Out of the blue, Blizzard has decided to end the content drought and Patch 6.2 is now available for testing on the PTR. It contains a new quest hub, a new raid, and boats. There are also Hunter changes afoot as well. Let’s start there.
The Official Patch Notes
- Aspect of the Fox has been removed.
- Aimed Shot now deals 15% more damage.
- Mastery: Essence of the Viper has increased in effectiveness by 19%.
- Explosive Shot now deals 15% less damage.
- Serpent Sting no longer deals an initial “tick” of damage when the periodic effect is first applied.
- A Murder of Crows now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets.
- Barrage now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets. Additionally, the ability no longer hits invisible or stealthed targets.
- Mastery of Beasts – Increases damage done by your pets by 18%
The removal of Aspect of the Fox is just sad, and I’m not sure why it had to go. I figure it either wasn’t be used or it was being used to such degree, i.e., chaining, that it just was too powerful in raids with lots of Hunters. Who knows, there may even have been a PvP issue. Whatever the reason, it’s gone, and Hunter raid utility is now relegated to whatever special boss mechanics there are that the lesser classes can’t handle.
Aimed Shot is just a straight up buff. Survival, on the other hand, is taking a hit. One it certainly doesn’t need. Of all the specs, this is the one that we’ll need to play closest attention to, as its performance could be impacted the most.
The talent changes only affect PvP, and it’s nice to see that Blizzard has the capacity to tweak abilities separately for PvP and PvE. In the past, those talents would have just been nerfed for the sake of PvP and we’d all be switching to Glaive Toss and Stampede for PvE.
There was one change to Beast Master that was not in the official patch notes. Beast Mastery is getting a buff. Hooray!
A few other things to note about 6.2 is that we’ll be able to complete the legendary ring quest, and the ring will have a proc. Additionally there will be class/spec specific trinkets that drop off of the final boss in the Hellfire Citadel raid.
- Beastlord: Bestial Wrath now lasts an additional 50 sec on your pet, and it increases your pet’s damage by an additional (11 +- 15)%.
- Blackness: Your Arcane Shots and Multi-Shots have a 22% chance to reset the cooldown of Black Arrow.
- Longview: Your shots deal (11 / 100)% increased damage per yard between you and the target.
Looking at these the Beast Mastery proc really stands out. I’ll be curious to see what the Tier 18 set bonuses look like and whether or not it will be worthwhile to go with two pieces of Tier 17 and two pieces of Tier 18 versus four pieces of Tier 18. I’ll wager the four piece will be better, but still something to think about.
Survival’s proc is somewhat lackluster, unless there are fights with heavy adds, but you don’t want to apply Black Arrow on a target that has the DoT so we’ll see how this one plays out.
Marksmanship’s proc is all about standing as far away from the target as you possibly can. Given the need to stack for heals, etc. the benefits of this proc will vary depending on the nature of the fight.
Still, I really like that that they’re trying to tailor these trinkets for specific specializations.
The Hunter Tier sets have not been revealed yet, and it’s a big piece of the puzzle that’s missing right now. Set bonuses had a huge effect on how the specs performed in Blackrock Foundry and I suspect they’ll have a similar impact in 6.2.
All aboard because the bumpy ride continues.