I finally got into the Mists of Pandaria beta with the very last wave, and after the podcast on Saturday I promptly hopped in, specced my character and started playing with A Murder of Crows for about 3-4 hours and got a pretty good handle on how it works. Here’s a video with most of the info:
How A Murder of Crows Works
First of all, here’s what the tooltip tells us:
A Murder of Crows
1 min cooldown
Summons a flock of crows to attack your target over the next 30 sec. If used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown will be reset.
Overall not a ton of detail, and no info about how much damage it does, and whether that damage scales at all. This ability was a bit of a pain to test because all of the crows show up with the same name in the combat logs, and on top of that it appears that the raider’s target dummy is now a level 93 dummy — thus more time went into this than I had hoped.
Here are the testing details of A Murder of Crows. Note that of course this is still the MoP beta and it’s subject to chance at any time.
- It looks like you get 15 crows that appear over the course of the first 15 seconds of the ability. After the first 15 seconds no more crows appear.
- It’s possible that each individual crow from A Murder of Crows is only around for 15 seconds. It seems like they fade out slowly at the end, which supports this theory, but I can’t confirm it.
- The crows can be targeted and killed. The health of the crows scales with the hunter health — they have 5% hunter health. Thus the crows have little enough health that it’s possible to AoE them down, which could be an issue in boss fights with pulsing AoE, and for PvP — though of course since the crows appear over 15 seconds it would take several AoEs (or letting them attack for half the duration) to get rid of them all.
- The A Murder of Crows damage scales with hunter ranged attack power, doing a base damage plus 4% of hunter RAP. The base damage at level 85 on a lvl 85 target after armor was about 790, and I’ll do more precise measurements once we get to level 90 and see what the level 90 base damage is.
- The crows can miss and be dodged. They inherit 100% of hunter’s hit chance and expertise: thus if you’re hit capped the crows won’t miss, and if you’re dodge capped they won’t dodge.
- The crows can crit (for double damage) and appear to inherit 100% of hunter crit chance.
- The crows do not appear to inherit any haste from the hunter at all.
- BM’s mastery does not affect their damage, as we expected (neither are they affected by Bestial Wrath, other than to lower the cost of the ability).
- Readiness does reset A Murder of Crows cooldown; however, you do not get two murders of crows — instead if you Readiness and retrigger A Murder of Crows you instead replace the existing one with the new one. Again this is working the way we’d expect.
- It appears that over the course of the ability the crows get a total of around 100 attacks, though that number varies a bit up and down.
- At level 85 with so-so gear the ability did about 5,000 dps during the 30 seconds it was active, on a level 85 target. This is pretty nice, especially with a 50% uptime.
Overall, this ability is looking pretty good (not to mention it looks pretty sweet in action — though I have to admit I particularly like using it on a target that dies so I have a murder of crows following me around the lovely new Mists of Pandaria landscape). I’m pleased that the damage of the crows scales with the hunter, though I’m a bit disappointed that they do not scale with hunter haste — this means that the dps of this ability will scale a bit more slowly than our hunter dps. Get a few things like that and you have the situations where hunter dps appears too tough at launch, then weakens slowly throughout the tiers of the expansion until we need to be buffed again.
But this is what the beta is for after all. With any luck A Murder of Crows will be scaling with haste as well by the time Mists of Pandaria goes live. I’m still working on testing Call Beast, but so far A Murder of Crows is looking to provide about 3 times the damage (of course Call Beast is bugged at the moment and can be used infinitely, but assuming it actually had its cooldown). This makes sense, since the Call Beast restores focus as well and has more health, it makes sense that it provides less dps.