The talent changes mentioned earlier in the official patch notes all seem to be active in this beta build. I’ll go over those again, but first there is some news on Gara the Spirit Beast. You can read up on Gara here, but the TL;DR is that it’s a new spirit beast with some kind of quest/event/challenge required in order to tame. According to Muffinus, it has been fully implemented as of this build.
If you want to avoid anything Gara related and discover it for yourself, you’ll want to skip down until the talent changes section.
The picture above shows a group of us hunters searching for clues, trying to find out what the next step was after scratching her behind the ears. We… haven’t made much progress yet. There’s been one new dialogue option with the wolf, but that’s all I’ve discovered so far. When you have a Shadowberry in your inventory it gives you an option, but nothing seems to happen other than another hint. The image below shows the progression in dialogue.
Update on Gara: For the latest info on Gara, see this new post. Most of the speculation below has been ruled out.
The official patch notes just received an update. Lots of hunter changes to report. Some of it we already know from the previous build, but there’s a few new bits in here. If the tooltips don’t make sense, it’s because some of these changes are not in the build yet.
- Black Arrow‘s cooldown is reset if it’s dispelled. 🙂
- Lock and Load has been reverted to the previous version. It’s similar to the live version, but you will get at least one proc per Black Arrow, with chances for additional procs on each tick. It also no longer has a 10 second internal cooldown.
- Survivalist now increases multistrike damage by 20%. (Old: increases multistrike chance by 10%)
Yay! Black Arrow dispelling was something i was really concerned about, so I’m glad they added something.
While I was originally pretty excited for the Lock and Load multistrike proccing version, it ended up having several problems. When multistrike was low, it was extremely underwhelming (that is why they added the 10% baseline chance in the first place) and it was common to have Black Arrows with zero or just one proc. When multistrike was high, the rotation devolved into nothing by Explosive Shot with hardly any focus available for Arcane Shot. Lastly, Lock and Load just didn’t feel as fun when it was no longer free or didn’t reset the cooldown. So, I’m on board with this.
Survivalist’s 20% multistrike damage is just there so survival will favor multistrike and benefit from its multistrike attunement.
I could have changed a few things in the large feedback post I published just a couple of hours ago if I would have known this was coming, but Celestalon and his impeccable timing posted this update for hunters about an hour afterwards. Thanks, Celestalon!
At least my post wasn’t all for naught. These announced changes are definite improvements in several areas but still leaves a lot of the marksmanship problems unanswered. Here we go…
Survival isn’t in the best shape for PvP as it stands. Its damage is based around sustained DPS — which is already a downside for PvP — and its only source of burst damage (Lock and Load) can be negated entirely with a simple dispel of Black Arrow. No Black Arrow = no Lock and Load procs. This would be remedied somewhat if Ice Trap was still able to proc Lock and Load as a fallback, but it doesn’t anymore.
It seems like at one point in time they were aware of the problem because the original WoD 4pc survival PvP bonus used to give Black Arrow the ability to trigger Lock and Load instantly (and presumably removed the subsequent proc chances as a tradeoff). This was later changed once they added the Multistrike behavior to LnL.
Here are some potential solutions I hope the devs will take into consideration. Consider all these numbers as just examples to illustrate a point. I don’t presume to know how to balance them.
Celestalon has been tweeting more about hunters, and we have some good news for both survival and marksmanship to talk about. None of these changes are in the build (or patch notes) yet, but they should hopefully make it in soon so we can test them.
Lock and Load
We’ll start with the survival changes. One is a nice quality of life change (and opens up some new gameplay avenues), and the other will help survival at lower multistrike levels. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, Black Arrow now procs 1 charge of Lock and Load every time it multistrikes.
Patch 6.0 at level 90 would have been really awkward without this baseline chance. If you have Haromm’s Talisman, you should be able to get around ~20% total multistrike with the appropriate raid buff (more if they add level 90 versions of the multistrike flasks and food) when patch 6.0 launches.
WoD beta build 18505 just hit the servers and with it comes some pretty substantial changes for marksmanship and survival hunters.
- Marksmanship’s mastery is no longer Wild Quiver, and is now Sniper Training.
- When you stand still for 3 seconds, you gain Sniper Training for 6 sec, which increases your damage, shot range, and critical strike damage by 4%.
It seems like Blizzard is really pushing for marksmanship to be the turret spec. The synergy here with Focusing Shot has enormous potential if this style of play is something you’re interested in. The 4% value is the base mastery, it will be higher with mastery gear. On the beta I got it up to 10% with gear and buffs. Some of you may remember the old Sniper Training talent from back in the day, but that one was just increased damage. This new version adds critical hit damage and shot range. The shot range bit is pretty interesting. 50 yard shots? Very, very cool. I’ve done a quick bit of testing on the beta and it appears that it takes 3 seconds to activate. It doesn’t start counting down from 6 seconds until you begin moving.
The real question is if we’ll be able to give up our bunny-hopping, DPS-on-the-move freedom and revert back to turret style. What do you think?
After testing this for a bit on the beta, one thing it REALLY needs is some kind of visual to let you know you have it. Otherwise, it’s basically a “WeakAuras required” thing to get the most out of it.