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.
@Nogz__ Focusing Shot will trigger Master Marksman. Master’s Call and Spirit Bond will not work without a pet.
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) May 9, 2014
If Spirit Bond and Master’s Call won’t be reworked to support Lone Wolf, we can assume the same for Intimidation, Blink Strikes, and Exhilaration (though that last one should still work partially). One that is up in the air is Stampede. Thematically, it makes zero sense, but I think it may just end up summoning the 4 guardian pets for Lone Wolf (only 4 because your main pet is not active) so that there is more talent choice besides A Murder of Crows in that tier.
I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not the biggest fan of Lone Wolf. Hunters, for me, have always been a pet class, but I understand some are excited to be able to play the traditional archer/ranger archetype. I’m also concerned that it could become a default choice for SV/MM in many raid encounters. If it’s the most DPS, we’re going to talent into it. If we don’t have to worry about our pets target switching, or just derping in general, I can see it being extremely strong.
I’m all for Lone Wolf as long as it doesn’t make survival or marksmanship hunters feel gimped for choosing to play with a pet. The Flaming Shots replacement (it was canned if you missed it) will hopefully be something cool so SV/MM hunters have a decent choice besides going petless or having a movement restriction.
The Focusing Shot bit from the tweet is something we already logically concluded, but I would like to assume it’s a higher chance to proc Master Marksman since you will be casting far less Focusing Shots than you would Steady Shots.
@JesseJa25988903 Kill Shot will take less than 1/3 as long, including latency, to reset, in Warlords. We expect that will solve it. — Celestalon (@Celestalon) April 23, 2014
This is an older tweet I missed (for once, MMO-C’s outdated tweet postings were helpful to me!), but it’s a nice quality of life change for Kill Shot. Especially when you’re standing at max range, that delay between Kill Shots can be irksome. Why doesn’t Blizzard just remove the double Kill Shot mechanic and have one strong Kill Shot instead? One word: Burst. Splitting up that damage into two global cooldowns instead of one is an important distinction in PvP.