Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes - consolidated hunter changes

The official patch notes for the alpha release of World of Warcraft 6.0 provide a wealth of information, but it is not categorized by class. This page consolidates it with a few notes from me.

Last updated: 8 April 2014

Everything here that is straight from the patch notes or other sources (for the Draenor Perks) is in italics with my own comments being unformatted.

General changes

These changes are not hunter specific, but are pertinent to hunters.

  • Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities
  • The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells.
  • There is a new passive, named Critical Strikes, which increases chance to critically strike by 10%. It is learned by all Rogues, all Hunters, Feral and Guardian Druids, Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks, and Enhancement Shamans.
    • Current base crit chance is negative, plus a further reduction from boss level, but crit from agility more than makes up for it. In WoD we will have no crit from agility but a higher base crit chance to somewhat make up for that. Our crit will be slightly higher than strength classes by default (a design flavor, where us agile types make use of precision over brute force), but it will just be an additive difference as opposed to pre-WoD's multiplicative difference.
  • Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before.
  • Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 20%.
  • Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power).
  • Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.
    • Presumably this means that there is no base amount contributing to an ability calculation. That is, instead of a shot being (AP*coefficient + base)*modifiers, it would just be AP*coefficient*modifiers. Here "base" is some constant such that even if you had 0 AP (theoretically) the attack would still do some base amount of damage. Historically there have been a lot of spells and abilities that had very low AP coefficients which flattened the scaling of its strength as you accumulated better gear. This trend has declined in more recent expansions in favor of AP meaning more. @HamletEJ points out that this is basically the Diablo III model of ability strength calculations.
  • Hit and Expertise are removed and we don't need them - our attacks will not miss or be dodged.
  • Healing Potions no longer share a cooldown with other potions, but instead share a 60-second cooldown with Healthstones. The cooldown will not reset until the player leaves combat.

 

Ability pruning and changes

  • Aspect of the Hawk has been removed.
    • Aspect of the Iron Hawk has been renamed to Iron Hawk, and now passively provides 10% damage reduction.
  • Distracting Shot has been removed.
  • Hunter’s Mark has been removed.
  • Scatter Shot has been removed.
  • Silencing Shot has been removed.
    • Update - Counter Shot stays.
  • Lynx Rush has been removed.
  • Rapid Fire has been removed.
  • Rapid Recuperation has been removed.
  • Widow Venom has been removed.
  • Kill Shot is no longer available to Survival Hunters.
  • Arcane Shot is no longer available to Marksmanship Hunters.
    • Thrill of the Hunt now also reduces the cost of Aimed Shot when active, to preserve its value to Marksmanship Hunters.
  • Lock and Load has been removed. (sort of - read on)
  • Black Arrow now naturally has a chance to cause the Lock and Load effect.
  • Black Arrow’s periodic effect now has a chance each time it deals damage to cause the next 2 Explosive Shots to cost no Focus and not trigger a cooldown. This effect is guaranteed to activate at least once.
    • These changes are really oddly worded. With the other BA change it looks like it effectively means ice/freezing traps won't proc it, and it will always get (at least?) one proc per duration.
  • Stampede is now a level-75 talent, replacing Lynx Rush.
  • Serpent Sting and Improved Serpent Sting have been removed.
    • Serpent Spread has been renamed Serpent Sting, and remains a passive for Survival Hunters. It causes Multi-Shot and Arcane Shot to also apply the Serpent Sting poison, which does instant and periodic damage.
  • Revive Pet and Mend Pet now share one button, which toggles based on whether you have a live pet.
    • I wish this could also try to summon the last pet too - I can't tell you how many times I've tried to revive a pet after a wipe and failed to acknowledge the "Your pet is not dead" notification!
  • Entrapment’s Root effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Root effects.
  • Traps and trap launchers no longer have an arming time and can instantly trigger.
  • Traps can no longer be disarmed.
    • Note that CC was reduced across the board, and a lot of CC abilities were consolidated in their sharing of diminishing returns as well. We lost Scatter Shot and Silencing Shot, but the removal of arming time makes traps significantly more powerful. In many cases scatter's only purpose was incapacitate a player long enough for a trap to arm, with both the trap and scatter shot otherwise being individually weak. One of the effects here is to simply consolidate this whole procession into a single ability.
  • Scare Beast now has a 6 sec duration in PvP (down from 8 sec).
  • Aspect of the Pack no longer appears on the stance bar and is now on the global cooldown.
  • Aspect of the Cheetah no longer appears on the stance bar and is now on the global cooldown.
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Beast: The ability taught by this Glyph no longer appears on the stance bar and is now on the global cooldown.
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah: No longer triggers any cooldown on Aspects.
  • Aimed Shot now deals 20% more damage and no longer interrupts Auto Attacks.
  • Dismiss Pet now ignores line of sight.
  • Explosive Trap now places a periodic-damage effect on each target within the radius of the explosion, rather than a persistent effect on the ground.
    • I like this! This should make it even more useful for multiple target damage and even for single target if you can drop it in a good place before the pull or possibly at a down time.
  • Misdirection has an important tooltip update - You misdirect thrat to the targeted party or raid member. All threat caused by your attacks for the next 1 hour will be transferred to them.
  • NEW Glyph of Play Dead - Your pet also plays dead when you use Feign Death.
    • This isn't just cosmetic - currently you have to put your pet on passive and then Feign Death in order to actually drop combat.
  • NEW Glyph of Deep Frost - Victims of your Freezing Trap are now immune to any damage for its duration.
    • Regardless of what 2k+ arena hunters choose to do, this will be very useful in random battlegrounds!
  • NEW Glyph of Quick Revival - Your Revive Pet is now instant but costs $s1 Focus.
  • NEW Glyph of Snake Trap - Your Ice Trap is replaced with Snake Trap
    • So snake trap remains but is apparently mutually exclusive with ice trap. Basically this means we have to choose between slowing multiple targets in a set area and slowing one target regardless of where they go (if they don't kill the snakes).

Comment on removed abilities

Depending on talent choices, I count about 8-9 abilities removed for BM (Distracting Shot, Rapid Fire, Widow Venom, Serpent Sting, Snake Trap (or Ice Trap - implied by the glyph), Scatter Shot, Hunter's Mark, Aspect of the Hawk, and possibly Stampede if Blink Strikes is kept) and 9-10 abilities removed for both MM (Arcane Shot) and SV (Kill Shot) depending on whether they effectively lose Stampede or Murder of Crows instead of a passive (Blink Strikes).

Most notably, a hunter's only non-rotational CDs will come from talents, and then only if selected. Level 60 has two options, Fervor and Dire Beast, both of which are on such short CDs that they are on the verge of simply being considered part of a rotation. Level 75 also has two options, Stampede and Murder of Crows. I imagine Stampede will be rebalanced a bit to fit into its new home. If the only change is a tweak of numbers, one is simply going to perform better on a Patchwerk fight - probably Murder of Crows, in which case you would just use Stampede in places where Murder of Crows is not viable (such as short lived enemies).

 

Pet Changes

Many of these reflect more general design changes, such as the complete removal of the weakened armor (sunder armor) debuff. Thus, these should not be read as a nerf to hunter pets explicitly, with the exception of crowd-control ability removals.

  • Hunter Pets now have a 1 second global cooldown.
  • Rabid has been removed as a pet ability.
  • Cower has been removed as a pet ability.
  • Cast speed slows are completely gone
    • Core Hound: Lava Breath; Fox: Tailspin; Goat: Trample; Sporebat: Spore Cloud
  • Spell haste and Melee/ranged haste consolidated
    • Current melee/ranged haste buffs removed - Hyena: Cackling Howl; Serpent: Serpent's Swiftness
    • Current spell haste consolidated to just haste (5%) - Sporebat: Energizing Spores
  • Weakened Blows is completely gone.
    • Bear: Demoralizing Roar; Carrion Bird: Demoralizing Screech
  • Weakened Armor (sunder) is completely gone. Physical vulnerability still exists though, which roughly accomplishes the same thing.
    • Tallstrider: Dust Cloud, Raptor: Tear Armor
  • Basilisk: Petrifying Gaze; Bat: Sonic Blast; Bird of Prey: Snatch; Crab: Pin; Crane: Lullaby; Crocolisk: Ankle Crack; Dog: Lock Jaw; Gorilla: Pummel; Monkey: Bad Manners; Moth: Serenity Dust; Nether Ray: Nether Shock; Porcupine: Paralyzing Quill; Rhino: Horn Toss; Scorpid: Clench; Shale Spider: Web Wrap; Silithid: Venom Web Spray; Spider: Web; and Wasp: Sting

 

Dear Elune, could it really be? Will sporebats be one of the most desired pets because of their utility?

 

Automatically learned glyphs

So that new characters do not have to visit an Auction House to take advantage of their new glyph slots, some glyphs are automatically learned at certain levels.

  • At level 25: Liberation, Pathfinding
  • At level 50: Mending, Chimera Shot, Black Ice
  • At level 75: Misdirection

 

Draenor Perks

At each level from 91-99 you will learn a random "perk" for your specialization. By 100 you will have learned them all. Effectively, there are 10 new passive abilities you get from level 90-100 with the order you acquire them being random. I know some people are balking at the randomization aspect, but remember you will have all of them either way at max level (and there are no more server first feats of strength).

Note that Enhanced Camouflage is accessible to all specs!

Beast Mastery

  • Improved Focus Fire - Focus Fire now also grants 2% increase to attack power per Frenzy stack consumed.
  • Enhanced Kill Shot - Kill Shot can now be used on targets with 35% or less health.
  • Improved Kill Command - Increases damage done by Kill Command by 20%.
  • Improved Arcane Shot - Increases damage done by Arcane Shot by 20%.
  • Improved Cobra Shot - Increases damage done by Cobra Shot by 20%.
  • Empowered Pets - Increases all damage done by your combat pets by 20%.
  • Improved Beast Cleave - Your pet's attacks strike nearby enemy targets for an additional 25% of damage done while Beast Cleave is active.
  • Enhanced Basic Attacks - Your pet's basic attacks have a 20% chance to reset the basic attack cooldown and make the next basic attack free.
  • Enhanced Camouflage - You heal 5% of your maximum health every 1 second while Camouflage is active.

Marksmanship

  • Enhanced Kill Shot - Kill Shot can now be used on targets with 35% or less health.
  • Enhanced Chimera Shot - Reduces the Focus cost of Chimera Shot by 10.
  • Enhanced Aimed Shot - Your Aimed Shot critical strikes grant you 20 focus.
  • Improved Focus - Increases your maximum Focus by 20.
  • Improved Aimed Shot - Increases Aimed Shot's damage done by 20%.
  • Improved Steady Shot - Increases damage done by Steady Shot by 20%.
  • Enhanced Shots - Add an additional 5 yards range to all your attacks with a baseline 40 yard range.
  • Enhanced Piercing Shots - Critical strikes with Multi-Shot now also trigger your Piercing Shots ability.
  • Enhanced Camouflage - You heal 5% of your maximum health every 1 second while Camouflage is active.

Survival

  • Improved Arcane Shot - Increases damage done by Arcane Shot by 20%.
  • Improved Cobra Shot - Increases damage done by Cobra Shot by 20%.
  • Empowered Explosive Shot - Increases the duration of Explosive Shot by 1 second.
  • Improved Black Arrow - Increases damage done by Black Arrow by 20%.
  • Enhanced Traps - Reduces the cooldown on all your traps by 50%.
  • Enhanced Entrapment - The root effect from your Entrapment requires 100% additional damage to break from taking damage.
  • Improved Camouflage - Camouflage no longer breaks from dealing or taking damage.
  • Improved Viper Venom - Your Viper Venom restores an additional 3 focus.
    • As a reminder, Viper Venom is a passive ability that gives you focus for Serpent Sting ticks.
  • Enhanced Camouflage - You heal 5% of your maximum health every 1 second while Camouflage is active.