By now you’ve probably read the news the Hunters are getting some last minute buffs before patch 5.2 goes live. Here they are,
- Aimed Shot damage +10%.
- Chimera Shot damage +50%.
- Steady Shot damage +20%.
- Black Arrow and Explosive Shot damage +15%.
Big buffs for MM and nice buffs for SV. BM remains in the “baby bear” spot, at least in the eyes of Blizzard. So the big question is what does this all mean? Are all the specs equal, is BM’s day in the sun over, did MM just make a colossal comeback? The answer of course is it’s too soon to tell. Patch 5.1 data doesn’t help us, so we’re waiting on the theorycrafters to give us an answer.
My thought is that all three specs will be very close in performance. There will always be an order of one, two, three, but the relevance of that positioning will be greatly diminished.
We may actually be at a point where players should just choose to play the spec they love. We may also be at a point where we look at the specs less in terms of overall dps and more in terms of how they deliver that dps, and how it might apply to each individual encounter.
What you could end up with is all three specs looking something like this,
- MM – Strongest single target dps; mediocre AoE dps.
- BM – Strong single target dps; great burst dps; mediocre AoE dps; able to fill in missing buffs with exotic pets.
- SV – Stong single target dps (slightly behind BM); best AoE dps.
We might be on the verge of Hunters being in as good a position as they ever have been in WoW. At the very least it means we have some news to talk about the on the podcast, and that alone makes me happy.
I saw the following item in the most recent PTR patch notes.
Targeting for Powershot and Glaive Toss has been improved. These abilities will now always hit the primary target and are much more responsive about which secondary targets they hit.
So it looks like the fix for these abilities will indeed be part of patch 5.2. The fix should be more noticeable among players who use Powershot in PvP.
Glaive Toss tends to be the purview of PvE, and I don’t know that there have been too many complaints from players regarding it’s functionality in raids. In other words, just know that it’s working, but don’t expect to see a huge increase in DPS or performance as a result.
This week Blizzard announced a nice change to Valor points in 5.2. Specifically they are letting players carry over their existing valor in 5.2. With the patch now three weeks out it will be possible to reach the valor cap by the time the patch lands.
Given the ilevels on the new LFR and normal raid gear, you’ll be better off saving your valor rather than upgrading your current gear. A heroic weapon may be worth bumping up, but for the most part you’ll want to carry over all of your valor.
If you tuned in to the live recording of Hunting Party Podcast #156, you would have heard us opining on the need for more stable slots; and that’s before knowing the full extent of pet changes in patch 5.2.
Kalliope over at Where the Wild Things Are posted a nice teaser video on some of the pets coming our way in the next patch. It’s chock full of cool new dino skins, Direhorns, and at last, three new porcupine spirit beasts. These red, green and blue beauties come with their own unique taming challenges similar to what we saw in patch 4.2.
The real challenge won’t be taming any of these guys, it will be finding the stable slots to hold them. It’s safe to say that whatever rationale existed to limit our stable slots no longer applies in patch 5.2. We need more, and fast.