WoD Alpha Build 18297

Last week I went on vacation, and as I predicted there was Warlords of Draenor news. As a bonus there was also a patch to Mists of Pandaria. The trip was great, but now it’s time to get caught up, and more importantly, to catch you up on what happened in the World of Warcraft.

There was an new Alpha build that contained lost of changes for Hunters, and a few general changes that will affect Hunters.

Distracting Shot is staying. Apparently the developers do listen, and have a soft spot for poetry. Whatever the reasons, this handy ability will remain part of the Hunter toolkit in Warlords of Draenor.

Rapid Fire is also staying and will a Marksmanship only ability. It will behave like it does now, and it will also trigger Careful Aim. This is MM’s DPS burst cooldown, and it’s huge. I’ll write more about it in another post, but for today, just know that it isn’t your father’s Rapid Fire.

Bear Trap was finally implemented for Survival Hunters. It has a baseline four minute cooldown, but that can be reduced to a more palatable two minutes. It should also be noted that you will get this ability at level 52. Something to keep in mind if you are inclined to level new Hunters each expansion.

One of the bigger changes was the addition of the Exotic Munitions talent which replaces Flaming Shots. This is now a more interesting version of Flaming Shots. It’s still passive and still affects auto-shot, but has more utility. The talent allows us to modify our weapons to use one of three types of ammo.

Incendiary Ammo – Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 1 hour. Each autoshot deals 20% additional weapon damage as Fire to all enemies within 8 yards of the initial target.

Poisoned Ammo – Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 1 hour. Each autoshot deals (200% of Attack power) additional Nature damage over 16 sec. When this effect is refreshed, the remaining damage will be added to the new effect.

Frozen Ammo – Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 1 hour. Each autoshot deals 40% additional weapon damage as Frost and reduces the target’s movement speed by 50% for 8 sec.

It hasn’t been decided if we’ll be able to swap ammo during combat. If it is allowed, there will likely be some type of cooldown involved such as to dissuade us from doing it.

I like how the level 100 talents are shaping up. On the surface it looks like Exotic Munitions favors Survival, Focusing Shot favors Marksmanship, and Versatility is a good choice for Beast Mastery. I don’t know where Lone Wolf fits in as choice, but I suspect that talent will be the greatest source of agony for Hunters.

Something else that Hunter’s have been requesting is a raid utility ability. It looks like we’ll be getting one in a future build. No hints on what it might be. On Cloak and Quiver, Solar Flair proposed the idea of Aspect of the Turtle which gives us a defensive shield for the raid. One of the classes I play in the SWTOR is a Sniper. They’re a pure ranged DPS class and one of their abilities is Ballistic Shield. It comes in very handy, and I think something similar could work for Hunters.

Lots of nice changes for Hunters in this latest Alpha build. Now if we could only get our hands on all of these changes.

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