Well it's been a while since my last blog - mainly down to going to Glastonbury festival so here's an update.
Patch 3.2 is up on the PTR and it has some interesting changes for hunters. As it could all change before going live, the below is just speculation at the moment.
3.2 Changes effecting MM Hunters & My thoughts
(Source: WoW Insider)
Resilience: No longer reduces the amount of damage done by damage-over-time spells, but instead reduces the amount of all damage done by players by the same proportion. The other effects of resilience (reducing critical chance, critical damage and mana drain effects) have not changed.
NERF. My concern here is that this will prolong the lengths of the arena matches, playing into the hands of the "infinite resource" melee teams, who are already top at the moment. Blizzard just "fixed" MM Mana problems but it is still a concern in PvE...longer matches will make OOM moments almost unavoidable while the melee teams can just keep coming. Ghostcrawler is aware of this and I wouldn't be surprised if something changes before it hits live.
All pets now receive 40% of their master's resilience and 100% of their master's spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.
BUFF. Basically our pets will now have more survivability in PvP, assuming you have resilience. This is a big boost to BM hunters as we all know that killing their pet first is usually the best option (If you didn't know that, don't tell anyone I told you!)
Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target's maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric Touch, Judgements of the Wise, Hunting Party, Enduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).
NERF. Here is my big concern in 3.2. Blizzard have buffed MP5 and nerfed replenishment. MM Hunters only just got our mana "fixed" and now it looks like it's going to get nerfed again - we don't spec MP5 and the 20% nerf to replenishment is going to hurt us. Seems a little harsh as the change appears to be mainly aimed at Holy Paladins to get them to pick up MP5.
Silence, Strangulate, Silencing Shot, and Arcane Torrent: These abilities will also apply a 3-second interrupt effect against non-player controlled targets, making them more versatile against creatures immune to silencing effects.
BUFF. Silencing shot is now also an interrupt. I thought it already was? Either way, no harm.
Aspect of the Cheetah: Can now be learned at level 16.
MEH. Good for leveling but not important to end-game.
Deterrence: This ability now allows the hunter to parry spells and attacks from behind as well as in front. Now has a new visual spell effect.
BUFF. While many people hated it before, I use it all the time in Arena - it's very handy, especially against Bladestorms. Having it work from behind will allow us to run away instead of back peddling, which is a great boost. It also helped those who are a bit laggy and don't get their positioning right.
The time that traps will exist in the world after being put down has been reduced to 30 seconds, down from 1 minute.
Traps now have separate 30-second cooldown categories: Fire (Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Black Arrow), Frost (Freezing Trap, Frost Trap) and Nature (Snake Trap). A hunter can have one trap of each category placed at one time.
BUFF. ZOMG how many traps?.....Wait a minute, lets think about this.
PvE - MEH. mainly aimed at SV. As MM we don't really use traps much for DPS (running around dropping them is too much of a DPS drop) and the only time we use it is for kiting, which none of the changes will help us. SV can drop a frost down (mainly for adds) and also use black arrow getting more Lock and Loads possibly (has a new Internal CD now though) which if it does will be a DPS boost.
PvP - POSSIBLE BUFF. This is where the changes are being aimed at. In Arena we all know hunters kite with frost trap. The change above allows us to also drop 2 more traps which will increase our damage on the targets - which isn't bad. The only downside of this is that our traps are quite mana expensive, which isn't great in the new "longer battle" scenario and also it takes 1 GCD to drop a trap - 4.5 seconds in total!
I'm not too excited about this change really, Blizzard said they want to make our traps a little more intimidating - using immolation & snake trap in addition to frost may not be worth the mana/GDC expenditure, I'm not sure. I guess playing it will test this out. IMO if they wanted to buff traps, they could start by fixing them, for example the "arm time" of our traps (let them work instantly) and also don't let people immune to our traps completely destroy them - let them at least fire but leave the immune person alone. Standing around for 30 secs with no frost traps isn't fun!
Here are some ideas of how we could make our traps more effective in PvP:
Separation of frost from freezing trap, so we can kite and use a freezing trap/freeing arrow at the same time.
Snake Trap/Immolation Trap - reduce movement
Remove them from the GCD
Reduce their cost
Make Freezing Arrow an actual freezing arrow (maybe as a MM/BM CC Talent - not for Wyvern Stinging SV hunters)
Create a resource draining trap - Mana/Rage/Energy - etc.
That's just some not-thought through ideas off the top of my head...
I also hold the right to change my mind on this change once I get to test it out! :p
Talent: Beast Mastery
Catlike Reflexes now also reduces the cooldown of your Kill Command ability by 10/20/30 seconds.
MEH. No MM should have this talent so Meh. Nice boost for BM though, they're in need of some PvE boosts!
Talent: Survival Entrapment: This talent no longer works with Immolation Trap or Explosive Trap.
Lock and Load: Now has a 22-second cooldown. The Lock and Load effect cannot be obtained on targets immune to snare effects when Frost Trap is used.
MEH. While I talent Entrapment in my MM PvP spec, I never used any trap other than frost or freezing trap so entrapment from immolation/explosive never happened - I won't notice this change. If people start getting snared from explosive traps AND frost traps, it could get a bit OP (it is only 2 seconds)?
MEH. LnL now has a 22 sec CD - I also have this talented in my PvP spec (Used with Arcane Shot) but as the trap CD is 30 secs it doesn't make much difference (28 seconds with 4 set bonus). This is mainly aimed at SV hunters getting procs from Black Arrow and Frost Traps.
Roar of Sacrifice: Redesigned. This ability can now be used on any friendly target to make that target immune to critical strikes, but the Hunter pet takes 20% of all damage taken by that friendly target. Cooldown increased to 2 minutes.
SLIGHT BUFF? An interesting one. At the moment it reduces damage taken by us and passes it onto the pet. This change allows us to use it on others but only works against crits as opposed to total damage. The change to work on crits is to obviously stop hunters using it in PvE on the tanks. Until I know how how much damage you save from crits vs straight damage reduction I won't know if it's any better but being able to use it on a team mate is obviously better.
For MM, it looks like a PvE nerf because of mana regen (when we didn't need a nerf, if anything we needed a slight buff imo) and in PvP we have some buffs (also needed) - mainly through deterrence and pet survivability. It's only on the PTR so it could all change...