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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ever wanted to tame Tortos? Well, now you can — sort of. In lieu of actually making the boss from Throne of Thunder tameable, Blizzard has re-used Tortos’ model for a new turtle species, the Lowland Manashell. These turtles are found in Suramar, the level 110-only zone in the Broken Isles. More specifically, in the river north of Shal’aran (the main hub of the zone).
While it’s not an actual rare, the Lowland Manashell isn’t very common. Sometimes when I visit the area there are none of them spawned. I believe it may share a spawn with the common turtles in the area, and every time one of those spawns there is a chance that it’s one of the Manashells. I’ve also only seen one up at a time thus far. They can spawn anywhere along the river there, including under water or above the waterfall. If you don’t see any, try killing regular turtles in the area. A “/tar Lowland Manashell” macro is helpful.
The latest alpha build (geez, it’s still alpha after 5 months?) is the start of class number tuning. Beast Mastery Hunters saw some fairly big numbers changes on both abilities and talents, a lot of them for the better. Survival and Marksmanship saw fewer adjustments. Here’s what Celestalon had to say about this build:
The last sentence is the big one. Class mechanics are now “firm” but it looks like they’re not opposed to future changes. There has been a lot of feedback requesting changes to some aspects of the class, but Blizzard has stuck to their guns so far. At this point I wouldn’t expect any major changes to core mechanics, such as getting a traditional Focus generator back for BM.
I think it’s safe to say that Friender the mechano wolf is the first legitimate taming challenge discovered in Legion. We have Treble and Rush, which are found via track hunting, but Friender is something completely new. Shout out to Kyfus who was the first Hunter to discover this one.
When Blizzard first announced mechanical pets they specifically mentioned a mechano strider challenge in Gnomeregan. So far, we haven’t seen that one specifically, but it’s possible that Friender is the end result of that original idea. He should be tameable once the 7.0 prepatch goes live before Legion.
To begin, make sure you can actually tame a mechanical pet. Gnomes and Goblins can do so innately, but other races must obtain a Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix from their local engineer. Unfortunately, engineers won’t be able to craft this until Legion, so only Gnomes and Goblins will be able to do this in the prepatch.
Secondly, the buttons can only be used by level 100+ players.