Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since patch 6.1 dropped and I can say I haven’t once specced out of Beast Mastery the entire time, and I’m loving it. I don’t know what it is, but I just have more fun playing it. Survival is still strong but it was becoming stale for me. What I like about BM is all of the opportunities to stack cooldowns and trinkets. Focus Fire has turned into its own little mini-game, with a ton of variables to take into account rather than the old method of simply using it when the button flashed.
I feel like having so much DPS potential built into Focus Fire has added an entire new dimension to the spec that rewards you for proper decision making. There is a downside with the RNG component, but that probably helps keep it balanced. If gaining Frenzy stacks was more predictable, it’s possible that Focus Fire wouldn’t be able to have the same power level. And to be honest, the awesome feeling I get when I have a pull with good Frenzy stacks outweighs the pulls where I have bad luck. I actually grin when I get good RNG as I play Beast Mastery. I never did that with survival.
In the first paragraph I said I don’t know what it is, but I guess I just answered my own question.
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.
Well, that didn’t last very long.
R.I.P. Bear Trap, for the second time (it was originally slated to be added in Wrath before being removed in that beta). It sounds like there isn’t going to be a replacement either. When Celestalon says it’s “not needed without Readiness” I think he means one of the reasons they added Bear Trap in the first place was so Survival would have a DPS cooldown affected by the stat. However, now that Readiness is kaput, they feel like there’s no need for it.
Blizzard just updated the Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes. We already learned about most of this yesterday from the datamining, but the notes explain how they want each spec to have their own unique DPS cooldown. They also confirmed that Bear Trap will be affected by the Enhanced Traps for a roughly 2 minute cooldown. Also note that Rapid Fire’s base cooldown is also 2 minutes now. Bestial Wrath still has a 1 min cooldown.
I found it odd the notes made no mention of the new Exotic Munitions talent. Maybe just an oversight.
In the raid utility section, they also mention that hunters will be getting a new raid utility ability soon. Absolutely no idea what this is going to be.
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Each Hunter specialization received a revision to the burst-damage-cooldowns they have access to. All specializations now have one burst-damage-cooldown available baseline, and can add to that through talent choices.
Beast Mastery Hunters retain Bestial Wrath. Rapid Fire is a good fit for Marksmanship, and we improved it. For Survival, we wanted to both increase the prominence of their traps, and give them a new damage cooldown. So, a new trap called Bear Trap has been created to fit that role. Note that Bear Trap’s base cooldown can be reduced by other passive abilities and perks, such that it has roughly a 2 minute-cooldown afterwards.
Bear Trap is a new ability for Survival Hunters. Bear Trap places a trap with duration of 1 minute that immobilizes the first enemy that triggers it for 8 seconds and deals heavy bleed damage over 20 seconds. Damage from other sources may break the immobilization effect. The ability has a 4 minute cooldown.
Careful Aim now also provides its effect against all targets when Rapid Fire is active.