Tier 15 Set Bonuses

Posted: by Arth

Hunter 2-piece T15 Set Bonus:  Your Steady Shot and Cobra Shot have a chance to summon a Thunderhawk to fight for you for the next 10 sec.

*yawn* Another summoned pet.  So at any given point, we can have 5 pets from Stampede, a flock of crows, a Dire Beast Pet, and now this.  We get it, Blizzard.  We’re the pet class.  Find a new gimmick.  Seriously though, this is neither good nor bad, but isn’t really a dynamic set bonus.  This IS affected by BM mastery, but the proc rates for the various specs are different to account for this, so it looks like dps for this proc will be fairly similar for all specs.

Hunter 4-piece T15 Set Bonus: Your Arcane Shot and Multi-shot have a chance to trigger a Lightning Arrow at the target, dealing 100% weapon damage as nature.

This also has spec implications.  SV’s mastery bonus (increased nature dmg.), and the fact that you’re probably casting more multi-shots in SV anyway (it’s the default AoE spec right now) means that this will be a big deal for SV hunters.

So if we want to determine a “winner” it’s probably SV, but only slightly, and only with the 4-piece.

Arth’s Set Bonus Proposal:

It’s not a new idea to want to choose our own set bonus from among ANY set bonus.  So, for example, if you’re doing some soloing, you could wear your T14 but use the T5 set bonus that gives us extra healing to our pet.

But here’s my variation on that: Only allow this feature on non-LFR gear.  And only allow the player to choose set bonuses equal to or lower than the gear level.  In other words, T13 gear couldn’t use the t14 bonus, but could use Tiers 1-13.

Would there be a “best” set bonus for single target and AoE?  Of course.  It’s the nature of the beast.  But with some proper balancing, we could switch between as many as 3-4 bonuses depending on the boss fight or spec we use, and would have 1-2 others available to us for things like soloing and tanking.  And making it non-LFR-only means that you’re providing a perk that encourages raid progression.  LFR was created so all players could “see the content” and help them gear up.  And it does that well.  But other than the half-ilvl upgrade, there aren’t perks for the hardcore raiders who are running both LFR and regulars each week to stay on the cutting edge of progression.  This would solve that issue.

What are your thoughts on the T15 bonuses, or set bonuses in general?

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  1. Smmoke says:

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7593740975?page=1#2 is a blue post confirming that the 2P set bonus is affected by BM mastery.

    I’ll agree that these aren’t terribly exciting set bonuses though.

    • Arth says:

      Cool beans; updated. That blue post came through since I last checked the forums, so I hadn’t seen it. Thanks.

  2. Deavan says:

    According to Blizzard in a forum post ( http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7593740975 ) the 2T15 bonus does scall for BM, but exact numbers are still subject to change:

    • The Hunter 2T15 bonus is a chance to summon a Thunderhawk. That Thunderhawk will assist you, and will always cast 5x Lightning Bolts for 16k to 24k Nature damage. Its damage will scale with BM mastery, and will not scale with Survival mastery. However, the proc chances (which are Real PPM) vary by spec: 0.7/min for BM, 1/min for MM, 1.2/min for Surv.
    • The Hunter 4T15 bonus is affected by Survival’s mastery, cannot trigger Wild Quiver, and procs at a rate of 3 RealPPM.

    • Arth says:

      Yup, thanks. tweaked the post to reflect the BM thing.

    • Dhorvin says:

      Have I missed something? Why does Survival have a better proc chance that Marksmanship? MM doesn’t get any extra benefit from it over them does it? And why does the 4PC benefit from Survival mastery but explicitly not benefit from MM mastery? Does Blizzard just like kicking specs while they’re down or what?

      • Arth says:

        While I can’t explain the decisions behind each of these, I will say that it’s actually probably a good thing that SV gets the slight boost instead of MM. Because unless we see a significant buff to MM (there is none on the PTR currently) it’s not going to be viable regardless of set bonuses. So I’d rather see the specs I’ll be using get extra buffs.

      • Kaneli says:

        “Some have asked why the 2pc procs more often for Survival than Marksmanship. Marksmanship typically has more haste than Survival, such as from Steady Focus. (Remember, RealPPM proc rates scale with your haste).”
        – Blue post, see MMO-Champion

  3. Gummybear says:

    Imo they are shiny set bonuses that make you look good while not helping a lot.

  4. Dibbler says:

    They can always tweak the numbers around for balance, that won’t be a big issue. What bothers me is both of these bonuses are completely passive, 100% fire-and-forget mechanics (maybe the 4 piece will prop up thrill of the hunt a little on single target or something but that would only be changing our playstyle because of a talent we already have). I’m not looking for a new spell or big change in our priority or anything like that, but it would be nice to see SOMETHING other than just some extra damage added on.

    Despite the fact that the first tier of an expansion usually has the least complex set bonuses, I feel like the extra 6 seconds on bestial wrath is a great example of a way to make a set bonus interesting without changing too much. It’s not a huge modification but you absolutely feel the difference when you’re using it.

    • Arth says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, and these feel lackluster by comparison to the BW bonus you mention. I will say, though, that mostly “passive” bonuses are definitely the way to go, because we already have more than enough complexity in our rotation. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah I don’t necessarily mean an ‘active’ thing like monks picking up energy spheres. But something that modifies an ability of ours in an interesting way instead of just tacking on damage. Ghostcrawler actually said exactly what I’m talking about with regard to paladin set bonuses:

        “Set bonuses are one of the few chances we have to change what your character does (within reason) aside from all of your numbers just getting bigger.”

        They just didn’t apply that mindset to the hunter set bonuses this time.

  5. Shae says:

    “But other than the half-ilvl upgrade, there aren’t perks for the hardcore raiders who are running both LFR and regulars each week to stay on the cutting edge of progression.”

    I’ve always been of the opinion that being on the cutting edge of progression was its own reward. I don’t need more perks, I need more time and a better raid group. Since Blizzard can’t provide me with either of those, dangling a bigger carrot is only going to make me more frustrated.

    • Arth says:

      Fair enough. There’s that side of it too. I just see the opposite too often. Once-regular raiders who have begun “settling” for LFR runs because it’s close enough, robbing the collective raiding ranks of talented players. I agree that progression is its own reward, but if the main purpose of LFR is for non-raiders to “see the content” then it’s not voiding that purpose to add extra perks for others.

      • Flint says:

        I drop from raids with Cata.

        With Panda Express I have tried to get a progression group going, but the talent and drive for some people just isnt there, plus time has been a factor. So I settle for LFR when I have the time.

      • Arth says:

        Yeah, it can be hard Flint. Not everyone who isn’t raiding is “settling”…sometimes they’re trying really hard and just can’t find the right group or get people together. But, like, my old or new guild would have been up in arms if they missed as many weeks of “real” raiding as we do now. But half the time, we do a semi-guilded LFR run. They’re fun, and nice, but it’s not the same. I’m just worried that this is an epidemic…creating apathy toward progression by creating a close-enough experience in LFR.

      • Flint says:

        I understand that. My last progression guild would bench you for missing 1 day without warning in advance or finding a replacement. There was a long line of people waiting to get in.

      • Nuadormrac says:

        tbh, the way I look at it, lfr is a stepping stone, as are nalak and oon, to help with the gearing FOR normal. We all know how this goes. You can’t count on the raid group doing all your gearing for you, in any sort of progression raiding. You do have to do your own part. And running lfr, and doing the world bosses can be as much a part of preparing for that, if the gear in there is better then what we have, as much as getting your flasks, buff food, and making sure to be at the portal on time can be.

        Bliz might have just intended it to just show others end game, but that isn’t how all players either look at it, or use it. If your gear doesn’t drop, but another raiders does, you can’t just say “oh dang, such and such would have helped me” and leave it at that. Putting in one’s own effort to build one’s char is important, and running lfr can be a part of that for people who are ALSO running normal, and not running one or the other. Especially when for a group the raid (like ToT) is in progression and isn’t all on farm, just yet…

  6. Ril says:

    much like back then with t13 2pc, i expect to miss my t14 4pc bonus a LOT once i break it. the alternative isn’t really great, tough a shiny hawk cool i guess.

  7. Sazda says:

    The 2Pc bonus does not necessarily favor one spec over the other, because the bonus has a different proc chance per spec. See blue post quote:

    “However, the proc chances (which are Real PPM) vary by spec: 0.7/min for BM, 1/min for MM, 1.2/min for Surv.”

    • Arth says:

      Yeah, I think my description reflects this. I state that mastery adds a boost but the proc rate seems to normalize it. Thanks though!

  8. Kaitain says:

    I actually think set bonuses should all be utility or cosmetic things, or be removed. The problem when they are DPS is when you don’t have it it’s painful, when you get it it’s great, then when you have to break it for the next tier it’s painful again. Overall not a cool experience.

    • Arth says:

      That’s a valid opinion, but also fairly subjective. Many players really enjoy set bonuses and working toward getting them.

  9. Thornagol says:

    So here is what I suggest. Let players customize their own set bonuses. Here is how you do it.

    1. Create tokens that bind as head/chest or legs/hands.
    2. Create a vendor that takes your token and allows you to stack set bonus of your choice on there of your own liking. Max of 2, just like it is now.

    This would add set bonus’ to any gear, but could also scale on the value of the token.

    For example, I have raiding SV Hunter that runs LFR and gets the head/chest token and gets a regular hands/legs token from a world boss.

    I take my tokens to the vendor and decided that I want the for the gear. I am doing an AOE build, so I choose:

    Reguar Token = T1, 8 piece set bonus: Increase the damage done my Multi-shot by 15%. (LFR token bonus would be 12.5% and Heroic bonus would be 17.5%.)

    LFR Token = T10, 4 piece set bonus: When your serpent sting or wyvern sting abilities to damage, you have a 5% chance to gain 15% attack power for 10 sec. (Normal token bonus would be 20%, heroic token bonus would be 25%.)

    Or I have a BM spec for extreme soloing and get two regular tokens from raiding.

    Token 1 = T5, 2 piece bonus: Causes your pet to be healed for 15% of the damage you deal. (LFR = 10%, Heroic = 20%.)

    Token 2 = T7, 2 piece bonus: Your pet deals an additional 5% damage. (LFR = 3.5%, Heroic = 6.5%.)

    This would allow for people to customize their bonus to the way they like to play, while also giving value to Tokens dropped in reguar/heroic level instances. Maybe more people would be willing to form a reliable group if the gear AND bonuses were better.

  10. bahzob says:

    I think your proposal is a great one. It conforms to the general statement that if Blizzard asked the player base what they wanted the game would be a whole lot better.

  11. Valmordang says:

    Less buttons more dps is a good thing. However the proc should be off signature shot not arcane. Explosive/kill command/ Aimed. Where aimed is 100% or close to.

  12. Legaia says:

    The issue with allowing us to go back and use old set bonuses is that there would be so many different combinations for so many different classes and specs that it would be nigh impossible to balance.

  13. nunya says:

    Why would you want to take away set bonuses from LFR? Thats incredibly elitist of you. I cant even find a group that raids normal modes anymore because of all this progression obsession so the only raiding i can get in being a middle of the road skilled player is LFR. Its bad enough having to settle for “raid finder” being stamped on my gear (read NOOB) but not being able to get set bonuses would be the final straw that I would quit over, since it wouldnt be worth doing at all. Even if I was able to real raid again, id want the chance to get filler pieces that werent greens painted purple.

    Not everyone is top parse material, please dont punish us.

  14. Imoen says:

    With glyph of no escape, icetrap+explosive trap+ spam MS+ fervor+ spam more MS (+ arcane torrent if Belf + spam 1 more MS) = ridicilous AoE damage
    (not mentioning the LnL procs from using multiple traps on CD)

    I’m already swimming in tears of joy, I don’t need a buff to my AoE.

    Give some useful stuff for 2-3 add situations ,where mostly we are outperformed by locks & chickens (sometimes shamans+shadowpriests too)

  15. nunya says:

    Fair enough, but youre still proposing keeping something away from LFR users. LFR gear is stamped “noob” and is significantly less powerful than heroic gear, so no further denials of greatness are necessary. Id have quit this expansion without LFR.

    I like the idea of switching out set bonuses for earlier ones, but why the hate on LFR? Isnt 20+ ilevels of gear difference and mounts/titles enough for the eliete? You get exclusive bosses and even lore moments in heroic raiding, I didnt even get that raiding normal modes. Try to be more inclusive with your ideas. Maybe LFR wouldnt be so bad if the difference between the bottom and the top got a little narrower.

    • Arth says:

      Well, the reason behind my idea has nothing to do with keeping LFR down. It’s the trend we’re seeing across WoW that there are less serious raiders. 25M guilds are WAY down, and raiding in general is down. LFR is a great way to see the content and get geared for regular raiding, but I think (and this is the opinion part) that the “close enough to real raiding” experience that is LFR is partially to blame for lower raid numbers.

      So my idea is to provide more incentive to regular raids. Clearly, just the ilvl boost isn’t enticing to many, and it stinks seeing so many people settle for weekly LFRs who want to be plugging away on progression, because the progression raiding interest is no longer there.

      So it’s probably not a perfect idea, and I endorsed an idea in the comments earlier that included reduced but similar perks for LFR gear. But the two points according to Blizz, again, are to gear up for raiding and to see the content. That’s it. So it’s not intended to be elitist; I’m not a hardcore progression raider these days either (unfortunately). I just want to see perks added to regular raiding to pull more people in. And if that means adding them to regulars and heroics but not LFR, so be it.

  16. nunya says:

    I have an opinion about what is killing regular raiding and its not LFR. I think regular raiding is dropping off because the minimum acceptance line keeps knocking people out of being able to or wanting to regular raid.

    I remember the fun days of raiding. My guild would do kara and zulaman and have a blast. I was still in pvp gear but we managed to clear kara at least. Wrath came and we did 25 and 10 man raids and had real fun. Then came heroic raiding. I didnt do any of the heroic totc raids since they were pretty hard from my perspective, and it was just easier to clear 10 and 25 man and get fully geared in normal stuff and that was fine. Then came ICC.

    ICC more or less ruined raiding fun for me. At first it was ok, we got our ten man groups formed and we all got together on sunday for 25 man as far as we could go. Then one ten man group got the LK kill and they started heroics. Then people would xfer out of thier original groups and go for the heroic group, which crippled the other groups, who either broke up or never got thier kingslayer title. All they had to do was carry ONE guy (not much of a carry since every group got to LK on thier own) and return that guy to the original group so we all could do heroic bossed before the LK. Any gear bump would have made a difference and gotten the other groups to kingslayer. Lootship alone would have helped. Nope, couldnt hurt PROGRESSION.

    It got worse in cata, I was in the only ten man our guild fielded, since the non PROGRESSION groups withered on the vine and people quit or went to other guilds to get some raiding in. I was allowed into progression until DS, when the obsession to get to server #1 meant I couldnt raid anymore and no effort would be made to make any other groups. I had to raid with a pug on saturdays. The guild eventually xfered off to a high pop realm and they dont even raid anymore. I joined the saturday pug guild, as I was having fun with them and it didnt seem so hardcore. Boy was I wrong.

    The hunter changes royally screwed me. I just dont have the ability to maintain good dps with all the new buttons and priorities that the new talents bring. BM being the top dps spec was the worst thing that could have happened to me. My dps is sub par compared to the expert kripparian types, and I was dropped from raiding. Now im a daily runnin LFR hero. Theres no pugs that ive seen, and the other guilds that arrent uber competative heroic mode only guys are ones that cant even clear MSV. I dont have oodles of free cash like my former guildmates so Im stuck on my low pop dead server and blizz isnt going to do anything about it.

    My opinion? Real raiding isnt fun anymore. Its a competative Esport. Normal mode is just a speedbump and is meaningless now that everyone considers heroic modes as the only modes that matter. LFR is for babies and trainer wheel tier sets, normal mode is something you blow through in one to two weeks, and Heroic modes are something you kick people out of the raid until you only have perfect people. If youre not perfect, you dont get to raid.

    Im sickened every time I read about parses, world of logs, elietist jerks, and all that micromanaging crap that has become the norm and is mandantory to play. I did my work back in the day and gemmed/enchanted to max according to Z’s dps analyzer but now you have to do parses, WoL and other BS to even think about getting to raid. Its become a job with spreadsheets and mathematics. They might as well take out normal mode, its become less important than LFR.

    Ive fallen below the competency level to raid. I used to be good dps when there wasnt 30 buttons and a need to prioritize each shot on the fly with a dozen different conditions that changed the shot order every time. Instead of being somwhere between 5 and 10% off of the maximum dps of the top hunters im down to 30-40%. Im old or something and just cant get it right, so maybe its time to quit. The game has shifted in favor of the elites and raiding has become an Esport. Blizz gave the bads like me plenty to do with dailys and LFRs, but im going to get tired of playing easy brain dead mode soon enough and quit.

    Sorry to rant, but when i thought you were advocating taking set bonuses out of LFR, it touched a nerve. I used to be a raider until things changed right out from under me, and I went from being someone who cleared half of Firelands on heroic mode to someone who has a four set from raid finder with no sha weapon. Im a “casual” that plays 3-5 hours a night. I dont know what for anymore, Im not raiding. It was fine when you NEEDED DBM to raid, then it was ok to have to gem and chant and reforge and whatnot to a precise standard but now you have to parse and study logs and its just too much. The game is headed back into sunwell type elietism and thats going to leave even capable guys like me in the dust. I am seriously thinking of quitting complete with forum goodbye, and im a guy who still pays for his Ultima Online account out of nostalgia. Take my post for what its worth.

    • Arth says:

      Sorry to hear of your struggles. But yeah, my idea doesn’t hurt or change LFR at all. Seems like LFR is working well for you at least, but there are other ways to enjoy the game that don’t involve raiding. Good luck to you.

  17. Munkey says:


    I just think you’ve just been unlucky to end up in the wrong guilds & groups mate, I started out being randomly invited into a casual guild while levelling and made some good friends. After doing a few pug raids I got tempted by a RL and the promise of progression and gear, left my guild and joined a dedicated raiding team. We quickly cleared ICC norm & did most HC before the group fell to pieces due to exactly the same thing … folks forgot about all the laughs & fun on the way and just wanted gear/mounts/achieves.

    At that time I stopped playing but didn’t /gquit the raiding guild. When Cata came out I picked it up out of curiosity and fell right back into the raiding rat race. After we cleared DS and got into HC the group fell apart again due to the same conflict.

    While I was raiding FL & DS my guildmates from my first guild moved to another server and after some coaxing I decided to level a hunter to raid casually with them again, I realised that I was actually enjoying the game again so in MoP I have retired my main raiding hunter and just enjoy the game with my friends, we raid and get decent progression .. but if we don’t that’s okay too.

    Long story short … if you want to be at the bleeding edge and have the gear and bragging rights you are 98% chance going to have to put up with a whole lot of jerks who use you when you’re on top and kick you when you’re down.

    If you want to re-discover the game & enjoy it again, find a high pop server, level a new hunter & join casual / semi-raid guilds until you find a place you enjoy. Suddenly you remember why you started playing in the first place.

    • nunya says:

      Yeah it seems to all point to server xfer, and that really sticks in my craw. Im not mad at my current guild for benching me, but I was resentful of my original guild, since I had been a member clear back in Ultima Online where they started the guild. You would figure that an OG could get an alt run here and there, but it was only one ten man, and no resources were going to go to other groups, so the remaining raiders got fustrated and left the guild or just stopped playing. To add insult to injury they would spam in trade for fill ins, I wouldnt even get a shot, and I was not bad like I am now. My DPS would have been fine as a fill in. Oh they got thier server #1 horde side guild, but only after our server basically breathed its last and there was little or no competition horde side. Hope it was worth it.

      I keep my eye on the recruitment spam, and check out the guilds to see if they even clear MSV. I got a pity run or two out of my current guild, so ive cleared MSV. I did 3-4 Hof boss kills and Ive never stepped inside a real ToES before and probably wont for a while. Havent seen many pugs, either.

      I got 5 alts im leveling slowly, so theres things to do, but this is more like a solo game for me at this point. Im hoping some MM changes might get me up a little in the DPS, I could do great numbers back in the day with that, and the priority system made more sense to me. Hope i can fit in those damn extra buttons.

  18. PBnJ says:

    Even though they’re wholly unimpressive set bonuses, the thunderhawks so far are tearing up the damage charts for me. I’ve recorded from 15 to 19k dps per proc, somewhere around 150-200k (crit depending). Boring? yes. But helpful? Such a good boost.

  19. Luke says:

    I miss my Tier 14 4 set bonus so much, i like the idea of being able to customise my character to the point of mixing up set bonuses.

    On a side note im wondering what people think, now i agree with the T 15 2 set not being overly staunch or great, to be honest i hardly notice the thunderhawk and im BM.

    Last night i recieved a Thunderforged Chest piece from horridon and upgraded it twice to 536. Now i had only the LFR T 15 legs and chest so giving me the set bonus, would you lose the 502 LFR chest including the 2 set bonus and equip the 536 chest…thats the decision im facing. Would the 536 chest increase my damage more then the 502 LFR 2 set bonus?

  20. DJ says:

    Im mainly using bm except on a few aoe fights and was considering just dropping my 4 peace all together since I have two other heroic peaces I could use if I drop it and it doesn’t seem to be helping me to much as bm.