The new patch came in, which I am sure you are all aware. So what did the changes do? What didn’t we expect? The first thing I decided to hop in and test was what I was hoping would be the spec of awesomeness. 50/21. But unfortunately it doesn’t work. Blizzard decided that Readiness shouldn’t reset the Bestial Wrath cooldown. So while you can still glyph it up in conjunction with Longevity and bring the cooldown to like 1 minute 20 seconds, don’t expect any back-to-back Bestial Wrath goodness. Maybe it was intended to reset and it was overlooked? Who knows . . . but as it stands it doesn’t. But the Beast Within is at least working now.
Among other things, apparently it was also decided that Serpent Sting shouldn’t restore mana while in Aspect of the Viper, removing the single best ability we had in terms of mana cost to mana return. So Viper took a hit in PvE, but a significant hit in PvP, reducing the usefulness of Viper in the situation it was already lacking.
Aimed Shot was changed to instant cast but what we were not told was that it was going to share the cooldown with Multi-Shot. The response we received from Ghostcrawler was this:
I might be cynical but this kind of statement really shows that while they might have someone that “plays” a Hunter, I really have to question the understanding they have on their own mechanics. I am not trying to be insulting but having Aimed Shot unlinked to Multi-Shot isn’t going to cause “crazy land” rotations.
Some of you might recall one of the developer’s initial comments about Steady Shot. They believed that Steady Shot would only be used to fill in the gap when Arcane Shot was on cooldown since Arcane Shot did more damage. Well, we see how that turned out, eh? Steady Shot is the bread-and-butter of our DPS. In most scenarios it is the largest portion of your damage.
Aimed Shot and Multi-Shot are barely out-pacing Steady Shot right now. The benefit arises from hitting multiple targets or applying a healing debuff. And with that comes an increased mana cost. And with the changes to Viper, the longer we can stay *out* of Viper, the better. Given that we are limited by the global cooldown it is pointless to worry about our shot rotations taking that trip to “crazy land” since no matter what, we aren’t going to fire anything faster than we already are with Steady Shot.
So with that, we are left with PvP and Arena situations. And all I can say is would it be so awful and game-breaking to give us another shot to include in our finishing burst? Or even opening burst, which is essentially non-existent since our opening usually involves us trying to shoot Viper Sting or us getting Cheap-Shotted.
The other issues I see arising is the ridiculous bloat in Marksmanship talent tree. Depending on how much hit rating we come across, I see no fewer than 16 all but required talent points in the MM tree. I see something like this. Lethal Shots, Mortal Shots, Careful Aim, and Focused Aim (now that it stole the +hit from Surefooted). So regardless of your build I see those 16 points as crucial in a spec.
Not everything was awful though. Freezing Arrow was . . . buffed. Currently it has no arming time. So it’s like Wyvern Sting. Just not as good. :)
Reports are showing that pets are now receiving their master’s hit rating, so once you cap your hit rating, your pet will be too. Which will make Animal Handler a fairly useless talent, unless of course +hit through the Focused Aim talent doesn’t count.
I ran a heroic CoT: Stratholme last night, and I barely edged out a Warlock in DPS as Beast Mastery. I did, however, have to use Viper or pop a potion during each boss fight in order to maintain my mana. Yup, using nothing but Serpent Sting and Steady Shot was running me out of mana during a 5-man boss fight. I am going to try a few more tests tonight now that we know what is broken and what isn’t.
In closing check this out. The original poster originally stated they were getting 6.4k Icy Touch critical strikes (which was later edited out) and Ghostcrawler said their DPS was still too low.
Well, that’s all for now. Thoughts, comments, opinions? Post ‘em!