riginally I was at a loss of what to post about today. The beta servers were so bad last night that my playtime consisted of my finishing 1.5 bubbles on my Death Knight and attempting to do some left-over Zul’Drak quests between the world server going down.
Lucky for me, Origen left a comment on yesterday’s post wondering about a discussion regarding the new Survival talents and I figured this would be a good opportunity to collect my thoughts about them. That being said, let’s go ahead and start at the top, shall we?
Improved Tracking: This is such a solid talent it’s ridiculous. I fully believe that this will be one of those talents that every build should try and include. After all, how many things are there that we cannot track? This is a min/maxing talent to squeeze every ounce out of your build possible. I admit, I have been very guilty of not changing my tracking to utilize this talent. What can I say? I like picking flowers. And I think this is going to be a challenge for a lot of people to remember to do. Actively changing tracking in order to maximize DPS will be a new habit we have to get in to.
T.N.T: This is an interesting talent and I am torn if this is going to fit into a raiding build. The increased critical strike chance for Explosive Shot is the key factor for me in this talent. Since each tick of Explosive Shot is independently capable of crit with the chance of proccing Hunting Party 3 times on its own. We all know the limited use of Explosive Trap so that portion isn’t all that appealing to me. And while the stun might be nice in certain situations, it really doesn’t have an impact for most PvE content.
Survival Instincts: This isn’t a new talent, but it has been moved a ways down the tree so it is definitely worth noting. 4% more AP, 4% less damage. Sounds good.
Survival Tactics: The new Improved Feign Death. And it’s PvE viability being called into question for good reason. With Blizzard combining all hit rating into a single stat, this bodes very well for our Feign Death and Traps. I have not personally looked at what the requirements are for max hit at level 80 for melee, ranged, and spells, but I would imagine that if this is going to function like I think it is, you are going to see a lot fewer resists on traps and feigns. Which ends up making half of this talent less then stellar. It’s also worth noting this talent got moved up a level in the talent tree so it easier to get.
In PvP however, the 4 second cooldown reduction on Disengage is awesome and will couple very well with the inscription that reduces Disengage by another 5 seconds. I am going to drop this talent from my current build when I get a chance and move the points somewhere else for my PvE purposes.
Trap Mastery: Let’s just hope this talent is still going to get the changes Koraa said it would. Ignore it for now.
Lock and Load: I am excited for this talent and am eager for the trapping portion to be fixed. With a 15% chance to make your next 3 Explosive Shots or Arcane Shots free and with no cooldown (in any combination of) when you sting a target or a 100% chance when you trap something. I see this is a talent that has potential to provide a awesome increase in DPS. Blizzard is making strides in coercing Hunters into wanting to use Serpent Sting again. Currently it does 1600 some-odd damage without any buffs for me, which isn’t shabby. So keeping up Serpent Sting or Scorpid Sting could be completely viable. Especially when used in conjunction with the not-yet-implemented Noxious Stings.
Hunter vs Wild: This is another talent that I am liking a lot. It’s simple and to the point and is kind of like the sibling talent to Careful Aim. Increasing your attack power by 30% of your stamina. Not only that is that affects your pet’s attack power as well. I consider this a a solid talent that scales with your gear and buffs. Power Word: Fortitude, Mark of the Wild, Blood Pact, etc. All will increase your AP since it is considered stamina.
Noxious Stings: This talent has been implemented into the game yet, but might turn out to be quite appealing when you consider the other sting talents being worked into the game. Think of this like Focus Fire but for targets affected by your sting, providing a nice 3% damage increase. In addition, it has PvP implications as well. When Wyvern Sting gets dispelled, the dispeller is put to sleep for half the duration of your Wyvern Sting. Not shabby by any means.
Point of No Escape: More like Point of No Point. I made a funny! Sorry but this talent is “meh” in many situations. I don’t feel like dropping 3 points when I am that far down the tree just to get a 6% increased chance to crit on a trapped target. You can make the argument that for leveling this would be good. Combine it with T.N.T and you get a 21% increased chance to crit with Explosive Shot. That doesn’t sound bad, but when it comes down down to it, you have to consider how often your PvE targets are trapped AND you are doing damage to them. We aren’t exactly eager to run up to a boss just throw down an Frost Trap (This talent doesn’t affect Explosive or Immolation Trap). Perhaps this will be re-evaluated since Bear Trap is now gone.
Sniper Training: Above we have a talent that provides a 6% increased crit chance when something is trapped, and here we have a talent that increases our damage done by 6% by being far away from our target. And which one is better? This one of course. Stand and make range and pewpew. We can handle that.
Hunting Party: The new bread and butter of Survival. I am not downplaying Expose Weakness . . . but this talent rocks hardcore. Every Arcane, Explosive, and Steady Shot critical strike returns 2% mana, 10 Energy, 10 Runic Power, or 4 Rage to your party. Yes please. Even with Expose Weakness not stacking this alone might warrant more than 1 Survival Hunter.
Explosive Shot: More like Explosive Ball of Win. This shot is currently hitting for 1075 Fire damage on my Hunter, every second, for 2 seconds. But don’t mistake the wording, it deals damage 3 times. On initial impact and then the follow two seconds. The modified version now does a quarter of that damage to the surrounding mobs as well. With that kind of damage, getting three of them for free with no cooldown from Lock and Load is awesome. This shot scales with attack power and only gets better.
Well, those are my thoughts on the new Survival talents at this stage of the beta. I am looking at a build like this to try and mild stings for all they are worth. We’ll see if it pans out at all.
Tonight’s goal is 80. 6 bubbles to go, server-willing. Thoughts, comments. Post!