Patch 3.3.3 BM dps Boost?

Posted: by Frostheim

Here’s a little gem hidden in the latest version of the PTR patch notes, just released:

Ferocious Inspiration: This ability is now an aura and provides 1/2/3% damage to all party or raid members within 100 yards and boosts the damage of Steady Shot by 3/6/9%.

We’re going to ignore the whole FI aura thingy. Sure it’s nice that’s it’s always up and has a bigger range, but it’s a redundant buff anyway that other classes are certain to bring in any 25-man raid.

No, what we see here is that FI is now boosting the damage of Steady Shot by 9% — where it used to buff Arcane Shot.

This looks like the PVE boost that Ghostcrawler was talking about, as Steady Shot is not so often used in arenas, certainly not compared to raids. Steady Shot is a larger contributor to BM dps than arcane shot (though arcane does more damage, it’s just fired a lot less).

So this is certainly a buff to BM… but honestly, it’s a really small one. You have to realize that while the BM steady shot is getting a 9% buff, their arcane shot is getting a 9% nerf at the same time. The net gain ends up being really small. Like maybe 2% overall, very optimistically.

Also a nice little nerf to pvp BM.

Hopefully BM has more coming.

Note: a lot of people seem to think that the Ferocious Inspiration raid buff is new… BM has always had that! They made the range greater and made it a passive arua (as opposed to currently you pet must be attacking, essentially). But this isn’t new, and it does not stack with the idential effect provided by the ret pallies.

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  1. Bloodshine says:

    I’m hoping for BM to come back too. Might make it nice for new players and old to see that spec make a comeback. For now I’ll stay Survival. Interesting thoughts on the matter Frost as usual. :D

  2. Tavoc says:

    The exotic pets are idle right now in the stables and they expect more than that!!! It’s a good start though :) Let’s hope…

  3. Fluffywumpki of Kilrogg says:

    Comparing one of my guild’s hunters who still has a BM raid-style spec, his theoretical maximum DPS went from 8848 to 8901, or 0.6% >_<

    I understand that there's only so much Blizzard can buff Steady Shot before it makes Arcane Shot pointless for BM (removing Arcane is about a 90 DPS loss for him), but this change seems even less useful than just making FI a flat aura.

  4. Bindura says:

    I was thinking something along the lines of Cats Swiftness allows Serpent Sting to be affected by haste Or a magic stacking debuff for arcane shot (like a bleed/increase magic damage done by hunter to target i.e Serp and Arcane) Those could have been interesting changes for PvE.

  5. Nagrenol says:

    I really hope it doesn’t make a come back at all.. at least not to where i have to spec it because its the top dps tree again liek in tbc. In which i went surv for my entire raid time \m/

  6. Fradin says:

    The change will increase all 3 classes dps as all 3 specs normally use steady shot for a fill shot while waiting for GCD’s to finish so i can see all 3 specs getting a dps increase however BM will certainly be the better winner out of the hunter specs. As always tho nice to see the hunter specs getting a bit more dps.

  7. Frostheim says:

    Nope — only the 3% damage is raidwide. The steady buff is only for the hunter with the talent.

  8. Bindura says:

    A quick question, how well does steady shot scale with gear compared to arcane shot? For some reason I have a nagging feeling that Steady scales worse than arcane with the gear that BM normally stacks, and therefore won’t provide a real dps buff as the 9% nerf will scale more than the 9% buff.

  9. Fradin says:

    Oh dam means MM and SV will miss out then thanks for clearing that up Frost

  10. Frostheim says:

    Bind: they basically scale the same. Both scale based on a percentage of attack power.

  11. Znystr says:

    Interesting change, although this favors standing still types fights instead of the more movement heavy that we seem to see more of now. Wonder if that ends up being a net loss?

    btw, “… that FI is NOW boosting the damage of Steady Shot …” =)

  12. Nick says:

    The article you have written for this change is rather weak. Anyone playing BM now will continue to play it regardless of change. It’s so bad now they clearly aren’t looking to max out dps. Anyone considering going BM that raids in relevant content will see a rather large BM dps buff. They’ll have already dropped arcane shot out of their rotation due to arp, and as such the buff will be greater than what you claim.

  13. Frostheim says:

    “Anyone playing BM now will continue to play it regardless of change.”

    Sure, I totally agree with that. However the point is anyone who’s *not* playing BM (but would like to) is not going to switch back because of this change. And I think you might be confusing BM rotations with MM rotations — most BM hunters are not removing arcane shot from their rotations. They’d require a heck of a lot more ArP than MM to make that a good idea. A LOT more.

    Though with a 9% nerf to arcane and a 9% boost to steady, that may actually become a possibility (with a steady glyph).

  14. Bindura says:

    I thought arcane had a larger scaling coefficient. Which means if one has 5k AP and arcane gains 20% bonus dmg from AP thats 1k bonus. Say Steady gets 10% dmg from AP thats 500 bonus damage. 9% nerf to 1k>9% buff to 500dmg. (example numbers for clarity, I know they do not scale like that or the difference is scaling factor is that great).

    How ever with so much ArP on gear which doesn’t affect Arcane it could bring a bigger effect than I think in endgame gear. BM hunters with lower gear lvls (low ArP) who run heroics are going to suffer a nerf with this change imo.

  15. Renesme says:

    I would just like to say that i play BM spec in a raiding guild. I get invited into ICC10 and ICC25 on a regular basis and have a pretty decent dps average i hit. Now this is not about blowing my own horn here…more just to point out that yes, people do raid as BM spec, yes it is viable in a guild that respects your spec choices….and yes, my kitty is still big and red.

    Renesme, Order of Elune, Turalyon.

  16. Frostheim says:

    Yup, arcane has a larger coefficient; however, that means that the percentage difference is constant. Also keep in mind that BM should be using the steady shot glyph, which boosts it’s damage by another 10%, plus the ArP benefit you mentioned, which lowers the difference :)

  17. Uljoquin says:

    You mention Sanctified Retribution (the Ret Pally buff), but I’ve always wondered… does Ferocious Inspiration stack with Arcane Empowerment? I would assume not, but since you haven’t mentioned it otherwise (and various other blogs only mention Sanctified Retribution, when talking about Ferocious Inspiration, and how it’s, to paraphrase, “totally not worth it”), it left room for the question.

  18. Brigwyn says:

    Okay so I did a bit of number crunching and I may be off.
    But this looks to be an 11% Boost to Steady Shot. Does that seem about right?

    I’m not to the point of saying what it is as far as a total DPS +/- yet. But just in regards to what this will mean for Steady Shot in a Before/After Patch 3.3.3 view.

  19. Brigwyn says:


    To answer your question. If I remember correctly. The same rules apply. Ferocious Inspiration doesn’t stack with either Santified Retribution nor with Arcane Empowerment.

  20. Lirithiel says:

    I really really hope that this change does not go through in the end. Arcane Shot is the only instant cast BM have atm and should it get nerfed to the point where it would be more beneficial to drop it from the rotation for another Steady Shot, where does it then leave BM with movement-intensive fights?

    As most MM (well those ArP ones) drop Arcane Shot from their rotation and SV leaving it off their cast bars in favour of Explosive Shot (and rightly so), would it not be better to instead add the Steady Shot damage buff to another talent and leave Arcane Shot as is because BM are basically the only ones using this shot in our rotations?

  21. Lirithiel says:

    Typo in 2nd paragraph after blue post there Frost.

    “No, what we see here is that FI is NOT boosting the damage of Steady Shot by 9% — where it used to buff Arcane Shot.”

    FI IS boosting damage of SS ;)

  22. Perderedeus says:

    It’s silly, trading a boost to SS for the boost to Arcane. It’s not like Arcane was as nasty as Explosive Shot or Chimera Shot in PVE or PVP. I hope Frosty is right and BM has more coming, but I won’t hold my breath for anything sweeping before Cata.

  23. Drízzt (BM Hunter, Minahonda) says:

    I cannot figure out at this time, same as Frost, how it can helps BM boosting Steady Shot by 9%, but nerfing Arcane by 9%.

    I completely agree Lirithiel, Arcane Shot is our ‘star’ shot as a BM. Since Racoon Shot idea (or similar) are not progressing, Arcane is most similar shot we use as Chimera or Explosive are used by MM/SV. It starts up our synergy with Pet Crit/Hunter Crit that we need to start build up our massive damage.

    However, by tuning this Talent a little bit, we can create some kind of sinergy that enhances PVE without empower too much PVP Builds.

    For instance, what about keep same 3/6/9% Damage for Arcane Shot and 3/6/9% for Steady Shot as well.

    Or another idea much more tuned, 3/6/9% Steady Shot Damage with FI, and possibility that our Steady Shot Crits procs, and provide 3/6/9% Arcane Shot Damage during 10 seconds. By this way, PVP still needs to shot 2 or 3 steadys to activate Arcane Shot burst damage.

  24. Darthregis says:

    I saw that someone mentioned exotic pets earlier. Would a boost to BM hunters dps be viable through exotic pets, as they’re BM exclusive anyway?

    Just a thought.

  25. Beatphreek says:


    GC stated they didn’t want to buff BM through their pets directly because since they aren’t being micromanaged anymore and they rarely die to AOE Pets just becomes a DOT with a cool animation. So while that would be an obvious way to buff BM it goes against their current design philosophy.

  26. Deepfriedegg says:

    Yes, it would boost BM however this is not going to happen because of several reasons stated by Blizzard:

    1) They dont want exotic pets to be mandatory for BM
    2) They dont want to boost pet damage more now when it is around 50% because it is basicaly “just a DoT with cool art” now with 90% AoE avoidance. And in the rare cases the pet dies it would affect hunter’s DPS even more
    3) I cant remember the other reason :)

  27. Snoggi says:

    When I used Frost’s spreadsheet to calculate my dps (Beast Mastery Hunter), I found that Steady Shot contributes a lot more to my overall dps than Arcane does. Therefore, any % damage increase would have more effect on Steady Shot than it would with Arcane Shot.

    Example: you deal 3000 dps, where Arcane Shot causes 1000 of the dps, and Steady Shot causes the remaining 2000. A 9% increase to the 1000 equals 90, whereas 9% of 2000 would be 180. So the shot changed does impact the dps of the Beast Mastery hunter.

    So it IS a buff. However, I will miss the 9% on Arcane dearly in PvP…:-(

  28. Jobo says:

    Ugh. I really dislike this change as I use my BM spec primarily for pvp. This nerfs our only real burst ability, when we can’t call down very serious burst to begin with. All for an extremely minor buff to steady that won’t bring BM anywhere close to Surv or MM. I really hope Blizzard takes a hard look at the BM tree for cataclsym because right now I have no idea what they hope to be doing with it. Is it supposed to be a leveling/gimmick soloing spec only? Because it’s close to being just that, and the pvp nerf (one area where I thought BM continued to be a little underrated) may push it over the edge.

  29. Martbenzak says:


    “yes it is viable in a guild that respects your spec choices”

    There is a reason you don’t see any BM hunters in top 500 guilds, and it’s not because the guild doesn’t respect their choice. It’s because BM is NOT a viable spec for end game progression. BM is fine if you’re a casual raider and are content to clear the first wing of ICC. Just don’t expect an invite to a high end guild that’s working on hard modes.

    And one more thing. I recently did VOA with a comparably geared BM hunter (I’m MM). I beat him by 2k dps. What can I conclude from this? I’m a better player than him. It doesn’t mean MM is a better spec. I leave that conclusion to the math and complete lack of BM hunters on every top dps parse in every fight in ICC. Just because some BM hunters are beating some MM hunters doesn’t mean it’s a competitive spec. It simply means they’re a better player.

  30. Armin says:

    Jobo, brings up the best point sofar.

    This is a major nerf for PvP (again), while it still doesn’t bring BM close (enough) to SV/MM in raids.

    Let Blizzard make up its mind: either BM is a raidfspec and they should add a proper fix. Or it isn’t and then stop tweaking it, because all they are doing is filling one hole with dirt from another ,,,

  31. Frostheim says:

    Brigwyn — I’m curious how you did your math. I could be missing something obvious, but I don’t see how increasing steady dps by 9% results in a 11% boost to steady dps….

  32. Brigwyn says:

    @Frostheim –
    See if you were on Twitter you’d known about this. lol here’s the post it gives my thoughts as well as includes the proofs. :)

    I think I got my ducks in a row, but if not please let me know where I went wrong so I can get it right. :)

  33. Frostheim says:

    Just glanced at it (in a raid atm) and see two problems off the bat:

    The big one is you’re assuming that BM *didn’t* have the 3% dmg buff before. But they already had that…. from themselves (raid wide buff with basically 100% uptime), not to mention that ret pallies, and arcane mages give the same buff. So that 3% isn’t a change at all. They already had it, so not a buff.

    Also, you’re showing the steady boost, but would probably be more worthwhile to show what kind of overall dps boost it is, given there’s also the arcane shot loss. I’m seeing around 1% dps boost overall, just from qualitative theorycrafting off of raid parse with a flat 9% arcane loss and 9% steady gain.

    Finally, just a note that I don’t think changes your results, but the ammo adds 91.5 *dps*, not damage. So you gotta multiply by weapon speed, or the normalized speed for the shot (isn’t steady normalized to 2.6?).

  34. Brigwyn says:

    Thanks Frost :)

    I see you’re point about including the Ret Pally and Arcane Mage buffs as something they had before. I almost think I’d prefer to show both ways actually. Yes, most raids probably have it, I’m sure there’s some of the more casual guilds that may not. This will allow me to show the min/max benefit.

    And thank you for finding my ammo error. I’ll correct it. I’m not sure about Steady Shots Normalized speed. And most BM hunters will probably have SS that’ll make the typical Steady around a 1.5 cast. I’ll give more thought to this one.

    I agree that the final needs to show the actuall DPS gains. At that time I was trying to show the difference to Steady Shot itself. More to show how GC basically reverted the change from 3.0.8.

    I was going to tackle the DPS maybe this weekend as part of my ongoing battle with you over BM Viability. :P lol (Man, no matter how many times I ask for us to end this it keeps on going and going. worse than the energizer bunny. lol I told Rip we need to do a roundtable and settle it mano-y-mano once and for al. :P )

    So only a +1% Net eh? Hmm.. that seems surprising to make such a change for so little gain. Do you think we’re missing someting or is this really only a move to revert the 3.0.8 nerf as much as possible?

    Anywhoo! Thanks for taking a look at it. I do appreciate the feedback.

  35. Brigwyn says:

    And before anyone gets their knickers in a bunch.

    When I say “Us” end this I wasn’t talking Frost and I but the Hunter Community. :)

  36. Rhinochaser says:

    Im going thru some very mixed feelings about this whole BM vs MM/SV thing. I acknowledge that sv and mm are superior specs. But I feel like Im a superior BM player. One of the best on my relm. I know thats kinda like being the smartest kid in the special ed. class if you believe all the BM sucks info. thats out there right now.

    I have rolled BM so long there is certainly a learning curve to be delt with if I go SV or MM. And not to mention re gemming all my gear which will cost about 4000 gold as I figure it. I wish we didnt have to gem completely different to get the most from BM. Pissing me off. My gear is getting better as I raid the 1st wings of ICC but I still have not got one of the top tier ranged weapons. I may wait until I do before I make the switch and re gem everything just so I can compare them.

    This just sucks hard IMHO I dont want to be treated any better but why do we have to be treated so much worse as BM.

    Man I would hate to make all these changes and find Im doing a few hundred more DPS or WORSE less because Im a below avg. SV/MM hunter.

  37. Rhinochaser says:

    Frost: Which would you suggest to go with for ease of transition and best DPS right now SV or MM? I have a MM spec and its solid. I see you are rolling MM now. Is MM a better DPS spec. atm?

  38. Snoggi says:

    So I guess the general verdict is that the slight increase in raid damage doesn’t live up to nerf it gives BM hunters in PvP?

  39. Snoggi says:

    @ Martbenzak:

    There’s so much wrong with your reasoning that I hardly know where to begin. So let me put it this way:

    If a BM hunter, who can only deal 70% of the maximum damage of that of a MM hunter, deals 10% less damage than the MM hunter, then that means that if he were playing MM, he’d be dealing 20% more than the MM and thus is actually a better player, relatively spoken.

    So saying that someone’s lousy player because they choose a different spec is not only moronic, but it’s also not a given fact.

  40. Frostheim says:

    I’m going to go ahead and post the math behind the BM changes in a new post :)

  41. fernando says:

    i have abandoned my hunter since bm is not king, because i love my pet and i don’t want it to be a tedious follower… i will take it back to level 85 as bm, but i will probably drop the hunter again if the end game leaves again bm in the backyard… in my opinion all talent trees should be equal in dps, and let the player choose

  42. Borro says:

    Bluesky thinking; how about boosting BM DPS by allowing it to have two pets up at the same time?? how does that sound?? :)

  43. Martbenzak says:

    Awful. The thought of managing 2 pets in a raid is not appealing at all. It would also make hunter’s vastly overpowered in PVP. Think about having 2 crabs in an arena. You could pin 2 people at the same time while freezing a 3rd.

  44. Rolo says:

    hey, sorry about late reply – but i reccently changed to BM ArP spec – i have MM not here to flame or anything, but with high end gear + ArP it does work nicely : ) srpt – multi – steady (SPAM!!!) repeat : 3

  45. bob says:

    just to say.
    FI was ment to only increase arcane shot by 9% but now with recent 3.3.3patch it also increases SS damage by 9%. the 9%arcane damage bonus still applies.
    ……, In addition increases the damage dealt by arcane shot AND steady shot by 9%.