3.1 Hunter Changes

EDIT:  This is an OLD POST commenting on the intial PTR notes for 3.1.  Please go to my Survival Hunter – Round 3 – Patch 3.1 and subsequent posts for 3.1 information.

MMO Champion have posted the 3.1 patch notes and undocumented changes.  These will continue to be updated and things will change, but here are the initial posting that relate to hunters and my thoughts.

Overall thoughts:

Obvously, the information will be subject to a lot of tweaking and changes over the ptr period, and it might also be that not all the changes have been identified yet (for instance a lot less has been said about changes to BM than the other two specs).  But for now it seems as if both MM and Surv are receiving more buffs than they are nerfs.  However, from my initial looks, it seems that Survival might be getting the bigger boost.

It is nice that any hunter tree is a getting a boost, however the initial notes are a bit strange for a number of reasons.  Currently at end game Survival is the highest DPS build and BM possibly still the lowest (though with the recent slight boost it may be similar to MM now.)  Blizzard also said at one point that they were comfortable with the dps of MM hunters, making one think that the other trees might be adjusted to match it.  However, they seem to be buffing MM, buffing Survival even more, and leaving BM largely alone.  Where they are buffing BM is by the extra layer of pet talents, not currently mentioned in the PTR notes published on MMO Champion.  LessQQ,MorePewPew has an article on what these are here.  If Shark Attack increases your pet damage by 4%, it might contribute a max of 2% increase to your overall damage.  Personally, I am not convinced that that will bring the BM hunter up in line with Survival.  

Dual-Spec

  • Players at maximum level will now be able to visit their trainer to pay a one-time fee and access the dual talent spec feature.
  • A new Gear Manager feature has been added. Players will now be able to save gear sets for easy gear switching.

Apparently, there are to be no reagents (i.e. lexicons of power) needed to respec.  So you will no need to keep anything with you or return to a city to respec, once you have parted with your one time fee (1,000G).

Also, elsewhere a blue is supposed to have said that dual-spec will be available at level 40 not 80, but I guess we need to wait and see for sure.

3.1 official ptr patch notes

  • Frost Trap: If the target who triggers Frost Trap is immune to its effect, the Frost Trap area effect will no longer be triggered.

Hmm, it’s a shame this doesn’t say freeze trap instead.

 
Talents


Beast Mastery

  • Improved Aspect of the Hawk now has a new spell effect.

Obviously need more info.

  • Improved Wing Clip: This talent has been removed.

Err, looks like the person writing the patch notes doesn’t know his hunters as well as he should.  This ones a survival talent, mate.

 

Marksmanship

  • Piercing Shots re-designed: Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec.

A nice buff for MM hunters.

  • Ranged Weapon Specialization: Points reduced from 5 to 3, 1/3/5%.

Same damage increase for 2 less points.  I feel starved of points as an MM hunter so this is a nice bonus.

  • Wild Quiver: Chance increased to 4/8/12%, up from 4/7/10%. Damage increased from 50% of an auto shot, to 80%.

I tried WQ in its current form and was underwhelmed by its performance.  It gave about 1% of my overall damage, which I didn’t think was a good use of the 2/3 points I put into it.  This looks a bit more promising, and I know a lot of people still like the talent for the ‘free damage’ as is.

 

Survival

  • Hunting Party: This talent has been reduced to 3-points, and now increases your total Agility by an additional 1/2/3%.

Blizz are persuading you to replenish your raid.

  • Lock and Load re-designed: You now have a 33/66/100% chance when you trap a target with Freezing Trap, Freezing Arrow or Frost Trap and a 2/4/6% chance when you deal periodic damage with your Immolation Trap or Black Arrow to cause your next 2 Arcane Shot or Explosive Shot spells to trigger no cooldown, cost no mana and consume no ammo. This now has a new spell effect and sound.

No longer works on Serpent Sting or Explosive Trap.  Does work on the new shot Black Arrow.  Periodic damage chance to proc it is down from 3/7/10% to 2/4/6%.  No mention of the current 30 sec cooldown.  If it wasn’t for the lack of a cooldown, I would say this was a nerf.  However, if there really is no cooldown it looks like a buff to somewhere closer to what it was previously.

  • New Talent: Trap Launcher: When activated, your next Trap will be launched instantly at the enemy target. 1 minute cooldown.

Sounds like you can fling your explosive, immolation and other traps from range (similar to freezing arrow).  Unclear whether these have to be aimed and have a flight time like the current freezing arrow, sounds as if this is not the case, but will need to wait and see.

  • T.N.T. re-designed: Increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot, Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2/4/6%, and gives your Explosive Shot a 33/66/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Immolation Trap effect on the target.

WOW, this looks like a big buff to the damage of Explosive Shot!  Hmm, while I want to see all my fellow hunters buffed a little so we can regain our place on top of the dps charts above hybrid classes, I wonder if Surv are going to remain so far ahead as to become the must have spec, as BM was in the Burning Crusade.  I would like to see all three specs more or less balanced and viable.

  • Trap Mastery: This talent has been moved up to tier-2, up from tier-9.

Yeay! And Yeay! again I say.  I have complained for a while that hunter trapping is badly designed.  I am called on to chain trap a lot in instance, but in WOTLK chain trapping with freeze trap significantly slows a run down, as we have to wait 10-15sec at the beginning of a pull to ‘front-load’ the cooldown of my trap, allowing another to be placed before the first has broken.  Taking this point should allow viable chain trapping, without slowing the group down.  Presumably it is taking up the position vacated by Improved Wing Clip.

  • Wyvern Sting duration increased from 12 sec to 30 sec. PvP duration reduced from 10 sec to 6 sec.

Nice bit of extra cc for a surv hunter, not sure why the pvp reduction was needed though.

 

Pets

  • Roar of Sacrifice can be used on the hunter only.

Continuing the nerf to hunter group utility, although this is a small one, as tenacity pets are rarely brought to groups, and if they are they are likely to be as tank or off tank in 5 mans and so not often used to sacrifice health to save a squishy.

  • Stampede (rhino) only affects 1 target, but adds a 25% bleed damage debuff (that does not stack with Mangle etc.) in addition to its knockback.
Looks like Blizz wants to give rhinos a hug and give them an extra family skill.  Everyone raved about rhinos when their first came out, but honestly, how many rhinos do you see now?  They are purely a novelty.  I am not sure that this will make them any more popular.

Undocumented 3.1 changes

Beast Mastery
Skills
  • *New Skill* Call Stabled Pet – A pet of your choice busts out of its stable and joins you no matter where you are, replacing your current pet. Cannot be used in combat. Instant. 30 min cooldown. Requires Level 80.

This will allow you to change your pet when you swap between your dual-specs.  It looks like it does not allow you to put a pet into an empty stable slot if you find a new pet you would like to tame, whilst out with your favorite kitty.  If this is the case, a solution would be to keep a ‘throw away’ pet in the stable, who could be busted out only to be abandoned as soon as you spot the spirit beast.

Marksmanship
Skills
  • Kill Shot no longer has a minimum range. It can now be used in melee range.

Nice utility for pvp especially.

Talents  

  • Wild Quiver (Tier 9) now increases your chance to shoot an additional shot when doing damage with your auto shot, dealing 80% Nature damage, by 4/8/12%. (Previously it dealt 50% nature damage and had a 4/7/10% chance.)

Already covered above.

  • Piercing Shots (Tier 7) Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec. (Previously triggered 2/4/6% armor ignore).

Already covered above.

  • Ranged Weapon Specialization (Tier 6) is now a 3 point talent, increasing damage with ranged weapons by 1/3/5%. (Previously a 5 point talent increasing damage by 1/2/3/4/5%)

Already covered above.

Survival
Skills
  • Disengage cooldown increased to 30 secs. (Previously was 25 secs)

Huh?  I wonder why this was thought necessary.  I thought they were trying to improve our survivability in pvp?

Talents  

  • Hunting Party (Tier 10) is now a 3 point talent, increasing agility by 1/2/3% and your Arcane Shot, Explosive Shot and Steady Shot critical strikes have a 33/66/100% chance to grant up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of the maximum mana per second. Lasts for 15 sec.

Already covered above.

  • Trap Mastery moved from Tier 9 to Tier 2 and is now a 3 point talent. Increases the duration of Frost and Freezing trap by 10/20/30%, Periodic damage of Immolation and Explosive trap by 10/20/30%, and number of snakes summoned by Snake Trap by 30%. (Previously was just 1 point)

It’s a shame it’s a whole 3 points, but as a hunter who as always liked trapping I think I will probably be taking it.

  • *New Talent* Black Arrow (Tier 9) – Fires a Black Arrow at the target, increasing all damage done by you to the target by 6% and dealing [ 10% of RAP + 785 ] Shadow damage over 15 sec. Costs 6% base mana. 5-35 yard range. Instant Cast. 30 sec cooldown.

A big boost for survival hunters.  Hmm.  Well, it’s nice survival is getting a boost.  But err, it’s this and the other changes going to put them even further ahead of the other two specs, and make survival the must be raiding spec?  And I thought that is what Blizz didn’t what and why they hit us repeatedly with the nerf bat until we specced away from BM?

  • Sniper Training (Tier 9) has been changed to increase the critical strike chance of your Kill Shot ability by 5/10/15%, and while standing still for 6 sec., you gain Sniper Training increasing the damage done by your Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, Black Arrow and Explosive Shot by 2/4/6% Lasts 15 sec. (Previously increased damage and critical strike chance based on your range to the target)

In some situations this will be a boost, in others it will be a nerf.  I will leave it to experienced survival hunters and theorycrafters to determine the overall change.

  • Wyvern Sting (Tier 7) now lasts 30 sec on the target. (Previously lasted 12 sec)

Already covered above.

  • T.N.T. (Tier 4) now increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot,  Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2%. (Previously increased critical strike chance of explosive shot and and gave it a chance to stun the target)

Already covered above.

  • Lock and Load (Tier 4) now has a 33/66/100% chance to proc off Freezing Shot, Freezing Trap, and Frost Trap, and a 3/7/10% chance to proc off the periodic damage of Immolation Trap and Black Arrow. (Previously worked on all traps and included serpent sting)

Already covered above.

  • Improved Wing Clip has been removed from the game.

Already covered above.

New and changed hunter glyphs

  • Glyph – Aimed Shot  — Reduces the cooldown of your Aimed Shot ability by 2 sec. (Old: Reduces the mana cost of your aimed shot ability by 20%)
  • Probably still not going to be a glyph most people use because of the high mana cost of Aimed Shot, but may be useful for pvp builds.
  • Glyph of the Monkey  — While Aspect of the Monkey or Aspect of the Dragonhawk are active, each time you dodge you gain 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec.  Can only occur every 20 sec.  This speed does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects. (Old: Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey  — While Aspect of the Monkey or Aspect of the Dragonhawk are active, each time you dodge you gain 30% increased movement speed for 6 sec.  This speed does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.)
  • A slight nerf to this glyph meaning that it can no longer be up most of the time.  Still not a popular glyph.
  • Glyph of Wyvern Sting  — Decreases the cooldown of your Wyvern Sting by 6 sec. (Old: Decreases the cooldown of your Wyvern Sting by 15 sec., but decreases the damage it deals by 20%.)
  • Not sure about this one.  Seems preferable to the old one to me, but I’m not a survival hunter, so I will leave it to survivalists to comment.
  • Glyph of Snake Trap  — Snakes generated by your Snake Trap take 90% reduced damge from area of effect spells. (Old: Your Snake Trap creates 2 additional snakes)
  • Makes your snakes a bit more resistant.  Looks like a slight buff to an unpopular glyph.
  • Glyph of the Hawk  — Increases the haste bonus of the Improved Aspect of the Hawk effect by an additional 6%. (Old: Renamed from Glyph of Improved Aspect of the Hawk)
  • This is a popular glyph for MM and Surv hunters who take it for the haste buff.  More haste is a nice addition, although it now competes with some shiny new buffs, so may prove a much less popular glyph in future.
  • Glyph of Chimera Shot *new*  — Reduces the cooldown of Chimera Shot by 1 sec.
  • Going to be a must have for MM hunters.  This is our biggest damage shot, and this means we can fire it more often.
  • Glyph of Explosive Shot *new*  — Increases the critical strike chance of Explosive Shot by 4%.
  • I would think a must have for surv hunters.
  • Glyph of Kill Shot *new*  — Reduces the cooldown of Kill Shot by 6 sec.
  • Looks like another possible most have glyph.
  • Glyph of Explosive Trap *new*  — The periodic damage from your Explosive Trap can now be critical strikes.
  • LnL no long seems to proc off explosive trap, so not sure how much use this glyph will get.
  • Glyph of Scatter Shot *new*  — Increases the range of Scatter Shot by 3 yards.
  • Unlikely to be a popular glyph.
  • Glyph of Raptor Strike *new*  — For 5 sec. after using Raptor Strike, you take 20% less damage.
  • Interesting one for pvpers.
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    10 responses to “3.1 Hunter Changes

    1. Just to add some SV perspective on the Wyvern sting and monkey glyphs, these are some of the most used glyphs in pvp. Nobody cares about the wyvern dot, so the longer CD and shorter duration is a solid nerf. The monkey glyph isn’t game breaking but will be a disappointment when trying to kite melee.

    2. Bit of a mixed bag this time ’round, I’d like to see Survival have a bit more action in it, but unfortunately i’ve gotta say the new Glyphs aren’t bad in themselves, but the 3 glyph limit will limit us badly.

      Oh well, i’ll leave it up to theorycrafters I s’pose.

    3. i think sv is gettting a definite boost but they fact black arrow will share a cooldown with traps will be interesting, it may become a little tricky, i looked over them for a little while trying to figure how big of a boost they got but there were so many variables, i still have that headache

    4. •New Talent: Trap Launcher: When activated, your next Trap will be launched instantly at the enemy target. 1 minute cooldown.

      Useless.

      • Explosive Shot: Base damage lowered by 10%. Attack power scaling reduced by 12.5%.

      Nerf.

      • Lock and Load re-designed: You now have a 33/66/100% chance when you trap a target with Freezing Trap, Freezing Arrow or Frost Trap and a 2/4/6% chance when you deal periodic damage with your Immolation Trap or Black Arrow to cause your next 2 Arcane Shot or Explosive Shot spells to trigger no cooldown, cost no mana and consume no ammo. This now has a new spell effect and sound.

      Nerf.

      • New Talent: Black Arrow: Fires a Black Arrow at the target, increasing all damage done by you to the target by 6% and doing periodic shadow damage for 15 sec. 30 sec. cooldown.

      The only thing keeping survival going. If not for that single move right there survivals dps would suck bad. If you are survival That is the only trap you will ever use again. Thus the reason Trap Launcher is absolutely useless.

      T.N.T. re-designed: Increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot, Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2/4/6%, and gives your Explosive Shot a 33/66/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Immolation Trap effect on the target.

      This never happened. I was looking forward to it. Sadly though it didnt.

      Overall we somewhat got a nerf. At the same time we somewhat got a tad buff. If you spec right as survival and use the right rotation you shouldnt notice to much of a difference.

    5. Oh ya. LnL never had a 30sec CD. You can have LnL 2x in a row. Just Trap a target with that procs LnL, and Let Serpent Sting proc it. You can shoot ES like 5-6x in a row. But now that just wont happen. You will be lucky to get one proc per 3-4traps.

      Especially now that that Frost trap doesnt proc to targets immune to its effects. Freeze trap is the same way. What this means is If you used either frost trap or freeze trap Your LnL wouldnt Proc. So They Nerfed LnL big time.

    6. Realy now what buff did surv’s get ? NOTHING. It was a total nerf. If u think that black arrow is a ‘buff’ … and now i have to use immolation trap like a main attack but it shares cooldown with a sting oh wait it’s a shot wtf get serious … or rather said a ranged trap it’s stupid even to think about it, not only that but now the explosion shot glyph is a must have, that means i’ll have to remove disengage glyph +10 sec on disengage but all dk’s can use deathgrip like it’s a ****fest. Even if they think with 3% agility they can make us use the damned hunting party talent it’s not true 3% = 10-20 agility i can live without that and get 3 talent points since we have enough mana.

    7. Tyler(aka Mclovinurmom on frostwolf)

      Wow. Blizzard has gone all out for this one. It will be beautiful with all these new attacks and new talents. This seems like an amazing patch. Cant wait until it really happens. :) :) :)

    8. Tsume (Burning Legion)

      Sorry… but if you need to be chain trapping anywhere in the current WOTLK content, you and/or your guild is horrible.

    9. Elwinia (Executus)

      If Explosive Shot refreshes Immolation Trap 100% of the time, then there’s no issue with Black Arrow sharing a CD with traps. It also makes Trap Launcher our rotation’s intro. It just means SV Hunters are specced for boss fights, and not mobs or pvp. All these changes mean are that Hunters can’t just spam one macro based in CDs. It means Hunters have to weave again, and that the less skilled Hunters will be forced into MM where the raid gets a buff. Frankly, I’m tired of spam Hunters doing the same DPS as old school weavers. Thank you Blizzard.

    10. Tyler(aka Mclovinurmom on frostwolf)

      I really think blizzard is trying to make it harder with black arrow. I was on last night and it was very hard to put into the shot rotation while keeping my dps high. It will be very hard to make it work but I think I know how. Will tell next time