Beast Mastery buffs for 8.1.5 (don’t get too excited)

Blizzard has finally announced a buff for Beast Mastery. This is what’s happening with 8.1.5 next week:

  • Barbed Shot damage increased by 125%.
  • Barbed Shot’s bleed damage now ignores the target’s armor.
  • Cobra Shot damage increased by 25%.

It works out to roughly a 6-7% single target buff.

It doesn’t fix any of the core issues that led us to this point, but it’s a band-aid for the time being. Performance will still be below Marksmanship in most cases, but the gap is smaller. We should be closer to the middle of the pack (except for multidot fights). Buffing Barbed Shot and Cobra Shot specifically shows they’d rather put the extra damage on the Hunter rather than the pet.

I also would have liked to see small buffs on all BM Azerite traits besides Primal Instincts, to help a bit with how poorly we scaled with the 5th ring compared to other specs. At the very least Serrated Jaws needs a buff. It was supposed to get a 40% buff in a hotfix a while back but it never went live for some reason. It’s really a dead trait.

What the future holds for BM is going to depend a lot on the 8.2 Azerite changes (which we know nothing about yet). It’s potentially an opportunity to tweak classes and specs in another way, if it’s going to be something similar to an artifact tree where you unlock new passives and active abilities. In the meantime, this is probably all we’re going to get until then. If it’s not enough for you, then it’s time to pick up Marksmanship or Survival.

Beast Mastery should still be pretty good for Mythic+ in 8.1.5 as long as you have the right traits. Ideally you want 1x Rapid Reload and 2x or 3x Primal Instincts. With this setup, you can pump out some pretty good, consistent trash damage (especially Reaping waves). For those still unaware, Rapid Reload’s cooldown reduction applies to every target hit. That means a lot more Aspect of the Wild (with Primal Instincts) casts. Just remember to take off that Rapid Reload again before you raid.

P.S. The image is from the Hati questline coming in 8.1.5.

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The current state of Hunters in Battle of Dazar’alor

I am pretty jealous of Warlocks right now. Imagine playing a pure DPS class where all 3 of your specs are not only competitive, but chart topping in the current raid. Imagine having that kind of choice. Hunters are sort of the opposite.

Beast Mastery is far and away the worst spec (from a DPS perspective) in the BoD raid. Someone has to be at the bottom, but geez, do they don’t have to be in their own tier at the bottom like BM is currently? Survival can deal good damage on some fights, but melee spots are pretty competitive in Mythic raiding, and people who enjoy melee simply have better options. Survival brings nothing to the table other than its DPS. They don’t have the 9 lives of a rogue or the utility of other melee specs. Hell, even a windwalker monk or retribution paladin bring more. Then we have Marksmanship — the damage is pretty good (middle tier on the majority of bosses), but it is somewhat required to have the right traits to take it to the top level. Not a huge deal because you at least have something to strive for, and there are 2 really good class traits. But I really hate the “1 target or 3-6 clumped targets” damage profile and the loss of utility from Lone Wolf.

Update: Blizzard has announced some small BM buffs for 8.1.5.

Continue reading The current state of Hunters in Battle of Dazar’alor

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An update for those still reading

Where have I been? Where are the posts? It’s been over four months! Where’s the podcast? The TLDR answer to all this is that I’ve simply lost my passion for WoW. At least its current state. I still have hope it could turn around sometime this year, and that Blizzard will pull their collective heads out of the sand and start listening to their loyal community once again. I long for the day when they stop this pursuit of designing the game around analytics to maximize “monthly active users” rather than trusting their designers to do some good old-fashioned game design. Take some risks! Stop throwing away anything that works and trying to reinvent the wheel. Realize that nothing is more important than class design and its related systems and reward schemes, and then put more resources towards that. It’s the vessel we all experience the game through… so if that falls short, the whole game is affected in a negative manner.

Without having that passion for the game, I don’t really want to write or talk about it much. That’s what it boils down to for me. I think half the reason I’m still playing is to not bail on the guild. The other half is I’ve just been playing this game for so damn long that it’s hard to imagine myself not playing WoW. So here I am, waiting for the new raid and doing my chores: Weekly +10s. Incursions and emissaries that reward Azerite gear (for Titan Residuum). Weekly island cap. The usual stuff. Neither hating it nor enjoying it. Just going through the motions.

Continue reading An update for those still reading

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Hunter Transmog: Dark Iron Hunter

It’s been a while since I did a transmog post, but now that I’m a Dark Iron Dwarf I’ve been trying out some new stuff. I posted this one on Twitter and a bunch of folks asked for an item list, so here you go.

The key items are from Mythic Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold, which is easy to do in a small group right now (at 120, you don’t even need a tank or healer, just warm bodies). Don’t forget to grab some Legion bonus roll coins before you go in.

The others are from Mythic Blackrock Foundry (can be done solo), leatherworking, and one item from Tomb of Sargeras.

Continue reading Hunter Transmog: Dark Iron Hunter

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Beast Mastery Hunter Guide for Battle for Azeroth

Just thought I’d post that everything has been updated on my Wowhead Beast Mastery Guide and is now relevant for level 120. The guide is more detailed than it has been in the past as Wowhead has really upped their standards for class guides (seriously, this was a ton of work). You can easily access it on any Wowhead page by hovering over the Hunter icon at the top, but I will link all the pages of the guide here too for convenience.

Continue reading Beast Mastery Hunter Guide for Battle for Azeroth

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So-long, Legion

It’s always easy for me to tell how much I enjoyed an expansion just by looking at the percentage of my main character’s time /played spent in it. Vanilla still holds the top spot in terms of raw hours, but Legion has actually moved to second place. Does that mean it’s my favorite expansion? Hmm, not sure. Ask me again in 5 years. One thing is for sure, there was usually a lot of stuff to do, with the exception of the last 6 months or so when my time playing slowly devolved into raiding and a weekly +15 only, then only to raiding, then to nothing… but I suppose that’s normal for any expansion.

Continue reading So-long, Legion

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Broken Tooth lives! Hunter pets can have different attack speeds once again

Before you read any more, let me TLDR this first: There is no appreciable damage difference between pet attack speeds because damage is normalized. For the most part, it simply adds flavor to different pets.

First, a little history. Back in Vanilla WoW, several pets had different attack speeds (you can see the original list here). The most notorious pet was Broken Tooth, a rare cat in the Badlands, because he was one of only two pets with a 1.0 attack speed (2.0 is the standard). This made him a pretty nice pet to have in PVP because of spell pushback. Mages weren’t getting any casts off with Broken Tooth clawing away at them (in today’s game, pets cannot do this anymore).

Eventually, Blizzard normalized all pet attack speeds to 2.0, and it’s stayed like that all the way from The Burning Crusade… until now.

Continue reading Broken Tooth lives! Hunter pets can have different attack speeds once again

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Beast Mastery Hunter guide to the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch

The pre-patch is almost here!

Today the Beast Mastery guide I’ve been working on was published over at Wowhead. It covers pretty much everything for Beast Mastery in 8.0. If you haven’t been following/playing the beta closely, it should give you an idea of what to expect with the pre-patch this week. A lot of work was put in to this one!

Here’s links to all the individual guide pages:

Closer to Battle for Azeroth launch the guides will be updated for level 120, including gear and Azerite traits.

Wowhead also has Marksmanship and Survival pre-patch guides which are definitely worth checking out, especially since they’ve seen even more changes than BM (these guides were not written by me).

Also be sure to check out the BFA pet guide on Wowhead to learn about the pet changes and some new pets to tame (though most of this info is on the pet guide I posted here).

If you’ve got any pre-patch questions, feel free to ask them here and I’ll answer what I can. 🙂

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BfA Beta: Changes to Animal Companion (Hati replacement), does almost everything your regular pet does

The Animal Companion talent has been in a near-unusable state for the majority of beta, but in today’s build it has received some major updates. It’s not as simple as the current tooltip indicates (a second pet that does Kill Command and nothing else).

Once all the bugs and kinks are worked out, it looks like Animal Companion will turn out to be a true second pet, even more so than Hati was.

Continue reading BfA Beta: Changes to Animal Companion (Hati replacement), does almost everything your regular pet does

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Hunters get 10 more stable slots in Battle for Azeroth

You can now tame a total of 65 pets with the addition of a 6th page of stable slots! No, it’s still probably not enough for some of you (an extra 100 might not be enough). But it’s 10 more, so that’s 10 new pets you can tame in 8.0 without worrying about having to send existing pets to pasture.

I’ve been busy working on Wowhead stuff, mainly updating the Beast Mastery guide for 8.0 (and I also put a BfA pet guide up there, which has a little more than the one I posted here). I still plan on making at least one more post here before the pre-patch, something like a survival guide (what talents and legendaries are good for the pre-patch and leveling, etc.).

If you’re curious about my updated thoughts on Beast Mastery: It’s getting better. There’s still a few dead talents and others that are obviously not tuned, but the spec has come a long way. It’s interesting how active talents are often the best (or at least equal) choice compared to passives. For example, Chimaera Shot is now the top talent in its tier (at least as of today). My thoughts on Marksmanship and Survival are not as up to date since I’ve been focusing on BM for the guide writing, but once the pre-patch drops I plan on giving them all some good time.

Until next time.

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