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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
You guys love Beta builds right?
— Zorbrix (@Zorbrix) September 18, 2014
Another build is coming again today. Maybe something to make sense of the Survival changes, or clarification on Dire Beast.