Blizzard is asking for feedback on class balance and answering theorycrafting questions. This article continues our coverage of hunter-related discussions in the thread. You’ll find all of the official posts regarding hunters in MoP in the WHH MoP Hunter Guide.
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Lorelei: From several builds back (and the earlier version of this thread):
The next build will include a new version of Murder of Crows. It’s mostly a mechanic and visual change; the damage should remain roughly the same, including being affected by Master of Beasts. Dire Beast will also be affected by Master of Beasts in the next build (so that the entire talent row is consistently affected by it).
The mechanic changed, but it’s no longer affected by Master of Beasts. As a result, all our theorycrafting recommends that BM hunters only consider Blink Strike or Lynx Rush on that tier. We’re not sure if this is a bug or if the design changed after this. The post indicates that it shouldn’t, but it’s also from a while ago and a lot of things got moved around since then (Dire Beast isn’t on that row anymore, for example). [link]
Ghostcrawler: Bug. Murder of Crows should also benefit. [link]
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Lokrick: Mostly I’m focused on the numbers, but I do want to comment on the AoE pet nerf. The particular thing I want Blizzard to focus on is that BM hunter AoE should be balanced around normal pets, beast cleave, etc. and not around the assumption that a BM hunter would bring an AoE pet (no hunter I know of does). Beast cleave was the solution to that morass; let’s keep it that way. It was always a blight in practice that the “beastmaster” was the only spec that, for AoE fights, couldn’t bring his choice of beast. Need the crit buff for your 10 man? Too bad; you need to bring a specific pet to AoE. While the AoE pet was occasionally worth bringing in theory, it was just as likely the cause the hunter to die in a fire as his enemies. The battle of hunter and pet vs. the masses turns into a battle of finicky UI vs. the player, and that’s rarely fun :).
AoE pets are a cool idea, but they should be a gimmick for just the right fights; and in that case they should totally blow the doors off AoE. Remember, your 10 man raid has to discuss and arrange it’s buff strategy around your hunter’s AoE. If it’s only a 10%, that probably is not worth it (e.g., you unwittingly sacrificed raid-wide 10% haste or 5% crit). But boy, people will think it is; that just ends up as a trap for the non-theorycrafters.
As for pooling pet focus to be abel to cast AoE? Forget it. In practice people will almost always lose more than they gain fumbling around that. There’s little reason to even show the pet focus bar otherwise, and adding the need is just clutter, not fun. My immediate reaction is that anyone who thinks more than 3 hunters will bother has simply not played a hunter recently (DinoMight is lookin’ at you, Astrylian :-). Pet focus is already confused enough; it mostly penalizes unwary hunters for autocasting utility abilities such as dash.
TL;DR balance BM AoE around beast-cleave and explosive trap for normal ferocity pets. If making burrow actually work requires manual twiddling of autocast for an unrelated attack, I’d simply consider that a bug (and likely would interfere with the AoE during stampede because those pets wouldn’t have the right autocast setup). [link]
Ghostcrawler: That’s exactly how we feel as well. We had been balancing BM AoE with Beast Cleave as the primary AoE method, and were thinking that the AoE pets would be a small boost on top of that if you went with them. However, as we recently noticed, the AoE pets over doubled your AoE DPS. The sheer damage that a Stampede of five Rabid Chimaeras were able to put out was, in a word, absurd. These changes should bring them back in line with where we intend them to be; a small boost over the other pets for AoE damage.
Additionally, we’re going to revert the more expensive focus costs of Froststorm Breath and Burrow Attack and instead go with 10 focus +5 focus per sec, and change Froststorm Breath to scale with the pet’s melee haste and crit, instead of spell haste and crit. [link]
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