Here are the patch notes. I’m going to break it down in sections with my thoughts after each category.
- Deterrence no longer requires a melee weapon to be equipped.
- Explosive Trap now has a new spell effect.
- Master’s Call now has a new spell effect.
- Multi-Shot damage has been increased by 250%.
- Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 3 levels below.
Multi-shot damage increase is going to help the AOE viability of all specs for hunters, particularly for Marksman though — which will be helpful on fights like Cho’gall where AOE damage is required, but single target has to be high as well. This will also make Survival better in the same encounter.
And as for not having to level pets anymore…. hurray!
- The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 50% of the pet’s health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires diet-appropriate food.
- The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
- Bloodthirsty no longer generates Happiness.
- Carrion Feeder no longer restores Happiness.
- Guard Dog no longer causes Growl to generate additional Happiness.
- Summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0.
As much as I love carrying around extra food for my pets of all different types, and losing precious bag space to it, I’m glad to see this go. I’m almost as ecstatic as I was when I heard ammo was going away. Having your pet start with 100 focus will help greatly if you’re one of those hunters that periodically forgets to summon a pet. (Not that I do that or anything….)
- Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Lesser Proportion, which decreases the size of the pet slightly.
I haven’t played around on the PTR at all for this patch. This might be a good one to have if you tend to run around with a pet your melee are always complaining about.
Hunter Bug Fixes
- Hunters will no longer automatically acquire a new target if the current target dies in the middle of a cast.
- Aimed Shot and Steady Shot should no longer start casting Auto Shot on a new target when the “Stop Auto Attack” option enabled.
- Auto Shot now automatically turns off until reactivated once Freezing Trap is cast on an enemy player.
- Deterrence: The area damage of the paladin ability Hammer of the Righteous will no longer hit hunters with Deterrence active.
- Distracting Shot and Multi-Shot are now properly 40-yard range.
- Intervene (Tenacity pet ability) range has been increased so that the pet will properly intercept attacks.
- Multi-Shot now properly has a 1-second global cooldown.
- Scatter Shot’s disorient effect should no longer sometimes be broken by the hunter’s Auto Shot.
I’m so excited about the first bullet point on this section. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to say “oops, sorry guys!” after an accidental pull. They’ve also made it more difficult for a hunter to break their own trap, which is a plus because that’s another bad habit of mine. At least it was prior to Trap Launcher. I’m a little sad to see the Multi-Shot cooldown come up, but it will likely help regulate the consumption of Focus. Before it was simply multi-shot spam until your Focus is gone, but now you may have a chance to throw in an auto-shot or two between Multi’s.
This patch is cleaning up some of the sucky things about being a hunter, and is helping balance out the AOE damage of all the specs — furthering the point that any spec can be involved in raiding. I can’t complain about this patch at all. Between the hunter changes, ZA and ZG coming back as heroics, new mounts and companion pets, and new achievements — it’s a good time to play in Cataclysm.