Ghostcrawler has reached into his mysterious bags of tricks and drew out the Hunter card once again it seems. Last week we discussed the recent change to Armor Penetration. While we all agree that it is a nerf to Marksman Hunters and will reduce their DPS. The jury is still out on whether it is a game mechanics correction (which I tend to believe) or some evil plot to cause Hunters to spend more gold.
Well the changes continued to happen. Last Thursday we heard more from Ghostcrawler regarding a new change that will be hitting Beast Master Hunters in Patch 3.2.2. The interesting thing about this recent change is it is both a buff and a nerf. To help explain what I mean let's take a closer look at how Ghostcrawler explained the change on the Damage Dealing Forums.
"Since the changes seem to be causing confusion, here is the new tooltip.
'Send your pet into a rage causing 50% additional damage for 10 sec (down from 18). While enraged, the beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed.'
The tooltip doesn't say this, but it now breaks all forms of CC that a PvP trinket would break (including Cyclone, Sap, etc.).
'Increases all damage you deal by 10% and while your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 10% additional damage and reducing mana costs of all spells by 20% for 10 sec (down from 18). While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed.'
So the changes are:
Passive hunter damage buff added.
Now breaks all forms of CC (whatever a PvP trinket breaks, including Sap and Cyclone)."
So let's compare that to what we have today with Bestial Wrath and The Beast Within:
Bestial Wrath says, "Send your pet into a rage causing 50% additional damage for 18 sec. While enraged, the beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed."
The Beast Within now says, "When your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 10% additional damage and reducing mana costs of all spells by 20% for 18 sec. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed."
So what's changed?
First we notice that the Bestial Wrath's duration of the pet's additional damage is down from 18 to 10 seconds. Next we notice that the decrease of The Beast Within's duration from 18 seconds to 10. So I'll admit that change is a nerf. There's an 8 second reduction in the amount of time Hunters and their pets can do some serious face ripping of their opponent. That's going to hurt the Beast Cleave teams in PvP and Arena for sure.
But then let's look at the positive side of things, the buffs.
Taking a look first at something that Ghostcrawler states is not in the tooltip, but is in the game mechanics. The Beast Within will break all forms of CC. This will include Sap and Cyclone. That's got to be something to look forward to in PvP, right? It might be considered a waste to some, but consider it an extra PvP trinket. Get Sapped by a nasty Rogue, pop your trinket. Then if you get Cycloned, pop BW and then you get to just take out all your frustration on that overstuffed furry chicken called a Moonkin Druid. And if the PvP-ers don't think that this is a buff, I know several PvE players that will love the idea of having an ability to break CC and get right back to pounding out massive DPS.
The next good thing to come out is kind of hidden in there. Because of the effect now being part of Besital Wrath, it seems if your pet gets killed in the middle of the battle, you may not lose the Hunter buff. At first I thought I was the only one with this understanding, but then I came across this post by Pike of Aspect of the Hare explaining the exact same thing. Now if that is what Ghostcrawler meant by the passive Hunter buff, then this will be a great way to get BM back into the raiding scene again.
Basically, I think I agree with Ghostcrawler on this one. PvP Duration is a nerf, and will do serious harm to the Beast Cleave arena teams. However the change seems to be balanced out by the PvE buffs to Hunter damage and the ability to break all forms of CC. So tell me, what do you think? Agree? Disagree?