We saw a new beta build and MMO-C has datamined some new updates for hunters (in addition to some stuff to keep the support classes distracted so that they don’t revolt and all insist on rolling hunters themselves). Here’s the rundown:
- Stampede now will only affect your current target. I assume this is so that the Stampede doesn’t run amok and pull everything in sight.
- Trap Mastery nerfed slightly so that it only increases the number of snakes summoned by 4, down from 6. And with the newly buffed snakes, I suppose that’s fair enough.
- Lynx Rush cooldown was reduced to 1.5 minutes, down from 2 min.
- Dire Beast (the talent formerly known as Call Beast) was buffed to boost the range to 40 yards, up from 30, and more importantly the duration was increased to 15 seconds, up from 12 sec, and the focus regen was boost to 5 focus per attack, up from 2 focus.
Without question the most interesting change here is Dire Beast, which looks like it’s being buffed to compete a bit better with A Murder of Crows, which was kicking Dire Beast’s ass on the meters. With the new duration Dire Beast should be giving us 7 attacks instead of 6 (I tried to test, but instead just spent the night getting kicked out of the beta). That is a flat 16.6% dps boost there, but now the ability should be restoring 35 focus over the duration, rather than 12 focus over the duration.
That suddenly becomes an amount of focus that we can actually do something with! That’s an extra Arcane Shot with some change left over to ease a tight rotation! That’s also something that make Dire Beast a bit more exciting — it’s going to start to feel like a real cooldown that you’re excited to hit for the dps burst. Not a huge burst, of course, but still.
So how will the numbers compare to A Murder of Crows? Unfortunately it’s a bit difficult to call. Now that the focus regen is becoming meaningful and the damage isn’t so far behind, a lot is going to depend on exactly what kind of dps our Arcane Shot is going to be giving us up at level 90. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still going to have a “right” answer, but at least they’re close enough now that we’ll have to wait a bit to do the math.
Certainly, however, A Murder of Crows is the choice of awesomeness for grinding a bajillion mobs that keep respawning — which is something you can probably do on Mists of Pandaria opening night and never so effectively again. But chain-casting it on guys at 20% health and watching the crows swarm everything in the neighborhood is big fun.