Aspects in Warlords of Draenor

I recently plunged the depths of the Internet reading various blogs, forum posts, and comments, and there seems to be some misconception on Hunter Aspects in Warlords of Draenor, especially in light of the new Aspect of the Fox. Let’s clear things up shall we?

Aspects are gone… Sort of

Let’s start with the patch notes which talks about the removal of Hunter Aspects in Warlords of Draenor.

 Beta Patch Notes

One of the most difficult abilities to decide to cut was Aspect of the Hawk. It began to feel fairly meaningless, since it was used virtually all of the time in combat, so might as well have just been passive. We decided to cut Aspect of the Hawk, and bake in its benefit to the other abilities. The remaining aspect abilities are all utility only, and are being moved off the stance bar and made toggles.

  • Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Pack both now share a 10-second cooldown and no longer appears on the stance bar.
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Beast: The ability taught by this Glyph no longer appears on the stance bar and is now on the global cooldown.
  • Aspect of the Hawk has been removed. Aspect of the Iron Hawk has been renamed to Iron Hawk, and now passively provides a 10% reduction to all damage taken.
  • Aspect of the Fox: Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells for 6 seconds. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. 3 minute cooldown.

 

The key takeaways are there is no more Aspect of the Hawk or Aspect of the Iron Hawk. Iron Hawk is a talent that when taken provides a passive 10% damage reduction. You don’t need to turn it on, and you can’t turn it off.

The damage increase from Aspect of the Hawk has been automagically baked into Hunters.

As the patch notes state, Aspects are now utility only and do not impact Hunter DPS.

You Can’t Dance if You Want to

Okay, so since we still have Aspects that does mean we still have Aspect dancing?

Currently in Mists of Pandaria there is no Aspect Dancing as the only things to toggle between are Hawk, Cheetah and Pack. Not something you’re likely to do in combat.

In Warlords there is no Aspect of the Hawk so the only one you’re really going to activate in combat is the new Aspect of the Fox.

The only other Aspects you could toggle into are Cheetah, Pack and Beast. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you felt like messing around with Glyph of Aspects, and wanted to summon a new animal companion every second. You can’t.

Aspects are now all linked together and they trigger a 10 second cooldown when activated.

There’s no need to Aspect dance in s, and you can’t to boot.

Aspect of the Fox, What’s in it for Me?

One of the complaints about Aspect of the Fox is that it does not benefit the Hunter since we can fire most of our shots while moving.

Blizzard has categorize this as a raid utility, meaning it’s intended to help your raid down bosses.

Raiding is a team effort. If you cast Aspect of the Fox, and it helps your raid defeat the boss, then you’ve just benefited from this ability.

Even if that’s all that was in it for you that would be okay, but as Bendak pointed out in this post, it’s not.  I’ve included his great Aspect of the Fox video at the end of this post, and the featured image of this post is the pinnacle of awesome that he demonstrates with this ability.

What About DPS Scaling?

Traditionally Hunters have suffered from poor secondary stat scaling and Beast Mastery and Survival have benefited less from superior weapons due to key spells not using weapon damage.

Buffing Aspect of the Hawk was a nice band aid fix to adjust Hunter DPS as expansions wore on. It most recently happened in a 5.4 hotfix.

I honestly don’t know how Hunter’s will scale in Warlords, and whether or not having Aspect of the Hawk will hinder Blizzard’s ability to balance Hunter DPS later in the expansion. This is a question for someone like Delirium of Thrill of the Wild to answer.

I think Blizzard has taken some steps to mitigate this in Warlords.

 Beta Patch Notes

We’ve consolidated the way that Attack Power and Spell Power function and scale, to make those values clearer and correct some scaling issues regarding caster weapons relative to physical weapons.

  • Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before.
  • Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 50%.
  • Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power).
  • Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.

 

I could point you to some articles written about this three and four years ago, but I don’t know how relevant they are anymore. Instead I’ll just leave you with Bendak’s Four Fun Things to do with Aspect of the Fox video.

WoD Beta: 4 fun things to do with Aspect of the Fox

4 comments

  1. thing that i havent found anywhere yet is, will there be a debuff or can you chain multiple aspects together?

  2. I really like the idea of cross-class synergy like AoF – One of my favorite parts of FFXI was the combo system, and I really think WoW could benefit from it more. I do wish that AoF applied a 30 second buff that kicked in the cast-while-moving for 6 seconds benefit on next move. A six second window raid-wide is a little tight – most fights only involve some of the raid moving at a time (e.g. void zone boogie).

  3. I haven’t tested this with other Hunters, but at least on myself there is no debuff of any kind, which lead me to believe that multiple Hunters could chain this.

    It’s beta so that could change.

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