Finally the patch has come. Whether part of you is cheering or booing, it’s happening regardless. But what is a poor Hunter to do? What will change about our play style? Let’s just jump in shall we?
Obviously we can talk about the elephant in the room. The change to Bestial Wrath and Readiness. This was intended to be a PvE adjustment, as a way of slowing down 50/21 DPS. Getting rid of back-to-back Bestial Wrath also has the far-reaching effects to hit Arena as well. Variations of the Readiness spec is also the most successful Hunter PvP spec for Arena at the moment. Perhaps it will still be. We might lose the extra 18 seconds of Bestial Wrath, but double trap, Intimidation, and Deterrence are still a pleasant dish to serve up.
But as it’s intent to nerf PvE damage, Blizzard felt the need to take a few more steps to tone down Hunters as well. Steady Shot took a huge hit to it’s scaling coefficient. Instead of receiving a bonus from 20% of our Attack Power it is now only receiving 10%. So instead of the calculation looking like Weapon Damage + Ammo + [RAP * 0.2 + 252] we are getting that .2 change to .1. What exactly does that do to our Steady Shot? A lot actually. Given 4400 Attack Power and Frostbite Bullets our Steady Shot like this:
584 + 46.5 + (4400 * 0.2 + 252) = 1762.5
With the scaling changed our Steady Shot now looks like this:
584 + 46.5 + (4400 * 0.1 + 252) = 1322.5
Ouch. In fact my Steady Shot won’t be hitting for 1762.5 again until I reach 8800 Attack Power. So that is a monster change we also have to live with until Blizzard thinks it was much too much.
Now we also have to remember that Beast Mastery isn’t the only Hunter talent tree. The Steady Shot change is going to hurt Marksmanship and Survival just as well. In fact Marksmanship received no notable buffs to compensate for the beating they took with Steady Shot. Survival can probably take comfort in knowing that Explosive Shot was buffed but had the AoE portion removed. The final change Blizzard decided on is doubling the Attack Power coefficient from .08 to .16. So with 4147 Attack Power (which is what I used in this post), expect Explosive Shot to come in just under 1100 damage a tick.
And all that Explosive Shot goodness came with a price. And that was Lock and Load having a 30 second cooldown. So the trap-dancing idea was run, you technically still could if you wanted to, to insure LnL, but the effectiveness of is diminished since you won’t be able to trigger it repeatedly from traps and Serpent Sting.
Jumping back to BM changes for a second, you’ll remember that cats and scorpids were all getting a nerf to “to prevent unreasonable scaling with attack power.” Blizzard’s words. In fact, Scorpid Poison doesn’t stack anymore. You’ll get a single application of the poison. And this also has Arena effects with the new dispel changes, that being that no offensive spell will receive spell resistance. Hammer of Justice, Poisons, etc. All gone on the first try. Sure, if there is more than one debuff they have a chance to get something else, but now they will always get something.
Kindred Spirits and Unleashed Fury had their pet damage bonus reduced by 5% each, and Serpent’s Swiftness also had the attack speed bonus for pet’s reduced to 10% instead of 20.
It’s going to be a rough day as specs are re-evaluated, numbers are re-crunched, and we figure out which spec is coming out on top for PvE DPS. I hope Lunchmoneyy didn’t plan on doing Arena tonight because I have a date with a target dummy.
Thoughts, opinions, the spec you think is going to come out on top, post it here.