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.
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.
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
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.
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.
EDIT: IGNORE EVERYTHING BELOW! Blizzard has smartened up! 2 charges will be baseline in 7.2.5!
Wild Call — and by extension The Mantle of Command — is getting some rather large changes in the upcoming patch 7.2.5. Let’s go straight to the blue post:
Originally Posted by Seph
In 7.2.5, we are changing Wild Call from a cooldown reset mechanic to a cooldown reduction mechanic.
The base proc chance will be doubled and the cooldown reduction per proc will be 3.0 sec (affected by haste), roughly half the average expected value of current live Wild Call procs. Baseline, the amount of total Dire Beast casts and Dire Beast uptime should be roughly the same as on live, except the changes should result in smoother Focus regeneration from more well-paced Dire Beast casts.
Additionally, these changes have the desired side effect of bringing the power level of The Mantle of Command more in line with other legendaries.
One with the Pack’s proc chance increase to Wild Call will also be doubled. With the talent, Wild Call will have 100% chance to proc.
So, let’s summarize this:
- When your Auto Shot crits, Wild Call will now have a 40% chance to proc a 3 second cooldown reduction on Dire Beast.
- They want to nerf The Mantle of Command.
- One with the Pack will make it so that every single time your Auto Shot crits, Dire Beast’s cooldown will be reduced by 3 seconds.
Right after BlizzCon, Jeremy “Muffinus” Feasel tweeted that there were hints “somewhere on the internet” about a new Hunter pet family revealed at BlizzCon. Many Hunters, including myself, looked for this hint but couldn’t find anything. I was pretty sure I had watched all of the BlizzCon interviews and read most of the articles, but I was wrong. Cernunnos over at Petopia finally found it. It was buried away in a video interview done by BlizzPro that hasn’t had many views up until now.
We’ve gotten a few exciting Hunter tidbits at BlizzCon 2016 so far. Ion Hazzikostas revealed a boatload of new content coming in patches 7.1.5 and 7.2. Hunter stuff aside, there is an insane amount of stuff coming in these patches. I don’t even know where to start, but Wowhead has a good summary. Patch 7.1.5 is coming very soon (on the PTR right after BlizzCon) and promises some big class changes. The only specific Hunter change that was confirmed was a pretty big one…
In patch 7.1, Alcaz Island in Dustwallow Marsh has turned into some kind of crazy robot island filled with deadly security bots, turrets, land mines, plus all of the evil gnomes who seemingly put them there. The place is a literal death trap. It begins with getting knocked off your flying mount with anti-aircraft fire as you approach the island, meaning you can only traverse this place on foot. The robots are easy enough to deal with (well, the non-elites anyway), but the turrets and hidden landmines will kill you in seconds.
Hidden deeper on the island are 4 new Mechanical Hunter pets. Remember that you’ll either need to be a gnome or goblin to tame these. If you’re not, you can get a Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix from an Engineer or the AH:
In addition, there are new Hunter items that can drop from the robots on the island:
- Machine Fluid: Coats your pets (including Hati) in oil. It is consumed on use and disappears on death, but they are extremely easy to farm and stack to 200. Why this item? I think it’s a little bit of a throwback to the Oil-Stained Wolf (an old glitch tame pet). The effect isn’t identical, but it’s close, and you can use it on any pet. They can be sold and traded.
- Drudge Fluid: Similar to the oil, but yellow color instead. I believe this may only drop from Doctor Weavil, so it will be rarer.
- Electrified Key: Enables the activation of Arachnodrones so you can tame them. Has a chance to drop off Doctor Weavil. Actual chance isn’t known yet, but I’d estimate about 25% from my own experience.
Alright, I knew Survival would be the unpopular Hunter spec going into Legion, but I didn’t think the disparity would be quite this severe. After a week of Emerald Nightmare, the numbers are in and it’s not pretty for Survival. As I write this, there are ~48,000 Hunter parses in Heroic Emerald Nightmare on Warcraft Logs thus far. Only ~660 of those are from Survival Hunters, along with ~36,000 Marksmanship and ~11,000 Beast Mastery. Those Survival numbers are pretty appalling.
First of all, yes, not all guilds upload their combat logs (or even keep any) but I think in the first week the vast majority of them doing Heroic content will be doing so, and these numbers should be fairly representative of what’s going on. When you add anecdotal evidence about seemingly never seeing Survival Hunters in the wild, it becomes pretty clear: Hardly anyone seems to be playing Survival.
Hunters can regain some of the functionality of old glyphs by heading out to Sholazar Basin and visiting Mardan Thunderhoof at the Nesingwary Base Camp. Originally I thought these items were only available in the class hall, but it turns out I was wrong!
Here is what this vendor sells. All four items cost 50 gold each.
- Pet Training Manual: Fetch — Teaches you the Fetch ability. Use this to have your pet loot nearby corpses for you.
- Pet Training Manual: Play Dead — Teaches you both the Play Dead and Wake Up abilities. This is actually better than the old glyph because you can have your pet feign death without you. If you want to replicate the functionality of the old glyph, you can macro both Play Dead and Feign Death together.
- The Art of Concealment — Teaches you the Aspect of the Chameleon ability, which makes you untrackable for 1 minute. This is similar to the old Aspect of the Beast.
- Hunter’s Call — A toy that summons a small beast to follow you around for 15 seconds on a 30 second cooldown.
Update 7/23: Additionally, you can pick up the Fireworks Instruction Manual from Bryan Landers in Dalaran (both old and new Dalarans) to teach you Fireworks.
As for glyphs, we are lacking them in the pre-patch (only Lesser Proportion is available) so you’ll have to wait until Legion. I previously covered the new glyphs here.