The Draenor perk system has been changed to only grant 4 perks on your way from 90-100 (down from 9 perks). Most of the damage boosting perks have been baked into their respective spells, but some perks have been removed outright.
I’m not sure why this was done to be honest. After leveling a lot on beta (one hunter to 100, one to 96, at least four to 92), I have to say that getting a perk every level was a lot of fun. I enjoyed watching the perk slot machine spin up and went “hell yeah!” when I received a perk I was hoping for. It was a nice reward for dinging a new level, and it was also a noticeable power increase in most cases. The power increase was great because it counteracted the feeling of getting less powerful as your haste, crit chance, etc. plummeted with each level.
There are a few other minor changes and additions we’ll cover before tackling the perks. I’m skipping the datamined ability scaling changes since they’re all related to the perks going away (no actual change).
Our long-awaited raid utility is finally here.
Aspect of the Fox
Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells for 6 seconds. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. 3 minute cooldown.
I don’t want to say I called it, but I kinda do. 😉
I like this cooldown. For a short period of time we can allow all of our friends to experience the awesomeness of a being hunter. 😀 The duration seems a bit short, but I suppose if you have multiple hunters in your raid you could chain these together. It’s not unusual for a raid to have 2-3 hunters. It definitely seems like a more healer-oriented cooldown to me (though the casters will be happy to have it as well).
I know some people are going to complain that it’s a buff that doesn’t benefit the actual hunter using it (with few exceptions, see below), but that’s not the point of a raid utility cooldown. It’s supposed to help your raid as a whole, right? Hunters have always complained about other classes bringing mandatory raid utility, so you can’t be surprised when the utility we get isn’t mandatory (though some would argue it might end up being mandatory for some Mythic stuff). In the end, it’s something we didn’t have yesterday, and it’s going to indirectly lead to more damage and survivability for your raid (or arena team — don’t forget about PvP benefits).
Other things it will let you do on the move as a hunter: Focusing Shot, Powershot, Tame Beast, Dismiss Pet, Revive Pet, and mounting.
The amazing header image for this post was created by Draven aka SpiritBinder of WarcraftMounts.com. Unfortunately, Chimaera Shot doesn’t look quite that cool in the game!
Another build, another round of hunter changes. The biggest is the newly updated Chimaera Shot (formerly Chimera Shot), but there are also some new perks, some updated visuals, and several bug fixes.
- Renamed Chimaera Shot (old: Chimera Shot)
- Now hits 2 targets, one for frost damage, and one for nature damage.
- On a single target, it randomly chooses nature or frost damage.
- Still does the same damage as old Chimaera Shot, there seems to be no penalty for the new cleave component.
- Each Chimaera “head” independently crits and multistrikes.
- Seems to choose the closest target for the second shot.
- Currently it’s not “smart” and will break CC on the secondary target.
- The visuals might be temporary since they are using a Dragonhawk head rather than a Chimaera!
This is second in a series of posts about the new level 100 hunter talents as they currently exist on beta. The first post was all about Exotic Munitions. Today, it’s about Lone Wolf and Adaptation. This talent changes based on your current spec: Lone Wolf for marksmanship and survival, Adaptation for beast mastery.
These talents couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. One removes your pet, the other turns your pet into a superhero pet. If you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know I am not really down with the whole Lone Wolf thing. I play hunters because of the pets. I still think it’s cool they’re giving the option to those who want to play a pure archer, but the BM version of this talent appeals to me more.
What follows isn’t going to written like one of my normal blog posts. It’s a copy/paste of a feedback post I made in the Warlords beta forums intended for the developers. I thought some of you may be interested in reading it anyway. I’ve added a few pictures to help with the “wall of text crits you for 9000” factor.
The vast majority of hunter changes in this build are tooltip changes for clearer wording, or to merge two abilities into one to reduce spellbook clutter. Piercing Shots is still listed in this build even though it’s supposedly getting removed, but I would wager that it’s just an oversight. The Enhanced Piercing Shots perk for marksmanship, which would have added Piercing Shots to Multi-Shot, has been changed to Improved Chimera Shot. Before we get started, keep in mind that some of these set bonuses could still change.
Beast Mastery T17 Set Bonuses
- 2-piece: Kill Command has a 25% chance to increase the size and damage of your pet by 10% for 8 seconds.
- 4-piece: While Bestial Wrath is active, one additional pet is summoned to fight with you.
These are much nicer than the old temporary ones. The 2-piece bonus lasts just long enough so you can apply its bonus to your next Kill Command.
The 4-piece sounds like it might just be an extra Dire Beast summon that pops during Bestial Wrath, which means probably only melee attacks and no specials. I hope I’m wrong and it pulls another one of your active pets with all its abilities intact (or at least claw/bite/smack). That would be very nice.
I’ve spent some time with all 3 specs recently. Ran the dungeon at least twice with each, and did a little bit of testing (what little I could without a damage meter). Yesterday, I shared some more general impressions of the alpha as a whole. Today, I’m keeping it short and to the point. I’m sure opinions will change as I play it more, but for now this is what stood out to me after my extremely limited experience in a single zone and a single dungeon over the course of a couple of days.
I had Improved Arcane Shot and Enhanced Basic Attacks for perks.
- Hardly anything has changed vs. BM on live servers apart from the lack of Serpent Sting. I don’t miss Serpent Sting for BM at all.
- Kill Shot is nice. It hits harder and the cooldown reset when it doesn’t kill the target is much faster. Oh, and the 15% heal ain’t bad either.
- Pet damage is a little low at the moment, but a numbers tuning pass hasn’t been done yet.
- Blink Strikes is too mandatory to give up. Seems weird I’ll seemingly never have a desire to use Stampede as a beast mastery hunter.
- This applies to all specs, but I like that pet buffs are permanent auras now.
I’ve been in betas before, but never in something as early as a F&F alpha. I’m used to betas basically being finished products, minus some balancing or minor issues. This is a lot different from what I’m used to. A good deal of my time is filling in bug reports or crash reports it seems, but I’m happy to do it as it’ll help make the final product better. There’s still lots of fun to be had too.
The alpha starts you right after the Dark Portal intro event. Your 90-91 XP bar is half filled, which presumably will be where it’s at once you’ve completed that intro event. I was basically thrown right into my garrison, and the vast majority of the questing in Frostfire Ridge is tied into setting up your garrison and gathering followers.
Updated: If you read this post earlier, there were some more hunter changes added to the notes. Updates are in red.
Blizzard just updated the alpha patch notes with a handful of hunter changes and an explanation of their philosophy on adding the new secondary stat attunements which were discovered in the previous build.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
A new concept that we’re introducing is each specialization having an attunement to a particular secondary stat. These take the form of a passive ability that grants a 5% increase to the amount of a specific secondary stat gained. This provides a good starting point for where to focus your secondary stats. Usually, it will be your highest throughput stat (not counting Spirit for Healers, and Bonus Armor for Tanks, which is an optimal secondary stat in most cases). There are exceptions, and raw throughput may not even be the biggest concern in some situations. Treat this as a guideline, not a rule, about which secondary stat to favor.
Update 8/22: This article is still mostly accurate but is slightly depreciated. It will give you a good overview of the overall changes but you may want to view more recent posts under the Beast Mastery tag for more info and recent opinions.
If you missed it earlier, Blizzard released the first version of patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor alpha. I’ve summed up all the relevant hunter info in this post if you want to catch up. I’ve already taken a closer look at both survival and marksmanship, but today we’re focusing on beast mastery.
Overall, beast mastery looks like it’s going to see the least amount of changes in Warlords. Blizzard’s goal with the hunter changes was not to revamp the class, but to give each spec a better identity. Beast mastery already had its own identity as the pet-focused spec, but it looks like Blizzard is aiming to reinforce that even further.