Major Buffs for MM and SV

Posted: by Frostheim

Note: you can see a full updated list of all 5.2 hunter changes here.

Ghostcrawler recently posted a list of additional tuning adjustments for hunters in patch 5.2. These adjustments are in fact major buffs for SV and MM — especially MM — while leaving BM exactly where it is. This is an interesting change from Blizzard’s previous stance that MM was actually much better than it looked from raid representation (an assertion that was mostly backed up by hunter community modeling — though MM was still measurably behind the other two).

Here is the full list:

  • Aimed Shot damage: +10%
  • Chimera Shot damage: +50%
  • Steady Shot damage: +20%
  • Black Arrow and Explosive Shot damage: +15%
  • Hearing lots of concerns about Power Shot in PvP, so we may need a PvP-specific tweak here.

Now we don’t yet know for certain whether these buffs are buffs to overall shot damage, or just a buff to the coefficients; however, lately Blizzard has been pretty good about listing them as overall buffs. If so, this is a substantial boost to MM damage, with all the MM-specific shots getting a good boost (and this is in addition to Aimed Shot’s duration being reduced).

The SV buffs are a smaller overall damage boost (but then SV was nearly at BM’s DPS level already) but will also do a good job of helping to make Explosive Shot more clearly worth using (it is worth using now, but the difference is small enough that too many hunters just fire Arcane Shots, wrongly thinking it’s higher DPS).

Overall I think that SV will come closer to BM, but will not be clearly better due to these changes — hunters will still be able to play whichever of these specs they prefer. The MM changes are pretty big, however, and I’m a bit concerned that as listed now they could actually push MM ahead of BM. While this is good news for MM hunters, it’s not a design direction Blizzard usually prefers: they try not to change the “top” spec within an expansion, because it essentially forces players to respec and learn a new rotation. This is the rollercoaster effect that apparently is more responsible for player loss than any kind of tuning errors.

But who knows, maybe Blizzard nailed it and brought MM to within a hairs reach of BM without surpassing it.

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  1. Pichu says:

    these buffs put all 3 specs virtually identical in DPS (within 1-1.5%). Yay for Blizzard

  2. Whitees says:

    At the moment the MM Hunter has a very hard to learn rotation, there are different haste caps and you have to switch between simple Arcane Shots and Aimed Shot hardcasts if the cast time is low enough.

    What do you think Frost – can these changes affect the MM rotation and make it more simple to use? It seems possible for me that MM Hunters can ignore Arcane Shot and only use Aimed Shot hardcasts as focus dump in 5.2.

    • Pichu says:

      In live you need AiS cast time to be under 1.3 secs to be worth using over AS. Thats simply not possible in current gear, as you would need over 10k (with 4t14pc) haste to get to that point. the 10% damage buff makes it worth using it with a little higher cast time (around 1.45s) and the 2.5 sec baseline cast time would help. However losing the t14 4 pieces means you still need 41.16% haste from gear to get the cast time down to 1.4 sec, which will also be impossible in 5.2. However there’s a middle ground where you can use AiS not only during hasted CA, but during all haste effects, which is possible at 9.09% haste from gear, or 3864 rating, which should be easily attainable in 5.2 without sacrificing any crit

  3. Jork says:

    I think the buffs to MM are overcompensation for that fact that it is harder to play and easier to lose DPS to poor rotation.

  4. Eillarius says:

    I’m kinda giddy. I’ve been faithful to MM through MOP and I’ve slowly but surely climbed the DPS charts as I’ve become more familiar with the (many) changes (er, buttons) that were implemented in the expansion.

    With these buffs, I’m thinking I’m gonna do quite well now. Quite well.

  5. Aerothena says:

    I hope MM surpasses BM I like learning a new spec and enjoy it.

  6. Arth says:

    As many times as I’ve switched specs, I’m always reluctant to do so. At one time, I enjoyed MM the most, because Readiness gave it the most on-the-fly utility. Currently, I’m rooting for BM because we’ve never had more pet options with extra buffs and utility.

    This is a good thing. Buffs always are. I’m greedy, and I’d rather see our top spec get an additional bump instead of bringing the lower ones up. But it’s impossible to complain about buffs (for me at least).

    I will follow the dps, as ever. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for BM to stay ahead.

    • Quelys says:

      Really the extra buffs (kings/fort) are a bit of a moot point, they are usually provided in the PvE environment.. The extra abilities the exotic pets bring are rarely a buff, more a utility ability.. I don’t think that alone is good enough to let BM stay on top, but I’m BM-cist.. lol

      • Arth says:

        Who said anything about Kings? I doubt any hunter has needed to bring that in a PvE environment. My point is that, your average 10M is missing something. And you have a better chance of being able to bring it as BM. Even already-covered buffs can be useful to bring. I’ve been my group’s secondary Heroism person…and a few attempts our primary has gone down and I’ve needed to switch to Corehound (or Quilen for BRez). I wouldn’t have that utility in other specs.

        Not to mention PvP (Ancient Hysteria pops to mind again), soloing, thing’s like Brawler’s Guild, etc.

        There’s no inherent utility advantage to any other spec, at least not a significant one. Thus, from a min-max perspective, I’m rooting for BM.

      • Quelys says:

        @Arth I was mainly using those as examples, not as what you have mentioned.. I was more nit-picking with some of the bm abilities not actually being buffs. I have needed to bring SP once due to our lock and mage being out, but that was the only time I personally needed BM in a PvE sense.
        Those abilities would be good, and you are 100% correct in saying that you have a higher chance of needing them in 10s, yet from the dps perspective let us hope they are all balanced pretty much equal, rather than have one lagging behind the others (or one right out in front). In the average casual-esque 10 man, you would be fine playing BM even if it was slightly behind mm AND surv. In saying all this I love the utility of a self heal ;)
        Give BM entrapment and you should be sweet with all utility!

  7. Thornagol says:

    I don’t know if it is because I have never been able to optimize BM or if SV is just a very natural spec for me, but I have been SV (in raids) this whole expac and have been crushing the other DPS’ers. I can still be in the top 4 when I’m BM, but I’m way into #1 territory in SV.

    It would have to be a BIG BIG buff for me to entertain MM again.

  8. Linken Lam says:

    Before MoP, I had been SV for EVERYTHING. I had leveled in SV (Explosive Shot was SO COOL), PvPed in SV (until I got serious last season and switched to MM), and ran dungeons and raids in SV. I was frequently in the top of my guild back when I raided in 4.3. When MoP dropped, I decided to switch to BM because of how much better it is in PvP compared to MM and because of its (slightly) higher DPS than SV in single-target. I could potentially run SV in PvE because of its relatively close single-target damage and it’s AWESOME AoE damage, but I’ve just gotten so used to BM. Since I don’t raid anymore, I’ve kinda given up on PvE and just concentrated on PvP. I’m definitely going to try out MM in PvP though with these changes.

  9. Venadin says:

    While it’s nice to see MM boosted, these buffs don’t deal with the awkwardness of the double steady shots for ISS against focus management. Most of what used to be special about MM is gone (chimera shot acting different with stings), or like readiness given to all specs. I still think MM mastery needs to be centered around piercing shots instead of wild quiver. I still keep MM as my offspec and really miss it but I am pretty happy with the state of BM. I really don’t want to be forced back to Survival like I was at the beginning and the end of Cataclysm to stay competitive. A buff to Beast Cleave would really be nice for balance.

    • Pichu says:

      ToT will be a tier were all 3 specs will have a sweet spot. SV will be the favoured spec, cos most of the fights have some aoe involved or potential multidoting. But others will require high burst phases which favour BM over any other spec, or target switching which favors MM the best, as pet positioning hurts BM and being able to time quite easily instant AiS guaranteed crit+ CS beats SV imp SrS/high SrS damage when adds need to die asap.

      I love the idea of being able to use all of the three specs in a single raid night.

  10. Canardo says:

    The tension is killing me: Which spec will be top dps ? (pve, single target)
    I wanna know right now !!! This is so exciting \o/

  11. Pichu says:

    The one you play better will be the top DPS for you

  12. Shin says:

    So soon we will have 3 viable specs, awesome.
    I’m an sv hunter, no clue why, it’s just what suits me, the nice chaos of it. And now I can let go of this nagging feeling telling me I should really go bm.
    (Yes I know they are close enough to not bother, but there’s always this itching sensation ‘it’s better, I should DO IT’)

    Ofcourse, all of this dps gain is a mere trivial matter to me opposed to my everlasting quest to finally trade in this blue crossbow for a proper purple one. Stupid Lei Shi.

    • Ril says:

      i wonder if BM won’t fall behind on many fights, because of it’s lack of viability in some situations. the only thing BM is good at, is high single target burst and sustained damage. MM might surpass that, pets are a disadvantage sometimes (think protectors) and SV has always been more versatile on multi target fights.

  13. Nichara says:

    It’s been hard justifying staying MM lol… finally glad that it will be a viable spec again.

  14. Sazda says:

    I would hate to have 3 competitive specs. Especially if each one of them is top for one boss or the other. This means I will have to keep switching around… and hell no, I would hate to have to run to the class trainer mid-raid and relearn my 3rd spec because it is needed for progression.

    • Arth says:

      Realistically, that will be hard to do, even with three close specs. There’s very few boss mechanics that will swing wildly in favor of one spec or another, so even with the supposed closeness, there should be one theoretical “best” spec for single target (and another for AoE…but SV isn’t in danger of losing that crown, even with the changes).

      Thus, I can’t imagine NEEDING to switch between all 3. If they really do end up fairly close, two will do just fine, and probably just one that you’re most comfortable with.

      I’m happy to be shown evidence otherwise, but no raid mechanics are coming to mind that would significantly shift this anymore. If you’re in a hardcore progression guild, I think the “worst” that could happen is being asked to go BM for a specific buff that the other two specs can’t bring.

      Also, just as a point of irony…complaining about being able to viably bring any of the three specs. There’s a “First World Problems” meme in there somewhere. Not trying to be a jerk, but on the list of problems to have, this is laughably low on the list.

  15. Sodavan says:

    Did the buff hunters even more cause just saw this on mmo-champion:
    “Chimera Shot now does 315% ranged weapon Nature damage, up from 210%. Additional damage increased by 125%. Now heals you for 5% of your total health, up from 3%.” And that´s more than the 50% stated in frosts original post.

  16. Malados says:

    Cancel that, they changed their minds… Oh, and screwed us over with the extra time to dismiss pet :(