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Hunter changes in beta 8962

There are a slew of new updates to Hunters in the latest beta build, but the biggest one comes to Aspect of the Viper. Blizzard has been tuning this spell for a while -- originally it gave Hunters back their ranged damage as mana (pretty overpowered), and then was tuned down to each shot giving back mana based on twice the base ranged weapon speed. Now it's still based on the base ranged speed, but they've buffed it back up to a percentage of mana -- if you have a base ranged weapon speed of 2, for example, you'll get 4% mana back for every shot that hits. Not a bad deal, and hopefully Blizzard is getting close to settling on making itso that Hunters only need to switch to AotV sometimes, instead of leaving it up all the time.

Most of the other Hunter changes in 8962 are just tweaks -- Kill Shot no longer does a knockdown and got a little damage buff. Tranq shot got added utility, in that it will remove enrage and magic effects rather than just the frenzy effect that was so hard to come by. Misdirection's cooldown got dropped to 30 seconds from two minutes, which means Hunters will get more chances to dump aggro when necessary.

There's one new skill which will make things pretty interesting on the trapping side -- Freezing Arrow lets you fire off an arrow that will lay down a Freezing Trap (which, by the way, now has only a chance to break on damage, instead of 100% certainty). That, combined with some quick Misdirection, could make trapping a whole new game at level 80. Unfortunately, it looks like the tradeoff for that is that we're losing Camouflage, which some Hunters already aren't happy about. But as always, all of these skill and talents are still up for grabs, so maybe we'll see Camo back in some form before it's all over.

Update: Whoops, forgot to mention that AotV is still carrying that 50% damage penalty while on. That's pretty harsh, even with the mana coming back, so look for a buff on that end before 3.0.2 goes live.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

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