MMO-C has datamined a host of changes in the newest MoP beta patch, including a bunch of changes that we were expecting based on Blizzard comments. Topping the change list is:
- Black Arrow is back to the current incarnation: 35 focus, instant, 30 second cooldown, no AoE component. Combined with this Serpent Spread is back in the SV arsenal.
- Concussive Shot is back, and the glyph that added the Concussive Shot effect to Arcane Shot has been removed.
- Focus cost on many shots have been reduced (similar to having the effect of the no-longer around Efficiency talent). This includes Chimera and Explosive Shot dropping from 50 to 44 focus, and Arcane Shot dropping from 25 to 22 focus.
- Explosive Trap DoT ticks can once again proc Lock & Load.
- Growl threat has been increased 11%
- Call Beast has been renamed Dire Beast (really, just a day after I do the video?)
- The base damage of many shots has been increased by 12.5%. This includes Wyvern Sting, Chimera Shot, Explosive Shot, Arcane Shot (10%), Explosive Trap, Kill Shot, Steady Shot, Serpent Sting.
- Aimed Shot now uses 160% of weapon damage, up from 90%. Additional damage increased by 100% (doubled).
- Powershot was buffed to deal 400% weapon damage to the target plus 100% weapon damage to all other guys in the line of fire (up from 100% / 25%)
- Go for the Throat: now when your Arcane Shot crits it reduces the focus cost of your pet’s next basic attack by 100%.
- Glyph of Distracting shot makes your Distracting Shot distract the enemies to your pet, instead of you. This is awesome!
In addition to these ability changes, MMO-C also has datamined set bonuses for the hunter tier 14 sets. I should caution that these are very preliminary. I’m particularly suspicious because last time Blizzard had hunter set bonuses like this (a different set bonus for each spec) they ended up changing it to a single bonus that all specs could benefit from.
- Hunter T14 2-piece Your Kill Command deals $1% additional damage, your Chimera Shot deals 15% additional damage, and your Explosive Shot deals 5% additional damage.
- Hunter T14 4-piece Increases the duration of your Bestial Wrath ability by 6 sec, increases the chance for Black Arrow to trigger Lock and Load by 20%, and increases the ranged attack speed granted by Steady Focus by an additional 10%.
Overall there’s not a lot of big news in these changes. The most significant news is the reintroduction of Concussive Shot along with the removal of the slowing glyph for Arcane Shot. This is a change that is going to make a lot of hunter happy, as the zero-cost slowing shot was far more beneficial than appending the ability to the low-cost Arcane Shot.
The Black Arrow changes are welcome, but we knew they were coming so are not major news. Similarly the slight boost in base damage to many shots is not a very substantial change — remember that they initially nerfed the base damage for low-level balance reasons (and are supposed to boost dps on ranged weapons to compensate — which has not yet happened), and clearly decided they nerfed it a bit too much. For most of those shots the actual scaling isn’t changing (% weapon damage and/or % of RAP) so the impact of a change in the base damage is pretty negligible at high level and is only a big deal at low levels.
I’m happy to see the focus cost being changed to Efficiency levels on several abilities to more closely represent the actual cost we currently have to pay for these main shots. Aimed Shot & Powershot were significantly buffed, and needed it, so that’s a very good move but also expected.
I think the new Glyph of Distracting Shot is fascinating with some interesting implications for ping ponging strategies — actually one of the most interesting changes in this batch to me. It makes me wonder if there’s any range requirement (pet’s range from the hunter). After all, you can have your pet parked 100 yards away at the far end of the room and then distract your target to the pet (keeping in mind that Distracting Shot doesn’t always work on bosses). The duration is likely to wear off before the target reaches the pet, at which point they turn around and head back, which is when the other hunter with the pet on the opposite site of the room hits Distracting Shot…