This post is brought to you by Warcraft, in theaters this June!
Seriously though, check out that dwarf! Lothar can’t believe that someone called him a Huntard to his face like that. Clearly they didn’t see that this dwarf was packing. Let’s pretend he is a Marksmanship Hunter so that it’s relevant to this post.
The big news came in yesterday: Marksmanship’s pet is returning in Legion! Lone Wolf is coming back as a talent, only now it will be available at level 15. Here it is, straight from the sparkly dragon’s mouth:
If you’ve been following the patch 6.1 news, I’m sure you saw the change to Stampede: It now lasts 40 seconds, up from 20 seconds. A Murder of Crows was so good that they needed to literally double it to make it competitive. From my initial testing, it seems they were successful.
However, there was a possibly unintended side effect because of an interesting relationship between Stampede and Lone Wolf. Whenever you have your standard pet out and use Stampede, it calls the remaining 4 pets. However, when you’re using Lone Wolf it calls out all 5 pets. One would think it should only be calling out 4 pets so that the talent has the same value regardless of your chosen level 100 talent, but this is not the case for marksmanship and survival. I’d like to think this is a bug or an oversight, but who knows for sure? It’s been around for a while, so maybe it is intended. I don’t understand why. Also see the bottom of this post for an important note on another Lone Wolf/Stampede bug.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the Stampede buff’s effect on all 3 specs.
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as of late. Some hunters are getting kicked from dungeon and raid groups simply because they don’t conform to a very specific set of criteria: Marksmanship with the Lone Wolf talent. At first I thought it was pretty anecdotal (and it probably still is), but I keep hearing about it. Guildies complained about getting kicked before the dungeon even starts. I’ve seen people mention it in trade chat, only to get belittled by everyone for not playing MM/Lone Wolf. I also saw mention of it in some comments on this blog.
I personally had one experience in a random heroic, but it did not result in a kick. I don’t remember the specific wording, but the gist of it was “lol why are you using BM? Play a real spec, we don’t want to carry you.” Then I crushed them on DPS for the rest of the dungeon and they shut their mouth. If there was anyone else in the group who shared this delightful individual’s mindset, maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to embarrass this fool.
The last straw came when I received two separate emails from readers about this issue. One of them has been repeatedly kicked from dungeon groups, and even criticized by his own guild mates for not conforming to what has become known as the “best” hunter spec/talent combo. The other person was actually kicked from Highmaul groups for playing BM. Both of them were asking for advice. They asked if BM and SV were really that bad? Should they just give up and play Marksmanship with Lone Wolf?
I’ve been keeping busy enough in game that I almost forgot that World of Warcraft has this thing called raiding. Also, is it just me or does it seem a lot longer than 2.5 weeks since launch? Feels like at least a month for me. At any rate, I am ready to jump into normal mode Highmaul, hopefully tonight if enough guildies are ready for it. I’m “only” ilvl 636, but that is being brought down quite a bit by the fact that I still have my legendary cloak equipped and a 615 trinket. I also have not been running challenge modes, so the rest of my gear is either crafted or 630 stuff.
I do actually have some nice pieces. Most notably is my gun, Shrediron’s Shredder of the Savage. I’ll be upgrading that to stage 3 (ilvl 660) today which is going to be a huge weight off my shoulders. Why? Because traditionally I have terrible luck with ranged weapon drops. I know everyone says this, but I truly mean it. I spent the entirety of Throne of Thunder with a 516 heroic scenario weapon. I killed Lei Shen with a heroic scenario weapon. I went into Siege of Orgrimmar with a heroic scenario weapon. My raid never sees ranged weapon drops. It never saw one in Siege until a year after the fact, and the only reason I got one before that was because of bonus rolls.
So no, crafting this gun was not a waste of money. It lets me enjoy myself without worrying when I’m going to finally get a half decent weapon. I achieved this by having 3 toons cranking out Gearspring Parts. My main crafted the gun and the first upgrade, and an alt is crafting the second upgrade. The third alt had been churning out Didi’s Delicate Assemblies so I could reroll the gun to “of the Savage” (multistrike+crit). Now that third alt will be relegated to making my Wormhole Centrifuge, Blingtron 5000, and other fun engineering stuff.
A new beta build just went out and we have more hunter changes. Let’s start out with the biggest one:
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 and abilities for 6 sec. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.
We spoke about this a couple of days ago, so I encourage you to check out that post and its comments for more info and opinions on this new raid utility. Opinion is pretty mixed, to say the least.
This is second in a series of posts about the new level 100 hunter talents as they currently exist on beta. The first post was all about Exotic Munitions. Today, it’s about Lone Wolf and Adaptation. This talent changes based on your current spec: Lone Wolf for marksmanship and survival, Adaptation for beast mastery.
These talents couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. One removes your pet, the other turns your pet into a superhero pet. If you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know I am not really down with the whole Lone Wolf thing. I play hunters because of the pets. I still think it’s cool they’re giving the option to those who want to play a pure archer, but the BM version of this talent appeals to me more.
Lone Wolf is a new level 100 talent for survival and marksmanship hunters. It’s kind of a big deal. It lets you play a pet class without a pet. Whoa. It’s pretty simple: Dismiss your pet and get a 30% damage buff. Lone Wolf is undoubtedly the result of player demand. Demand from all of the players who want to play an archer class without having to maintain a roster of pets. Even more demand from raiders who were sick of their pet doing silly things like getting stuck in random places and not doing any DPS.
I’m not currently in the alpha, so most of what follows is just speculation. I’m just going by what I can see on paper and the limited amount of info I’ve been able to gleam from the handful of hunter streamers in alpha.
The following talents and abilities will simply not function if you spec into Lone Wolf:
Spirit Bond is something I’d have trouble living without, though the new self-heals from Kill Shot and Survivalist will help somewhat. The loss of Master’s Call is probably a deal breaker for a lot of PvP hunters.
Below is a consolidated list of hunter changes from the Warlords of Draenor beta.
I will be updating this post every time new patch notes or major revelations from blue tweets are released (the latest updates will be in red). I’ll also bump it to the front of the blog when any major updates happen.
Last updated: August 22, 2014
Probably one of the final updates.
We talked a little bit about this earlier when Celestalon mentioned that Master’s Call and Spirit Bond would not work if a survival or marksmanship hunter chose the Lone Wolf talent. Yesterday, he talked a little more about this subject. In short, Blizzard is OK with some talents being made useless by choosing another (as long as the player can still choose between two in any given talent tier).
One of the questions I always had about Lone Wolf is whether or not you’d actually be sacrificing anything by taking it. The damage from your pet is replaced, but you don’t have to worry about your pet derping, so that damage is probably even greater than the damage lost from the pet.
Lone Wolf hunters can also still bring one of the 6 major raid buffs without a pet, so that aspect of pets is covered. Next on the list was our abilities and talents that play off the pet. We weren’t sure if Blizzard was going to retool those for petless hunters or not. Well, it looks like some of those simply aren’t going to work with Lone Wolf.