Hunter level 75 talent testing

Some recent beta testing

I spent a bit of time in beta testing out one of the more interesting talent choices: the pet-themed, level 75, damage cooldown talents. Our choices are A Murder of Crows, Dire Beast, and Lynx Rush. To start off, let's do a quick review of what these talents do.

A Murder of Crows

A bunch of crows come out and attack over a period of 30 seconds. It looks like each individual crow has a 20 second duration, with the crows gradually spawning for the first 10 seconds, all crows out for the middle 10 seconds, and the crows gradually leaving for the last 10 seconds. When I live logged it to World of Logs there were 97 attacks - for the level of accuracy we need for this blog post lets just assume ~100 attacks. They aren't merely visual - they are target-able creatures and will appear as unique actors in logs. The crows also have their own threat tables, so if you feign death to drop aggro they will act as a sort of pseudo-Army of the Dead, keeping your target engaged in picking off crows one at a time. It also has some interesting pvp implications, since it's a particularly annoying DoT to keep enemies in combat. I haven't tested for any line of sight requirements (pillar humping arena pvpers) or whether they despawn if the hunter dies.

Dire Beast

This summons a beast to come and attack for you, dealing damage and giving you 5 focus per hit. It looks like the beasts are zone dependent, with each zone I tested having about three different possibilities. I think the idea is that you are calling on a random beast from the vicinity to come fight for you, because you have that kind of command over wildlife as a powerful hunter. Anyway, each beast is mechanically the same, doing 6 attacks for a total of 30 focus. An individual attack was more powerful than my pet's melee swings.

Lynx Rush

This is basically killing spree. The pet attacks 9 times over 4 seconds. If there are multiple targets it will vary which it attacks, but still only do 9. The attack, although equal to melee swings, will show up in logs as a separate ability (Lynx Rush) and I was able to verify that basic attacks (Claw/Bite/Smack) and melee swings were still happening at the time. This is also the only one of these talents that directly affects your existing pet, rather than summoning a new one (or one hundred).

Testing setup:

  • Pet haste: 114%
  • Pet attack speed: 1.93
  • Pet AP: 19590
  • Pet Damage: 8759-8760
  • My AP: 19590
  • Target: level 85 Training Dummy (I ignored the Lynx Rush attacks on other targets. It will do less damage to higher levels due to armor)

And what everything was hitting for, for a BM and non-BM spec:

  • crow (BM): 1853.5
  • crow (SV): 1853.5
  • beast (BM): 9833
  • beast (SV): 9833
  • lynx (BM): 6937
  • lynx (SV): 5731
  • melee (BM): 6937
  • melee (SV): 5731

So for A Murder of Crows and Dire Beast, the BM mastery has no effect. Lynx Rush, on the other hand, is indeed doing the same as the pet's melee damage. This has some stacking potential with Rabid and Bestial Wrath. More importantly, Lynx Rush is the only one that scales with AP - the crows and the beast did the same amount of damage when I varied the amount of AP in my gear. This may make it sound like Lynx Rush is going to be the superior option since it scales - but at least with my current beta gear (which admittedly is level 89 and not at a level that will be reasonable for raid entry) it has a long way to go.

These numbers are meant as a relative comparison. I am making the assumption that crit, dodge, miss, and glancing blows will effect each ability equally and so they will stay relatively as powerful. This may not be a fair comparison if more testing shows them responding to these mechanics differently.

  • Crow (any spec): 1853.5*100/60 = 3089 DPS (double this during execute range)
  • Beast (any spec): 9833*6/30 = 1967 DPS (plus 30 focus over 15 seconds whose DPS contribution is not as easy to calculate)
  • Lynx (BM): 6937*9/90 = 694 DPS
  • Lynx (SV): 5731*9/90 = 573 DPS

Yeah, Lynx Rush looks like shit even though it scales with AP. That 90 second CD is pretty brutal. We do have to test with BW and Rabid still. Remember that Rabid got reworked so that it increases pet AP by 50% for 20 seconds every 2 minutes (every 84 seconds for BM).

  • Lynx w/ Rabid (BM): 9276*9/90 = 973 DPS
  • Lynx w/ Rabid + BW (BM): 1167 DPS

So it's still not there yet. It will be interesting to see how these abilities progress through the rest of beta. I have no idea if these have been reviewed for tuning at all yet. We should look out for any AP scaling for crow and beast, CD changes for all three (I think Lynx Rush was already buffed to reach 90; it was originally 120 seconds), and base damage for crow and beast at level 90.

Lynx Rush does have one other saving grace: it is by far the most "bursty" of the three. A Murder of Crows and Dire Beast both have 50% uptime, doing damage gradually over 30 and 15 second windows respectively. LR does all of its work in 4 seconds, which might be powerful for some situations like pvp or burst requirements that are short duration (Icehowl's self stun) and/or occur periodically with that period being just a bit above 90 seconds (Burning Tendons on Spine).