All posts by bendak

BlizzCon 2017: Hunter changes, Battle for Azeroth and WoW Classic thoughts

I kinda had a feeling after seeing the BlizzCon mounts that this expansion would go back to the faction war. My initial impressions of Battle for Azeroth are basically, “cool!” I’m not going out of my mind over this. It looks like more WoW. More WoW is good. Thus far nothing has stood out to me as an expansion defining feature on the same level as Legion’s artifacts and the class orders. I’m not sure if the island scenarios and warfronts are the same sort of thing. The Heart of Azeroth is basically a variant of the Netherlight Crucible except on armor pieces instead of relics. Cool, but not mind-blowing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the faction war. What I’ve seen so far has gotten me pretty pumped up to fight for my faction. Burning down Teldrassil? As a long time Alliance player, that genuinely pisses me off and I’ll gladly slay Horde by the thousands for that. I liked how the cinematic gave cool moments for both factions, but Sylvanas screaming “for the horde” is the only part that gave me goosebumps (even though I don’t really play Horde).

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On this day, 7 years ago, Eyes of the Beast was removed from the game

Patch 4.0.1 was released 7 years ago today, on October 12, 2010. That was the day that Eyes of the Beast was taken from us. Eyes of the Beast was a damn cool ability that let you take control of your pet independently and play through its eyes. It was so cool I named this site after it!

No, it wasn’t used in actual raid combat or anything like that. It was mostly a flavor ability, but it did have some actual uses like pulling Baron Geddon in Molten Core. I enjoyed it mostly for the shenanigans you could get up to, like flagging unsuspecting players for PvP combat, or just going on a PvP server and sending your pet into towns like Gadgetzan to wreak havoc. You could also use it for scouting dangerous areas, or just having some fun while you’re in a battleground queue.

In Wrath, they actually added the Glyph of Possessed Strength which increased your pet’s damage by 50% during Eyes of the Beast, which was even more fun in world PvP. So, why did they remove it? Well, I’ll let Ghostcrawler explain.

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Netherlight Crucible and buffs for Beast Mastery

With this week’s maintenance, Beast Mastery is getting a “6%” buff. Cool, right? Well, don’t get too excited. For one, it’s not a true 6% buff since it leaves out some important things like Beast Cleave or any pet auto attacks — it just buffs primary abilities and most of the talents. Secondly, all this buff does is let us keep the status quo. Everyone is getting 15 ilevels on their weapon this week from the Netherlight Crucible, and Beast Mastery scales like crap with weapon damage while other classes and specs get tons of value from the weapon increase.

So this buff really just puts us back where we were, with maybe a tiny 1-2% extra. On top of that, we’re going to fall even more behind in AoE/cleave since that isn’t getting any benefit at all from the Crucible or this buff (except for Stomp, which is included in the buff). We need more than 1-2% relative to other classes!

Anyway, let’s get to the Netherlight Crucible. I updated my Wowhead guide with basic information on how to use the Crucible and determine upgrades and what traits to take. I’ll reproduce some of that here.

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Patch 7.3 for Hunters: New pets, Netherlight Crucible, and more

Patch 7.3 is almost here so it’s time to take a look at what’s going on for Hunters. The answer is… not much. We’ve got some pretty cool new pets available to tame on Argus, but still no new stable slots to make room for them. I don’t know about you, but I’m at the point where every pet I replace isn’t such an easy decision. Either it’s a rare I wouldn’t want to have to hunt for again, or a pet I’ve had for a long time and just don’t want to get rid of. There are a few new pets on Argus that may be worth swapping out for, though.

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BM Update: The Aspect of the Beast build, more legendary talk, a need for buffs, and 7.3 set bonuses

I’ve had a couple people ask me about this “new build” going around so I thought I’d touch on it. Since it was buffed a while back, Aspect of the Beast has always been pretty close to Killer Cobra when using the Stomp build, but up until now it was always enough of a gap to ignore (for me, anyway). Now, as people get upgrades (especially to their weapon ilevel), Aspect of the Beast is emerging as a competitive talent for the Stomp build.

The rest of the talents are the same — Way of the Cobra, Stomp, One with the Pack, AMOC — but Killer Cobra is changed to Aspect of the Beast. A lot of your Kill Command damage gets replaced by Cobra Shot damage, which is viable because of the higher weapon ilevel (Cobra Shot is based on weapon damage). Where this changeover happens depends on your gear, but to me it looks like around 930-940 ilevel for Titanstrike is where Aspect of the Beast can start to pull ahead — barely. It will vary from person to person.

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Tomb of Sargeras gear for Beast Mastery

I promised to do one of these, so here it is. This post will take a look at T20 set bonuses (and how they compare to T19, when to break the old bonus, etc.), trinkets, and other gear to try to get your hands on. Previously we took a look at the Stomp vs. Dire Frenzy builds for BM in this tier (and at how some of the best legendaries ranked).

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Patch 7.2.5 Beast Mastery: Stomp vs. Dire Frenzy [UPDATED]

About a month ago I made a “patch 7.2.5 preview” post for Beast Mastery where I predicted that the Crit/Stomp build would be making a return in some form, and also took a look at the new legendaries. The Stomp part panned out, but the legendary sims were not clear. They were only single legendary sims, so it was easy to take them out of context. In hindsight I would’ve done legendary combos instead. I did slather the post in disclaimers but apparently it wasn’t enough to prevent some misinformation. Also the blog format isn’t the best for this info, I guess. Not everyone looks at the date of the post, and the info kinda just sits there forever, even when it’s no longer relevant. So I decided to remove that post since it’s pre-patch info and was being taken out of context repeatedly.

Now, the patch is here and a lot of people are jumping on the Stomp train, but the question is how long is it going to last? Well, it’s going to fall off a bit in Tomb of Sargeras with T20 gear. However, with the right gear and legendaries, one should be able to keep Stomp fairly competitive with the Dire Frenzy build. It comes down to how much you value DPS gains over play style. For some people, any gain — even less than 1% — is worth switching for.

Updated on July 6, 2017: Recently there was a bug fixed in Simulation Craft which slightly changes the results posted here originally. I’ve updated the simulations below. We’ve also seen on the live game how Stomp is doing slightly better than expected (compared to Dire Frenzy).

The bug was keeping the base Bestial Wrath cooldown reset at 15 seconds instead of 12 seconds. So we lost a bit of DPS in the sims, and the gap between Dire Frenzy and Stomp shrank to basically nothing (even in T20 gear). I’ve put red text on any sections below that were updated.

Update TLDR: The small gap between Stomp and Dire Frenzy in T20 is gone. They’re basically equal now.

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Paying the Price: Patch 7.2.5 tuning to compensate for the extra Dire Beast charge (updated)

Yes, we’re all excited about the changes coming next patch… but you didn’t think it would come without a price, did you? The first round of tuning is in, and Blizzard maybe overestimated how much 2 Dire Beast charges is worth in terms of DPS. They also nerfed the T20 bonuses to the point where you’ll want to wear T19 instead.

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It’s happening! Beast Mastery gets its best changes yet in 7.2.5

I’ll be honest with you, I was getting pretty upset about the initial 7.2.5 changes with Wild Call. I even had a big rant in my post drafts that I never got around to posting because it was too negative and strayed from being constructive. But there’s not even any point in going over why the initial change was so bad, because it’s gone. Deleted. Blizzard has finally listened to us.

Originally Posted by Seph (Official Forums)

Hi Beast Masters. We’ve been reading your feedback and trying different sets of changes for Beast Mastery Hunters internally and on PTR.

To start, we are reverting all 7.2.5 changes we’ve made so far to how Wild Call triggers. Instead, Dire Beast and Dire Frenzy will have 2 charges baseline. The Mantle of Command (legendary shoulders that currently add +1 charge to Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy) will be changed to instead further increase the proc chance of Wild Call.

Overall, this will result in more Focus for all Beast Mastery Hunters, resulting in a more active rotation. Additionally, this gives all Beast Mastery Hunters access to a Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy with 2 charges playstyle that is more engaging and fun, allowing you to make decisions on when to use the buttons, instead of feeling like you should most often simply push them on cooldown.

We’ve been trying other iterations of changes surrounding Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy and Wild Call, including increasing Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy Focus generation or versions that avoided changing the legendary shoulders drastically, but ultimately reached the conclusion that giving 2 charges to the abilities baseline, which many of you have asked for, was the best change for the spec at the current time. We appreciate your patience while we try different iterations on PTR.

We are also making a few other less major changes to the spec in the next PTR patch, including:

  • Aspect of the Wild will reduce the global cooldowns of your damaging abilities by 0.2 seconds, allowing you to more reliably spend the Focus you’re generating while it’s active, especially with Dire Beast/Dire Frenzy going off.
  • Kill Command and Dire Frenzy will cause your pet/Hati to charge up to 40 yds (up from 25 yds) to the target, matching the max range of your ranged abilities.
  • When your pet casts Dash, Hati will also gain Dash for the same duration.

 

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Patch 7.2 Pet Bonanza: Gon, Lost Spectral Gryphon, Fenryr, and invading other class halls

Wow, what a week it’s been for Hunter pets! We’ve got a new solo challenge to tame Fenryr, two new spirit beasts, and there was also some shenanigans going on with Hunters invading the Shaman and Druid class halls to tame unique pets not available anywhere else.

I guess I’ll start with the first thing that happened early in the week, Fenryr. All of the hype sort of began when I tweeted this out (and posted it on Petopia):

I was not the original discoverer of this method, I was just the first to push it out to a large audience. Wowhead tweeted my pic soon after and Hunters began running Halls of Valor like their lives depended on it. It turned out that if you cleared HoV on Mythic, then left the dungeon and waited about 30 minutes for a soft reset, a tameable version of Fenryr would spawn in his cave. I mean, who goes back into a dungeon they’ve already cleared? No wonder it took a couple of weeks for anyone to notice. But it sure did seem like an odd way to hide a pet.

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