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.
Despite my absence from this blog (and Twitter, etc.) I want you to know I’m still around. I’m still playing WoW when I get the time and I’m still raiding. My absence from the community is hard to explain without getting too personal. It boils down to some heavy stuff happening IRL and not having the time (or desire) to do any of this right now. It started as a world-turned-upside-down kind of thing that now maybe isn’t quite as bad as originally feared. A rough road ahead. So I’m sorry to say, but right now there’s no energy for this stuff. WoW is still a happy distraction that I wouldn’t give up though.
I’m still enjoying Legion quite a bit, still loyally playing BM spec for everything, and still doing quite well in any content I tackle. Now that I finally have all 3 golden traits I am much less motivated to grind out the Artifact Power. I used to not leave a scrap of it on the table, but now I’ll quite happily let some of those world quests expire. Grinding hard for Titan’s Thunder felt worthwhile, but grinding hard to get an extra 0.2% DPS a couple of days earlier than I would have (if I didn’t grind) isn’t very appealing at this point.
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.
That went by fast. I started by leveling to 110 in essentially “one sitting” which was exhausting but fun. Everything since then has been a blur of world quests and dungeon runs. Oh, and profession quests. Endless. Ceaseless. Profession quests. I’m still on that new expansion high so I’m not ready to say anything definitive yet (I seem to remember enjoying Warlords for the first week), but I think Legion has the potential to be my favorite expansion, or at least second favorite. If Hunters were in a better state, it would probably already have the title.
Reaching wave 30 on Endless mode in Proving Grounds to get “the Proven Assailant” title has always been a bit of a pain in the ass, but that has changed for Hunters in patch 7.0. I’d go as far to say as it’s now been kind of trivialized for Marksmanship. You still need to pay attention, but it’s way easier than it used to be.
Marksmanship is absolutely ridiculous for spread AoE damage if you take the right talents, and it’s just as good for single target to boot. These are the main talents you care about:
Sidewinders allows you to mark many things at once, and Patient Sniper adds a huge damage buff without having to build up 3 stacks (takes too long for these 1 minute waves). Combine that with Barrage when Marked Shot isn’t available and you have a deadly combination for Proving Grounds. Here is a good build to start with.
Patch 7.0 is upon us and Hunters are… well, kind of different. The reaction I’ve seen to the new Hunter specs has been mixed to say the least. It’s probably more shocking if you didn’t put in any serious play time on the beta or PTR. These are new specs, and it’s pretty much a new class. So take a deep breath and give it at least a week. 😛
I’m not saying negative reactions are unwarranted because I had many of them myself. The difference is I’ve had about 6 months to adjust! Accepting these changes didn’t happen overnight for me. Don’t think I’m totally happy with everything either — far from it — but I also realize that at this point nothing serious is going to change. So I’m done with complaining about changes and giving feedback. It’s time to move forward.
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend trying out all 3 specs. If you want an easy low-stress place to do that, just do some Timewalking dungeons. It will give you some perspective on where the whole class stands. Maybe you’ve always been a BM Hunter, but you’ll try Survival and love it? Who knows?
Personally, I’ve warmed up to the new BM. It’s not perfect, but I have fun playing it. And it’s even better (IMO) once you get Hati and are able to have two custom pets. Marksmanship feels kind of disjointed to me unless I am using the Sidewinders talent. Survival is mostly a curiosity. I’ve never been a fan of melee combat in WoW, but Harpooning around with your pet is pretty damn fun.
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.
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.
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.