There was an Alpha build on Friday, and while there were a plethora of Hunter notes, none are worth discussing. Most were tooltip changes, and the ones that weren’t contradicted things the developers had stated previously indicating that this is still an incomplete look at Hunters. It’s Alpha, there will be more changes, so I’m waiting to see what the next build brings rather than decipher this one. What was noteworthy this time around were updates to the Hunter Tier 17 set bonuses, and we got our first look at the normal and heroic mode armor sets.
Going with the form follows function principle let’s start with the bonuses.
When the original bonuses were announced I immediately chimed in stating that they were boring.
Set bonuses tend to change which is good b/c Hunter bonuses look rather bland for all three specs.
— Darkbrew (@TheBrewHall) June 11, 2014
It is because of this criticism that I sit here sans Alpha invite, and resigned to idling my time in Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar collecting silly chachkas such as the Death Lotus Crossbow and Assurance of Consequence. Yes Blizzard, J’Accuse!
Alas, I whine and digress in one swift motion. My apologies. Let the record show that I was correct in my assessment, and Blizzard has completely redone the Hunter set bonuses.
- Hunter T17 Beast Mastery 2P Bonus: Kill Command has a 25% chance to increase the size and damage of your pet by 10%.
- Hunter T17 Beast Mastery 4P Bonus: While Bestial Wrath is active, one additional pet is summoned to fight with you.
I really like both the two and four piece bonuses. I’m curious to see how big the pets will grow, and if they’ll be even bigger when Bestial Wrath is activated. As for the four piece bonus it’s basically an ‘x’ percent increase to Bestial Wrath but done in a creative way. I’m assuming this will function like Dire Beast and not Stampede.
- Hunter T17 Marksmanship 2P Bonus: Activating Rapid Fire also grants you Deadly Aim. Deadly Aim increases your critical strike damage by 10%.
- Hunter T17 Marksmanship 4P Bonus: Aimed Shot critical strikes have a chance to call down an artillery strike on your target, dealing 10 damage. (Approximately 1.50 procs per minute).
Marksmanship’s two piece bonuse mixes well with the critical strike attunement, and this makes Careful Aim a lot more deadly. As for the four piece bonus, I’m not sure what to think. Artillery Strike is such and immersion breaking name for me. I’ll can think of is my Sniper from Star Wars the Old Republic. He has an AoE ability called Orbital Strike.
Here’s a video of it in action.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the four piece bonus is changed.
- Hunter T17 Survival 2P Bonus: Increases the Focus restored from Serpent Sting by 2.
- Hunter T17 Survival 4P Bonus: When you hit a target with Explosive Shot, you gain the Rapid Shot effect. Rapid Shot increases your haste by 10%, stacking up to 0 times.
The two piece bonus isn’t exciting per se, but extra Focus is always good. What it lacks in style it more than makes up for in function. The four piece bonus is nice and will give Survival random bits of burst to play with.
Overall I like where Blizzard is going with the set bonuses, especially Beast Mastery. Now onto the armor itself.
I like it! I haven’t typically been a hug fan of the tier sets. My favorite is the Tier 9, and my least favorite is the Tier 11. This set look sufficient savage to start the expansion. The images you see below are for the normal and heroic sets. The mythic version has not been revealed yet. Thanks as always to MMO-Champion for getting images so fast.
Remember that in Mists vernacular normal = flex, and heroic = normal. I believe the top set is from normal and the bottom set from heroic. I like the bottom set a little better. The royal blue underneath the armor is a very nice color.
I especially like the shoulders. The helmet is okay, but I’ll transmog out of it. They went with the WWE style belt, but this one looks to be animated. The center looks like it spins and shoots fire. That’s just fine by me. I also like the heavy look of the boots.
I’ve been busting my rear trying to get a transmog set out of Ulduar. I may have to put that one in storage once I’m raiding again in Warlords.