Hi all. As you know by now (unless you are hiding under a rock from the nerf bat) Patch 3.0.8 is upon us. It is not all doom and gloom for hunters. Yes – if you stick to your previous play style of just spamming Steady Shot and not much else, then you are probably going to seeing stars as said nerf bat strikes you repeatedly on the forehead. But spend a bit of time researching your build, shot rotation, and play style, and I think you are going to find that your damage output will not be badly affected. That is certainly what I am going to be doing over the next week or so, and I will report my results here.
A very cursory test on a target dummy, unbuffed except for AoDH, emptying a mana bar, with Serpent Sting, Arcane Shot, Steady Shot, Bestial Wrath, Rapid fire and my cat auto casting his damage skills gave a DPS count a little over 2,200DPS. Doing something similar before the patch had produced a little over 2,4000DPS. Most of the difference was lost by my cat. Not a very scientific test, but the difference did not seem as bad as I feared, so I am going to look on the bright-side, and deal with what I have now, not navel gaze over the difference before and after.
Edit: Bah – a couple of further very cursory tests only produced DPS of 1835-1860 – more like the drop I expected to see.
To Do List:
1. Test Specs: I am also going to be shelling out some gold to test different specs. (Don’t you wish Blizzard allowed you to test specs for free on a target dummy, without having to pay 50G a time to test the difference a talent point makes?) If you haven’t listened to them already, check out BRK’s latest two podcasts (12 and 13 – itunes links), where he works with Lienna of Lienna’s Log to build a Survival Hunter raid spec and Nassira of Diary of a Marksman Hunter to Build a Marksman raid spec. Most of my wow career I have been a full BM hunter. I have, though, spent some time as a raiding Survival Hunter and as a BGing SV/MM hybrid, but have never been a deep MM hunter. I must say that I was very impressed with Nassira’s podcast. The MM build seems to tie in quite nicely to the changes to Arcane Shot and to some of the things I had been thinking about around the changes. So I will be testing at least one build from each tree – probably at least 2 BM (51 and 50 with readiness) and at least 2 Surv (trap dancing and sniper builds) and reporting the results.
2. Test Pets: The big changes to pets (and particularly to cats (which I do raid with) and scorpids and spirit beasts (which I don’t)) mean that I will also be running some pet tests.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks for the results of these tests and my research.
And other stuff:
The patch made some other nice changes, some of which I have already capitalized on. If you haven’t already done so, check out these:
- Racial restrictions have been lifted on faction mounts – I was able to buy 6 mechanostriders. Yes, as a Night Elf, I look very silly on them but that was not the point. This allowed me to achieve Leader of the Cavalry and get my Albino Drake.
- Turn in all those Relics you saved up for Sons of Hodir rep. I was able to go from Honored to Revered and get a Mammoth to add to my mount collection.
- Cooking Small Feast and Gigantic Feast now turn yellow later, meaning you can finally max out your cooking at 450. You can also learn 3 new cooking recipes Fish Feast and Worg Tartare both bought with Dalaran cooking awards, and Kungaloosh from a sleeping mage in the Dalaran sewer.
- You can now buy 1 Snowfall Ink for 10 Inks of the Sea from the ink trader in the inscription shop in Dalaran, making the production of Darkmoon Cards a bit easier.
- There are a couple of new alchemy recipes – so alchemists (and I guess people with other professions) go revist your trainer. Also, flask no longer need an alchemy lab to create them /cheer.
- Alchemy research cooldown has also been reduced from 7days to 3, so hopefully I can finally level my alchemy (if I don’t use all my herbs making Darkmoon cards, which I am obsessed with).
- Some enchantments have had their mats reduced – see here for list. Unfortunately Massacre remains unchanged.