WoD Beta 18888: Tier 17 set bonus testing, Dire Beast and Survival nerfs

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.

Beast Mastery

2-piece: Kill Command has a chance to reset the cooldown of Bestial Wrath

I’m not sure on the exact proc chance, but it is fairly high from my testing. I even had several instances where the first Kill Command I casted inside a Bestial Wrath reset the cooldown! I’d say over an extended period of time, the benefit is going to be similar to the cooldown reduction from Assurance of Consequence. You’d need a very unlucky streak to go a full minute without getting a proc. Being able to do back-to-back Bestial Wraths is kind of fun!

4-piece: When Bestial Wrath is active, one additional pet is summoned to fight with you

The pet summoned was a bat for me every time (one of the new Draenor ones). The pet summoned seems to change based on your current zone, similar to Dire Beast only it’s the same pet every time in that zone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anything besides basic melee attacks. And the damage? It only seems to do about 50% of normal pet damage. Basically, Dire Beast summoned pets hit twice as hard as this one. Over a 12-minute session, it accounted for 3.5% of my damage. Kind of underwhelming to me for a 4-piece, but it’s harder to calculate exactly how much the other 4p bonuses give you in overall damage, so maybe this is to be expected. The one thing I like is the flavor aspect. Combined with Dire Beast, you’ll have 3 separate pets attacking your target most of the time, which looks kind of cool.


2-piece: When you cast Black Arrow, you automatically trigger Lock and Load

This set bonus grants you an extra guaranteed LnL proc per Black Arrow. Now you’ll have at least 2 procs (one is instant) with the chance for more. It’s a pretty cool bonus. The one thing you have to keep in mind with the new LnL mechanic is that there’s no longer a 10s ICD on procs, which means you can have procs as little as 2 seconds apart. Since LnL charges do not stack beyond 2, you’ll want to burn these off ASAP or risk wasting them.

A small note on this one. This instant LnL proc doesn’t seem to reset Explosive Shot’s cooldown like a regular LnL proc (but the actual LnL charges granted do function normally). Not sure if this is a bug or intended.

4-piece: When you hit a target with Explosive Shot, your multistrike damage is increased by 25% for 3 sec

The way this one works is that subsequent applications of the buff increase the duration by 3 seconds, but the 25% damage bonus does not stack. The uptime on the buff is very high, and it gives further incentive to prioritize Explosive Shot since you ideally don’t want the buff to fall off. With LnL procs it’s definitely possible for this to happen.


2-piece: Aimed Shot critical strikes restore 15 additional focus

Free Aimed Shots anyone? Combined with the perk, Aimed Shot crits will now restore 35 focus back to you. If you were using Thrill of the Hunt, the shot only cost 30 focus in the first place, meaning you actually GAIN 5 focus for an Aimed Shot crit with Thrill of the Hunt.

Marksmanship’s focus pool is extremely volatile. It’s not going to be a play style everyone enjoys. I personally prefer a little bit more reliability. I like to be able to plan ahead and have a decent idea where my focus pool is going to be. Sort of like BM.  If you can handle making quick decisions on whether you should cast a spender, cast a generator, or even wait and do nothing for a second, MM can be very rewarding in the damage department. The extra complexity comes with Sniper Training.

4-piece: When Rapid Fire is active, your critical strike damage is increased by 5% per second

This one can lead to some pretty ridiculous crit numbers. I think the ideal way of handling this one is going to be timing it so you have a Chimaera Shot ready to use on the last second of Rapid Fire. It’s the hardest hitting shot, and if it crits with 70% bonus crit damage it’s going to be massive.

It’s not over yet..

Another build is coming again today. Maybe something to make sense of the Survival changes, or clarification on Dire Beast.

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13 thoughts on “WoD Beta 18888: Tier 17 set bonus testing, Dire Beast and Survival nerfs”

  1. All bonuses relate directly to the secondary stat preferences but only MM has a 2-piece bonus affected by it.

    Looking at these bonuses they may as well make Thrill of the Hunt baseline for MM. I wonder if they are any other classes/specs in the game that can regen their power using their power dump.

    SV hunters are totally dependent on Multistrike. I hope Blizzard remembers they replaced the 10% baseline multistrike chance with increased multistrike damage. If SV hunters multistrike they do a lot of damage, if they don’t …….

    I’m not sure if there is any point in testing at the moment. Blizzard seems to have it’s own spreadsheet truth.

  2. First of all… oh god, why our tier set is SO UGLY?!?!?! The body overall is not bad, and the spinning wheel is nice, but… that headpiece and those shoulderpads… ruin it!! Completely!!! >_<

    I think the MM 4 piece is really OP, too bad I'll never enjoy MM's playstyle… =/

    Hopefully that synergy between the LnL procs and Multistrike buffs will bring SV to a place where it can do some decent burst (at least when there's a handful of mobs around, single target is still meh).

    For BM, it looks like we could've a lot of BW in a row to make your additional pet help much more with the 4 piece… but you don't seem too happy with its result (and 3.5% damage looks kind of small game too…).

  3. It’s going to be really hard to break the habit of Steady Shotting twice to get Steady Focus in WoD, but otherwise, I’m liking how the tier’s looking (caveat: I was not in beta and haven’t had time to jump on PTR yet), especially with those tier bonuses.

  4. I have a horrible feeling that Dire Beast’s lower focus regen is deliberate. That they chose to keep it over Fervor and replace the latter with a significantly slower paced talent, coupled with the fact that haste isn’t on any of the three specs’ “best stat” points to Blizz having a slower playstyle in mind.

    Speaking as an observer only, it looked like Dire Beast was a bit of a no-brainer for BM, focus regen more or less on par with the other two talents and extra damage to boot, it was essentially a soft cooldown. To compensate and give BM hunters more of a choice, the focus regen was nerfed.

    I could be wrong, and I sincerely hope I am, but assuming I’m not, why not do away with DB altogether and replace it with a nerfed variation of Fervor (50 focus over 10 seconds, 30second cd or something). I always felt a damage dealing talent was out of place in a focus regen section, so why they chose to go with Dire Beast over Fervor and definitely think that they should be switched if the reduced focus regen is indeed intentional.

  5. That 4 pcs SV “bonus”… wtf? Is WoD all about aoe? After 10+ years Blizzard will finally ruin it for me, I guess.

  6. Survival is so easy. With its 3 button rotation. It’s not even good in arenas anymore ijust go mm in 3s and smash the healer with chimera, power shot, aimed excute

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