Blizzard began the first pass of DPS tuning for all classes on the PTR. Given that the release date for patch 5.4 is August 27, it’s not clear if they’ll squeeze in some more changes before they go live. Hunters received a bunch of buffs and slight nerf. Here’s what they did.
- Arcane Shot now deals 125% ranged weapon damage (up from 100%) and had its focus cost increased by 50%.
- Beast Cleave range has been increased to 10 yards (up from 8 yards).
- Kill Command damage has been increased by 15%.
- Aimed Shot now deals 400% ranged weapon damage (up from 350%).
- Explosive Shot damage has been increased by 18%.
- T16 2-piece – Aimed shot now also reduces the cooldown of Rapid Fire by 8 seconds per cast.
Arcane Shot is still going to do more damage than it does now on live, however, it was knocked down a peg from where it was in the previous PTR build. We talked about how good Arcane was looking even with the increased focus cost. This adjustment pretty much ensures that signature shots will always be preferred over Arcane Shot.
The signature shots all got buffed. Well everything except Chimera Shot. Blizzard opted to buff Aimed Shot for Marksman. I haven’t played MM in a long time, but I think Aimed Shot is used during Careful Aim and when Master Marksman procs. Even with the increased damage I don’t believe it’s a fire on CD sort of thing. Aimed Shot was also added to the Hunter T16 2-piece bonus.
So the big question is what does this do to each of the specs? How close are they? Is one better way better than the rest? I need to do a little more digging, but I think the hierarchy will remain unchanged. BM > SV > MM, but all somewhat close. No matter what the hierarchy Hunters will be doing more DPS in patch 5.4 than they did in 5.3.