Today’s beta build brought a few interesting changes (along with some nerfs) that are worth talking about.
- Kill Command damage buffed by 20%.
- Chimaera Shot now deals 180% weapon damage per target, down from 265%.
- Dire Stable now generates an additional 12 Focus, up from 8.
- Killer Cobra now has a 100% chance to reset the cooldown of Kill Command.
- One With The Pack now increases the chance for Wild Call procs by 15%, up from 10%.
- Hati’s death cooldown is now 30 seconds, down from 2 minutes.
Buffs all around for Beast Mastery with the exception of Chimaera Shot. It seems like they really don’t want it to be the default choice. I think they already succeeded in that with previous buffs to Stomp and Dire Frenzy, so I’m not sure this nerf was necessary. I felt like all 3 were pretty powerful in their own ways and relatively balanced.
The most interesting change here for me is the one to Killer Cobra. A couple of months ago, one of the builds actually had Killer Cobra function like this and it was pretty nice. It felt more powerful, as a level 100 talent should be. I think this could make it a much better competitor with Stampede. It makes Bestial Wraths a whole lot of fun. Tons of Kill Commands! The One With the Pack buff is nice but I still doubt it’s enough. Not while the majority of Wild Call procs are mostly wasted.
The buff to Hati’s death cooldown is a very welcome one. I’d still rather have control over resurrecting Hati myself immediately with Revive Pet, but at least it’s no longer a full 2 minute wait to get Hati back.
The Legion alpha and beta process has been a long one. I’ve been in for nearly 7 months, and I wasn’t even in the first wave. One would expect a good deal of iteration over such a long period of time, but for Hunters that really hasn’t been the case.
Blizzard was receptive to feedback about cosmetic “class fantasy” issues. The most notable example is Beast Mastery being a literal zoo of impersonal pets you didn’t tame yourself. Many Hunters didn’t like this. Shortly after the BM spec was unlocked, Blizzard responded to player feedback and made compromises by adding in the Glyph of the Dire Stable, Dire Frenzy, and Essence Swapper. They also listened to MM Hunters who missed having the option of a pet. On the topic of tameable pets, I think they took much of their inspiration from player feedback and suggestions. They did an amazing job with new tames this expansion.
This brings us to how the class actually plays. On this front I felt there was little iteration or developer communication at all. It was basically the complete opposite of what happened in the pre-Warlords testing. I couldn’t even keep up with all the blue posts and tweets back then. Leading up to Legion, I’ve watched the specs stay mostly the same despite overwhelming negative feedback.
Well, this is a first. In Legion (well, technically patch 7.0) Hunters will be able to venture into Siege of Orgrimmar and gather parts to make their very own Iron Juggernaut pet — in four different colors! To fully discover all the ins and outs of this taming challenge took many hours of searching around SoO, and the rest of Azeroth for that matter. I spent most of the time searching around with Valnaaros from the Petopia forums.
One of the parts needed turned out to be extremely well hidden, and when we didn’t see it on first inspection we assumed it was found elsewhere. After visiting every gnomish and goblin type area in WoW, we finally went back to SoO and found the missing piece. If you want to discover all this for yourself, skip the guide section below.
Warning: This post is going to be a bit of a rant. If you’re looking for objective analysis, you can skip this post, alright?
The most recent alpha build has some changes to Survival that unfortunately made the spec… less exciting… for me. Alpha/beta is a very iterative process so I guess this is to be expected. You can’t get attached to anything this early in development. Pretty much anything could be ripped out from under your feet.
Like Dragonsfire Trap.
That trap may have been my favorite single thing about the spec. It was a powerful talent that transformed your Explosive Trap into a single target DoT that caused the target to “panic” for 8 seconds. While panicking, they were completely CC’d and that CC did not break on damage. It was a worthy trap for the one remaining spec that can actually use traps.
And now? Now it’s basically a useless talent in comparison to the old. It’s a itty bitty fire damage DoT that slows the target by 20%. I don’t know, maybe they thought the old version was overpowered? I don’t see why though. For starters, you can make its CC break in PvP if that’s your concern. Secondly, you had to forgo a cooldown like Snake Hunter to even get it! Then if you wanted it to live up to its full potential, you had to devote your level 100 talent (Expert Trapper) to it too! Yes, it was a very powerful trap but look at what you gave up to get it. I thought this was a cool thing! It was a interesting choice to make in solo/questing situations. It could have also given you a lot of utility in dungeons by sacrificing a little DPS.
What I’ve noticed about this change is my overall survivability out in the world has dropped. I guess I was relying on that trap a little too much? Since my pet can’t really tank (especially in AoE) because it holds no threat, I was using that CC to avoid damage. Now I am relegated to killing only 1-3 mobs at a time. First WoW problems? Maybe I’m just spoiled from how Hunters have been for so long. Maybe I’m too focused on the solo experience and need to account more for the group experience (it’s always more difficult to do that in beta).
Both Wowhead and MMO-Champion posted previews of the Hunter tier 19 (and PvP) armor today. This is definitely Sylvanas-inspired armor and will probably suit Marksmanship the best with their Dark Ranger talent and the Thas’dorah bow. There are many colors for the various difficulties and PvP tiers, with the Mythic and Elite PvP sets being a little bit flashier as usual.
For the other colors, I’m not sure which goes with what difficulty yet. We won’t know for sure until the tier sets are in the database. When that happens we should also be able to preview the sets on other races with the model viewer on Wowhead.
I’m in Alpha! Yay! So far only Survival is playable, so I was kinda forced into trying out the melee Hunter first. The most recent Locked and Loaded I posted at Blizzard Watch goes into my initial thoughts on the spec (keeping in mind it’s still incredibly early). I’ll talk about some of that stuff here, but you should go read that too if you’re interested in how Survival is shaping up (coming from someone who has only ever played ranged like me).
Character copy isn’t available right now, all you’re able to do is make template level 100 characters. Upon creation the plop you into the new Dalaran (with ilvl 680 gear) and you begin the artifact quest. I’m not going to talk specific details about the story, but essentially you get your artifact weapon VERY quickly. The Survival one involves a solo scenario that takes about 15 minutes and after that you are back in Dalaran getting your weapon. Something to keep in mind is we don’t know what comes before this (i.e. how do we get up to Dalaran?), and Blizzard needs to make 36 of these scenarios (one for each spec) so you can’t expect them to be hour-long affairs. I am satisfied with a small amount of spec-specific content like this.
Located in the peaks of Highmountain lies Trueshot Lodge, every Hunter’s home away from home. Here we will tend to our artifact weapons, get in some target practice, manage our stables, show off our pets to other Hunters, and probably engage in some rowdy behavior in the bar section.
Trueshot Lodge will also be the center point for our questing in the Broken Isles. It’s where we’ll choose what zone we want to level up in next (remember, you can do them in any order now). There will also be class champions (of which we don’t really know much about yet) that send us on missions.
We will be able to get back and forth to our lodge with Call Greater Eagle. Hunters will also have an exclusive flight path network in the Broken Isles.
More fun stuff is coming out of this weekend’s initial datamining, this time related to pets. MMO-Champion has been posting a bunch of new models, and some of them look like they could become Hunter pets.
Standard disclaimer: This is still super early in the beta process and literally everything could change.
Pet buffs removed?
It looks like raid buffs in general may be getting the axe in Legion. Our own Trueshot Aura was removed (as are other class buffs), and all Hunter pet buffs (Furious Howl, Blessing of Kongs, etc.) are kaput. Pets that had non-buff abilities are still intact.
It’s possible that pets which used to provide a raid buff will get a new ability such as a snare, root, or interrupt. I would hate to lose pet family abilities entirely. If they go down this route, there’s a lot of work to do as many pets provided buffs only. Some Exotic families will need extra love because their main benefit was providing 2 buffs.
I’d say I am indifferent to the idea of buffs being removed from the game. The odd time I can whip out the correct pet and provide a missing buff is cool, but nowadays it just seems like having full buffs is a given. Where is the gameplay and complexity in the current raid buff system? Seems more like trimming the fat to me.
Datamining has been happening for the past day or so, but it’s not until now that we get to the juicy stuff: spell data. It’s great that Wowhead got it all up so fast, but it’s a huge data dump and not fully contextualized yet. I attempted to filter out the weird and questionable data, and I think I managed to interpret what is a talent and what’s not, but I could definitely be wrong on some of them. Update: Was right about most of it. List is more complete now via Wowhead database.
We’ll talk more about the baseline spec stuff in the future, but I will mention a few interesting things I noticed for each spec before I list the talents. You can read about the non-talent stuff in my previous post.
Hopefully this organized list makes it easier to take in all the talent changes from a better perspective. It really helped me see the bigger picture. Keep in mind a few talents are missing — either I missed them in the wall of text, or they aren’t there yet.
For all we know, some of this stuff is already gone. So feel free to get excited, as long as you go in realizing this fact. If something turns out not to be true, you can’t say Blizz took it away because it was never there in the first place!
Update 11/21: Added new Aspect of the Cheetah/Turtle spells.
Update 11/22: Added the few missing ones now that Wowhead database is live. Happy to say I was right about 95% of this stuff before knowing for sure 😀