Patch 5.1 is here, and brings with it some big game changers, but fairly minor hunter changes. Starting with the significant changes for hunters:
- Aspect of the Hawk buffed to provide 15% AP, up from 10%!
- No more Aspect of the Fox
- Steady Shot & Cobra Shot can be cast on the run by default!
- New Glyph of Aimed Shot lets you hardcast Aimed Shot while moving
- MM Steady Focus ability will last a whopping 20 seconds, making it far easier to maintain the buff
- Lynx Rush damage will change to a bleed effect, but the overall damage done will be the same. This means it’s less bursty, but same overall dps.
- Careful Aim has been buffed a bit to work on targets over 80% health, rather than only over 90%
- Glyph of Solace (previously Icy Solace) will let both Scatter Shot and Freezing Trap remove all DoTs.
Upgrade Gear with Valor & Justice Points
While this is not a hunter-specific thing, it’s a big enough deal that I thought I’d point it out for those who haven’t been following the patch 5.1 changes. You will be able to spend justice points or valor points to upgrade your existing gear, making it up to 8 ilvls higher (with correspondingly higher stats).
Here’s the basic details:
- You can upgrade just about any item of ilvl 458 or higher, including crafted items, dungeon & raid drops, quest rewards, and Darkmoon trinkets.
- Items of ilvl 458-469 are upgraded with Justice Points. You spend 1,500 justice points to upgrade an item 8 ilvls. You can only do this once per item, and you can’t undo it.
- Items of ilvl 470+ are upgraded with Valor Points. You spend 750 valor points to upgrade an item 4 ilvls. You can do this twice, to get a total of 8 ilvls for 1,500 valor points.
- PvP gear can be upgraded with honor and conquest points in a similar fashion
It’s also worth noting a couple of other neat patch 5.1 changes: you will now be able to go into old raid dungeons (from before Mists of Pandaria) without needing to be in a raid group, to make it easier to solo old content.
Then there’s the Brawler’s Guild, which lets you engage in badass 1-on-1 PVE challenges against various monsters. Both of these things are more ways that Blizzard is finding to let you do cool stuff in the endgame without needing to raid or arena.
I’m looking forward to patch 5.1 — I think it’s going to have a lot of sweet stuff (though I’m dubious on having more reputation to grind). I’m not convinced it’s going to balance raid dps to where I’d like to see it, but I’m willing to reserve judgement on that until the numbers start coming in.