Legendaries have probably been the most contentious issue in all of Legion. It sucks to have meaningful gaps in player power, or completely transformative and quality of life effects gated behind pure luck. In my opinion, legendaries would have been better if they all had utility or defensive bonuses and their DPS power came from raw stats. Even if Blizzard agrees with this in hindsight, it’s kind of too late for Legion. Instead they’ve upped the drop rates and removed diminishing returns on bad luck protection so that eventually you can get all of them for your spec if you want.
This brings us to The Mantle of Command. The legendary every Hunter hopes to get. I was lucky enough to receive it as my fifth legendary. This is on top of the Roar of the Seven Lions which I received as my second legendary. Don’t hate me. Even though I’ve been lucky here, I know the system is broken. The only solace I can offer is that you will get the shoulders at some point now that it doesn’t get harder to get each subsequent legendary (after your 3rd). Let’s just hope it’s a matter of days rather than a matter of months because every BM Hunter deserves these.
The glyph system in Legion is changing in several ways. First, there are no more major glyphs, only cosmetic minor glyphs. Second, glyphs are now applied to the affected ability directly and are consumable. You can no longer permanently learn a glyph. For example, when you right-click one of the Dire Beast glyphs it will open up your spellbook and highlight Dire Beast, which you then click to apply.
Hunters have a few cool glyphs and a few that could still use some work. I’ll explain them all below, but you can also watch this video to see them in action.
Looking for Hunter glyphs in the Legion pre-patch? There is only one. You’ll have to wait for Legion for the rest. In the meantime, you can purchase some abilities from previous glyphs.
Shortly after I wrote this initial piece on what I felt was wrong with the Beast Mastery fantasy in Legion, the developers announced that they planned on adding a glyph so that Dire Beast would pull from your own stable of pets rather than use random ones from the wild. This addressed one of the primary concerns, but the other big one was Hati.
Since then, Hati has seen a model update (as seen above) and most Hunters seem to agree that it’s a heck of a lot better than the old model. In addition there are different colors of Hati to match your artifact color. After they did this, I was fairly certain that was it for Hati. Having every single BM Hunter stuck with the same wolf wasn’t ideal, but at least it was a brand new model.
However, in the most recent build a very interesting item was datamined.
Alright, I know some of you don’t give a crap about class fantasy. That’s fine, but this post probably doesn’t concern you. This post concerns the Hunters like me who camp rare pets for days on end and agonize over the naming of their pets. I’m not going to be talking about mechanics or numbers here, I’m going to talk about what I think is wrong with Beast Mastery on a more aesthetic level.
I like the gameplay direction Beast Mastery is headed from a fantasy perspective. Summoning pets as a rotational ability? Awesome. Permanent second pet? Double awesome. Here’s the problem: Summoning pets alone is not why I like playing this type of Hunter. I like summoning my own pets, the ones I spent hours, days, weeks, months, or even years acquiring. Not just random beasts from the wild.
Have you been enjoying the hunter spec equality we have now? I sure am. With more people playing BM and SV again, I thought it warranted a closer look at a couple of the less popular talents.
Focus Fire, aka RNG Fire
The recent buff to Improved Focus Fire (5% per stack instead of 2%) has put a great deal more importance on the Focus Fire ability. Every basic attack has a 40% chance to add a stack of Frenzy. I’ve never paid much attention to stack generation before this, but now my eye is on it constantly, and I’ve discovered just how RNG-dependent BM DPS can be now.
Sometimes my stack generation will be so high that I’ll have generated 5 stacks before my current Focus Fire buff has even expired. It feels fantastic when this happens. Other times, I’ve had my Frenzy stuck at a single stack for an entire 30 seconds. Ouch.
This RNG got me thinking about the Steady Focus talent. Delirium had done some testing in beta which discovered it also increased pet focus regeneration, but it still seemed like an inferior talent to the guaranteed damage of Dire Beast.
Updated to include a new Black Arrow nerf from Sept. 23 build.
Survival got some small nerfs in this build. I’m kind of perplexed by this since it was already doing less damage than BM and MM. Maybe the accompanying MM/BM changes will be in the next build? I really don’t understand what’s going on. As I said on twitter earlier, context matters. Unfortunately I have no context at all, so it’s pointless to comment.
- Explosive Shot now deals (39% attack power) Fire damage per tick (down from 42%)
- Serpent Sting now deals (160% attack power) Nature damage over 15 sec (down from 175%)
- Black Arrow now deals (400% attack power) Shadow damage over 20 sec (down from 500%)
- Dire Beast now restores 2 focus per hit (down from 5 focus)
And the Dire Beast nerf is one I truly don’t understand. It’s so unwarranted that I’m tempted to call it a bug. The reason you wouldn’t have seen this change on MMO-C or Wowhead is that the tooltip still indicates 5 focus, but while I was testing the set bonuses I immediately noticed the change on my scrolling combat text.
Now that the nerfs are out of the way, the cool thing about this build is that you can snag a full set of heroic tier 17 gear (Rylakstalker) from the Flaskataur vendor! This means we can finally play around with the new set bonuses! I tested them all for a bit and here are my observations.