Friday, October 29, 2010

Good News Hunters!

Original article here

Beta build 13221 went live on beta servers last night, pushing through many much-requested buffs to the hunter class as well as many bug fixes. Most classes received a slew of numbers tweaks in the latest build, and hunters were no exception. But in addition to the coefficient changes, hunters saw some significant pet changes that could have an impact on endgame gameplay.

The highlights of hunter changes include:
  • damage increased for all hunter signature shots (Kill Command, Chimera Shot and Explosive Shot)
  • hunter pets now capable of becoming boss crit-immune
  • BM worm pet AoE buffed to a powerful level
Hop after the cut for a full list of hunter changes in the new beta build.

Beast Mastery
  • Widow Venom now reduces healing by 10%, down from 25%.
  • Kill Command now deals 43% of RAP + 848 damage, up from 35% of RAP + 772.
  • Steady Shot tooltip updated to reflect scaling of 2.1% of RAP, rather than 10%.
  • Chimera Shot now deals 28.8% of RAP + 973, up from 24% of RAP + 401.
  • Demoralizing Screech (Carrion Bird) no longer deals damage or reduces attack power. Instead, it reduces the physical damage dealt by all enemies within 8 yards by 10% for 10 seconds.
  • Froststorm Breath (Chimera) base damage reduced from 244 to 41.
  • Monstrous Bite (Devilsaur) now reduces healing by 10%, down from 25%.
  • Burrow Attack (Worm) now scales from 76.8% of RAP + 1432 damage, up from 9.6% RAP + 257.
  • Grace of the Mantis now reduces chance to be hit by 3/6%, up from 2/4%.
  • Bug where hunter pet raid debuffs would not auto-cast to refresh while the debuff was up has been fixed.
The nerfs aren't really nerfs

Blizzard made a change to the healing reduction debuff across the board in this beta build, reducing it down to 10 percent from all sources of the debuff. So while hunter healing reduction through Widow Venom and Monstrous Bite is decreasing, the same debuff from all other classes is also going down. This is no doubt due to the same reason Blizzard reduced it from 50 percent to 25 percent at the beginning of the beta: to make PvP a bit more flexible. This way, the devs don't have to design abilities assuming that the healing debuff will be on every target, and PvP teams don't feel they "have" to have a Mortal Strike class.

Another not-nerf -- and I cannot stress this enough: Steady Shot is not changing at all. This is only a tooltip update. Steady Shot has been hovering right around that 2.1percent coefficient for at least the last couple of months, and that is exactly the coefficient that went live with patch 4.0.1. Again, this is just Blizzard's finally updating the clientside tooltip to reflect reality. Steady Shot damage is not going down.

Crit immunity for tenacity pets

The change to Grace of the Mantis is a minor one for the vast majority of gameplay but a huge one for extreme soloing or pet tanking. Raid bosses have a 5.6 percent chance to crit their target, and Grace of the Mantis only reduced crit chance by a maximum of 4 percent. In Wrath, hunters managed the extra 1.6 percent crit reduction for their pets by stacking resilience gear. With the changes to resilience in Cataclysm, that is no longer an option.

Now, however, hunter pets will once again be able to attain raid boss crit immunity. This leaves the door open for extreme pet tanking in Cataclysm.

Worm is the BM AOE

The change to the worm pet's Burrow ability is a pretty huge one. The worm now does very respectable AoE DPS -- far more than Multi-Shot does. Previously, BM really suffered in the AoE department as the only hunter spec with no talents or abilities that bolstered their AoE abilities. BM hunters can now AoE far more effectively, and very appropriately, they do it through their pet.

Other functionality changes to Burrow seem to be that the pet will now continue its single-target attack while burrowed; however, the pet is not on the aggro tabled while burrowed. This means that if the worm pet is tanking, it will lose all aggro while underground. Despite being a tenacity pet, it seems the worm is not a tanking pet.

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