Archives For PTR

Now that I’m back from my time off, over a massive cold, and have a few more raids under my belt I feel like I can talk about what’s going on with Hunter DPS.

We had a great run in Firelands.

Hunters seemed to be made for that tier of content.  The encounters were largely hunter friendly with very few stack up mechanics, and there were many range friendly fights.  Hunters were topping meters, and leading the pack on DPS until some legendary weapons were completed.  As legendaries were completed, you started to see Hunters fall down the DPS meters a bit, but not out of competition.

Punching Deathwing in the Face

The state of Hunter DPS in Dragon Soul is pretty unique.  Melee classes were buffed pretty significantly through AP, and casters have their legendary — making Hunters one of the only classes that didn’t see any real boost to DPS from Firelands to Dragon Soul.  This caused Hunters to fall further and further down the meters, not to say that we’re not seeing impressive performance from Hunter players — there are some exceptional players out there.  I know that my DPS has gone from in Firelands, top 7-8 DPS after legendaries were created, to scraping the bottom above the tanks in Dragon Soul in our 25-man raids.  Did I change anything? The only thing that’s changed is gear.

Now, let’s be clear here.  This is not a cry for a buff to Hunter DPS.  Blizzard is up against a very difficult challenge for balancing lots of classes with legendary weapons in range, and melee not only getting the AP boost, but also Rogues getting their legendary.  Blizzard needs to be able to balance Hunter DPS with the DPS of those range that do not have a legendary weapon.  Does that require a huge boost to Hunters? Probably not.

Blizzard did just announce in the 4.3.2 patch notes that a small buff is coming.

  • Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  • Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  • Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

Do I think this is going to be enough to help us out?

I think so. The ~700 AP buff that Hawk is getting will increase our DPS enough to mimic the melee buff that was granted.  Black Arrow lasting longer will give us an extra 5 seconds to proc, which should increase our Lock n’ Load procs, and with Lock n’ Load not being consumed by Arcane Shot, we’ll be sure to get the maximum bonus available.

Now this is all speculation on my part, but I do think Hunters will regularly appear higher on the damage meters than they had been, and I have a feeling that it’s going to continue to be Survival on top of the three specs for Tier 13 raid content, not to say that Marksman and Beastmastery will be far behind, if at all.

What do you think of how Hunters have fared this tier of raid content?

Just got an update for Tier 13 hunter bonus…

  • 2P — Steady Shot and Cobra Shot generate double the amount of focus.
  • 4P — Your Arcane Shot ability has a chance to grant 30% haste to you and your pet for 10 sec.

Even more haste!

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 5% more haste than originally quoted.  As always, this is PTR stuff, and it can change 1000 times before implemented live.

(source)

4.3: Hunter Tier 13 Preview

Morynne —  September 29, 2011 — Leave a comment

Hunter Tier 13We’ve seen what it looks like now, and there’s a bit of a mixed bag on reactions — which is fine.  It’s just like every other set from that perspective.  I personally like it, it gets back to the “stalker” roots.  If you weren’t aware, tier 13 is “Wyrmstalker.”  Appropriate, considering you start your journey toward punching Deathwing in the face at Wyrmrest Temple.

Let’s talk set bonuses:

  • 2 piece - Steady Shot and Cobra Shot generate double the amount of focus.
  • 4 piece- Your Arcane Shot ability has a chance to grant 25% 30% (edit 9/29) haste to you and your pet for 10 sec.

Having spent quite a bit of time with Marksmanship and Survival this expansion, it’s safe to say that we’ll be absolutely drowning in focus for Tier 13 because our Steady Shots and Cobra Shots will be delivering double the amount of focus..  In Survival, I find myself having a difficult time dumping my focus as much as I should, and sometimes the same with Marksmanship.

Our 4-piece bonus is going to be a bit more fickle.  Bottom line, all specs for Hunters will be firing A LOT more Arcane Shots — which for Survival will make it worth while to fire again.  Most Marksman hunters (that I’ve talked to) are using Arcane currently as a focus dump while Chimera Shot is on cooldown.  Not only are they going to be constantly seeing the 15% haste buff from Improved Steady Shot, but they’ll get another 25% from their 4-piece bonus?  I could foresee this causing hunters to hard-cast Aimed Shot more frequently, even when not affected by Heroism or Rapid Fire.  Let’s not forget also that if we’re running with The Hungerer, that’s even more haste that can randomly proc.

I’m interested to spend some time on a target dummy with 4-piece tier 13 during the PTR testing and see how this actually works out.  I have a feeling hunters will occasionally want to dump their focus still during hasted periods using Aimed Shot for Marksman Hunters, but if you’re likely to be on the move, you’ll still dump your focus using Arcane Shot — for all specs.

Let’s also not forget here that the additional haste here will also increase our Focus Regeneration, probably giving us nearly a bottomless pit of Focus to continue firing away.

Anyway, lots to test — even more speculation going on.  How do you think these bonuses will play out?

 

Hunter Tier 13Well I was going to work on my Ragnaros strategy, and work on Heroic Shannox, but there’s too much news!

MMO-Champion mined out what Hunter Tier 13 is going to look like, and found a bunch of spell “changes” for us.  They also found some items that will be dropping, which is just a tad exciting.

So let’s start with Tier 13.  First off, I’m willing to bet that the MMO-Champion shots don’t do it any justice.  It looks like it would be far cooler in the shots that Blizzard has provided for other class previews.  The three colors are likely this: Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic versions — purple being the heroic version (kind of like T10 was).  The set clearly pays homage to being a dragon slayer.  The breastplate looks very much like Deathwing’s chest, and the shoulders/helm seem to be young dragon skulls. I might not transmogrify this — even after all that work to put together the old sets.

MMO Champion has also mined out some spell “changes” for Hunters, but they’re really not changes at all.  They’re tooltip fixes for the most part.

 Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Survival

  • Cobra Shot now has a 2 sec cast time, up from 1.5 sec.

Marksmanship

  • Aimed Shot now has a 2.9 sec cast time, up from 2.4 sec.
  • Kill Shot now scales from 45% of Ranged Attack Power, up from 30%.
  • Chimera Shot now causes Nature damage. (Tooltip clarification)
  • Trueshot Aura now increases melee attack power by 20% and ranged attack power by 10%.

So here’s where we’re at:

Cobra Shot, Aimed Shot, Steady Shot, and Chimera Shot are not changing.  This is a tooltip fix, not a change to how those shots work/do damage.

All of the AP boosting abilities are getting the same change.  They are granting melee 20%, while range continues to get 10%.  This does not change how we are buffed by any of the AP buffs, nor will it change our DPS.

In the official 4.3 patch notes, there are no changes other than Trueshot Aura for Hunters — which means either A. they’re totally fine with hunter DPS as it is, or B. (which is hopefully more likely) that they haven’t gotten there yet.  My hope is that they find a better scaling balance for Survival, and give Beastmastery a bit of a buff to keep up with the other two specs.

Here’s a list of the items datamined from MMO-Champion. It’s worth noting that hunters will have the option for a Gun or a Crossbow it looks like. (Cue Dwarven hunters rejoicing)

For those of you who are non-combat pet collectors as well, there are some new ones and changes that can be found here, at Warcraft Pets.

All of this information has been mined off of the PTR, and as it is the PTR, all of it can and will change prior to release.

What are your first thoughts about all the news that’s come out? Exciting? Boring? Are you stoked to punch Deathwing in the face? Let down? Tell me in the comments!

Over the weekend, I spent some time on the PTR — investigating the new dailies, and looking at some of the things implemented in the upcoming patch.  If you hadn’t heard, it’s expected to go live on 6/21 — coinciding with the end of the Arena Season, and the beginning of the Midsummer Fire Festival. (Coincidence? I think not.) All Patch Notes can be found here.

New Quests

When 4.2 rolls, you’ll see a new quest pop up on the Hero’s Call board, which will send you to the Sanctuary of Malorne in Hyjal.  It takes days to unlock everything, so be patient.  You’ll also find a couple new quests starting at Nordrassil in Hyjal, which shows you the Thrall (Go’el) story.  I can’t emphasize enough how well put together this quest line is.  It might not be fun to do, but the story behind it is fantastic, and of course, a happy ending.  This quest also will give you an epic cloak, which is worth picking up since it’s better than what’s available in the 4.1 content.

The new dailies start with a small set in the Sanctuary of Malorne — where you help the Guardians of Hyjal push back the invaders from the Firelands, and assist them in establishing a base to move on Ragnaros.  It should be noted that unless you’ve completed a significant chunk of the Hyjal quests, you will not be able to get to this area and proceed with the dailies.  (Wowhead says: In order to partake in the Regrowth and Molten Front daily quests, players must have at least completed up to and including the quest Aessina’s Miracle. Once this quest has been completed, players should speak with Matoclaw in the Sanctuary of Malorne to take part in the Regrowth efforts.)

General

Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.

Morynne Says:

I haven’t had any real-world experience with this change; however it sounds really solid.  It means when your trap breaks, whatever mob it is won’t immediately come try to eat your face.  Hopefully though this means that the tank, because they’re closest before the trap is broken, will immediately get solid aggro.

Hunter
  • The Aggressive pet stance has been removed and replaced with the Assist stance. This stance will cause the player’s pet to attack the player’s target. The pet will not change targets unless the master attacks a new target for a few seconds.
  • Multi-Shot damage has been reduced. It now deals 120% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 137%.
  • Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended.
  • Talent Specializations
    • MarksmanshipCareful Aim now grants additional critical strike chance against targets over 90% health, up from 80% health.
    • SurvivalBlack Arrow damage done has been increased by roughly 40%.

Morynne Says:

I’m looking forward to the Assist stance.  It will become infinitely handy for fights like Omnitron Defense System — but it scares me at the same time.  The change to this stance will likely de-emphasize a hunter’s need to control their pet.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it being easy, but every hunter still needs to be accountable for what their pet is doing.

It looks as if Marksmanship is getting a nerf with the change to Careful Aim, which will typically impact Survival hunters as well.  It means there will be far less hard-casting of Aimed Shot.  The Multi-Shot change doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal for Survival’s AOE ability.  It’s only a minor reduction, and SV will likely continue to be the big AOE spec.  It’s good to see that Black Arrow has been buffed.  Hopefully this means it will end up proc’ing Lock n’ Load more frequently as well.  Sadly I haven’t spent enough time in a raid type environment  or with a target dummy on the PTR to know for sure.

Tier 11 Raid Changes

All of the Tier 11 Raid content on normal mode has been smacked squarely with a Nerf Bat.  I recommend checking the patch notes for full detail.

Fun
  • D.E.H.T.A. has recently placed a great number of critters under their protection, especially rabbits and squirrels. Because of this, Flintlocke’s Woodchucker has been re-fitted to use wild chickens until an “agreement” can be reached.
  • Players are once again free to dance in combat (without causing graphic errors). Other animations, such as attacks, will take precedence over dancing. The dance animation will be suppressed until the higher priority animation is complete. Fun has been unnerfed.

Morynne Says:

Well thank goodness for D.E.H.T.A.  Saving all of those rabbits and squirrels. Now we get to kill the saved rabbits and squirrels with the proc’d chickens. (? really Blizz ?)

And I’m also glad I can now get my dance on during movement light fights like Chimaeron.  I’ll show him my p-p-p-poker face. (Worgen females, you know)

New Pets

There are 10 challenge tames now available.  Petopia has a good write-up for them.

Morynne Says:

I’m pretty excited about these challenge tames.  Some are clearly going to be easier than others, but certainly worth the effort.  I’ll probably go after the yellow spider and the onyx cat first — they’re pretty slick, and from what I’m understanding — some of the easiest to tame.  I’d ideally like to snag Deth’tilac, but I won’t lose sleep over it.

Non-Combat Pets

If you’re a collector, this is a great patch for you.  There are several new pets, and new achievements to boot!

Morynne Says:

Dang you, Blizzard.  I just made it to 150, now I’m going to have to push to 175.  Last additions to my collection were Tiny Shale Spider and Enchanted Lantern.  Now if only I can luck out and get a Hyacynth Macaw.

Quality of Life
  • Characters can now be reorganized at the Character Selection screen. This feature not yet fully functional and the reorganization of characters doesn’t save at this time.
  • Raid Profiles are in the process of being implemented and are not fully functional. Raid Profiles will allow players to save the raid window user interface layout based on type of content (i.e. 10-player raids, 25-player raids, Battlegrounds, etc.).

Morynne Says:

After having gone through two faction changes, my main has managed to sit near the bottom of my character selection screen.  It’ll be nice to have it organized again.

In Closing

With the build on the PTR having been labeled as a “release” version, what you see here shouldn’t change much between now and when it will be put on the live servers.  I’m looking forward to getting out of the Tier 11 content — it’s been 7 months roughly since we’ve seen any new raid content!

Blues updated last night with some more information about the Tier 12 bonuses for Hunters.

  • The  Hunter 4-piece bonus does not get consumed by shots that do not cost focus.
  • 2-Piece Bonus: Your Steady Shot and Cobra Shot have a 10% chance to trigger a Flaming Arrow, dealing 80% instant weapon damage as Fire.
  • 4-Piece Bonus: You have a 10% chance from your Auto Shots to make your next shot cost no focus.

It’s good to know that a Steady Shot or a Cobra Shot will not consume the 4-piece bonus — and it’s being reserved for things like Chimera Shot, or Explosive Shot.

I think a 10% chance for a shot to get an extra 80% weapon damage in Fire is going to be really good, plus 10% chance for your next signature shot to be free — it’s going to make movement heavy fights easier to manage focus with some shots ending up being free.

My speculation, is since we’re going to the Firelands this patch, we’ll likely be going to a different elemental plane for T13.  I’m wondering if the Tier 12 fire shots will become ridiculously good because of their elemental nature (and frosty things don’t like fire)

Just a thought.

4.2: Hunter Hotfixes

Morynne —  May 13, 2011 — 8 Comments

Over the last couple days there were a couple of Hunter specific hotfixes posted for 4.2.

  • Hunter pets no longer lose talent points when a Beast Mastery hunter gains a level.
  • The Disorient effect from Scatter Shot should no longer immediately break if Scatter Shot hits the target immediately after a buff on the target fades.
  • Multi-shot damage has been reduced. It now deals 120% weapon damage at level 80 or higher, down from 137%.
  • Traps now scale with hunter stats such as hit, expertise, spell penetration and attack power as intended.
  • The Aggressive pet stance has been removed and replaced with the Assist stance. This stance will cause the player’s pet to attack the player’s target. The pet will not change targets unless the master attacks a new target for a few seconds.

I’m glad to see they’re fixing the BM bug — that’s been a pain for awhile, and the Scatter Shot change is going to make the shot more important for PVP, but for those of us that used it on fights like Cho’gall for the interrupts, it might cause our interrupt to become less valuable.

The Multi-Shot change isn’t something I’m surprised with.  As Frostheim said, the Multi-Shot damage was super duper good, and now it’s looking like Blizzard wants to bring that dial back from 11.  It’s not a huge nerf, so our AOE will remain some of the best.

The trap change is nice, and probably a long time coming.

Last but not least, I’m very excited for the Assist Stance for our pets.  It’s going to keep Fluffy who is a super duper aggressive Sporebat from going and pulling a pack of mobs we can’t handle (not like there a lot of those, but you get the point).  Fluffy will only attack the player’s target, and won’t change targets unless you change targets.  Omnomnotron anyone?

Dust off your Chaos Orbs, Engineers.  You’re going to have a new project in 4.2.

Hunters get an Agility gun!

The Extreme-Impact Hole Puncher.

Brace yourselves… here are the mats.

  • 5 Hardened Elementium Bars
  • 8 Truegold Bars
  • 1 Hair Trigger
  • 1 Walnut Stock
  • 5 Chaos Orbs

As far as where this pattern comes from, or how to get it is to be seen, but start stocking up on materials now — save yourself from the price spike when the patch happens!

I just got an email from Blizzard, as I’m sure many of you did, regarding Real ID coming soon.  My guess is probably tomorrow alongside the extended maintenance.

If you’ve been dwelling beneath dolomite (read: living under a rock), here’s what 3.3.5 comes with:

World of Warcraft PTR Patch 3.3.5

Continue Reading…

PTR: Ruby Sanctum (3.3.5)

Morynne —  May 11, 2010 — 1 Comment

Just saw the testing schedule for the Ruby Sanctum for the 3.3.5 patch, and that it is also live on the PTR.

Source

US Testing Schedule:
Thursday, May 13 starting at 19:00 EDT.

EU Testing Schedule:
Thursday, May 13 starting at 19:30 CEST.

Here are the full patch notes:

General

  • The Ruby Sanctum, an all-new 10- and 25-player raid featuring normal and Heroic difficulties, is now available for testing! Players will find the dungeon entrance below Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight.
  • Copied Test Realm characters are not copied with their achievement history in order to better facilitate the character copy process.

User Interface
Chat Frame

  • Players can now right-click on any chat type (Whisper, Trade, General, Party, Raid, etc.) and choose the Pop Out Chat option. This will move that chat type to a separate tab in the Chat frame which can be undocked and moved anywhere on the screen.
  • Using the Pop Out Chat option on a Whisper will place the conversation with that player in a separate tab.
  • Any time a conversation with another player is put into its own tab, the tab will glow when a new message is received.
  • Hovering over the Chat Frame and using the mouse wheel will allow players to scroll through chat text.
  • Players can select Classic Mode under Interface Options to keep the Chat Frame functionality closer to what it was prior to patch 3.3.5.
  • The Simple Chat User Interface option has been removed.

Friends List

  • A new icon has been added to the top left of the Chat Frame which will open up the Friends list.
  • In addition to its current functionality, the Friends List will now allow players to add Battle.net accounts (Real ID). Players will have to confirm that they are friends in order for a Real ID to be added. Once Real ID friends, players can communicate cross-game, cross-faction and cross-realm.
  • A new Pending tab has been added where players can accept or decline a Real ID friend request, or select the Report Spam or Block Communications buttons.
  • Players can now select from three statuses which will be visible to their friends: Available, Away and Busy.
  • A Broadcast window has been added to the top of the frame. Players can use this to broadcast a message to all of their Real ID friends online. This message will also be displayed under the broadcaster’s Real ID information in each friend’s list.

As far as I’m reading right now, nothing has truly been implemented beyond an extra tab on your Social window. I’m sure there will be loads more information once Ruby Sanctum is released for testing on Thursday. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to get into a raid or two to test it out!