Word on the street is that patch 3.3 is hitting next week. In honor of said rumor, here’s the Hunter-related 3.3 patch notes thus far:

* Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
* Deterrence: Now also increases the chance for ranged attacks to miss the hunter by 100% while under its effect.
* Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
* Talents
o Beast Mastery
+ Intimidation: If the hunter’s pet is in melee range of its target, the stun from Intimidation will now be applied immediately instead of on the pet’s next swing or attack.

* Pets
o Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
o Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet’s movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20.
o Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). Culling the Herd increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack.
o Demoralizing Screech: The attack power reduction from this ability has been increased by 40%, equaling the maximum possible attack power reduction from the abilities of other classes.
o Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
o Pet Leveling: Hunter pets now need only 5% of the experience a player needs to level, down from 10%.
o Venom Web Spray: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
o Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
o Wolverine Bite: This talent is now enabled when the pet lands a critical strike rather than from the target dodging the pet’s attacks. In addition, this talent no longer has a prerequisite.

And all that is in addition to various minor changes (tooltip changes, etc.) as well as fun new items and the like.

Pike’s thoughts:
- I didn’t see the Call Stabled Pet change as being super vital, but I like it nonetheless. That is also basically my thoughts on the Intimidation change.

- I like the Misdirect change

- Culling the Herd is huge and is gonna give all hunters everywhere a DPS boost of a few hundred or so. Which is awesome. It also means it will help Beast Masters edge up a bit against other classes (but not so much against other specs of hunters who will also get the same DPS boost).

- Pet Leveling: There’s something truly wonky about pet leveling where depending on how/what you’re doing to level, your pet either already levels stupidly fast, or somehow falls way behind. The new change is going to minimize the latter but make the former even more silly. Mostly I think this was in response to hunters leveling with heirloom stuff and more than one pet and/or Recruit a Friend. I approve of the change overall though I think it’s just a matter of time before Blizz dumps pet leveling entirely, whether you’re for or against that idea.

- The other stuff I think I have to see an action before passing judgment (like the Cower change, though I like it on paper).

- I am sad to see that there seems to be no sign of the promised “pet stat scaling!!” that Blizz was hyping up a while ago and that Beast Masters were clinging to as their last shred of hope regarding catching up to the other specs before Cataclysm. But… meh. I did see a promising Blue post the other day (regarding rogues actually) where Blizzard stated that making all specs of “pure” DPS classes do roughly equal DPS was still a goal, just a long-term one. We just need to have patience!

BEAST MASTER HUNTERS: THE PURPLE LINK. WE CAN RAGE IF WE WANT TO! (Look, he even uses The Beast Within on panel four!)

Speaking of DeviantArt, I have one now. I’ve been on a creative binge lately and in addition to writing, I’ve been drawing and sketching a lot– or at least, attempting to do so– so if you wanna follow along I’m right here.

20 Responses to “Preview: Hunters and Patch 3.3”
  1. Shagrat says:

    As far as I’m aware, Culling the Herd is currently bugged and doesn’t stack with FI/Sanctified Ret/Whatever-the-arcane-mage-ability-is. I really hope they fix that before it goes live :(

  2. RJK says:

    I am glad I changed my main back to my hunter. Looking forward to a patch for a change. (and nice artwork!)

  3. Shagrat: Ew. That would mean that the one spec that is generally thought to need the buff the most — BM — would be seeing it the least, since we’d have FI all the time anyway. And it’s not even like we can use those three points in FI somewhere else, since it means abandoning my one point in Longevity. (I still need Longevity, personally, though maybe there are some people whose gear lets them skip it.)

    I’m sort of surprised they don’t stack, since one is ‘hunter + pet’, and the other one is raidwide; makes me think that maybe this is just a placeholder buff that was ‘close enough’, and might even be fixed in the new version of the PTR released this morning…

  4. Pike: You missed what is (in my opinion) a very important hunter buff: new ammo! Overall, I see a 100dps increase in BM, and a 140dps increase in Marks, by upgrading from mammoth cutters to these arrows.

    Granted, we won’t see people with these for a little while, since the patterns require Ashen Verdict rep from running the raid instance, but since there is no rep requirement to *use* them, you only need one engineer on your realm to have the pattern before you can get a significant DPS bump.

  5. Morynne says:

    I had the same feelings on just about everything. I’ve played around on the PTR for a bit and I really really like the MD change. The ability to stack MDs for multiple hunters is a very happy thing. No more yelling “OMG you messed up my rotation!” from people who wait too long :P

    I’m a big fan of the new ammo, finally everything will be purples. I have high expectations for ICC to be the next Black Temple. Trash that will rip off your face, and challenging boss encounters. Here’s hoping there’s not another “pain suppression” room akin to the garbage before Reliquary….

  6. Shagrat says:

    @Christopher-It sounds like they took the coding for the FI talent and just changed the name of it and stuck it in the pet tree without even changing anything about the overall functionality of the talent, other than adding the ‘bite, smack’ claw’ bit. Reeks of lazy. I still wouldn’t dump FI because it buffs arcane shot, which is the only shot BM has for their rotation. A shame too because I’d love to raid as BM once in a while, even though I love my MM main spec, but I would not be able to justify losing between 500-600 DPS.

  7. Nasthian says:

    Oooh, thanks for reminding me to retest my misdirect macro – when I tried it while testing the new dungeon LFG system, I swear it was throwing up the misdirect graphic over my head, and not my focus like it should have been (or used to, at any rate). And without Omen and usual tank scaling being as good as it is by now, it was hard to tell what the hell was going on.

    Me, I’m really looking forward to 3.3, and have lost some of my usual PUGly impetus to play. Oooh, more badges that will be devalued in a week.

  8. Safrienaer says:

    I’m really loving the MD change. I spent some time playing with it, killing the multiplying bears in Grizzly Hills on the PTR – MD + Volley is heaven. Makes me want to switch back to a Warp Stalker, as this pretty much takes care of the lack of AOE threat. (Plus Warp Stalkers’ Warp might come in handy when using untalented Cower. :D )

    Maybe I’ll finally be able to finish leveling all my pets when the patch hits. Aotona, Loque and my beloved Ghost Saber I’ve had since forever are still yet to hit 80…

    Also, I think I like the new Cower, even though it has its cons. As someone who prefers solo and duo play, my pet spends most of its time as a tank and sometimes Mend Pet just isn’t enough. I don’t see the movement penalty as a problem, as I can always slow a mob down or take care of it myself – lack of healing I can’t get around of. I wonder if the penalty stays for the duration of BW? Warp Stalkers seem to have the upper hand here, as they will be able to Warp to the mobs even when Cower is up.

  9. Jaedia says:

    Loving the Totoro icon you use on DA :D Think I have a version of that for msn somewhere.

  10. Nasthian says:

    Yeah, when I went to test MD on a few pustulent horrors in icecrown, I’m _still_ not sure if it’s working. I turned growl off, and threat seemed to be flowing from me to my pet when I was misdirecting, but I wasn’t stealing aggro from my bear as much as I expected. I’m still not sure about where the spell is targeting, but it seems to be working. I’m just used to the little MD flash over the tank’s head as being a nice indicator that I’m ready, go for it.

    I hadn’t considered using cower as a tanking tool before, but I like the idea. Doubly so since growl and cower are on separate cooldowns now, too. Man, that’ll open up a few more BC dungeons for soloing. (checks) Well, cower was on, but he didn’t seem to be auto casting it anyway, so even without cower active and without growl, I could moderate threat well enough and my pet wasn’t as prone to taking burst damage as he was in live, so I’m even _more_ excited than I was.

  11. Zhire says:

    I’m interested to see how wolverine bite plays out; perhaps it will make cunning pets marginally more viable. I’d love to raid with a windserpent or dragonhawk. :D

  12. Snug says:

    =0 This patch makes me wish my main was still my hunter. Sadly it’s in the “alt” zone now but still play it sometimes when I want to shoot stuff >:3 – As far as your opinions on the changes, I agree with pretty much everything you said soo short comment is short ^_^” Mostly just wanted to say I love your artwork style, looking forward to following you on dA.

  13. Cinder says:

    They changed MD to be more like a rogue’s killing spree, which currently puts the icon over both your head and the target. Try it and see if that is what is going on!

  14. Nasthian says:

    Hrm, no, I’m just seeing it pop over my head when I cast it. No problem, now that I’ve done it with and without my macro, I know that’s working as intended, and good lord, misdirect to volley is potent stuff.

  15. Pathis says:

    Lots of decent “quality of life” tweaks, but nothing too drastic.

    My bear tank is really excited about the MD change. Finally no more “click off that MD, I can get you more threat” tells before I pull Ony!

  16. Rades says:

    This may be an odd question, but it’s one I haven’t seen brought up ANYWHERE about the change to cower…what happens if you needed that threat reduction for your pet? I’ve ran heroics (as BM) and despite misdirecting to the tank, my pet slowly creeps up on the threat meter and sometimes I have to manually pull him back so he doesn’t pull aggro. I mean, I can feign death, but my pets have no such luxury. True, properly geared tanks shouldn’t have this problem, but when you’re pugging the daily heroic, sometimes you’re running with inexperienced or not-as-geared tanks. I’m a little concerned.

  17. Kelesaria says:

    Call me crazy, but the Call Stabled Pet change has me excited. Finally Kel can grab whatever pet she feels like, and not worry about her player suddenly changing her mind and wanting Loq or Sabre instead of Tyran. >.>
    Misdirect is gonna be nice, but I do wish it lasted slightly longer. With the GCD, 4 seconds can only get 2 or 3 shots off, depending on your haste (and lag). Though I guess that’s not much different from the current version. :P
    I’m also drooling over the Wolverine Bite change. Maybe my cunning pets will get to come to raids, and do comparable damage. :D
    The whole Cower change is kind of ‘meh’. All it really means for me is I only have to click once now, to turn Growl off, instead of twice. (Growl off, Cower on.) Sabre likes to pull aggro with Cower turned -on-, so he won’t miss it much. :P

  18. Anj says:

    Surely Culling The Herd is more of a buff to BM because of the crazy amount of pet crits that spec generates? Maybe I’m wrong but it certainly *seems* that way.

  19. Guntitan says:

    4 points lets us get the better talents. Don’t forget. It is a buff to our pet damage.

  20. lantere says:

    Waaah!
    Pike’s got a DA!
    *Rushes off to DA to watch you.*

    In other Hunter-ish news:
    My Windserpent (cunningly called “Windserpent”) seems to be a bit more potent than usual.

    …could just be me playing better, but I doubt that…

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