Hunter Patch Notes Update: Black Arrow dispel protection, talent changes

The official patch notes just received an update. Lots of hunter changes to report. Some of it we already know from the previous build, but there’s a few new bits in here.  If the tooltips don’t make sense, it’s because some of these changes are not in the build yet.

Survival Changes
  • Black Arrow‘s cooldown is reset if it’s dispelled.  🙂
  • Lock and Load has been reverted to the previous version. It’s similar to the live version, but you will get at least one proc per Black Arrow, with chances for additional procs on each tick. It also no longer has a 10 second internal cooldown.
  • Survivalist now increases multistrike damage by 20%. (Old: increases multistrike chance by 10%)

Yay! Black Arrow dispelling was something i was really concerned about, so I’m glad they added something.

While I was originally pretty excited for the Lock and Load multistrike proccing version, it ended up having several problems. When multistrike was low, it was extremely underwhelming (that is why they added the 10% baseline chance in the first place) and it was common to have Black Arrows with zero or just one proc.  When multistrike was high, the rotation devolved into nothing by Explosive Shot with hardly any focus available for Arcane Shot. Lastly, Lock and Load just didn’t feel as fun when it was no longer free or didn’t reset the cooldown. So, I’m on board with this.

Survivalist’s 20% multistrike damage is just there so survival will favor multistrike and benefit from its multistrike attunement.

Beast Mastery

Nothing new here, but I’ll list them again anyway.

  • Cobra Strikes now has a 20% chance to trigger (up from a 15% chance), but now only grants 1 charge each time it triggers (down from 2 charges).
  • Enhanced Basic Attacks now has a 15% chance to reset the basic attack cooldown and make the next one free (down from 20%)


Talent Changes

Originally Posted by Blizzard
We’ve changed the combat rotations of each Hunter specialization (primarily through Ability Pruning) with the goal of them being a platform to build upon with talents. To facilitate this, we’ve modified several talents to add additional rotational depth. Hunters had many talent options which added abilities to their rotation, but most of them had quite simple usage, with little interaction with your rotation or other abilities. Now, there should be more of a variety; still some simple talents, but also some talents that create a more engaging combat rotation.

  • Thrill of the Hunt now has a 6% chance to trigger for every 10 focus spent. (Old: 20% flat chance). Here is what the proc chance works out to (assuming it counts all focus and not just 10 focus increments):
    • Aimed Shot: 30%
    • Arcane Shot: 18%
    • Multi-Shot: 24%
    • Kill Command: 24%
    • Chimaera Shot: 21%
    • Explosive Shot: 9%
    • Glaive Toss: 9%
    • Barrage: 36%
  • A Murder of Crows has been changed. Its duration, cost, and cooldown have been reduced by 50%. It no longer has a shorter cooldown when used on low health targets. Instead, its cooldown is reset if the target dies.
  • Fervor has been replaced with a new passive: Steady Focus
    • Steady Focus increases Focus Regeneration by 50% for 10 seconds after using Cobra Shot or Steady Shot twice in a row, or after using Focusing Shot.
  • Barrage now has a 20 second cooldown (down from 30 seconds), costs 60 Focus (up from 30 Focus), and its damage has been increased by 100%.
  • Wyvern Sting now has a 1.5 sec cast time.

Most of this was discussed here already, but here’s a few more thoughts on the talent changes. I’ll keep it brief since I haven’t been able to play with them yet.

I really like the Crows change.  I can’t say anything bad about it. Resetting the cooldown when the target dies while the DoT is active is a wonderful change. The old cooldown reduction mechanic on it was utterly pointless. You now have 3 distinct choices in this talent tier. A Murder of Crows for a short DPS cooldown, Stampede for a long (but more bursty) DPS cooldown, and Blink Strikes as the passive option. I still can’t imagine using anything but Blink Strikes as BM though.

The Thrill of the Hunt change makes sense to me. It makes it stronger for high cost abilities but weak for the low cost ones. One thing to keep in mind is that when Thrill of the Hunt is active, the proc chance on Arcane Shot, Aimed Shot, and Multi-Shot is reduced by 12% because of the reduced focus cost.  There is one big problem with this change: Bombardment for marksmanship effectively makes Multi-Shots cost 15 focus, so they’ll only have a 9% chance to proc. This is a big deal since marksmanship currently relies on Thrill of the Hunt to do any decent AoE damage. I’m hoping that this will be addressed in number tuning or by ditching Bombardment entirely for something better.

I’m on the fence about this new Steady Focus because I don’t know if it affects passive focus regeneration only. I’d rather just wait and see how it works.

Barrage is another one I’ll be interested to try out. It will probably result in a slightly slower style of gameplay since you’ll be pooling up focus a whole lot more. BM and MM have the advantage here with their 120 focus pools. Survival needs to be a little more careful. It’s definitely a gameplay changer, so it’ll probably be a love or hate thing. It’s completely different from “hit on cooldown without any thought” Glaive Toss (15 focus may as well be free).

Now we await the build to actually try this out.

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10 thoughts on “Hunter Patch Notes Update: Black Arrow dispel protection, talent changes”

  1. “…Stampede for a long (but more bursty) DPS cooldown…”

    I have never thought of that before, but are Stampede and Lone Wolf actually compatible? As in: do you get to keep the 30% buff while your Stampede pets are running around?

    1. Lone wolf wouldn’t affect stempede in any way though, if that’s what you’re aiming at. Lone wolf only affects certain abilities instead of being a flat 30% damage buff.

  2. MoC makes me very happy too! When I run SV atm this will probably just be in slotted in nicely in my current SStings stead, now that it’s being rolled into Arcane.

    I adore Barrage for rounding up mobs/adds to a pet/tank. Hitting it after a MD and jumping around in circles and spraying 1/2 the zone with bullets or arrows, and then watch them converge onto your MD Target it’s just so much dam fun for grinding and the likes.

    That said what I’m struggling to get my head around is how is this particularly better than the current version as a standard? I get that it’s cooldown is now 10 seconds shorter which is the main improvement I can see, but doesn’t the 100% increased focus just counter the 100% increased damage?

    Also from the way I see it won’t the fact that it’s now 60 focus and one will have to pool more focus to use it, won’t it then be more likely to interrupt the use/timing of other abilities or itself depending on shot priorities once numbers come out? Thus making it become less of a DPS increase in the long run right? /perplexed

    Thanks for these write ups btw, always a great read! 🙂

    1. I think the point is to turn Barrage into a double-edged sword: you can cast it more often, but it also costs more, so you have to choose between pooling focus for it to use on CD, or to ignore its CD and use it at the most appropriate moments.

      On another note, I’m bummed that they didn’t take a look at level 45 talents. Spirit Bond does not work with Lone Wolf. Iron Hawk is good but behind Spirit Bond due to the new style of healing (you will be at 100% a lot less, thus Spirit Bond will be constantly building a buffer of HP before you are hit again). Exhilaration is horribly underpowered. They need to take a look at that and balance those three talents better.

  3. As the release is just around the corner, I can’t help but feel my biggest issue with the hunter isn’t being addressed like Blizzard said they would. That’s the sameness of the specs. Here, they are admitting that it is getting a little late for any drastic changes, yet all 3 specs appear to have very similar rotations. Maybe this is a merely on paper thing, as I’m not in the Beta. Please, someone who’s in the beta tell me I’m delusional. Does each spec feel unique in WoD?

    1. Yes, all specs feel unique. BM is very much the same as it was, MM is now a slow dot-less caster spec with reduced mobility and SV is a dot spec with very limited burst/execute abilities. A talent like Lone-Wolf allows you differentiate SV/MM even more from BM.

  4. RE: TotH

    Is it % chance per shot, or per hit? If multi is 9% per shot with bombardment it’s pretty lackluster, but if it’s 9% per hit then the numbers become much more favorable at 5+ targets.

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