Every new expansion is a game developer's dream. Throughout the course of the expansion, they have to be careful not to make too many changes too fast, something that can quickly become too hard for players to keep up with. As new tiers of content come out, the developers' list of dream changes build up faster than they can be deployed.
But when a new expansion is in the works, they're free to unleash the torrent of ideas that built up over the years. They can take the hunter and rebuild it -- faster, stronger, and as it turns out, with fewer crows.
The latest Mists of Pandaria beta build brings several buffs for hunters with some raw DPS increases. It also limits the ability of hunters to leverage A Murder of Crows to bring out a bazillion crows at once.
Kill Shot buffed -- a lot
The first big buff of the latest patch is a big one, with a massive increase to the punch that Kill Shot will pack. This is a big move to moving Kill Shot back in the direction of actually being, you know, a killing shot.
Currently on live, Kill Shot hits fairly soft for 150% base damage plus 45% of ranged attack power. In the beta, the base damage of Kill Shot was nerfed along with most other shot base damage, with the understanding that the base damage of ranged weapons would be buffed to compensate (and indeed, the DPS of the weapon I brought over doubled). Thus, Kill Shot in beta was doing 85% of weapon damage plus the same RAP coefficient, which was about the same total damage as it did on live.
The latest change buffs Kill Shot way up to 300% of base damage! That means that Kill Shot will be doing in the neighborhood of 3.5 times more damage than it does on live. I think this is a fantastic change that helps boost Kill Shot back into being a nice, big oomph to our damage when the target gets low.
Glaive Toss buffed, too
The other significant buff to the latest patch was Glaive Toss, one of the hunter level 90 talent choices. As you'll recall, this talent tosses two glaives at a target enemy, which then boomerangs back to you. The glaives do damage to (and slow) all enemies in their path, both there and back. They do far more damage, however, to the target of the toss than to the guys in their path.
Previously, Glaive Toss did four times as much damage to the primary target as the rest of them, and now with the buff, it will do eight times as much damage to the primary target. This seems to be a move to make Glaive Toss a bit more competitive with Powershot, which functions somewhat similarly but exchanges the slow for a knockback. Both seem most useful for PvP, and outside of specific boss fight mechanics, it still looks like there isn't a great raid option for our level 90 talents.
A Murder of Crows no longer limitless
A Murder of Crows has been tweaked. When the talent was used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown was reset, letting us use it again immediately. This had what was apparently the unintended consequence of making it essentially endless for grinding mobs. You would gather up a pack of mobs, work them to 20% health, and then hit A Murder of Crows again and again.
The result was a pretty huge quantity of crows that would follow you around, wander off and pick out their own targets, and generally peck away at everything in sight while you found more targets to take to 20% health to get more crows. Similarly, in a raid situation, you could just hit A Murder of Crows, fire a couple shots to regen focus, and hit up the crows again and again.
The latest beta patch stopped this application by changing the cooldown reset to instead reducing the cooldown to 15 seconds. This way, the ability is still extra useful when the target is at low health, but we can no longer use it endlessly or get crows swarming like bees when leveling or grinding.
Posthaste is one of our level 15 talent choices (currently a MM talent on live) that boosts our movement speed by 60% after Disengaging. In an effort to make it more competitive with the other talents in the Disengage tier, now in addition to the speed boost, Posthaste will also remove one movement-impairing effect when you hit Disengage.
This is a really nice PvP choice that succeeds in making the choice between Posthaste and Narrow Escape a tough one.
Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter and choosing the best patch 4.2 gear to learning the DPS value of skill, we've got you covered. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?