Spent some time working with Call Beast (a much easier process than A Murder of Crows, thank you very much) and got a pretty good handle on how it works. (Note the name has since been changed from Call Beast to Dire Beast). Here’s a video with most of the info:

How Dire Beast Works

First of all, the tooltip:

Dire Beast
30 sec cooldown

Summons a powerful wild beast to assist you in combat for 12 sec. Each time the beast deals damage, you will gain 2 focus.

As we’ve all seen from the videos, when you use the ability one of three possible beasts appears behind the target. These include a giant brown bug, a white tiger, or an orange tiger. The beasts in Dire Beast appear to be significantly larger than standard hunter pet size (though with the beta hunter pet bugs it’s hard to tell for certain) and they attack with a single melee attack.

Here are the testing details for Dire Beast. Note that this is still the MoP beta and it’s subject to change at any time:

  • All of the three beasts types are mechanical identical — they have no special abilities and no one is better than another.
  • The beast acts like a pet on Assist stance: if you’re attacked it will attack. It will also attack anything you’re attacking, and if you change targets the beast will change targets too.
  • If you aren’t attacking Dire Beast will just summon the beast behind your target, and then the beast will run to your side and hang out for its 12 second duration, chillaxin.
  • If you’re actively attacking, the beast will get 6 attacks in. This means that each instance of Dire Beast nets you 12 focus (or a net 0.4 focus per second if used as often as possible)
  • The beast can be targeted and killed. It’s health scales with hunter health, and is 20% of hunter health — making it fairly beefy and unlikely to get one-shot or killed with AoE pulses.
  • The beast’s damage is base damage plus about 41.7% of hunter ranged attack power.
  • The beasts from Dire Beast seem to inherit 100% of hunter hit, expertise, and crit. They do not gain any haste from the hunter.

Dire Beast vs A Murder of Crows

Right now it’s looking like A Murder of Crows is a bit better than Dire Beast — assuming the crows aren’t killed — but it’s an interesting comparison and we won’t know the answer for certain until we see how the abilities pan out at level 90. Dire Beast does around 1/3 the damage of A Murder of Crows, and can be used twice as often with a 30 sec cooldown vs 1 minute. In addition Dire Beast restores 12 focus every 30 seconds, which translate into almost an extra Arcane Shot per minute. But, Dire Beast is free to cast, while A Murder of Crows costs 60 focus.

Further, there is some indication that it will be difficult for multiple hunters to use A Murder of Crows — it puts a 15-second or so debuff on the target, and it’s very possible that another hunter can’t cast it while the debuff is active (I very much hope this is not true, but I’m not sure what else the debuff is for — unless it’s dispellable, which would also be horrible). Clearly I need to get another hunter and a dispeller to help with some beta testing.

But speculation aside, early indications suggest that A Murder of Crows might well beat out Dire Beast for raw dps in a fight where you don’t have to worry about AoE killing the crows off.

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  1. Dis says:

    I hope they increase the focus return from Call Beast a bit to make this an interesting choice. If they double/triple the focus per attack it becomes a choice between a high cost high damage ability and a no cost/low damage/high focus return ability.. oh and that other thing that BM hunters might choose for burst sometime but not really ever.

  2. Semris says:

    PvP wise Call Beast seems better because it costs no focus. In middle of fight you won’t have spare 60 focus to call crows. Plus beast has 20% hunters health while crows have only 5%. Crows will die much quicker if enemy uses AoE.

    So for me as PvPer, beast looks much better.

    Did I miss something?

    • Semris says:

      Either way I’m getting scared of all those added skills. Yes they removed one shot, but in my case as I see in talent calculator, there are 3 active offense skills added.

      Overall means managing two more shots… Well I hope I will be able to. Rotation starts to get more and more complicated.

      I should have rolled a mage… I could have used just one button for arcane blast whole time.

  3. Deavande says:

    I thought Blizz said you would not be able to theory-craft these so called talents. Guess they failed all ready.

    • Cinterclaus says:

      They said that in the sense that one will not be a hands-down, no-brainer, must-have better choice than the others. Not in the sense that no one would try to decide which is better. They would be crazy to say “no one will theory-craft these”. They certainly didn’t mean “no one will come up with their own opinion about which is better”. Just that opinions will vary, thus there’s no reason for everyone to take the same one.

      If the players all decide to follow someone’s lead and just do whatever they do– well, there’s nothing Blizz could ever do about that.

      • Frostheim says:

        Actually I think they did say that they wanted talents for which you could not theorycraft which was best — i.e. empirically test for which yields the highest dps in a given situation.

        However, anything that improves our dps is subject to theorycrafting, and we have a couple of tiers of these abilities, and we will indeed calculate which is best. This is why most of our talent tiers do not have dps boosts in them — so that they remain not theorycraftable.

        Given how many hunters have complained about the lack of dps talents, it was probably a wise move on Blizzard’s part to include a couple dps talents, even if they end up having a “right” answer most of the time.

  4. Nakilrond says:

    Blizz stated a while back that talents are meant to be easily changed between boss fights, similar to current situational glyphs. Basically, what we’re seeing here is:
    MoC- highest theoretical DPS, ideal choice but susceptible to boss AoE.
    CB- less DPS but effectively immune to attacks that would kill crows.
    Lynx Rush- extra AoE CD for fights with adds.

    Basically, Blizz is keeping par with the “no-theorycrafting” system. But it’s also a no-brainer with obvious right answers, they just vary by encounter.

    • Ril says:

      Lynx Rush does as much damage in single target situations as during AoE periods. the only thing it does is making the pet a little less useless in many-low-hp-adds situations for a very brief time.

      the choices keep interesting as we have to take boss mechanics, focus circumstances, flight time and such into account. lynx rush is the most reliable spell right now. it is likely that the pet already on a boss when cast, as opposed to freshly called adds.

  5. Lumberg says:

    I have to say, once you put aside the qol issues that they fixed, what we’re left with has been very lackluster.
    Every pvp hunter with any sense will pick silencing shot (which should have been made a baseline ability by now).
    Readiness will be the clear choice for both pvp and pve. The other talents just aren’t strong enough by comparison.
    Murder of Crows, Lynx Rush, and Call Beast are the definition of boring talents. They function almost identically so it becomes mostly a cosmetic choice (assuming they can actually balance damage).
    The last tier has some promise but two of the talents suffer from this absurd “pathway” mechanic. This is one of those ideas that sounds cool but will fail miserably.
    Finally there’s Stampede. It’s very simple, if the 10 min. cd makes it to live I will NOT be playing a hunter in MoP. I can’t stand the idea of doing optimal dps only half the time.

    • Semris says:

      Actually my talents for PvP for now:

      1) Exhilaration
      2) Binding shot (will replace concussive shot in my action bar)
      3) Spirit bond
      4) Thrill of the hunt
      5) Lynx rush
      6) Powershot

      I’m getting at my limit with keeping up the BM rotation already. For example in BM I often find myself not using fervor at all in the heat of the fight. Also in current talent tree I don’t pick focus fire (I’m not able to add it to my PvP rotation).

      So basically I’m picking passive skills over active skills anytime, plus I’m taking active skills with longest possible timers in this talent set.

      Overall? Yesterday I reinstalled Rift. Not saying I will quit or anything like that. But I need a break. And I predict big issues with rotation in MoP for myself as I have written above.

  6. tee says:

    if the price of removing min range is no conc shot and having another stat to cap, please let me have min range.

  7. Masa says:

    wanted to mention this last night. while i don’t feel like logging in right now. MMO is reporting call beast was renamed dire beast.

  8. tee says:

    Is disengage fixed in the beta? What about the auto targeting bug. Or do we still have to macro /startattack on EVERY shot?

    • Frostheim says:

      Um…. I’m not familiar with exactly what bugs you’re talking about…

      Disengage does indeed work in the beta, and on live. If you’re referring to the jumping/disengaging charge change, that was a deliberate change that has not been reversed.

      What auto-targetting bug? You still do not auto-acquire targets and have to tab or click or assist to target; however, you don’t need to macro /startattack to activate your auto-shot. Ditto for live. If you fire any shot, your auto-shot will turn on.

      • tee says:

        I must admit I took a few months off so I probably missed when blizzard said disengage was working as intended. Couldn’t find a blue post anywhere. If you or one of your readers provide the link it will be greatly appreciated, as I want to see how they justify the disengage (as it is currently working) to be their design goal.

        As far as auto targeting, I’m sure that if you press your shot it won’t acquire the target unless you macro /startattack. Again I took a little time off, maybe they fixed it while I was gone. I’ll try it when I get home.


    • Masa says:

      the auto targeting upon pressing an attack was not a bug. this was an intended change to stop players that don’t know what they are doing (and some other hunter based accidents from happening).

      yes, any ability you want to continue to auto target you will have to make a macro that has /startattack in the first line. after well over a year since this change i can attest that quality of life hasn’t degraded. if you’re short on macro space then the only real ability that you need to worry about making this macro for is multi-shot.

      • Masa says:

        @frost further clarification… up until 4.2? … if you stood in front of an enemy with nothing targeted and pressed arcane shot then you would automatically target the closest enemy and fire off an arcane shot. being able to have multi-shot auto target the closest enemy saved downtime and any confusion in AoE pack moments.

        having shots that auto target naturally also allowed for hunters to accidentally pull mobs outside of of the current fight or accidentally engage the next group just as the current group has fallen.

      • Frostheim says:

        Ah, I thought that’s what he was referring to, but wasn’t sure. And indeed, it is not a bug and unlikely to be changed back.

  9. tee says:

    Well that’s too bad, especially for newer/less experience players that are going to be less efficient.

    What about patch notes on the disengage change? anyone?

    Hey, at least we got conc shot back!

  10. Kinegos says:

    What you described is not anything like what I’m seeing with the updated spell. I admit I didn’t do thorough testing, but I attacked three different mob types near the Nesingwary camp several different times with the spell, and in each case a copy of the mob spawned to help me – no more bugs or tigers. It was pretty awesome, really.

    I tried this on the foxes, the wolves and the big dinosaur mobs.

  11. Lorn says:

    I always wanted them to add texture/graphic changes while in each aspect that take on features of that animal.

    So, for instance, a leaf pattern on your skin and a green tint while in nature, maybe with some leafs falling behind the player. You could have feathers for hawk, spots for cheetah (if you wanted to get really spicy your could actually make the player’s model become more lanky while in cheetah or pack).

    Then again, they’d never do it, too much of a design time sink.

    • Lorn says:

      Wait, what the fuck? This was suppose to be posted in the aspects minor glyph post.