Well, the beta is finally shut down after almost exactly 5 months of testing (including the alpha). I first got in on June 17th, and at the time the alpha was still limited to Horde characters in the Frostfire Ridge zone only (up to level 92). This was a couple of weeks after the alpha opened up and someone may have noticed my shameless whining about not being in the alpha and helped me get in. Thanks, you-know-who-you-are. 😉
In the past I had participated in the Wrath, Cataclysm, and Mists betas but never to the same degree as I did in Warlords. Typically I’d check out class changes, maybe tame a new hunter pet or two, and that was that. I wasn’t really involved in the community back then, nor had a blog, so that probably explained my lack of interest. This time I felt compelled to get some info out to you guys. I hope I helped. I certainly tried to put a lot of effort into beta coverage here.
The end of beta event was pretty fun. It basically involved game masters spawning all sorts of things to kill us repeatedly outside of Stormwind and Ogrimmar — bosses, elites, rares, iron stars, and even hordes of gastropods. I stopped by the PvP server briefly to check out what was happening in Ashran. I couldn’t get into Ashran itself (it was full), but I got a few nice shots from the outskirts. Below you can check out a gallery of the event.
Blizzard just posted some new class tuning hotfixes which should go live soon. Even though most of this is nerfs, I have to say these are reasonable changes based on where we stood after the last round of buffs we received. Combined with the changes to other classes, we were doing quite well at level 100 (at least Beast Mastery and Marksmanship).
Originally Posted by Blizzard
• Adaptation now increases Combat Experience’s damage increase to 70% (down from 85%).
• Chimaera Shot’s damage has been reduced by 13%.
• Focusing Shot now has a 2.5 second cast time (down from 3 seconds), and its damage has been increased by 25%.
• Kill Command’s damage has been increased by 20%.
I can’t help but feel like these Focusing Shot changes are Blizzard’s somewhat desperate attempt to get people to actually take the talent. I’m sure there’s some hunters out there chomping at the bit for it. However, the problem for me (and many other hunters) is that it’s just not worth the hassle. It can definitely do competitive DPS with the other level 100 talents, but it comes with a severe handicap. These changes certainly help, but it’s still not something I’m really interested in. The extra damage is miniscule in the grand scheme of things, although the faster cast time is nice. For me, Focusing Shot looked really good on paper, but in practice it just flunked out.
I present to you, the great hunter buffing of 2014:
Originally Posted by Blizzard
- Arcane Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Cobra Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Explosive Trap’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Kill Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Multi-Shot’s damage has been increased by 30%.
- Steady Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Aimed Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Chimaera Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Black Arrow’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Explosive Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Serpent Sting’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Hunter Pets now inherit 60% of the Hunter’s Attack Power (up from 33%).
- A Murder of Crows’ damage has been increased by 80%.
- Barrage’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Dire Beast’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Exotic Munitions’ damage has been increased by 15%.
- Focusing Shot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
- Glaive Toss’ damage has been increased by 15%.
- Powershot’s damage has been increased by 15%.
Can I get a ‘hell yeah’? It’s also worth noting the overpowered specs from other classes also received nerfs. This will hopefully bring everyone closer together.
The bad news? Requires realm restarts to take effect. Can we get someone to trip on the power cord or something? Please? Or do we really have to wait until Tuesday? 😛
This week we talk about the upcoming patch 6.0.2, the current state of hunters in the beta, talents, and answer some listener questions.
The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every other Sunday at 10 a.m. ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show you can find it at:
I delayed in posting about these pets because I honestly thought there was a possibility they’d get nerfed (made untameable). After all, I’ve been disappointed before when I find a pet I love in beta, only for it to be made untameable. For a while, the only saddled clefthoof which was tameable was Giantbane and I was waiting for that to change — for good or bad. I think I have my answer now. Blizzard actually added 3 new tameable colors in the most recent set of builds. I think it’s safe to say these awesome pets are here to stay!
The clefthoof (exotic) family — which includes rhinos from the old family — is one of the most formidable when it comes to their special ability load out. Clefthooves bring two DPS buffs (5% Multistrike and 3% Versatility) with Wild Strength, and a damage reduction cooldown with Thick Hide.
You can check out all 4 colors in the video below.
It’s nice to have a beta build that isn’t all nerfs!
WoD Beta build 18967 went up last night and had a few hunter number changes. Both BM and SV got a little bump, which was sorely needed. In Survival’s case, it was more of an un-nerfing.
- Arcane Shot now deals 110% Arcane damage (up from 100%)
- Multi-Shot now deals 40% Physical damage (up from 30%)
- Cobra Shot now deals 66% Nature damage (up from 60%)
- Kill Shot now deals 759% Physical damage (up from 660%)
- Black Arrow now deals (440% Attack Power) damage over 20 sec (up from 400%)
- Explosive Shot now deals (42.9% Attack Power) Fire damage per tick (up from 39%)
- Serpent Sting now deals (176% Attack Power) Nature damage over 15 sec (up from 160%)
And now the one nerf of this build…
Despite the buffs, BM and SV hunters are still simming in last place among all other DPS specs. These sims do not account for any movement, or situations which may be detrimental to the potential DPS of other classes. This is to be expected, but a lot of us feel like the penalty we’re getting for our freedom of movement may be a bit too severe. There definitely needs to be one, but 20-30% DPS penalty, as the sims are showing now, seems a little too steep. Maybe I’m wrong, but Marksmanship is sitting much higher on the charts, even if you have crummy uptime on Sniper Training.
The Exotic Munitions nerf is puzzling. Lone Wolf was already ahead of it in single target damage before this nerf (or maybe on par for Survival), this just takes it another step further. I don’t like the idea of forcing MM and SV hunters to get rid of their pet if they want to do the most damage.
It just doesn’t seem very huntery to me. I’m glad the petless option is there for those who desire it, but let’s not forget that hunters are THE pet class. Let’s not punish them for keeping their pet around, eh?
Last night we had an epic level 1 dwarf hunter WHU raid on Icecrown-US to celebrate the return of the Hunting Party Podcast. About 80 hunters showed up in Dun Morogh! Then we raided Hogger, the Gurubashi Arena, and finally Orgrimmar. It was a blast and I can’t wait for future WHU hunter events. 🙂
This morning we recorded the first new Hunting Party Podcast since it went on hiatus back in January — Episode 201! We’ll be doing it again every second Sunday at 10AM ET (14:00 GMT) live on Twitch. Recorded episodes will appear on YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher, and huntingpartypodcast.com (YouTube version is embedded below).
This episode primarily focused on the overarching hunter changes of 6.0. We tried to cover everything we could in a couple of hours. We hit a lot of it, but there will be much more to talk about regarding hunter changes in the next episode. For all we know, the 6.0 pre-patch may even be out by then!
Teroclaws are a new type of hunter pet found in Talador and I believe it’s the first type of hunter pet that has both flying and grounded variants. They have been added to the Carrion Bird family, though many of us were hoping the grounded ones would have made it into the Raptor family.
These are some really nifty looking pets. My only quibble with them is their family. Carrion Birds only bring the Bloody Screech (Mortal Wounds) debuff, which isn’t something I find myself needing very often. Of course, some pet family has to fill this niche, right? One of the grounded versions is actually flagged as a Bird of Prey (Versatility buff), but this may be a bug. I hope it’s not though simply because it gives us more options.
Below is a video showing off the different tameable versions. Ji-Kun from Throne of Thunder uses the same model as the flying variant, but I don’t believe it’s been made tameable yet. Perhaps in a future expansion? Anzu from Sethekk Halls is also not tameable.
The most recent beta build is light on the class changes, but heavy on the pet changes! Ever since alpha/beta started, there have been a large number of pets that should have been tameable but were not. Most of those, but not all, have been fixed this build!
Tier 17 Set Bonus Adjustments
- T17 MM 4-piece: While Rapid Fire is active, your critical strike damage increases by 3% per second. (Old: 5% per second)
- T16 SV 4-piece: When you hit a target with Explosive Shot, your multistrike damage is increased by 50% for 3 sec. (Old: 25% for 3 sec)
It makes sense since Marksmanship’s bonuses was the strongest and survival’s was likely the weakest. Unfortunately there’s no other number tuning at the class level. Survival is still drastically behind by all counts. Marksmanship is looking best for single target, and BM is decimating the AoE numbers. Survival seems to be doing worse than MM even in the AoE department! And knowing how crummy MM’s AoE is, that’s saying a lot. The entire hunter community is absolutely baffled with what’s going on with the survival spec right now. On one hand, we have Blizzard telling us it was doing “slightly too much” damage, and on the other hand you have things like these latest SimC numbers. SimC is still very much beta, so who knows how truly accurate this is. I’m not panicking yet, but 6.0 is really darn close… it’s getting harder to say “don’t worry, things will be OK, number tuning yadda yadda.”
However, if you are excited about new pets, you’ll like this next bit. 🙂
Updated to include a new Black Arrow nerf from Sept. 23 build.
Survival got some small nerfs in this build. I’m kind of perplexed by this since it was already doing less damage than BM and MM. Maybe the accompanying MM/BM changes will be in the next build? I really don’t understand what’s going on. As I said on twitter earlier, context matters. Unfortunately I have no context at all, so it’s pointless to comment.
- Explosive Shot now deals (39% attack power) Fire damage per tick (down from 42%)
- Serpent Sting now deals (160% attack power) Nature damage over 15 sec (down from 175%)
- Black Arrow now deals (400% attack power) Shadow damage over 20 sec (down from 500%)
- Dire Beast now restores 2 focus per hit (down from 5 focus)
And the Dire Beast nerf is one I truly don’t understand. It’s so unwarranted that I’m tempted to call it a bug. The reason you wouldn’t have seen this change on MMO-C or Wowhead is that the tooltip still indicates 5 focus, but while I was testing the set bonuses I immediately noticed the change on my scrolling combat text.
Now that the nerfs are out of the way, the cool thing about this build is that you can snag a full set of heroic tier 17 gear (Rylakstalker) from the Flaskataur vendor! This means we can finally play around with the new set bonuses! I tested them all for a bit and here are my observations.