Good news everyone!

goodnews At some point between the last time I seriously PvP’d (’bout a year ago) and now, Bloodlust Alliance figured out how to win Alterac Valley!


…okay, so, while that is good news, it’s probably not the good news you came here to read. Fortunately, I have other good news. The latest rumblings on the PTR are the impending change to Animal Handler. This talent has changed much through the years. Initially it gave your pet some extra Hit, which was rendered obsolete with hit scaling. Then it gave your pet expertise, and that, too, is about to be made obsolete. So now what’s it gonna do? Increase your pet’s Attack Power by 5%/10%.

For the record, that is awesome. And though I have no hard numbers, if Blizz delivers that plus expands on pet scaling like they said they wanted to in time for 3.2, combined with the impending weird Kill Command reduction on Catlike Reflexes and the Wild Hunt buff… I’m guessing that Beast Mastery is pretty much “fixed”.

Gotta say I am a bit worried, though. Remember why Blizz nerfed us last time? A lot of it was because pets were doing over 50% of our damage and they said that was too much. To which I actually agree– I love having a pet doing, oh… 35, 40% of my damage, but anything over 50% makes me too uncomfortable. Anyways, Blizz nerfed the pets, while forgetting to, well, really buff the hunter to counterbalance it.

Anyways, with all these new changes I don’t see any way that a Beast Master pet won’t be back up to 50% or more of a Beast Master hunter’s total DPS, and I worry that Blizz will have their nerfbat at the ready again. But who can say, really? It’s one of those things where we’ll just have to wait and see. At least the Blues know we could use some love, and that’s always a good sign.

12 thoughts on “Good news everyone!”

  1. I think these changes are excellent news! Except I’m still not completely sold on the Catlike Reflexes talent. That dodge just seems so wasted unless you’re soloing (plus I don’t have 3 extra talent points to spend). The change to Animal Handler and the buff to Wild Hunt however…those. are. awesome. I still don’t think the pet will be doing over 50% of your overall damage but it’s going to be pretty close (like 45-48% close). But I completely agree with you. The Hunter itself (for BM anyways) needs a buff of some sort. I personally would love a BM specific shot. Or change Kindred Spirit to increase Hunter damage instead of increasing movement speed.

  2. Is that why they nerfed BM though, because pets were doing too much damage over the Hunter? I thought the nerf was because the BM spec was *the* spec to have as both Hunter and pet were doing a lot of damage and at the time BM Hunters could pretty much macro their entire arsenal to one key. It was basically a high DPS easy to play spec and thus nerfed.

    As it is now I think BM is the hardest spec to play well and it’s the lowest dps provider so it’s the opposite of what it used to be and definitely needs a boost. Problem is, the only way BM dps can be buffed is through the pet as any other changes would affect all Hunter specs and thus boost the dps of Marks and Survival, leaving BM behind yet again.
    I suppose they could tweak some of the BM talents allow the Hunter do do increased damage but I’m no longer familiar enough with the spec to see where this could be done.

    That said, the change to Animal Handler is fantastic and those big red pets are going to be even more dangerous than they were before. I hope this makes BM more “competitive” as I’d like to see more of them around in raids, if only for variety’s sake.

  3. These are still just band-aid changes at best. Until Blizzard lets our pets scale with all of the Crit, ArP, & Haste we collect on our gear, BM scaling is going to remain as terrible as ever, and its dps is going to keep falling behind as gear improves.

  4. @ Dhorvin – Those are some of the changes I am referring to. Ghostcrawler said they are going to try to stuff as much pet scaling with Crit/ArPen/Haste/etc. as they can before the patch hits. Will it happen? Dunno, but it IS being worked on.

    @ Noah – that was part of the reason they nerfed BM yes. They have also stated that they dislike pets doing the bulk of the hunter’s damage though.

    I think it would be relatively easy to put a few more sans-pet hunter buffs in the Beast Master talents. It sort of surprises me that Blizzard hasn’t yet.

  5. If pets fully scale from Crit, ArPen and Haste, isn’t there a risk of the BM Hunter (or any Hunter really) running with essentially two characters? If the pets end up scaling so well from all the Hunter’s abilities, the pet could potentially end up being a whole separate character.

    I don’t ask this in a criticising way, but as a real question.

  6. I don’t see why expertise would be obsolete with gear scaling, since it’s not like we’re going to be using expertise gear. Hit is fine but after accounting for the default miss due to level the pet still needs to get past the dodges (or parries/blocks if the pet is tanking). Is something else going to be giving the pet expertise? Or will 10% ap make up for it.

  7. Actually, I think somewhere along the way, Blizz changed its mind about BM and pet damage. Part of the problem in 3.01 was that hunters were scaling really well with level, but less so with gear, so BM hunters in blues and greens were hitting Naxx and PETS were outdpsing some classes that were more gear dependent. As gear accumulation progressed, other classes scaled up, but the “image” had been created that BM pets produced too much DPS. Blizz introduced 3.08 and everyone switched. (Anyone remember the graphs on BRK that showed before and after lvl 80 hunter spec populations?)

    Problem was that Blizz didn’t seem to have a clear idea of what each tree would do. If you want each to be viable, but also have a different flavor, the SV was steady dps with traps and Ex shot, MM provided some nice burst with chimera, rapid fire, and Readiness. And BM was….. what?

    It makes sense to push BM to rely heavily on the Beast part of the equation. So many cool pet-related talents are in that tree. But I think it’s taken blizz a while to come back to the realization.

  8. Given how hard it is to keep pets alive on certain boss fights (oh, how I loathe Sartharion) I suspect they’ve decided that they don’t care how much damage the pets do, since most hunters won’t be able to keep them up the whole time anyway. >.<

    I am excited about the buffs, though!

  9. @ Yunk – In the next content patch a hit-capped hunter will have a hit- and expertise-capped pet.

    @ Noah – Well, that’s a reason why a hunter, Beast Masters in particular, hits “lighter” than other classes do. When playing my druid as boomkin I was getting these huge crits that I’d never see on my hunter. But it’s because a hunter has a pet doing a lot of damage– boomkin pets last thirty seconds and are on a long cooldown. =P So it sort of works out.

  10. Kate – if you think Sarth is a bitch try Mimiron on hard mode. Fire. Freaking everywhere. 4 or so abilities that will one shot them and lots of raid damage.

    I think BM will get a significant buff at some point they’re just wary of making it the only viable spec again. I mean, I pressed 1macro button for most fights outside of misdirecting for an entire expansion.

  11. ok thanks, I didn’t think they’d make our hit scale to pet expertise as well. I missed that part, that is great.

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