Monday, December 7, 2009

Analysis of the Hunter 3.3 Changes

Patch 3.3 comes out tomorrow.

Hunter 3.3 Changes:
  • 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

    • 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

    • Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master’s resilience.
    • Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd.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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
    • Pet Leveling: Hunter pets now need only 5% of the experience a player needs to level, down from 10%.
    • Venom Web Spray: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
    • Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
    • 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.

Analysis of the changes going from top to bottom:

Reduction of the Call Stabled Pet is a good one.  Being able to switch pets on the fly is needed, and the 30 min cooldown was way too long.

Deterrence working against Ranged Attacks makes it useful vs Hunters and Paladins.  This is a straight up buff for Hunters in PvP.

Immediate Intimidation is a solid buff to BM Hunters in PvP.  It should increase the difference between skilled BM Hunters and the non-skilled, as timing the Intimidation just right will be a key play.

100% Resilience is a very nice change for pets (used to be 50% I believe).  This would help pets survive better in PvP if it weren't for the next change...

Innate 90% AoE Avoidance for PvE is very nice, but going from 75% AoE reduction to 0% really blows (even if we had to spend 3 pet talents on it).  

Cowering seems useful and essential now, unfortunately that means another keybind.  ; (

Culling the Herd is a pet talent that is full of promise when pet crit scales with the hunters crit chance.  Only applying after a pet special crit is just not going to happen very often in PvP with resilience.  If you have a Ferocity pet in PvP it might work out for a little extra burst.  In PvE this is actually a very good talent.

Improved Cower seems unnecessary.  I would probably avoid this pet talent unless you have extra.

Hunter pets needing only 5% of the Hunters experience instead of 10% is a very nice change.  I say it could use another reduction come Cataclysm, maybe 2-3%.  As of right now it makes leveling a pet only take a couple of hours instead of a good 4-5 hours (75-80).

The Wolverine Bite change is a great one, but unfortunately, at the moment, Cunning pets cannot crit much in PvP due to Resilience.  When pet crit scales with hunter crit Cunning pets will look much better for BM Hunters.


David said...

So how is 3.3 treating you, shaedon? As well, how have you decided to tackle the new arena season?

Shaedon said...

3.3 has been a disappointment.

When they stopped balancing healers around 2's (I understand why) it really hurt all double dps comps in 2's.

Basically you have to run a healer + dps now. Unfortunately my friend and I just don't have the characters for that to work well yet.

In 3's we run Hunter / Rogue / Priest, but the comp is very poor. Hunter / Rogue synergy is definitely lacking at the moment.

Can't wait for Cataclysm changes, that should spice up the game a bit.