Back in town and tons of hunter news to catch up on. I’ll probably be making several posts today catching up with all the latest beta info, as well as updating the MoP guides page to reflect the various changes (and I have some work to do over on WHH too). But to begin, Ghostcrawler weighed in on the changes to Black Arrow. As you’ll recall, MoP beta had Black Arrow with a 2-second cast time (and didn’t combo with Aspect of the Fox, so you absolutely could not cast it on the move) but in exchange everything in the path of Black Arrow got a DoT applied to it.

Unfortunately this replaced Serpent Spread, and was a pretty horribly crummy replacement at that, as a forum poster Jujubiju started a thread to point out. Ghostcrawler replied:

We agree with you that the redesigned Black Arrow hasn’t worked out well yet, and even overlaps a little with the new Powershot talent. We are likely to revert Black Arrow to the 4.3 design.

This caused much rejoicing, but then poster Bulletime asked about what would happen with Serpent Spread and SV AoE. Ghostcrawler again stepped in to say:

We would re-implement Serpent Spread.

This is undeniably good news for SV hunters in MoP — Serpent Spread is a far, far superior AoE than the beta Black Arrow (even if it didn’t have a cast time). But of course this is still beta and Ghostcrawler is carefully wording his responses with “likely” and “would.” As always, everything is subject to change, but it’s certainly great to see Blizzard responding to hunter feedback.

This probably will put SV back at the top of the AoE food chain (probably because we’ll have to see how Beast Cleave works out in the final numbers), and turns the spec AoE situation into this:

  • BM: Beast Cleave comboing with Multi-Shot for good sustained AoE, with Bestial Wrath allowing a lot more Multi-Shots and Beast Cleaving damage for short-term burst.
  • MM: Enjoying plenty of half-priced Multi-Shots for steady AoE.
  • SV: Crazy Serpent Sting DoTting with the Multi-Shots for what is likely to be the highest sustained AoE.
  • Everyone: also gets to use their traps and AoE talent choices.

Essentially this gives BM a nice AoE boost when compared to what they have now, and leaves the MM/SV comparison about where it is. Honestly I’d like to see a small improvement to MM AoE to put it a bit closer to par with the other specs — unless the damage of Multi-Shot itself is going up enough to where just casting more Multi-Shots than any other spec is enough of an advantage.

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  1. stdy says:

    If they revert SV aoe to Serpent Spread only, that will make it 3+ times worse than BM aoe via Beast Cleave.
    Take as example one of top Ultraxion 10H SV logs: Serpent
    Sting did 470k damage, pet did 1000k.
    Now we know that Serpent Sting (after they removed Improved SS) is just just the damage of SS multiplied by the number of mobs. And Beastcleave is in fact single target pet damage multiplied by the number of mobs.
    We can see that even for SV pet (no BM pet buffs, no BM mastery, no Bestial Wrath) Beastcleave is 2+ times more damage than Serpent Spread.

    • sheppo says:

      serpent spread isn’t intended for single target encounters, and you shouldn’t compare two different abilities across two different specs alone. balancing will be done to ensure specs are competitive before go live.

      • stdy says:

        > serpent spread isn’t intended for single target encounters
        i explained why i took single target SS – because atm there’s no ISS on beta and serpent spread is multiplied by the number of mobs, nothing more.
        > balancing will be done to ensure specs are competitive before go live.
        sure, just like it was done with BM aoe in cata ;)

    • Frostheim says:

      That’s not really a fair comparison. First of all, we don’t know whether Imp Serpent Sting will be around if they revert the SV AoE changes or not — I suspect it likely will.

      Secondly, Beast Cleave is not the total pet damage multiplied by the number of mobs — it’s only your pets *melee* attacks that hit nearby targets (not basic attacks, or kill command) — not only that, but we don’t yet know what the range of Beast Cleave is yet, but it seems very likely that it will be more like a cleave than a multi-shot, meaning it will hit a narrower range.

      • stdy says:

        Beast Cleave is actually pets melee attack + basic attack (yes Kill Command is not copied, that’s why i had SV pet as example)
        Here’s piece of log made on raiders target dummy (3 of them standing nearby in Orgrimmar):
        [18:13:07.343] Spirit Beast’s Beast Cleave is refreshed by Stedik
        [18:13:07.343] Spirit Beast hits Raider’s Training Dummy 75
        [18:13:08.453] Spirit Beast Beast Cleave Raider’s Training Dummy 75
        [18:13:08.453] Spirit Beast Beast Cleave Raider’s Training Dummy 75
        [18:13:08.953] Spirit Beast hits Raider’s Training Dummy 1422
        [18:13:10.046] Spirit Beast Beast Cleave Raider’s Training Dummy 1422
        [18:13:10.046] Spirit Beast Beast Cleave Raider’s Training Dummy 1422

      • stdy says:

        and this for basic attack
        [18:13:04.031] Spirit Beast’s Beast Cleave is refreshed by Stedik
        [18:13:06.437] Spirit Beast Claw Raider’s Training Dummy 6725
        [18:13:07.343] Spirit Beast Beast Cleave Raider’s Training Dummy 6725
        [18:13:07.343] Spirit Beast Beast Cleave Raider’s Training Dummy 6725

  2. Ryojii says:

    so the initial damage from imp ss is gone? i had seen some people saying yes, some saying no. if it is gone, then sv’s aoe is gonna be pretty weak in mop unless its changed in some way. i think the initial damage of serpent sting should just be baseline. several of the support classes have initial damage components to their dots, so i dont think its too farfetched.

  3. Taira says:

    Worry less about numbers and more about function right now. Serpent Spread currently has the benefit of the synergy from Improved Serpent Sting. It’s quite possible that, if Blizzard does indeed change SV AoE, they will add Imp. Serpent Sting to Serpent Spread. It’s not too late to combine the two, or give both to SV as spec-specific passive abilities.

  4. Aergor says:

    Off topic, but I would just like to say that I love the fact that the entirety of WHU articles appear in my phone’s RSS reader unlike some other websites which force me to follow the link and open a browser window to read the whole thing. Thank you sir.

  5. Ril says:

    will beast cleave copy the lynx rush damage to every nearby target too?

    oh, and don’t forget MM mastery. afaik, this proccs off MS too. i might be wrong but compared to SV and BM, the MM mastery is by far the strongest for AoE effects. or am i foretting something? not sure how the SV mastery kicks in.

  6. BigSal says:

    Has anyone seen the useless ability hunters will get from the druids Symbiosis talent? “Removes all roots and snares, and increases movement speed by 70% for 15 sec.” It’s a freaking 3 minute cooldown too! If you know how to kite you don’t need the speed increase which we’ll be able to get from cheetah now wihout risking the being dazed. This is from a PVP point of view by the way. If you’re a hunter you have to complain in forums for months and months before Blizzard helps your class out but if you’re a mage don’t worry because someone is looking out for you from within. Guess what all mages get from druids now… You guessed it, a heal, because mages didn’t have tons of shields already and evocation which heals them almost to full so Blizzard had to give them another heal. This is a joke. Here’s a toast to another whole expansion of high rated pvp controlled by mages!

    • BigSal says:

      Oh yeah, i forgot. The heal mages will get from druids (Healing Touch) is on a 10sec cooldown. Have fun trying to kill a mage with tons of shields, the ability to get a self heal every 10 secs and if things go really bad they can always iceblock to give their healer time to heal them up.