5.2 Quick Reaction

Posted: by Arth


Not a comprehensive review…this is after a day of questing and raiding:

  • Get yourself the new 522 ilvl neckpiece, available from the Shado-Pan Assault Quartermaster (located at Nizao Temple by the other QMs). It requires exactly zero rep grinding, and is likely the best upgrade available to a lot of us. 1250 valor required.
  • “Old” valor pieces are now half price (or 75% for the 5.1 Krasarang factions). But don’t be fooled into upgrading a bunch of 483 gear to 489 or 489 into 496. At Friendly with the new faction, no less than three more 522 pieces become available. If you’re going to be running even just LFR of the new raid, save your valor for a couple weeks.
  • I haven’t run with MM yet for comparison purposes, but I’m really enjoying SV. With the single target difference between it and BM fading into RNG, it’s really a one-stop spec for good single target or AoE damage.
  • That said, the same problems apply in SV. If you’re AoE spec’d for Thrill of the Hunt, all the various procs (Thrill and Lock & Load) will occupy your time a large portion of the time, and you WILL top out on focus and not be able to do much about it (doubly so <20% on bosses). And even without Thrill, it’s a struggle. Thus, it’s harder to play optimally in my opinion, compared to BM, where focus topping is easier to control.
  • As Frost has alluded to, I’m still doing slightly better on the dummies in BM. So there’s that. I haven’t run enough in raids to have had a chance for a good direct comparison in a raid environment.
  • Get used to Disengaging with the new glyph. I’m already spamming it like a lunatic for the heals, and this is before it becomes part of my muscle memory.
  • There’s a LOT of Kirin Tor daily quests on the new island, though they seemed to have bumped down the average rep gain from each slightly compared to other factions. The faction rewards are 496 items, the same as Krasarang factions. So there may not be as much of a need for some players, unless I’m missing something. Check out the Quartermaster items before diving in.
  • Nerf Elemental Shamans! Yes, my sample size is about 4-5 that I’ve seen or run with since the patch. But Chain Lightning spam seems to be enough to top the meters. I’m going to go ahead and say that my approach and opinion is completely scientific, and will protest vehemently in the forums if Blizzard doesn’t fix it. Uninformed forum QQ always works, right?

Still need to try out MM and the rebuilt Powershot. And jump back into Brawler’s Guild to try out the new buffs and abilities. More soon (I hope).

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  1. Wrekh says:

    Reason why other classes AoE seems that good right now is that they increased Area damage cap to 20 targets : “the maximum damage will be equal to the damage that would be dealt to 20 mobs hit by the ability”. There’s rarely situation in which there are more then 20 mobs to AoE. With Survival we were kinda cheating that, but right now even classes with only one AoE ability can be competitive with us.

    • Arth says:

      Ele Shamans seem to have gotten a single-target boost as well; my estimation of them wasn’t limited to AoE. Our resident Ele Shaman made up about a 10K gap between her and I between this week and last, and was even beating me on some fights (including AoE situations)…maybe it was an off night, but RNG is not that variable.

      But this info is good to know, thanks!

      • Sinjade says:

        Well for years now I have been playing both hunter and shaman as my mains. And as much as I love to play my hunter, I am very pleased with the buffs that were given to Ele shamans, for it was overdue.

        As for the chain lighting buff itself, it was merely changed to now do the same dmg to subsequent targets as it does to the first, which is no different than many of the aoe talents that have been out there for years, including our own serpent sting.

      • Wrekh says:

        I think in case of Ele shamans they were ignoring that cap anyway, based on how chain lighting works. Not sure about that one as I’m focusing on hunters ;).

      • Sinjade says:

        Plus the new area dmg cap of 20 does not affect chain lighting due to it having a cap of 5 maximum targets, if glyphed, and only 3 targets if not.

  2. Keelyu says:

    Well, after one night of raiding we got 2 bosses down.
    (10 man heroic hof geared). I can say that the second boss is definitely a chain lightning spam fight. That was the first time our shaman has beat me on any meter.
    Fun fights, but the second one is a big step up and may be overtuned. Also, nerf warlocks

    • Sqwirtle says:

      You clearly did not do the Council (3rd boss) My guild 1 shotted first guy, about 4 shotted 2nd, and spent a lot of time on council, then prob 4 shotted 4th.

      First boss seems undertuned and third is just chaotic until you get in a good rhythm.

      But how can my 10 man fail?! We have two hunters in it! =D

  3. Mechakisc says:

    Uhm. I am the dirty traitor that went Rogue and still reads this.

    Complaining about too much focus makes me hate you.

    Not really.

    But I mean … if you can press good buttons every time you want to, who cares about focus/energy capping? I’ve never understood that complaint.

    And it is the opposite of rogue situation still.

    • Arth says:

      First, thanks for still reading. Second, what we’re talking about is just degrees of micromanagement. It shouldn’t engender any more hatred than a discussion on gear or movement optimization, because it all leads to improved dps numbers.

      It has to do with optimizing a spec. Sure, perpetually low focus is a worse problem, but it doesn’t change the fact that focus capping regularly is going to result in a dps loss due to lost regen.

      So if Lock & Load procs, Thrill of the Hunts procs, Kill Shot is available, and you need to refresh Serpent Sting, it’s not inconceivable to go almost 10 seconds at full focus. If some length of capping happens 8-9 times in a boss fight, it’s a significant amount. When the difference between specs and players is often 1-5%, things like this really do add up, especially at higher levels of raiding.

      As a result, the “optimal” SV numbers we see in tests or simulations don’t always hold up in raiding, and the real-world output of the spec is less than we would hope for. So my conclusion remains that BM is easier to play. It has more buttons and “harder” rotation, yes, but you can anticipate Bestial Wrath with your rotation and there’s 20 extra focus as padding before we cap, so it’s much easier to stay in the middle ground and make the most of our regen.

      • sheppo says:

        > but it doesn’t change the fact that focus capping regularly is going to result in a dps loss due to lost regen.

        I don’t agree. If you’re in the right spec for an encounter, and you’re hitting your shot priorities correctly you are hitting you ‘maximum’ DPS output. That theoretical maximum doesn’t go down if you’re focus capped.

      • Arth says:

        This gets pretty deep into the minutia of rotations sheppo. You’re right in the short term, when talking about “what do I press” at any given moment. But over the course of the fight, you’re going to be able to cast more focus-costing shots if you’re maximizing your regen. Even if this is something like 10 more Arcane Shots, that’s a big deal. Because if you lose out on, say, 40% of your natural regen over the course of the fight while capped at 100, how many shots does that equate to? One, two, twenty-five? It varies, but it always makes a difference.

        Short-term scenario: you have 6 seconds left on Serpent and are capped. Everything that has a cooldown is on it. If you refresh Serpent, you don’t gain focus. But if you cast two Arcanes, cast Cobra, then two more Arcanes, you’re at the same focus but have cast two more shots, which will, in a moment, translate to not waiting for focus and delaying, say, Black Arrow, Explosive, etc. That’s roughly 20 regen that disappeared (I actually forget how much Cobra regens). Extrapolate that over the course of a fight, with both natural and Cobra regen, and there’s my point. If you can hit the right buttons without capping, those are extra shots later in the fight (or less delay later).

        Maybe this is obvious to you, and you still disagree, which is fine. I’m just trying not to assume anything.

        You can see this on meters. If you’re the same spec at someone else, look at Cobra/Steady shots cast. Almost every time, the person that has more of those will also have more casts overall, and more on things like Arcane, Glaive, signature shot, etc. There are exceptions, like with lower gear or bad shot prioritization, but it’s an identifiable aspect of dps many times.

      • Frostheim says:

        A big part of the focus cap complaint is whether it can be avoided (ie: use focus more efficiently). It’s all part of finding the optimization that yields the highest dps — and focus capping is a real danger that often isn’t reflected in average model theorycrafting.

        This is part of the reason that Thrill of the Hunt is a bad single-target talent. You have it and you get focus capped fairly often; without it you’re able to get another ability for about the same damage benefit, plus you make full use of all your focus regen.

  4. Med says:

    I will preface this by saying this is in no way a verdict on Aimed Shot vs Arcane Shot, but I did some testing last night…….
    Same LFR raid boss, same buffs. Stat priority of crit>haste>mastery. Using Aimed shot as the focus dump the 1st run through and Arcane shot on the 2nd. To my surprise Aimed shot won out. Now this can be RNG, but my question is even if it is somewhat viable now, will we be using it as the absolute dump in the future this expansion? Mistake in design or intentional? Mistake means we will eventually see the naughty nerf bat take a swipe at Aimed shot. Intentional means we will be able to put Arcane shot away and free up a key bind!
    -Med

  5. Chevonne says:

    As a non-number cruncher (but very appreciative of those who do) I can say my MM is doing much better. A much appreciated increase in dps so the other hunters only snicker now. ;)

  6. Higgs says:

    Has anyone else noticed pets are dying a little easier? It seems like some mob abilities changed from aoe to target them – ie the panda type rares chi kick.

    • sheppo says:

      Yes, now that you mention it. A BM pet that would rarely die in BGs in 5.1, but died several times in 5.2. I wasn’t sure whether people were just more actively hitting them.

      Additionally, I also seem to be having a lot more pathing / targetting issues with pets in 5.2. Often times pets not wanting to swap, or taking much longer to swap targets than in 5.1. Feels a lot like if a pet ventures too far away attacking a target, it wont swap either automatically, or by manually telling it to attack. Probably too anecdotal to say for sure at the moment though. :)

    • Toastcrawler says:

      I’m convinced that avoidance is either turned off or broken. My pets in all specs have been dying frequently in aoe situations since 5.2 launched. Most people are pointing out the pandaren rare spawns’ spinning crane kick, which can be worked around with some creative micromanagement. However pet management in a raid can be a little more tenuous with healers who don’t always recognize pets as needing healing. Mend pet is certainly not powerful enough to make up the difference.

      • Baldriano says:

        If you note the tooltip, it now say avoide 90% of CREATURE aoe, so all non creature aoe is not avoided.
        Funny they havent mentioned the change anywhere, but since they changed the tooltip it cant be a bug.

  7. Taruno says:

    Well i was going MM / SV killed first 5 bosses yesterday and did more single target in MM than in SV even femaledwarf supports my theory that MM is only 500-700 dps behind on BM but burst is just gone for MM now it is a steadily climbing dps rather than burst out like BM then drop then burst.

    On mageara I was doing 112k in MM compared to our better geared SV hunter who was doing 104k dps next week i will try ( without any upgrades ofc) to do mageara in BM and check again.

    • Pichu says:

      Even further, FD puts MM 2k dps ahead of BM, in my gear, 500 ilvl + HC Thaoren. It is still somehow tricky to open a combat, but what I like most from MM is its steady DPS compared to BM/SV (much more reliant on CDs/proccs). Too bad that most of the fights favor SV over anything else due to multidot/aoe

      • Taruno says:

        Yeah it really seems u almost half the fights are AOE / multidot friendly well hunters are finally in a spot where actually you can pcik your favourite spec to play and do it apart from AOE fights where SV is ahead by a huge margin

    • Tenpoint says:

      I must be doing something wrong with my rotation because I am struggling to even hit 85k dps in SV. Is there a good place to look at updated rotation priorities?

      • Arth says:

        There are other variables, of course. Gear, raid/buff composition, fight mechanics, latency, etc. 85K might not be bad, depending on your ilvl and situation. The comments above also aren’t documented for analysis, nor do we have those variables I listed.

        Priorities shouldn’t be different in SV though. If anything, the priority list was simply reinforced, with its signature shot doing more dmg.

  8. Ril says:

    after raiding yesterday i found that BM is still ahead of SV on bosses like megaera, probably because it is more flexible and because i’m more experienced with BM. butt apart from that, as soon as there are several adds, SV is better. i suspect that the pet still doesn’t benefit from the hunter’s dmg buffs so SV is prolly the way to go on jinrokh as well.

  9. Buntcake1972 says:

    Avoidance is bugged out to the max, pets are dropping like Lindsay Lohan on a weekend bender.

  10. Nichara says:

    MM seems much improved; it’s still behind SV/BM but not by so much that it’s not reasonably viable. If you’re a big fan of MM and have set it aside, this would be the time to come back to it. I wouldn’t spec into it though if you’ve never done it before. I personally never gave up on it because it’s what I’ve done for years and my guild was willing to tolerate my eccentricities as long as I was competently contributing to the raid lol… but now MM is good enough I don’t have to make excuses for being it anymore.

    On a side note am loving the “Bad Juju” trinket. Probably not the best out there, but it’s pretty good and I love the voodoo gnomes that come out. I’ll likely be saving this one for sentimental purposes even after I upgrade out of it.