One Step Backward, Two Cautious Steps Forward – About The Beast Within "Nerf"

I originally wasn’t going to write this post; I don’t typically do speculations-types of posts and I’ve got another post which I consider much more interesting in the works at the moment. However, this could potentially be Very Big News, and because I seem to be biggest Beast Master Hunter blogger at this point (for better or for worse)– I figured I’d bring this up.

*pulls down screen and turns on overhead projector*

Could someone get the lights…?


MMO-Champion says thusly:

* The Beast Within now lasts 10 sec (Down from 18 sec) but now also increases all damage you deal by 10% at all time.
* Bestial Wrath now lasts 10 sec. (Down from 18 sec)

Now, I can envision the reaction some of you may have had there. Lemme sum it up: you read the first seven words of the quote, your heartrate and blood pressure skyrocket, you leap out of your chair and scream something incoherent… and then you read the rest, your heartrate goes down a bit, and you slooooowly sit back down while scratching your head.

If you did that, don’t be ashamed, because I did the exact same thing.

Because of that, I want everyone to take a few deep breaths. Inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale…



Let’s talk a bit.

Right now, in my humble experience, Beast Masters in endgame PvE are particularly good at two things: a.) fights where you’re doing a lot of running around and/or are out of commission and yet your pet can just sit there and om nom to his heart’s content, and b.) burst damage.

As an example for that first thing there, I point you towards something like the final boss in Drak’Theron Keep. Your pet does his normal thing the whole time, while you turn into a skeleton and whack things with your staff. You lose a lot of “hunter DPS” in that fight. Your pet picks up the slack. Another example would be Giant Popup Book Guy, aka Kologarn, in Ulduar. I have noticed in my few jaunts in there that that is a fight where I tend to do very well in comparison to many other classes or hunter specs. I think it’s because while I’m running around like a hamster on caffeine, trying to avoid the eye lasers, my pet is calmly munching on the boss. Once again, your pet “picks up the slack”.

Now, the burstyness. If you’re anything like me you’ve had at least one moment where you– all nice and raidbuffed in your 25man– got a devious little grin on your face, pulled out Recount, and popped EVERYTHING on some random trash mob just for kicks. Bestial Wrath, Call of the Wild, Rapid Fire, trinkets, you name it. During this, you watched Recount very closely and giggled at where you’d peak right after a string of crits. We’re talking in the range of 7000+ DPS, for me anyway… single-target! It’s ungodly. For that blissful fifteen seconds or so, we are extremely hard to catch.

The downside, of course, is that we fall below average inbetween those burst moments.

What the Bestial Wrath change says to me is that Blizzard is trying to iron out the peaks a little and while I have no hard data or testing, my inkling is that it is going to be a slight net gain overall.

At this point, depending on the fight and on buffs and other things like that, my pet’s DPS makes up somewhere around 40% of my total DPS. Sometimes it’s a little less, and sometimes it’s a little more. Let’s take a look at Bestial Wrath, replacing “you” and “your pet” with some percentages (in brackets, so it’s a little easier to follow):

OLD BESTIAL WRATH: Every 1.17 minutes, you increase [60% of your DPS] by 10% and [40% of your DPS] by 50% for 18 seconds. This cannot be used if your pet is dead or unavailable.

NEW BESTIAL WRATH: Every 1.17 minutes, you increase [60% of your DPS] by 10% and [40% of your DPS] by 50% for 10 seconds. In addition, [60% of your DPS] does 10% more damage at all times from now on, even if your pet is dead or unavailable.

…there, see, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? In fact, it kinda sounds like an overall buff, doesn’t it? Maybe not a big buff, but a buff nonetheless. And hopefully it will pave the way for better things in the future.

See, Blizzard is actually taking this in a direction where I have kind of been hoping they would go. I’ve felt recently that pet damage is creeping too far upwards and while I love having a ridiculously scary pet, I also don’t like the fact that I am screwed on pet-unfriendly fights or other weird gimmicky fights where they don’t let you use your pet, or your pet doesn’t get some major buff, or what-have-you. This is ultimately a pet nerf but a hunter buff, and while I’ll certainly miss my favorite 18-second juggernaut, I am glad to see the pendulum swing a little more in the “hunter” direction.

Besideswhich, last I checked, Blizzard is still promising full ArmorPen/Haste/Crit/etc. scaling from master to pet in the near future, and if it does happen soon that’s going to be HUGE.

Keep your chins up, Beast Masters!

…okay, recess! *flips off overhead projector*

Closing Note: I had to make a few assumptions here, namely, the assumption that The Beast Within will still boost your damage by 10% during its duration in addition to its overall 10% damage boost. I also didn’t dig into any potential slight DPS loss caused by not having the reduced mana cost on shots for 18 seconds anymore. But hey, this isn’t supposed to be a mathy post anyway…

Also, I acknowledge that I could very well be wrong about all of this. Here, I present to you several grains of salt! *hands out free salt shakers*

Second Closing Note: I suppose in the end what I’m really trying to say here is… I HATE SAUERKRAUT *cough* anyways, what I’m trying to say is that I’m staying optimistic about this. We’re hunters, we’ll survive. To quote one of my favorite books of all time… “All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand Enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.”

30 thoughts on “One Step Backward, Two Cautious Steps Forward – About The Beast Within "Nerf"”

  1. Not entirely sure how to take this, from what I’m guessing this is also very centered on trying to balance for pvp. I would hope that this is at least a slight net gain- sorta happy being BM and still the highest dps in 10 man ulduar for my guild even though I’m the only one in there that doesn’t get to go every week 😀

  2. You’re right in thinking this is a buff to hunter damage, and a not-that-little one to add. It’s bigger than a 10% increase to pet damage, and people thought that was the shit.

    The way blizzard went about increasing the DPS was a bit boring, but they did what they had to I suppose.

    My only sad face is for BM PvP, where we now have 8 seconds less CC immunity, which is aour shtick as far as I’m concerned , and paladins are not to be concerned.

  3. Buff? Maybe but overall BM damage is still to depending on pet and pet’s survival. No pet = no dps and boy there is lot’s fights at this moment where pet dies too easily, way too easily. Maybe in future brings some love for Beast Mastery, this BW nerfbuff ( hey, I just invented new word 😀 ) is may be step into right direction.

    Thanks to Pike for one of best blogs what I have read. I love this blog and I love that quote, Watership Down is also one my all time favorite book. Shame at I havent read it in orginal language never, only in finnish translation ( but I recon quote anyway 😉 )

    -Pimukiekko ( Daggerspine EU )

  4. Doing some vague, napkin math, it appears to be about a 2.5% dps buff!

    Old TBW:
    – Uptime is 18s out of every 70

    18/70*(0.66+0.6) + (70-18)/70*(0.6+0.4) = ~1.06

    New TBW:
    – Uptime is 10s out of every 70

    1/7*(0.66+0.6) + 6/7*(0.66+0.4) = ~1.089

    Formula should be read like this:
    (TBW Uptime) * (TBW Hunter Damage% + TBW Pet Damage%) + (TBW Downtime) * (Hunter Damage% + Pet Damage%)

    Obviously, go check for the proper, accurate stuff, but on paper, it looks like a buff…

  5. Apparently it’s even better than the napkin math checks out. Hunters still get +10% more damage during Big Red Kitty phase so that 1.089 gets an additional 1/7*.066*.1 (10% more hunter damage during Big Red Kitty) which gives us 1.098, bringing it to about a 3-3.5% increase… not bad, not bad at all.

  6. Your math should look like this, Ablimoth:

    $TBW_UPTIME_PERCENT = percentage of time that TBW is up in decimal, as defined by length of uptime divided by cooldown
    $BW_UPTIME_PERCENT = percentage of time that TBW is up in decimal, as defined by length of uptime divided by cooldown
    $HUNTER_DPS_RATIO = percentage of overall DPS done by the master, in decimal
    $PET_DPS_RATIO = percentage of overall DPS done by the pet, in decimal
    $PERCENT_GAIN = percent gained by Bestial Wrath/The Beast Within, composite.


    For Pike, using a ratio of .53 and .47 (with her most recent post) and uptime percents of .257 pre-nerf and .143 post-nerf:

    Old: (10 * .257 * .53) + (50 * .257 * .47) = 1.3621 + 6.0395 = 7.4016% DPS gained by having and using both
    New: (10 * .53) + (10 * .143 * .53) + (50 * .143 * .47) = 5.3 + 0.7579 + 3.3605 = 9.4184% DPS gained by having and using both

    Barely a 2% DPS gain. And that will go down as Pike’s pet does more DPS out of the ratio – if she used a Devilsaur and was closer to 45/55 like most BM Hunters are, it would be less than a 1% DPS boost (8.224% versus 9.076%).

  7. Very nice post!
    Oh, and your second closing note brought a shiver to my spine.
    Frith is the ‘unofficial’ name of my spring Rabbit. <3 that book and movie!

  8. Our math does the same thing, yours just presents it much more neatly than mine (and I use fractions). Our different results stem from different ratios for hunter:pet damage, ill defer to your superior knowledge there.

    Regardless of how much, its a a pve buff.

    I haven’t been BM since lvl 72. Coincidentally, its the same day that thunderstomp got nerfed, everyone else was complaining about some sort of steady shot nerf but all I knew was my gorilla couldn’t do 2.5k thunderstomps anymore, sadfase.

  9. It’ll be interesting to see if the cooldown gets lowered a bit to go with the reduced duration. Instead of a 2 min base cooldown it could be a minute-thirty cooldown, which would then be reduced to a 43 second cooldown but as awesome as that would sound you know Blizzard would either change Longevity to not affect Bestial Wrath a la Readiness or change the glyph.

    I did do our last IC-Hard attempt as Beast mastery last night. Before I was my usual Marks spec but we’d only get Steelbreaker down to like 30% every time. I think to myself “What are we missing?” Then it clicks. We have no ret paladin. Our raiding ret is currently on an extended leave so I switch to BM (which unfortunately isn’t optimal, in terms of the spec itself and I’m using my Marks buff food and Agi-enchanted gear) and we walk away with a heartbreaking 800k wipe. However, Ferocious Inspiration was the missing link, that extra 3% damage is a huge help.

    It’d be interesting to see what this change can do for the spec and I see what you did there with the Alberquerque reference. That little bit of subtletly is why I love reading your blog.

  10. OMG I knew there was a reason you stayed on my blogroll, despite my hunter and druid being shafted a little by full time work (and raiding on the rogue taking up most of my wow-time).

    Quoting El-ahrair-ah is truly the way to my heart.

  11. Sweet mercy! There are other people in the world who have read Watership Down! I thought it was just me!

    I’m holding out hope, Professor. It sounds bad, but it might end up being good, and being good is always A Good Thing.

  12. Thanks for this post, Pike. When I first read of the change last night, I was apprehensive that what was being touted (by some) as a PvP-change was once again going to have a lot of collateral damage for us PvE types. It seems that won’t be quite the situation. Still…only 10 sec of my Big Red Devilsaur/Kitty/whatever…makes me a sad birdie.

  13. Haha I’ve been hoping they’d make BM a bit more playable so I can break out my favourite pet :
    Gaylord the big pink Dino

    A couple of our raiders who remember him from the end of TBC have been making requests, and having the dino back to piss off our melee was one of them.

    The sad thing is being BM simply doesn’t cut it. People are ofc free to have their own opinion but when everyone in the guild is tweeking specs to get the maximum out of their characters it’s a bit much to ask to play a spec thats so far behind.

  14. I am not realy sure how to take this. The reduction to 10 sec isn’t just a hit with he nerf bat, it’s one with the battering ram. The the 10% boost look like the sugar, to sweeten up the bitter medicine. I am really worried how the 10% more damage/aggro I do, affects the tanking ability of my pet.

  15. How odd… I’m having the strangest urges to spec back to BM after this ‘nerf’… Working as Intended?

  16. I LOVE Watership Down! Absolutely one of my favorite books of all time. And this is probably the first time I’ve ever seen it referenced in a blog.

    I knew there was a reason I liked this blog..and I don’t even play a hunter 😛

  17. Aww, I’m going to miss the extra 8 seconds of fear / stun resistance! Still, I won’t object to something that maybe possibly results in a boost to my performance perhaps.

  18. Pike…
    I thought you were great before, really. You are my Beast Mastery hero. But now, you are a goddess. With a Flock of Seagulls haircut and only one nostril.

    Man, I hate it when I’m right.

  19. PvE side:
    It would be a nice buff at the end.
    PvP side:
    Trading 8 sec of BW for the “trinket ” effect is a nice deal imo… enough people know the rule “Red Hunter = no CC”

    Well done Pike! I love your blog ^^

  20. is the quote from Watership Down?? I play a tauren hunter but i’m survival, i love reading your blog and hope you have many new posts on the way 😀

    name is poisonhorn on aggramar, look me up

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