Last Call

New information has filtered in via one of my readers (thanks Newa) – – Tame Beast will be on a much shorter 10 second cast timer (down from 20 sec.) after Patch 4.0.1, thus canceling out the issue of fear vulnerability. So… carry on… nothing to see here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One of my long-time readers pointed out to me that come Tuesday (provided the patch goes live as planned), solo-taming King Krush and/or The Beast will be all but impossible.

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The Verdict

Special thanks to Kazador for helping me with a title for this post. Not only have I rewritten this post like 5 times, but I’d cycled through at least ten different titles in the meantime. Today’s just been one of those days where I can’t seem to focus. When I saw your comment, I thought oh… The Verdict… that’s perfect!

Last week I surprised some of you by announcing that I’d respecced to Beast Mastery for PvP. In fact, this move surprised even myself. After all, it had been just three short weeks earlier that I had completely discredited Beast Mastery as a PvP spec. I was so frustrated over what Patch 3.2.2 did to my beloved spec, that I abandoned both of my exotic PvP pets, went and tamed a crab, then immediately switched to Survival.

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Beast Mastery Changes: Acceptance and Ponderings

Rather than continue my diatribe against the probable upcoming changes to the Beast Mastery tree, I’ve decided to shift my focus towards finding ways to adapt to the new mechanics.

First, let’s rewind a bit and recap this week’s announcement(s) and the ripple effect it had at HuntsmansLodge.com…

On Wednesday, MMO Champion posted news of a change to the Beast Mastery tree that was data mined from the Patch 3.2.2 PTR patch notes.

  • The Beast Within now lasts 10 sec (Down from 18 sec) but now also increases all damage you deal by 10% at all times.
  • Bestial Wrath now lasts 10 sec. (Down from 18 sec)

My initial opinion of this change was somewhat favorable. Although the shortened duration for The Beast Within and Bestial Wrath left me a little sad, the 10% passive damage bonus seemed like a fair trade-off. From a PvPer’s standpoint, it wasn’t the change I’d hoped to see, but I was OK with it. I liked the idea of upping the spec’s damage as a whole by 10%, even if it did mean losing some time in god-mode.

Then, the other shoe eventually dropped…

Not long after this announcement came out, it had the PvP Hunter community in an uproar over the 8 second reduced duration nerf to TBW. This prompted GC to make a formal post in the Damage Dealing forum detailing the change.

In my opinion, the news was not so good…

I love data-mined patch note day.

It should be no surprise to anyone who has been on these boards for long that we’re trying to chill out abilities that convey offensive and defensive bonuses with the same button press. At the same time, BM damage was a little low and too dependent on the pet. With this change, hopefully, Bestial Wrath becomes more of a defensive ability while taking Beast Within will boost hunter (and just the hunter) damage at all times.

I call it more of a defensive cooldown because it now breaks all CC like a PvP trinket.

[…] โ€œSend your pet into a rage causing 50% additional damage for 10 sec (down from 18). While enraged, the beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed.โ€

The tooltip doesnโ€™t say this, but it now breaks all forms of CC that a PvP trinket would break (including Cyclone, Sap, etc.).

โ€œIncreases all damage you deal by 10% and while your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 10% additional damage and reducing mana costs of all spells by 20% for 10 sec (down from 18). While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed.โ€

So the changes are:

  • Duration lowered.
  • Passive hunter damage buff added.
  • Now breaks all forms of CC (whatever a PvP trinket breaks, including Sap and Cyclone).

These are the things that bothered me about this explanation…

  • Since when does a pure damage-dealing class need a 41 point defensive ability..?! Especially one that is currently bringing up the rear as far as DPS and burst damage is concerned. Sure, BM has the highest burst within its 18 second window, provided the pet is active, but overall it’s lacking.
  • “…taking Beast Within will boost hunter (and just the hunter) damage at all times.” Ouch. 10% passive damage doesn’t sound so hot anymore does it..? ๐Ÿ˜•

Once I realized that the damage bonus was exclusive to the Hunter, this change left me reeling. Considering the factors involved, I quickly deduced that the PvE buff would only be realized in the form of a 2%-3% boost to DPS, but the collateral damage to BM PvP would be catastrophic.

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How ‘Bout Them Apples

My wife’s not an ElitistJerk, but she very well could be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Talking to her about this upcoming change regarding Beast Mastery and the supposed “buff”, she took a few minutes of her time at work today to do a little theorycrafting on my behalf.

Before we begin, I’ll post an excerpt from last night’s post with my version of theorycrafting…

“What we’re losing is eight seconds of a 50% DPS increase for 45% of our DPS (this being our pet of course). Now granted this change will probably push BM up a teensy bit, it’s not going to be the 10% damage increase this changed tooltip would have you believe. I’d venture to guess it’s only going to be a couple of percent at best – like maybe 2-3%. Piss on that.”

That’s my typical version of theorycrafting. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My lovely genius of a wife sat down and calculated some results based upon the upcoming “buff”, along with my estimate of a 55/45 split between Hunter and pet.

Here’s what she had to say…

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Beast Mastery Buff..?

HELL NO!

The latest PTR Build has introduced a major change to the Beast Mastery tree.

  • The Beast Within now lasts 10 sec (Down from 18 sec) but now also increases all damage you deal by 10% at all time.
  • Bestial Wrath now lasts 10 sec. (Down from 18 sec)
Beast Mastery Nerf
The Great BM Nerf of '09

I don’t like this change at all. For one, this is going to seriously hamper BM’s viability in PvP. 18 seconds of immunity cut down to 10 is a deal breaker for sure. Right off the bat, I see this as a kick in the nuts for BM PvP’ers like myself. No bones about it, this change has me reeling from a PvP standpoint.

I haven’t seen any official comments on this, but it seems as if this is Blizzard’s attempt to bring Beast Mastery’s PvE DPS more inline with MM and SV. Gah… this is so misleading.

At first glance you may look at this and go, “wow, a 10% passive bonus to DPS… where do I sign up?” ๐Ÿ˜€ Let me tell you… the only time you’re going to see a huge bonus from this change is when your pet dies during a fight.

While a 10% passive bonus to Hunter DPS is nice, keep in mind that it’s a 10% passive bonus to weenie Hunter DPS. BM “Hunter” DPS sucks balls. It’s the pet that’s doing a good portion of the work.

What we’re losing is eight seconds of a 50% DPS increase for 45% of our DPS (this being our pet of course). Now granted this change will probably push BM up a teensy bit, it’s not going to be the 10% damage increase this changed tooltip would have you believe. I’d venture to guess it’s only going to be a couple of percent at best – like maybe 2-3%. Piss on that.

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