The beating of a dead horse

Yes, I know.

If you read many blogs that have anything to do with Hunters you have heard this talked to death already.

What? you ask. The 3.1 patch changes of course.

Some folks see them as gloom and doom, the very end of the class as we know it.  Others are really unsure of what they see. I may have even read that some consider this a buff. As for me, I am not really sure where I sit on this. I suppose it all depends on how it’s implemented.

Now, like many bloggers before me, I will toss out my thoughts on what this will mean for hunters. I shall break out my crystal ball (the one with a crack in it) and attempt to predict the future. I have tried before, and it did not pan out too bad.

First up we have this note:

  • Consumable ammunition has been removed from the game. Arrows and bullets no longer stack, but are not consumed.

Hmm. What I assume is that instead of purchasing an ammo pouch or quiver to hold ammo we will be able to purchase something akin to a trinket. Call it a “Sheaf of arrows” or “Box ‘o bullets” or whatever. It will be equipped in the slot that is currently where you place your ammo on the paper doll. This allows them to change the mechanic without changing the paper doll.

  • Pros and Cons:
  • Frees up a bag slot (note to self: put 18 slot bags in the AH the day before it goes live, make a killing)
  • Allows Blizz the option of creating better ammo as a boss drop.
  • Aslo allows them to create “specialty” ammo that Harris Pilton could sell for large amounts, think flaming arrows or sparkly tracer bullets. (no extra damage, just different looking)
  • Reduces the cost of leveling and the cost of raiding.
  • This may hurt Engineering and Leatherworking. Ideally they would have a craftable that would use a crafted quiver and crafted ammo to make an ammo trinket.
  • What happens to the bonus to attack speed from the quiver?

Well, this shapes up to be a pretty decent buff in my book.  My only real concern is the attack speed which is addressed in the next statement.

  • Ranged attack speed bonus gained from quivers and ammo bags will be preserved in a different capacity.

This is what led me to the “Ammo trinket” I was talking about earlier. It would be easy enough to simply apply the ranged attack speed bonus to one.

  • Pros and cons:
  • The only issue I see with this is if they “forget” to put it in the patch. It may also be a place they could go for a little “stealth nerf” action at a later time.

This is neither a buff or a nerf, just maintaining the status quo. At least assuming all the numbers work out.

  • A new tier of hunter pet talents have been added. In particular, this allows Beastmaster hunters to improve their damage per second (DPS) with their 51 point talent.

Ok, they smacked Beastmastery so hard with the nerf bat that from all the numbers I have seen about two out of three respecced to Survival or Marksman. Perhaps they went a little far? Ya think? This is simply Blizz trying to do two things at once. They want to make Beastmastery competitive again without admitting the steady shot nerf was a bad idea, and thay want to “encourage” the use of the beastmastery 51 point talent.

  • Pros and cons:
  • Keep in mind every time they “balance” something someone gets hurt, just hope it’s not you.

Buff? Nerf? Hell there is barely enough information to make me tilt my head sideways and wonder whats going to happen. I guess it’s wait and see on this one.

  • Hunting Party – this talent has been reduced to 3 ranks and also grants a passive bonus to the hunter.

Ok, now we go from a five point talent to a three point one. I assume it will be similar to the Ret Pally and Shadow Priest versions that are 33/66/100% uptime instead of our current 20/40/60/80/100%. The passive bonus is probably going there to encourage people to actually take all three points.

  • Pros and cons:
  • not really enough info to do more than guess.
  • Keep in mind, they want replenishment to be mandatory for raiding, they will make this one appealing. 

Buff? Nerf? If things go the way I think they will this talent will see a solid buff. The passive bonus will be something that will benefit soloing Hunters as well. It will benefit them enough that they will actually want to put all three points into Blizz’s new favorite talent. After all they can’t design raiding around replenishment if they don’t make sure people spec into it.

Next up we have:

  • Piercing Shots – this talent has been changed. Your Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of damage dealt for 8 sec.

Blizz said Marksman would get a bit of a buff, well here it is. It’s also a nice stealthy way to give Marksman back the damage that steady shot used to do for them. The beauty of it is they can get their “oops my bad, we nerfed steady shot for you too” in for the Marksman without letting those dirty Beastmasters get their “wtf did you do to my dps?” hands all over it.

  • Pros and cons:
  • Grats to the Marksman Hunters on their extra damage potential

This next one seems a bit harsh.

  • Sniper Training – this talent has been changed. After standing still for 6 sec, you gain a 2/4/6% damage bonus to Steady, Aimed and Explosive Shot.

This is a bit more change than it seems on the surface.

  • Pros and cons:
  • I suppose standing still for 6 seconds will be possible on more boss fights than staying at 30+ yards was.
  • If you stand in one place for 6 seconds in pvp its because you are already dead.
  • Steady, aimed and explosive…. Wtf? where did kill shot go?
  • Seriously where is my 5/10/15% crit chance to my kill shot? thats why I took this in the first place!

Looks like sniper training really took it in the shorts. It remains to be seen what the talent trees will look like once 3.1 hits, but this looks a lot less appealing than it used to. I can only hope they move the 5/10/15% crit chance on kill shot over to Hunting Party in an effort to get people to actually take it.

  • We are also looking to add additional trap functionality to Survival.

This is right up there with saying “It will likely be cold in January, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.” Ok, they will look at it. Enjoy, have fun, the only thing I will say is hopefully they 41 point Survival talent gets some love.


Looking back at it overall I think it will all work out a bit even. Not so much of a beaing with the nerf bat. Not much of a giant buff either. Survival will keep its raid utility and likely see a slight decrease in damage. Marksman will see a slight increase in damage, and Beastmastery will (hopefully) be made raid viable again.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.