 talents in the same row, feels like a weird mix to me.

    Level 45
    Utility talents, always useful every now and then!
    The old version of Spirit Bond is ofc something that we need due to the squishy nature of hunters overall these days, though I personally cannot see ourselves restoring health this way, part from having certain pet types that can heal us(like Spirit Beasts with Spirit Mend). Our pets overall during group-based content does not usually take a lot of damage so I would prefer if we have some way to mitigate incoming damage/share it with our pet(for example, having the pets step in and shield you to a degree). Currently I feel we need ways of surviving windows with a large amount of incoming damage/or being one-shot by signature abilities from raid bosses that most other classes survive with ease.

    Level 60
    Overall a good tier with some interesting/useful ideas.
    Note: Talent:Furious Swipes – having this talent increasing the duration of Beast Cleave, ofc it’s sort of a QoL-improvement, though I struggle to see the usefulness as Chimera Shot in your design does not have a CD meaning the only thing keeping you from having Beast Cleave active might be your focus. Otherwise, certainly a good talent and the go-to for any AoE/Cleave-situation.

    Level 75
    Good ideas, would like to have at least two of them at the same time depending on if you’re doing open world content or PvE for example. But yeah, there are many fights in which Binding Shot has no real use so having the Prey Drive – talent as an option for those fights is a very good idea.

    Level 90
    Not a fan of the talent combination in this tier, as someone who loves having 2 pets at all times but also very much like the A Murder of Crows-talent, this would not be a particular fun change. Too me, combining these talents would be the same as what Lone Wolf is for many hunters that prefers MM but still wants a pet.

    When it comes to A Murder of Crows as an ability/talent I would not mind it if this by default did a little less damage in total, but instead there can be ways of extending the duration/uptime of it. Maybe through Kill Command or perhaps through Dire Frenzy/Dire Beasts. Not by a lot but maybe extend the duration by a few seconds for each Kill Command used or a little more for each DF/DB called out during the time AMoC is active.

    Level 100
    Liking all the talent suggestions in this tier. The idea of making Bestial Wrath even better with Bestial Evolution through a certain amount of RNG while still always being an improvement sounds very interesting. A thought on the 3 different buffs added though, if my memory is not wrong, Wolves used to give a bonus to Critical Strike chance through their Howl-ability we lost when Legion came. While snakes being sort of synonymous with speed(haste), my suggestion here would be to switch that part of the buffs around. This is just a minor detail though…

    Pets

    When it comes to pets in particular, I’m all for the idea of bringing small pet talent trees back to let us, to a degree, customize their usefulness depending on what you do. Having said this, giving all pets the option with a combat ress/bloodlust feels a bit overboard.

    I agree that BM hunters should with Exotic Pets should have more ways to add flavor to the spec and also get more from it. However it feels like both Spirit Mend and Shell Shield would depend on what type of pet family yours is from.

    End thoughts
    Overall some very good/interesting ideas here, personally though I would prefer to have a bit more distinction between having 1 single pet and making it as strong as possible or if wanted, focusing on having a larger number of beasts/companions with you.

    1. Thanks for the feedback.

      The thing I don’t like about adding even more pet damage is our pets already do 2/3 or more of our damage. It feels like the Hunter shooting is becoming increasingly irrelevant. That’s why I like having a bit more focus on our shots, and perhaps changing that split to more of a 50/50 partnership between pet and Hunter. That’s also the idea behind Focus Fire, and trust me, 18% haste and AP is a heck of a lot more powerful than having more pet auto attacks for those 15 sec. The trade off would be worth it. Think of it as the pet buffing the Hunter. As for the Command cooldown, remember that each Dire Beast active also increases pet damage by 5%, so there is the same incentive as Titans thunder to line it up with Bestial Wrath with as many active Dire Beasts as possible.

      As for pet talents and whatnot, we’ve now seen their plans. Ferocity pets all get blood lust now. So it seems they’re going a different direction. The first pass they have for talents looks kinda meh overall, but it’s early.

  13. How did you get Thok to be this big in the picture? Also… what’s your stance about removing Hati in BfA? I understand he hasn’t been the best gameplay-wise but thematically I am really going to miss him. I hope there’ll be a quest to somehow close his storyline in a satisfying way before the we have to get rid of our artefacts.

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