The highly anticipated patch 4.0.6 dropped this week bringing significant changes that alter the dominant spec in PvE and PvP. Once again, Marksmanship is top dog. Oh how the winds of change come quickly.
Let’s first talk about the shiny new tricks and mechanics we should familiarize ourselves with in order to make the most out of it.
There were quite a few changes, some that are working properly and some that are just broken. Rather than just copying and pasting all the changes here, I will just direct you to the patch notes (the patch notes are here) and highlight the ones I feel the need to talk about the most. Since I am picking and choosing, this is by no means conclusive.
Aimed Shot weapon damage has been increased to 200%, up from 150%. In addition, the base cast time has been reduced to 2.4 seconds, down from 3.
This change only was half implemented it seems. Aimed Shot is definitely hitting much harder now, however it’s case cast time still seems to be 3 seconds. Even ignoring out that nasty failed implementation, Aimed Shot is currently your focus dump at all times despite what other Hunter bloggers might say. In a PvE situation, it is better to save 50 Focus for an Aimed Shot than fire off 2 Arcane Shots.
Let’s do a little math to show what we mean.
The current calculations for Arcane Shot are as follows:
100% weapon damage plus (RAP * 0.0483)+289 as Arcane damage
So if we use my current stats (albeit in PvP gear) my weapon damage 2244 and my Ranged Attack Power listed on the Armory is 9709.
2244 + (9709 * 0.0483) + 289 = 3001.9447
We could also assume you would have the Arcane Shot glyph which adds 12% more damage, which would be:
3001.9447 + 12% = 3362.178
With talents, Arcane Shot only costs us 22 Focus, which gives us:
3362.178/22 = 152.82 damage per Focus spent
This gives us 6724.356 damage for 44 Focus in two Global Cooldowns. This is also unmitigated by Armor since it is Arcane damage. What we need to determine now is if Aimed Shot will do more damage after damage reduction for the 44 Focus is costs to hard cast it.
The current calculations for Aimed Shot are as follows:
200% ranged weapon damage plus (RAP * 0.724)+776
Given once again my Armory numbers we would get a numbers that looks like this:
(2244 * 2) + (9709 * 0.724) + 776 = 12293.316
This already show us a huge gain in damage done. We are looking at:
12293.316/44 = 279.393 damage per Focus spent
The final thing to test is damage reduction for a raid level boss mob and see if it still out-values 2 Arcane Shots. The formula for damage reduction has changed, so let’s make sure we understand how that works first. Currently physical damage reduction is calculated using this formula:
Armor / ( Armor + 2167.5 * AttackerLevel – 158167.5)
So we can use the armor I have currently to make sure it is right.
14610 / (14610 + 2167.5 * 85 – 158167.5) = .35914
Judging by the tooltip on the Armory listing a 35.91% damage reduction, I think we are pretty spot on. The next question is what is the current armor value of our modern day raid bosses. According to FemaleDwarf.com, raid bosses currently have 11977 Armor. So plugging that into our formula we get the following:
11977 / (11977 + 2167.5 * 85 – 158167.5) = .31479
This is actually lower than the damage reduction I have as a Hunter. So barring out the numbers being incorrect, we can assume that raid bosses are rocking a 31.4% damage reduction to physical attacks. So let’s reduce our Aimed Shot damage now.
12293.316 – 31.4% = 8433.214
Aimed Shot is still hitting harder than two Arcane Shots even after factoring in a raid boss’ damage reduction. We can factor in a number of other things, such as what kind of damage it would do with Piercing Shots (until it’s overwritten by a Chimera Shot bleed), better attack power scaling, etc. All in all, after you are rocking an Improved Steady Shot buff, look to Aimed Shot to be your new focus dump. In the Lost City last night I pulled over 20k on the first boss without pressing Arcane Shot at all.
Phew! All that just for the first line of the patch! We better keep the next few a tad more concise.
Hunters can now use Auto Shot while moving.
I don’t think I have to share with anyone the great addition of Auto Shot on the run. It felt like a long time coming, but it’s finally here.
Concussive Shot duration has been increased to 6 seconds, up from 4.
This seems like a minor change, but the modified Glyph of Concussive Shot makes it function like a ranged Judgment of Justice, capping run speed, rather than dazing. Against Rogues, Enhancement Shaman, Warriors, and the nigh-unstoppable Unholy DKs, it can save your life as they try to hump your legs like puppies in heat. Some report this as working fine, some report it as broken. It’s been hard to get a consensus at this time.
Master’s Call now has a 35-second cooldown, down from 1 minute, and its range has been increased to 40 yards, up from 25. In addition, the visual effect is more obvious.
Our own personal Blessing of Freedom is a great addition. Glyphed, it make’s the duration last for 8 seconds, giving us a 23% up-time if we need it constantly. Put that into a PHD 3v3 comp and the joke is that you can call the team Braveheart because we have FREEDOOOOOMMM! It’s a terrible pun I know, but I laugh none the less.
The patch is fairly riddled with bugs. As of last night (although it might be fixed now) a number of classes were receiving no benefits from haste after a hotfix to fix haste broke it. One of the other most notable issues it the Aimed Shot change. We love the damage it is doing, but it was “advertised” to have a base cast time of 2.4 seconds. Obviously this isn’t true.
Survival damage was nerfed down to below Marksmanship and the buffs failed to bring Beast Mastery up to par. Ultimately Blizzard is going to have revisit BM pet scaling or high level BM talents if they want to make the spec viable again. While Intimidation has been a fairly staple Beast Mastery ability, in comparison to Aimed Shot or Explosive Shot, it’s very lackluster in any type of PvE scenario.
In my opinion, one of the talents like “Beast Mastery” should be the bonus for speccing primarily into BM and replace with a talent that significantly buffs pets or another BM specific attack that use some type of master/pet synergy. You could brainstorm all kinds of awesome things other than the taming ability.
We were suppose to be able to use Deterrence while disarmed however it seems this isn’t the case so plan defensive cooldowns accordingly till it’s fixed or we get confirmation that they randomly changed their mind on this buff.
A lot of people could put things into this category. Mages and Shaman would love to put the “No Bloodlust in Arena” into this section. But the one that irked me for reasons I really can’t describe is the changing of the Exalted title. Blizzard, without any notification on the PTR, decided that anyone that had earned the Exalted title by reaching 40 Exalted reputations would have it removed and you would have to reach 50 reputations in order to re-earn it.
“We think “the Exalted” is a really awesome title. With Cataclysm we added a bunch of new reps though, and we want the title to keep pace so that it’s always representative of someone that’s obtained a considerable number of exalted reputations throughout the life of the game, even as we add more.”
That’s the reason given by Bashiok on the forums the other day. It’s awesome so we feel the need to take it away until you grind more reputations. Mind you, only 8 new reputations were added with Cataclysm. Essentially they are treating “the Exalted” the same way they are treating “Gladiator.” If they add new reputations in an expansion or a patch if they so wish, they can just move the bar a little bit further away.
Anyone not completely jaded by the genre will tell you that an MMO is an endless carrot-on-a-stick race. But that’s fine if you enjoy chasing the carrot. Lots of titles were grandfathered in. Loremaster, Seeker, and Explorer are noted. And some titles are still available despite the trivialization of content. I am looking at you Starcaller, of the Nightfall, Twilight Vanquisher, Kingslayer, and even Light of Dawn or Bane of the Fallen King.
I didn’t even have the Exalted title, but it feels like a bad precedent to be setting. Players have achievements and many people spend their playtime working towards them. Raid achievements for mounts, titles, or just having a big number under “Achievements.” If players know that Blizzard has no problem removing anything at any given time without any warning, this doesn’t encourage people to play more to earn it, it makes them stop.
I was just about to finish my 35 reputation and thought “Hey, I bet I could find 5 more reps to grind out to get that title.” Now I won’t bother doing any of them other than finish Therazane for my shoulder enchants.
It shows that Blizzard may decide that the Red Dragonhawk takes 125 mounts instead of 100. 100 minipets for the fawn instead of 75. This was a change Blizzard made that someone in their office had to know that no one would like. It doesn’t appeal to ANY segment of the player base. Nerf Rogues in PvP? Rogues are upset, everyone else who plays against Rogues are marginally more happy.
Nerf a boss encounter? Some of the people that did it already might be upset, but a large portion might be pleased with the continued tuning so they can progress. This, however, was a change that was unneeded. Nothing was broken and it hurt nobody. Achievements are arbitrary and ultimately meaningless numbers, but they can be fun to earn. A change like this takes away the fun.
Well I think we can wrap this post up. Some hotfixes were supposedly going to be rolled out this morning so hopefully a number of problems were fixed. Also I added a bunch of new Marksmanship macros for your enjoyment!
Until next time, thoughts, comments, and opinions are greatly appreciated!