Patch 7.1 The First Hunter Updates

Yesterday we got our first glimpse of some changes coming in patch 7.1.  There are a lot of cosmetic and quality of life changes; for instance, there are little green arrows on a piece of gear in your bags if it's higher ilvl than what you're wearing. But of course, that's not what I'm hear to talk about.  There were two significant hunter changes.

Aspect of the Cheetah:

The first change is the return of Aspect of the Cheetah, sort of...
  • Trailblazer: Your movement speed is increased by 25% anytime you have not attacked for 3 seconds.
This talent will replace the currently very underused, if ever used, talent Dash, which adds an additional 3 seconds to the duration of Aspect of the Cheetah. Instead, now, we'll have a buff that's similar to the old Aspect of the Cheetah, giving us a run speed buff whenever we're not in combat.  

It's very hard to imagine taking this over Posthaste, for me, but I'm still excited about this change. For hunters, especially Marks hunters, we have almost no choices in our talents.  The disparity between talents is fairly extreme, even in very different situations: high mobility vs low mobility, single target vs multi-target, etc. The only time I change talents at all is if I want a pet tank, which really isn't often, and is never in group content. 

However, this change shows, to some extent at least, that the devs are willing to rework some of more ridiculous talents we have.  Hopefully we'll see a lot more changes like this one, and there might be some slight variety in the talents we're choosing, and we'll see at least slightly different answers to the different problems the game presents us.

Marksmanship Core Mechanic Overhaul:

The other hunter change is fairly huge for Marksmanship hunters.  They are overhauling the core mechanic of the spec, to make it more like the Patient Sniper talent.  Most likely, someone at Blizzard noticed that 99% of hunters were taking Patient Sniper.  Good on them for actually noticing, I guess.
  • Vulnerable now increases damage by 50% (was 25%), stacking up to 2 times (was 3 times).
This brings the base mechanic to a simpler place, and puts it closer in line with patient sniper in damage. It also might make the other talents in the tier viable (I'm assuming they'll be changing at least Sentinels to fit better with the new mechanic). 

Without changes to the other two talents in this tier, my prediction is Patient Sniper will remain the talent of choice for the vast majority of hunters.  The problem they still have is the time inbetween Vulnerable debuffs, is easily filled with Barrage and Windburst, which are generally more desirable than casting more Aimed Shots anyway.  So your choice is between trying to keep up a weaker version of Vulnerable indefinitely while weaving in Barrage and Windburst, or having the stronger version of Vulnerable that you don't have to bother trying to keep up indefinitely, and using Barrage and Windburst while Vulnerable isn't up. 

Especially given the extreme burst AoE power of Sidewinders/Marked Shot with Patient Sniper, it seems Patient Sniper will still come out the winner here.  Still, this seems like a definite step in the right direction, and has me much more excited to see how else they plan to fix the spec.

1 comment:

  1. Trailblaizer is awesome. I will definitelly gonna grab it for world questing since i will be doing stuff much faster. Then back to posthaste for pvp. I agree its positive that they are paying attention to hunters. An other problem they need to look out is the pet pathfinding whitch is TERRIBLE. If you jump down a stair or something your pet will just stay there looking at you. Its the first time i see this because in the past pets were really smart at pathfinding.
    keep the posts coming!