It was just a couple of weeks ago that we were talking about the hunter self-heal nerfs in the beta, and we're already seeing more adjustments: partial un-nerfs, other ability nerfs, and substantial reworking of hunter self-heals. This is clearly an area of a lot of testing and scrutiny in the beta right now.
In addition to the self-healing changes, we also saw more fun cosmetic minor glyphs and got some clarification from Ghostcrawler about our new Stampede ability. It all adds up to lots more news of what hunters are going to look like in Mists of Pandaria as things continue to settle out.
To begin at the beginning, we saw a lot of adjustments made to the hunter self-heal situation in Mists, including a couple that I predicted. Here is the complete list.
Hunter self-heal changes
- Chimera Shot now heals for 3% of total health, down from 5%.
- The Glyph of Chimera Shot now increases the healing of Chimera Shot by an extra 2%, down from an extra 5%.
- Spirit Bond how regenerates 2% of total health every 2 seconds, up from 1% (and down from the original 5%).
- Exhilaration has been completely reworked. Instead of healing on Disengage, it's now a flat self-heal for 30% health (plus 100% health for the pet) on a 2-minute cooldown.
The really interesting change here is Exhilaration. The new Exhilaration nets a greater amount of healing than the previous incarnation but less than the first version at the start of the beta. The significant part, however, is the amount of burst heal it provides. In PvP, burst heal on demand is far more useful than a small, continuously active heal, and as a result, these larger burst self-heals come with longer cooldowns.
It's also worth noting that the new Exhilaration will work with Readiness, allowing hunters to reset the cooldown and double dip on the burst self-heal (and total pet heal) when needed.
Cobra Shot focus buff
The focus regenerated by Cobra Shot has been increased from 9 focus per shot, up to 14 focus per shot. This now matches the identical boost that Steady Shot got a while back. Ghostcrawler had talked about concerns that hunter focus regen felt a little low, and it's nice to see this substantial boost.
To be sure, many hunters would have preferred to see this in the form of a boost to our passive focus regen, but with minimum range, Cobra Shot can just about always be used to regen focus, even in PvP.
New mastery buff
Cats and Spirit Beasts will now be bringing the mastery buff to the hunter raid buff toolbox, providing 5 mastery to all party and raid members.
New minor glyphs
Hunters are seeing a couple of new minor glyphs in this patch, continuing the theme of making minor glyphs primarily cosmetic and leaving the meaningful upgrades to the major glyphs. This is a design philosophy that I agree with -- I'd love to see all the minor glyphs be purely cosmetic ones. It's fun and lets you make a decision purely on what you think is neat, rather than what is best. And they are called "minor," after all.
Of course, as long as the minor Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah is in the mix, providing a meaningful benefit in many situations, that's going to have a reserved slot in my minor glyph mix.
Here's the new ones:
- Glyph of Fireworks Teaches you the ability to launch fireworks from your gun, bow, or crossbow. This is replacing the Feign Death glyph, which reduced the cooldown of FD by a slight amount.
- Glyph of Stampede Your Stampede no longer summons pets from your stable and instead uses copies of your current pet. This appears to be replacing the Glyph of Scare Beast.
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