I had this great idea for a post. One that I still plan on doing because I am very interested in what people will say. But now we have some other topics to address. :)
Yes, the recently announced, not-quite-definitive Hunter changes and what we can make of them. If you haven’t seen them:
Consumable ammunition has been removed from the game. Arrows and bullets no longer stack, but are not consumed. Ranged attack speed bonus gained from quivers and ammo bags will be preserved in a different capacity. A new tier of hunter pet talents have been added. In particular, this allows Beastmaster hunters to improve their damage per second (DPS) with their 51 point talent. Hunting Party – this talent has been reduced to 3 ranks and also grants a passive bonus to the hunter. Piercing Shots – this talent has been changed. Your Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of damage dealt for 8 sec. Sniper Training – this talent has been changed. After standing still for 6 sec, you gain a 2/4/6% damage bonus to Steady, Aimed and Explosive Shot. We are also looking to add additional trap functionality to Survival.
One step at a time shall we. No more consumable ammunition.
OH HAPPY DAY! Get the best ammo you can and no longer have to worry about replacing it. No more throwing money at bosses (at least in the form of projectiles). We know we will still keep our haste bonus in some other form, which definitely sounds like we will be getting a 5th bag slot as we will no longer need to equip an ammo container. Once just a special group of people who had a Thori’dal, now available to the masses is the ability to have 6 usable bags.
The second item on the list can only be speculated. Obviously Blizzard realized with the 50/21 build that the last point in Beast Mastery wasn’t worth picking up over Readiness. This reflects on how they handled pets.
Sure, your pet got 4 more pet talent points, but in a PvE situation you could get all the good DPS ones without the talent. This next tier of talents is going to attempt to make exotic pets and those 4 extra pet talents significant.
Third up, the change to Hunting Party. Currently a medium geared Hunter can easily get away with 2 or 3 points in Hunting Party and maintain a near 100% up-time. If Blizzard is intending to keep it so the max talent is 100%, with it being 33/66/100, you will see Hunters still only putting 1 point or so.
The question is, what is the passive bonus for the Hunter going to be? And will it warrant putting 3 points into it? One can assume some type of mana regen, but whether not Hunters need it or not is another question. In 25-man content I *can’t* use all my mana.
Piercing Shots has become Deep Wounds for Hunters. We know the diminished effectiveness of Armor Penetration with Blizzard’s changes to make it percentage based. They are even changing Sunder Armor to be a percentage rather than flat amount. So rather than a Armor Pen talent, what we have now is Hunters getting a bleed effect from all their shots. We don’t know exactly how the ability will work yet. Will it be crit based, like Deep Wounds, or just a DoT applied every shot unless a more powerful bleed is active?
Of the 3 shots listed, we know Chimera Shot will be doing the most damage, and therefore creating the largest bleed. This could be a decent DPS boost for Marksmanship. When you are able to apply a DoT that has the potential to do 2000 damage or more due to a big Chimera Shot crit, it is inevitably going to affect your DPS.
The change to Sniper Training is a very solid change I think everyone can agree on. No longer do you have to be concerned with how far away you are. Once you get down into your shot rotation, Sniper Training takes effect.
Additional trap functionality to Survival. We can’t say too much about that one. It is vague and only lets our little imaginations run wild. Time will tell.
That’s what we know for now. Are you excited? Disappointed? Thrilled you won’t be dropping cash into an ammo vendor? Thoughts, comments, etc. Post ‘em!
Also, a HUGE grats goes out to Zenge and the rest of <Encore> for now being known as the Immortals.