If you’re interested in playing Survival when patch 7.0 drops, you may be wondering what the heck you’re supposed to use for a weapon since you probably only own ranged weapons at the moment. Sure, you will be getting your Talonclaw on day one of Legion, but for the 4-5 weeks in the interim you will need something to poke demons with. Thankfully, Blizzard will be sending you a melee weapon to get started with. If that’s not enough, there are several other options to tide you over until Legion.
Option 1: Blizzard’s Weapon Insurance
All Hunters who login to patch 7.0 will receive an in-game mail from Blizzard informing them of the weapon change for Survival. Attached to the message is a Survivalist’s Hunting Spear polearm. Its item level will be different depending on your raiding progress in Hellfire Citadel:
- No raid experience, or only LFR experience: ilvl 655
- Normal HFC raid experience: ilvl 690
- Heroic HFC raid experience: ilvl 705
- Mythic HFC raid experience: ilvl 720
I am not sure what the threshold is for Blizzard thinking that you have the experience, but if I had to guess it would be something similar to how the raid caches from the ship yard work. So if you’re currently getting heroic raid caches from the ship yard, you can probably expect an ilvl 705 polearm. This is just an educated guess, they may have different requirements.
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).
I’ve warmed up to the melee Hunter a little more since my last post. I still don’t think it’s going to pull me away from my bread and butter (Beast Mastery), but I am starting to get the hang of it. I still sometimes need to remind myself to use traps more often because they can make such a difference now. More specifically, Steel Trap and Dragonsfire Trap. Sometimes I wish the Trap Launcher toggle was still there because it would be nice to avoid that extra click and just drop the trap at my feet when I don’t need to throw it.
I’m really enjoying Harpoon the more I use it, but the ability has some quirks. The first is one I am sure will be fixed, basically it just pulls you in a direct line to your target, even if that makes you clip through the ground. Secondly, I wish it made you leap towards your target in a small arc, rather than just be dragged along the ground. Lastly, I wish there was less of a delay. You have to wait for the travel time of your harpoon before it starts pulling you. That makes sense, but I wish it could be thrown a bit quicker.
It sure has been slow on the news front ever since the Legion announcement, eh? Blizzard wasn’t kidding when they said they’d be more tight-lipped about things this time around (can’t say I blame them after Warlords). We did get a few new tidbits of info today, and when I say “tidbits” I really mean that. This is all sourced from a live-tweeting of an unofficial WoW panel at Dragoncon.
It’s a bit of a silly way to disseminate information like this IMO, though I won’t complain about getting some new info. Here’s a rundown of the cool stuff. Keep in mind this is all obtained from secondhand tweets and can’t be taken as a promise or official information.
I speculated on this yesterday, but it looks like we have the official word via a developer interview at Icy Veins.
- Survival: Melee spec that utilizes a pet
- Beast Mastery: Ranged spec that utilizes a pet
- Marksmanship: Ranged spec that has NO pet
This means the Lone Wolf talent should be no more. Blizzard is fully committing this time and giving each spec a clear identity. It’s bound to ruffle some feathers, but my initial thoughts are that it will be good for the class.
My only real concern is balance now. If Survival is the top spec (by the same kind of margin Marksmanship is now in Hellfire Citadel), every hunter will feel forced into completely changing roles after they’ve been playing a ranged class for 10 years. Not good. Blizzard has an obligation to make sure all 3 playstyles are viable.
There was also some updates regarding the artifact weapons:
- Beast Mastery’s artifact is a gun, Marksmanship’s is a bow, Survival’s is a spear.
- There are no weapon drops in Legion. Instead, you will power up your artifact by killing bosses and doing other things in the game (PvP, dungeons, raids, dailies, whatever).
- Your artifact will be obtained very early on.
- Artifacts can be transmogged, so if you’re not happy about your weapon type for your chosen spec, you at least have that. You cannot transmog into another artifact though.
- Still not sure how Survival is going to operate in the weird transition period of 7.0 when they have no melee weapons.
We should have more details soon from the dev panel on Sunday. Shortly after the dev panel, at 1:30pm ET on Sunday, we will be recording the next Hunting Party Podcast on Twitch and talking all about this stuff. Follow me on Twitter and I’ll be posting before we go live. Should be a fun show!
Update: Survival is definitely a melee spec. Updated details here.
OK, that was exciting. After being at an all time low with my general WoW excitement, I have to say that LEGION gives me some hope for WoW’s future. I am beyond excited, but I’m going to have to force myself to not get TOO hyped after the disappointments in WoD, because that expansion had much better intentions (I feel) than it ultimately delivered.
That being said…
Apparently, Survival is now a melee spec.
Melee. Hunter. Confirmed.
Well, that didn’t last very long.
R.I.P. Bear Trap, for the second time (it was originally slated to be added in Wrath before being removed in that beta). It sounds like there isn’t going to be a replacement either. When Celestalon says it’s “not needed without Readiness” I think he means one of the reasons they added Bear Trap in the first place was so Survival would have a DPS cooldown affected by the stat. However, now that Readiness is kaput, they feel like there’s no need for it.
Updated: The below post is now irrelevant as Celestalon tweeted there’s going to be another change to Lock and Load. Every time one of Black Arrow’s ticks multistrikes, it adds a stack of Lock and Load.
One of the changes coming in Warlords of Draenor for survival hunters is that every Black Arrow will guarantee at least one Lock and Load proc. Traps can no longer proc Lock and Load, which is why LnL itself has been removed and it’s now just a built-in component of Black Arrow.
Some hunters were wondering exactly how this guaranteed proc was going to work. Did it just mean that the final tick was always guaranteed to be a proc, or what? Turns out, that the guaranteed proc is randomly placed on one of the ticks, and it does this by determining how many procs you get on cast and then randomly placing them among the ticks.