Tag Archives: Hotfixes

Survival and Beast Mastery hotfix buffs compared

Last night, after a month of patch 6.2, Blizzard finally threw some table scraps at poor old Survival hunters. Of course we told them how broken it was time and time again on the PTR, but I guess these buffs are better late than never. Beast Mastery also received a smaller buff, which is more beneficial to it in older T17 gear than it is in newer T18 gear (boo).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Forums)

  • Beast Mastery
    • Bestial Wrath now lasts 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds).
  • Survival
    • Black Arrow, Explosive Shot, and Serpent Sting damage increased by 25%.

I’ve seen a lot of hunters ask if this means Survival and Beast Mastery are “viable” again.

Here’s the short answer: Beast Mastery has always been “viable,” it’s just not been ideal for Hellfire Citadel because of fight mechanics. The fights simply favor Marksmanship. Survival, on the other hand, was not viable. These buffs don’t really change that, but they do make it “less wrong” to play at a non-progression level.

Simulation Craft recently put out an update with the hotfixes so I ran some numbers. Please don’t use these numbers as the sole basis for choosing what to play in HFC. I’m simply using them to illustrate the change these hotfixes have.

Update: The T17 4-piece bonus pet still only lasts 10 seconds even though Bestial Wrath is lasting 15. This will reduce BM’s buff in old T17 gear slightly.

Continue reading Survival and Beast Mastery hotfix buffs compared

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All 3 hunter specs now close in DPS, play what you want

Updated: These simulations and some of this information is now outdated after we’ve received more hotfixes in the weeks since this was posted. The overall point of the article still stands, but you should know the following:

  • Survival has the highest single target DPS potential (especially with Focusing Shot, but also Lone Wolf in many cases). Its AoE is also very strong.
  • Marksmanship remains strong single target, but has weak AoE.
  • Beast Mastery has the weakest single target (just a smidge below MM), but it’s AoE is very good.
  • Specs are within 5-10% of each other for single target DPS (varies depending on your gear).
  • Updated simulations for patch 6.1

Original post follows.

A post I made a little over a week ago about spec inequality and bad attitudes towards players who choose not to play the “best” spec ended up generating a lot of discussion in the community. At the time, marksmanship was simply doing more single target damage. I argued it wasn’t such a gap that you should feel guilty for playing something else, but some people have a hard time just saying “no” to extra damage.

Well, we don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore. The specs are now relatively balanced after a couple of rounds of hotfixes. Here is the gist of what was changed:

  • Aimed Shot and Kill Shot damage was nerfed by 10%
  • Serpent Sting damage was buffed by 60%
  • Focus Fire now grants 25% bonus attack power when used at 5 stacks (up from 10%) via the Draenor perk

These changes were enough to get the specs so close together that I feel comfortable in saying you can play anything you want, even in a competitive/progression group. Let’s take a look at each spec’s strengths.

Continue reading All 3 hunter specs now close in DPS, play what you want

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