Updated 3.0.8 Changes

Well Blizzard has put out some updated changes for Hunters that I figured was worth discussing. Check out the full patch notes right here. And here are the newest additions.  So let’s just jump into it shall we? First off:

Ferocious Inspiration now also increase the damage of Arcane Shot by 3/6/9%

Blizzard really wants us to use Arcane Shot. Besides just making the mana cost match Steady Shot exactly, the way I am reading this change is that on top of the 3% damage buff from FI, you will also get another 9% on top of Arcane Shot. This is like a desperate attempt to say “Hey, PvE BM Hunters, please use something other than Serpent Sting and Steady Shot in your rotations. I won’t deny, 9% more damage seems like a fairly decent bonus, especially if you end up taking the Arcane Shot talent.

Lock and Load now has a 30 seconds cooldown.

Ouch. That is a major hit to Survival DPS. You might say “Well, it matches the trap cooldown now.” And sure, people were experimenting with the trap dancing concept to guarantee Lock and Load procs, but that was in conjunction with that you were getting from serpent Sting ticks. Now I think it’s pretty safe to guarantee that Serpent Sting will at least proc it once every half minute. That clever playstyle seems like it might have died before it had a chance.

Explosive shot damage has been slightly decreased and now deal {RAP*0.16+428}-{RAP*0.16+428} Fire damage at level 80. (Down from {RAP*0.18+476}-{RAP*0.18+476})

They also decided to take down Explosive Shot again. But how much exactly? Let’s take a quick look just for information purposes. Using my current stats, I have 4147 Attack Power unbuffed other than Aspect of the Dragonhawk.

So on the PTR, my current Explosive Shot damage would be: 1222.46 {RAP*0.18+476}
The new formula has it doing: 1091.52 {RAP*0.16+428}

So that would be about a 11% nerf of Steady Shot given my current stats. Obviously my Attack Power would be higher specced into Survival with things like Lightning Reflexes and what not. I know Blizzard stated they thought Survival was showing to be slightly higher than BM and MM but that hit to damage and the cooldown on Lock and Load I wonder if they didn’t over-do it. It’s hard to say. I am not yet sure what the tick damage was changed to as I haven’t seen that posted yet.

Improved Stings now reduces the chance your Sting damage over time effects will be dispelled by 10/20/30%. (Old – Affected all stings)

This type of change is universal across all classes it seems. A number of talents no longer provide dispel resistance to non-damaging effects. Things like Frost Nova, Fears, Hammers of Justice, etc. It seems the ability to defensively dispel was buffed. No clarification if offensive dispels as well. For example, I am unsure if a Paladin’s bubble will retain it’s resistance or not.

I think the cooldown on Viper Sting needs to be adjusted to match the current state of drain mechanics. Since all mana drain effects will have certain percentages they can drain, keeping them all standardized, reducing the cooldown of Viper Sting to something like 8-10 seconds would be a reasonable request. It can still be dispelled and there would still be a window where Viper Sting could not be applied, but just not as long, since it is no longer as powerful.

In addition to these changes, it appears some pet modifications might have snuck in as well. And at face value they look like they are buffs, which technically they are, Blizzard still has the intent of nerfing a couple of these to bring them more in-line with other animals.

  • Spirit Strike (Spirit Beast) damage has been decreased and now Burns the enemy for 49 to 65 Arcane damage and an additional 49 to 65 damage over 6 sec at max rank. (Down from 85 to 115)
  • Rake (Cat) damage has been increased, now deals 47-67 (Up from 24-34) bleed damage and an additional 19-25 (up from 10-24) damage over 9 seconds at max rank.
  • Scorpid Poison damage has been increased. (From 45 to 100 Nature damage over 10 sec for the last rank)

There is no indication that their coefficients are being re-modified, just the base value so I am still expecting an overall decrease in the cat and scorpid DPS as Blizzard was intending to do. The Spirit Beast change seems to be in correlation with the modification needed to make the ability work with Longevity. Without testing though it seems like this would make the pet worse (obviously) unless you took Longevity under the assumption it was going to have a 7 second cooldown instead of 10.

While there is no reason not to take Longevity as a full BM Hunter because the talent is amazing, the change is still being made under the pretense that your pet will use it every 7 seconds. I am sure this will end up being hardly a big deal. Just interesting it was changed that way.

There was also a small panic when these changes got posted, as someone reported that the Mirror of Truth was only proccing of melee attacks, but Ghostcrawler has clarified that this is indeed false. So no panic there.

Well that’s all for now. I figure some of this stuff was worth a late night post on the weekend. We’ll see what other changes are pushed in before the patch really goes live.

Thoughts, comments, etc. Post ‘em!

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.