I will keep this to posting some news on the latest changes, as well as publishing a post in the near future discussing builds. For today, there were a couple of recent blue posts, I thought worth noting:
Hunter DPS & Mana regeneration
Frankly, Hunter’s DPS right now is balanced with Aspect of the Viper in mind. If we, say, reduced the amount of time you were in it drastically or the damage penalty we’d have to do something equivalent of reducing Hunter’s total DPS by at least 10-30%. While you guys might not notice it with the pre-mades, the Hunter class is currently king of DPS.
What I do buy is that when you’re soloing, between pulls or not able to attack, you aren’t gaining the regeneration. What we just did is make the regeneration passive and not require you to attack, but basically just regenerate mana. (It would still have the damage penalty though) koraa 09/23/08 (src)
One day later, Koraa posted…
Upcoming Hunter Changes (src)
I have some good news, and some bad news. First, the bad news. Unfortunately we won’t be able to do the Aspect of the Viper change I discussed yesterday (passive instead of requiring you to attack the target) at this time because of technical limitations and its potential to shake up our current balance goals. However, we will evaluate it as an option for a future patch.
Now, the good news.
– Aimed Shot – This shot will now be instant cast, its damage/effect/cooldown will remain unchanged.
– Scatter shot – This will now be an 11-point Survival talent.
– Readiness – This will now be the 21-point Marksmanship talent.
– Trap Mastery – This will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we’ll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships).
These changes will be live in an upcoming beta build.
One of the issues testers have been facing is mana efficiency and rejuvenation, particularly, I understand for MM specs. Hunters were hoping for better news on Aspect of the Viper, and this will disappoint many, and may affect the popularity of different specs.
I am not sure why Trap Mastery being moved up the tree is good news either, currently it allowed someone who was a deep BM or MM hunter to also have improved chain trapping abilities.
But the news about scatter shot is great! Even the beastmaster himself, BRK, has suggested a 50/21/0 build, which would not allow him to tame his precious exotic pets, in order to get scatter shot. It will help a lot in pvp, but also in trapping and kiting in instances.
The aimed shot change is an interesting one too, although aim shot itself is also changed and takes 11% of your base mana (this is mana before armor and other buffs are applied), so you are not likely to spam it, but even so this seems like a nice damage boost and a nice boost to pulling. I admit to almost never using aimed shot in its current form due to the long cooldown. Edit – as Drotara points out in his excellent review on these changes, this also gives us another shot to use on the move.
The post above was edited by Koraa adding…
Surefooted is swapping places with T.N.T. (so Surefooted is now in tier 2)
Another pleasing change imo, although I am trying to figure out a build which would allow me a dps beastmaster build, with the requisite mortal shots from MM, and surefooted and possibly shatter shot from Surv.
The latest set of changes for build 8982 are as follows (source):
Hunter (8982: Skills | Talents)
Separation Anxiety – Removed.
-NEW- Kindred Spirits – Increases your pet’s damage by 4/8/12/16/20% and you and your pet’s movement speed by 2/4/6/8/10% while your pet is active.
Kill Shot – Required level changed to 75 for rank 1, and 80 for rank 2.
Scorpid Sting – Chance to hit with melee and ranged attacks changed from 3% down from 5%.
Rapid Recuperation – Now 2 points. Mana and focus cost reduction now 30/60% (OLD – 20/40/60%)
Explosive Shot – Damage reduced.
Freezing Arrow – Trap has a chance to break on damage instead of 100% chance to break on damage.
Lock and Load – Now gives you a 100% chance when you trap a target and a 100% chance when you deal periodic damage with your Serpent Sting to cause your next 2 Arcane Shot or Explosive Shot to trigget no cooldown, cost no mana, and consume no ammo.
T.N.T. – No longer increases the critical strike chance of Explosive Trap.
Improved Tracking – Changed from all damage to non-periodic damage.
Kindred spirits is a stronger talent that separation anxiety, as it is a static buff, not requiring your pet to be a certain distance from you.
Kill shot has been moved from level 71 to level 75 for its first rank. This is disappointing, but kill shot had lost its appeal a little anyway as they had nerfed its damage down to close to arcane shot. Perhaps this will allow them to buff it up a little again.
Scorpid Sting was also nerfed. This is a pity, I used to use it frequently on heavy damage boss fights where the healers were struggling. But then, Serpent Sting seems to have had quite a lot of love, and there will be more reason to use this again in future.
Survival hunters seem to have received a big dps nerf, especially to explosive shot. However, some of the testing was showing survival as the highest dps of the three builds over a sustained fight, so perhaps this is a balancing attempt.
The change to freezing arrow is consistent to with the change to freezing traps already in force.
So changes are still coming thick and fast, as they try to balance within classes and between classes.
The latest talent build can be found here. Some of the changes announced above have not been implemented yet.
This post by Drotara is worth looking at. It is a slightly older build, but a good attempt to compare the dps of the different talent specs.
Keep watching for a post discussing the builds, but next up will be a post looking at achievements, and more of what you can do to prepare for them.