R.I.P. Arcane Shot

Among many of the interesting and exciting changes coming in patch 3.3.3 is one of particular note to hunters, namely raiding Beast Mastery hunters. In the latest patch notes is a mention of an update to Ferocious Inspiration.

Beast Mastery

  • Ferocious Inspiration: This ability is now an aura and provides 1/2/3% damage to all party or raid members within 100 yards and boosts the damage of Steady Shot by 3/6/9%.

Speaking from a BM PvP hunter point of view, I think this change kinda blows. It’s not nearly as brutal as the BW/TBW nerf, but it’s still a nerf to BM PvPers no matter how you look at it. Apparently Blizzard cannot figure out a way to buff BM’s damage in raids without further nerfing it for PvP. Blizz is clearly moving towards buffing BM’s sustained damage at the expense of its burst. Oh well.

However, I think this is an exciting and promising change for raiding BM Hunters. This will certainly help to bring Beast Mastery more in line with the other specs. How close it will be, I do not know. I doubt that it will be enough of a boost to push it ahead of SV let alone MM, but it may certainly be competitive.

This reworked FI definitely has me conflicted. On one hand, it’s going to lessen some of my burst capability in arena. On the other hand, it’s causing me to take a serious look at possibly going BM again for raiding. I haven’t raided with Krush since the 10 man Naxx days and I sure miss him. 🙁 If anything, I look forward to testing BM’s viability come 3.3.3.

King Krush

The one thing I do not understand however, is why Blizz has Beast Mastery going back to the mindless Steady Shot mashing build that it was in TBC. It’s ironic considering they have stated that they wanted to make the spec more interesting. This change to Ferocious Inspiration will no doubt have end game Beast Masters stacking armor pen and spamming Steady Shot like it’s going out of style. There will be no reason to use Arcane Shot anymore, apart from high movement fights and leveling.

This does bother me though, because I am not so keen on the idea of returning to a one button mashing spec. Since BM was always my PvP spec, I used to raid with a BM PvP build which included Aimed Shot in my rotation. Having three shots to worry about in addition to Serpent Sting, at least kept it somewhat interesting. If this change goes live, BM raiders will literally be down to simply keeping Serpent up and spamming Steadies. /yawn

Ah well… it’ll be nice at least to try it out for awhile and let Krush stretch his legs a bit. Who knows, maybe I’ll settle into it once again. I certainly miss having my big red dino in raids. Not sure how our tanks and melee will feel about it though. 😉

From a PvP standpoint, I’m not too down about it actually. Since my arena partner is a Ret Pally, I’m already getting the 3% damage buff from him, so by dropping FI all I will lose is the 9% boost to a shot I seldom use in arena. Those points can buy me some pet insurance in the form of Improved Revive Pet and 1 point in Improved Mend Pet. Seems as if teams are focusing in on my pet more often this season anyway.

What’d be really nice is… if they were to buff a non-dps ability which would help BM in PvP situations. For example, taking Intimidation off of the GCD and/or reducing its base cooldown to 45 seconds. That would certainly help to undo some of the damage that’s been done to BM’s viability in PvP, without affecting PvE DPS in any way. Just an idea.

What do the rest of you hunters think about the new Ferocious Inspiration?

16 thoughts on “R.I.P. Arcane Shot”

  1. What I was wondering is if this FI aura will stack with Trueshot. If so, then perhaps raid leaders will want to bring a BM along for the ride for the additional percent boost.

    I doubt it, but it made me wonder. I really miss being big n red in raids. 🙁

    • My guess is that there is more to come. Also, there’s really been no hard look at how armor pen will benefit this change. Damage is swaying far more in favor of the hunter than it was prior to the BW nerf. It’s not to say that BM Hunters should go out of their way for ArPen, but I’m willing to bet this change will have more to offer than a generalized .8% buff.

      I think there are more intangibles at play here, and I also think that this is perhaps only half of what they have in store. I find the number crunching on these types of changes somewhat interesting, but on the other hand, if this game is simply all about science and numbers, why bother? Expend that time and those thought processes on something other than an effing video game. Isn’t this where we’re supposed to decompress and unwind..?

      When it’s all said and done, I’m predicting that Beast Mastery (in the right hands) will be quite competitive in this next patch. Probably a c-hair behind SV, but in there nonetheless. The other thing I find amusing… how may players are seriously affected by such finite changes..? Only the top 5% of players can truly realize these buffs. However, for the majority of hunters, simplifying the spec further will increase DPS for a vast number of players.

  2. I don’t raid with my BM hunter, but I wouldn’t mind trying to again. I have Arcane in my rotation, but I don’t think (all right, I haven’t done a lot of research on this) that I can hit the ArP cap with what I raid (ICC 10). Maybe I’m wrong, I’d love to hear differently, as I’d like to put my hunter back into play, but right now I don’t see it happening.

    • You should be able to hit the soft cap (with a trinket proc from NES) for ArPen in ICC10 gear pretty easily, I’m current at around 65% ArPen with only a few ICC25 pieces.

  3. How much more damage does your arcane shot currently do over your steady shot?

    Stack ArP? If you’re a beast master hunter, taking ArP over AP (and even agility) will nerf your pet’s damage. Not a good option. If that’s the way you’d want to go, why raid BM at all? Just roll marks or SV.

    I estimate the damage increase will be no more than 4% (for hunter alone, less when taking pet into account) when BM hunters fall behind marks how much, 20%?. Not nearly sufficient, especially since it’s nerfing a very important pvp shot for BM hunters by over 8%. If you can get any significant quantity of steady shots off in PvP, your opponents are just silly.

    • Tyns,

      I don’t know. I raid as SV.

      I’m speaking more in terms of itemization. With ICC25 gear, a BM Hunter should be able to get pretty damn close to the ArPen hard cap taking into account a trinket proc (ie: NES).

      I agree.

  4. I just had an idea… What would be awesome (and certainly interesting) for BM Hunters would be to somehow switch with your pet. That is, control your pet as if it were you, and your toon as if it were a pet. This might be useful in some situations (actual tanking perhaps?) and certainly awesome to play around with.

  5. Playing devil’s advocate, I’m pretty jazzed about the change. While I’m still gearing up for arena play as BM, I’ve always raided BM – and I’ve always out-performed all but the best MM and SV hunters (even in tank-and-spank fights like Koralon and Patchwerk) not because I’m just spamming Steadies, but because I’m managing my cooldowns and procs like a pro. I play an affliction warlock, as well, and I often feel that some of Affliction’s DoT-timing is similar to my BM’s Wrath/Trinket/Call of the Wild/Rapid Fire/Proc timing.

    In fights that are tank and spanks? Yes, the Steady-Spam is boring. That just means that during more complex fights, I can shine even more. After a little practice, I’ve managed to turn Toravon fights into nice showcases of my talent – not only am I the number-one DPSer who’s King Krushing Frozen Orbs into smithereens, I’m also outperforming some of the melee DPS who are just epeening away on the boss without interruption.

    I realize that in ideal circumstances, MM and SV are still going to leave me in the dust, but this little boost to the steady-shot will hopefully close that gap.

    With Cataclysm coming so soon, I don’t have high hopes for drastic changes to the BM tree that will give the variety that we all crave, but in the meantime, I think this is a nice nod to a spec that just a few weeks ago was being marginalized by blue posters as a “leveling build.”

    • Very good response Qonaan.

      I’ve given some thought to a build which I’m thinking of using for Beast Mastery come 3.3.3. It includes Aimed Shot, as I feel it’d be a benefit to have another instant cast for many of the encounters in ICC. Along with that, I too have been thinking about how I’d plan my cooldowns as BM.

      I think that if you take into account the timing of cooldowns and Kill Command with trinket procs and heroism/bloodlust, the spec could be entertaining.

      SV and MM don’t have to worry much about timing Kill Command, but in the case of Beast Mastery it provides significantly more DPS, thus requiring a little timing to get the most from it.

      Aspect switching is another thing to factor in as well. BM hunters occasionally need to switch to Aspect of the Beast, which is another mechanic missing from MM and SV game play.

      It’ll be fun to try out for a bit. I really enjoy SV, so I can’t say that I’ll stick with BM for raiding, but it’ll be a nice change. Also, it’s kind of cool being the only BM hunter in groups, which is something you probably encounter a lot.

      Good job man. Keep representin’.

  6. I’m less than thrilled about this. A bit more dps but really? MORE steady shot spam? I was hoping for maybe a new shot that played off pet hits or damage, something to make it more interesting and get a more involved rotation. This is…exactly the opposite. Sigh.

  7. I don’t think a 9% boost to steady will make much of a dent in the gap between MM and BM. Spreadsheets put MM about 15% ahead of BM right now. After this change they might get within 10%, but that won’t be close enough for BM to be a viable spec for progression raiding. I also agree that mashing 1 button isn’t all that fun.


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