New Year, New Alpha: Marksmanship unlocked, alternate Hati colors, mechanical dog

Aaaaaand we’re back. Sort of. The Legion alpha is back online and with it comes our first look at Marksmanship! Beast Mastery is still locked out but should hopefully be available soon. Unfortunately a bug in the Marksmanship artifact scenario is preventing progression, but I expect that will be fixed relatively soon. I still managed to play around with the spec a bit, and I have some first impressions.

  • At its core, the MM rotation is pretty smooth. It’s a little strange coming from the T18 set bonuses where I am used to Aimed Shot being instant, and my Focus generator with a cast time. In Legion, it’s the opposite of that. Once I got over that, it was pretty easy to pick up on. There is a bit of a ramp up time with Marked Shot stacks, but there are still ways to do lots of up front damage (see Head Shot below).
  • Maintaining 3 stacks of Marked Shot on a long-lived target is relatively easy. Hunter’s Mark has a high chance to proc, which makes Marked Shot become available.
  • The complexity starts when you add in active talents, like Black Arrow and Head Shot.
    • Black Arrow now has 3 charges. You can choose to multidot or stack all 3 charges on a single target. I like it a lot!
    • Head Shot is interesting because it is the first Hunter ability to have a variable Focus cost. That’s right, you can spend anywhere from 20-100 Focus on it. I believe the intention here is that it will deal more damage based on how much Focus you have. For example, if you have 100-120 Focus, the shot will consume 100 Focus and do its max damage. If you have, say, 75 Focus, it will consume all 75 and do slightly less damage. This works all the way down to 20 Focus, where presumably it will do the least damage. In its current incarnation, it does the same damage at all Focus levels but I don’t believe that’s intentional.
  • The Dark Ranger talent frequently summons minions for you. It’s common to have several of them active. They don’t last very long (about 8-10 seconds I believe), but they do indeed taunt and tank. So far I have seen hellhounds, undead boars, undead eagles, and undead wind serpents. It picks a random undead beast every time.
  • Volley technically works but it’s not all there yet. The visuals need work and it’s doing hardly any damage. I quickly went back to good ol’ Barrage.
  • There are a lot of kiting tools that help you get by without a pet. You have Concussive Shot, Frozen Ammo (if you pick the Exotic Munitions talent), Bursting Shot (really cool), Disengage, Binding Shot, Aspect of the Cheetah, etc. I felt like I was more in control than I was with Survival, and taking far less damage in general. MM still won’t have the capability of BM when it comes to soloing large numbers of enemies at once (thanks to Beast Cleave), but it works and that’s not supposed to be its strength anyway.
  • On top of this, you can begin your encounters at a great distance. Even in 680 ilvl gear, my mastery brought my shot range up to 48 yards. This makes things very easy to kite.
  • I will go into more detail in the future once I can get my artifact.

More Hati news?

Just a quick update about Hati, the extra pet the Beast Mastery is getting via its artifact. There have been new versions of the lightning wolves datamined, and I think it’s pretty obvious that these are for the various versions of Titanstrike. This is not confirmed, but I think Hati will transform based on your chosen artifact color. There are 4 color variants for the artifact, and we have 4 new matching colors for the wolf. Convenient, huh?


I’m happy they went to the trouble of making different colors, but I guess I’m a bit surprised they chose to use an old WOTLK model for this. I personally don’t mind the saber worgs, but I know some Hunters are upset over this. I think they’re still hoping for some kind of glyph or option to use another pet in place of Hati.

You have to remember that Hati is part of Titanstrike. He is not your pet (in the same way as a tamed beast is your pet), he is the guardian of the Titanstrike. If Titanstrike goes, Hati goes. In that sense it makes sense why it would be a fixed model, but I definitely see the argument other Hunters are bringing up. It could look strange if literally every BM Hunter has one of these wolves.


Mechanical puppy!

A Mechanical dog has also been datamined, and I am fairly sure this will end up being a Hunter pet (Hunters are going to be able to tame mechanicals, in case you hadn’t heard).

You can see more colors of the mech dog here.

More alpha stuff soon!


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19 thoughts on “New Year, New Alpha: Marksmanship unlocked, alternate Hati colors, mechanical dog”

  1. I guess you’d have mentioned it otherwise but just to be sure: There’s no way for MM whatsoever to stick with a pet? “Reversed Lone Wolf” talent, purely cosmetic (“passive pet”) glyph, anything? I understand some people desperately want to get rid of their pet and a lot chose to for DPS reasons in Warlords and the devs made up their mind about the petless spec idea, etc. etc.

    It’s just that I don’t see me abandoning my companion after all these years or being forced to give up MM. The other changes sound fun and I welcome the challenge to survive without a personal tank (soloing Moonfang, the various Waleshark variants and other kiting fights in mind which I really consider fun). But what’s the point when there’s no furry friend by your side to share those victories…

    1. I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve been Marksman since 2004, but that’s also the same amount of time I’ve had my bear by my side. And the undead-themed talent, while great for undead hunters, don’t appeal to me at all as a dwarf.

  2. K-9? Is that you?

    And is survival tank yet? You twitter folks need to start spamming that request.

    I waited 30 min the other day for a timewalking…ask the pug tank to run another and he is like “nope, i solo sign up for the bonus satchel”.

    so another 30 min wait for timewalking….

    We really need another role.

    1. I can’t decide which mech dog I like the most. Red is Horde, orange is my favorite color, green is Goblin, blue is Alliance so fuck that, and the black one is just plain metal! Please help!

  3. I really, really, really want there to be a cosmetic pet option for MM. Nothing that does damage, but just to have my trusty Artemis by my side as I go through what looks like one of the most fun rotations ever (seriously *instant* 5 focus regen with Arcane Shot + high focus cost shots looks like a perfect balance of button mashing and deliberate shot choice). If it wasn’t for the fact that I can’t have a pet, MM would be the default and BM secondary. Conceptually BM looks cooler (I love the idea of being a one-elf army, though I would *much* prefer it if Dire Beast pulled a random beast from your stables rather than the wild), but I also love the amount of resource control that MM provides so I’m really torn.

    SV at this point is looking more like a novelty than anything else, despite the massive revamp most of the abilities feel disconnected from one another and Mongoose Bite looks really clunky (particularly considering the changes with the latest alpha). It really doesn’t sound like they’ve balanced traps and melee abilities very well either, give the cc traps back to the ranged specs (on cooldown obviously) and give SV some enhanced cc and damage dealing traps and melee abilities which make them more effective (like one ability coats an enemy in tar, and then explosive trap deals more damage). I doubt they will do anything like this at this point, but hope springs eternal.

  4. I was wondering how a dot spec does for MM. I was looking at picking up BA, Exotic Munition, Head Shot (though this tier is optional talent wise), Murder of Crows, and L & L. This seems to be about as close to the current SV dot spec as you can get. So I am wondering how that would compare to going a more traditional physical damage talent spec is significantly better or worse.

  5. I think the reason to go with the WotLK Saberworg model for Hati is due to lore reasons. I guess it’s just not possible yet to apply a spiritbeast effect to our regular pets.

    I’m looking forward to seeing MM in action.

  6. I like the new colors and all, and I’m one of the few (?) who likes the saberworgs a lot, but I’d still rather have Gara’s original coloring as a tamable pet. I realize they don’t really have much to do with each other, but.

  7. Have you taken a new look after the Survival chhanges? Do the changes to Mongoose Bite and how it stacks change the gameplay significantly?

  8. I haven’t played my hunter in a long time, but I’m definitely looking forward to checking all of this out with her when the time comes. And I have to say, regarding the mech dog, I see that as a gnome’s pet more than any other race, haha.

  9. I’m thinking of coming back for legion but I was wondering: Will hunters, especially MM have any self healing capabilities? I haven’t played in a while but I remember this being a pain compared to other classes.

  10. I really hope that mechanical dog is one of the new Hunter pets.
    I already have a lvl 100 Human Hunter ready for a Gnome Race Change & that blue version of it would fit perfectly. With her mog. Now to jut think of a good name…..Rusty…Clanker….oh maybe Scrappy or Scrapper!

  11. I am having some anxiety on which spec to choose. Of course, I want to play both BM and MM and to be able to switch depending on the circumstance.
    I guess that is part of the fun, and it will be fun, to quest up and feel the play-style of a spec. In truth, I won’t be “locked in” to a spec except for maybe a month and even then I can change my mind — the quests will still be done even if I change specs.
    The dps balance could/should be pretty even, right? Beast Mastery has been a much more clickity-click style of playing and MM has been longer cast times which you have to ‘believe’ that they are strong.

  12. Is the newer announced version of MM with a pet available for play in the alpha? If so could you please do an updated thoughts on the class spec, would be awesome thanks !

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