A moment of silence before we begin.
The PTR was updated on July 12, 2013, and Blizzard began implementing some of the changes mentioned in the Big Blue Post. Most notable was the removal of Readiness from the game. It had already been modified to no longer affect our DPS abilities, but now its power in resetting our utility is gone as well. To help compensate for its loss we now have the following changes.
- Deterrence now has a 3-minute cooldown (up from 2 minutes) but has 2 charges.
- Disengage now has a cooldown of 20 seconds (down from 25 seconds).
- Stampede damage dealt by pets when the ability is used outside of an Arena or Battleground is no longer reduced by 75%
So Readiness has essentially been baked into Deterrence, and Stampede has had its PvE damage increased. Readiness didn’t impact Stampede, but Hunters needed a DPS boost to make up for the loss of Readiness, and this is a start.
Readiness was introduced in the Burning Crusade as a Survival talent. That was back in 2007 for anyone keeping track. That’s six years of the game’s nine year life that Hunter’s have had this ability in some capacity. It’s always been a powerful ability and Blizzard has managed to keep it in check. The one time where it really go out of hand was the BM hybrid build in the beginning of Wrath.
Marksman is the one spec that’s needed some love this expansion, and it would’ve been nice to see it returned as an MM only ability like it had been in much of Wrath and Cataclysm. Would it have made MM too good? Maybe. But alas, it seems the decision has been made, and Readiness is gone. More changes are needed to help Hunter DPS in PvE, and we should see something in the next couple of weeks. Until then all we can do is take a moment and say goodbye old friend. You shall be missed.
I saw this little nugget data-mined from the PTR. It looks like we’ll be able to have three talent specializations in patch 5.3. That right three! This is great news, unless of course you’re a Druid, but really, who cares about Druids. For us Hunters it simply means that we can have an MM, SV, and BM spec – all with the click of a button.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better to be a Hunter!
Patch 5.1 testing continues and Blizzard is now starting to release some of the class balance changes that are inevitable once players migrate into end-game raiding and PvP. Hunters are getting a huge buff to their mobility in patch 5.1. According to MMO-C, Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Barrage will be useable while moving. I’ll say it again, Steady Shot, Cobra Shot and Barrage will be useable WHILE MOVING.
There’s no mention of Aspect of the Fox in the patch notes, but one would assume that it will be redesigned or removed all together. I suspect the the latter myself.
If this is indeed the direction that Blizzard is going with these abilities then it’s a very nice change. The benefit for PvP is that Hunters can now be in Aspect of the Hawk 100% of the time, rather than Fox 100%. For PvE this means no more aspect dancing. Ultimately Hunters gain more from this change in PvP than PvE, but it’s fantastic for both.
It was pretty well known that Blizzard wasn’t happy with Aspect Dancing. During the MoP beta they tried to address it by putting Aspects on the GCD, but this was unpopular and they reverted it.
In Episode 141 of the Hunting Party Podcast we talked to Zumio who had a pretty negative opinion on Hunter aspects in general. He even went so far to suggest that Blizzard change Steady and Cobra to fire on the move. It appears that Blizzard agrees with that assessment – for now.
Patch 4.0 is on the PTRs and soon it will be coming to a realm near you.
- Patch 4.0 contains all of the class changes such as spells, talents, and glyphs.
- It does not have the zone changes.
- You cannot fly in Azeroth.
- You cannot be a Worgen or Goblin.
- You cannot level your character.
Things You’ll Want to Do
There are a variety of new abilities that are available to hunters and you’ll want to go and grab them all.
- Scatter Shot is now baseline.
- There are multiple spells for call pet that allow you to call four of your five active pets (the fifth one requires level 82).
- The new Trap Launcher is available.
- We can train in Mail specialization which increase our agility by 5% if we wear nothing but mail armor.
- We also get our Mastery. Now in Cataclysm this stat will appear on lots and lots of gear. None of the Wrath gear has been updated to include Mastery so we won’t see the full benefit of this until the expansion.
One thing to note is that Cobra Shot is a level 81 ability and thus not available to us right now. Beastmaster and Survival hunters will want to use Cobra over Steady because of its ability to refresh Serpent Sting. When this patch hit Beastmaster and Survival hunters will be using Steady and will need to keep a watch on their Serpent Sting as it will drop off.
- We’re focus users now. You can ditch the Honey Mint Tea and mana pots.
- Ammo is gone. Just vendor the leftover arrows and bullets that you have. Epic ammo is selling for 30 silver a stack.
- We have bigger stables. Get ready to run around tame all those new pets. Since the zone changes won’t be in effect you’ll want to check out Petopia and see if any of the current skins are going extinct.
- The new currency system will be in place.
- The new glyph system is here. We now have Prime, Major and Minor glyphs and can have three of each type.
- You only have to learn a glyph once and then you can use a reagent to swap them in and out.
- Your minor glyphs will still be in place.
- You will need to add Prime and Major glyphs.
- You won’t have to learn any glyphs you were using.
- Chances are the glyphs you were using are not the ones you’ll want moving forward, so you’ll want to find a scribe and get some new glyphs right away.
Gear, Gems, Hit and Armor Pen
- Now that we have the Mail armor specialization, you’ll want to ditch any leather items you have (*cough* Toskk’s Maximized Wristguards *cough*).
- T9 gear will be obsolete. You’ll want to get four pieces of T10, or at the very least replace your T9 with some form of ICC gear.
- We no longer have any talents that grant hit rating. If you plan to do any raiding you’ll most likely be under the hit cap (I was 2.18% under the cap when I logged onto the PTR). That means I’ll need to make up that hit through gems, enchants or gear.
- All of your Armor Pen gems will be converted to yellow Crit gems.
- Hit gem are now blue and purple instead of yellow and orange. Just keep that in mind if you have or plan to use any hit gems.
- Nightmare tear is still prismatic, but not as valuable because we don’t need intellect and no longer benefit from the intellect to attack power conversion. Also, there’s a good chance you’ll use some form of red, blue and yellow gems and won’t need a prismatic to keep your meta active.
The latest version of Patch 3.3.3 brings a welcome and much needed change to the ICC buff that will one day ensure that all of Azeroth gets a piece of the Lick King before we sink into the ocean.
Hellscream’s Warsong and Strength of Wrynn now provide their bonuses to player pet health and damage, as well as the absorption amounts of Power Word: Shield and Sacred Shield.
As for when patch 3.3.3 is going to be released? Probably not this week.
I was going to do a post on some of the new hunter gear coming our way in patch 3.3. As I was doing my research I ran across what appears to be engineering recipes for new arrows and bullets. I couldn’t find anything on the finished products or the mats required to make them.
The recipes themselves are tied to the new Ashen Verdict reputation. What’s also interesting is that arrows require Gnomish engineering to make and the bullets require Goblin engineering to make.
It looks like engineers may have a new source of income. We’ll have to see how this plays out.
This week, Euripides and I are pleased to have Frostheim, from Warcraft Hunters Union on the show! We talk about all the new PTR news that came out recently, and talk to Frost about many things, including his penchant for soloing the unsoloable!
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