The resilience change giving pets 40% of their master's resilience, hit chance, and expertise is going to help all Hunters. As a second thought, I also think it's a step in the right direction in laying a foundation for helping Beast Master Hunters.
A change to Hunting Party (Replenishment) gives 1% of the target's maximum mana over 5 seconds (5% 3% mana restored). The original Hunting Party granted 0.25% per second for 15 seconds (3.75% total mana restored).
Silencing Shot was also changed to give a 3-second interrupt against NPC's. So now instead of Silent Shot just being a tool that silences casters, it also gives Marksman Hunters access to a great utility spell.
Hunter Specific Changes
Aspect of the Cheetah can now be learned at level 16. So basically, we get to enjoy faster running for 4 levels before we get access to our first mount.
Another fun change, but no real Hunter mechanic change is the new spell effect to Deterrence.
One of the biggest changes was reducing the amount of time traps exist before expiring from 60 down to 30 seconds.
To many this may be considered the final nail in the coffin for chain trapping. I tend to agree, but probably not for the same reasons as other Hunters out there. When I tested the change on the PTR, the shorter trap times gave me a little less than 10 seconds from the time the trapped mop was released to the time my cooldown was up and I was able to lay down a new trap. Based on this, it seems to me you'll have to have at least 10 seconds of distance between you and the trapped mob in order to chain trap effectively. Something one can easily accomplish while grinding and questing, but not really plausible during a raid.
Now when you're using a Frost Trap on frost immune mobs, the trap won't just "fizzle" out (disappear). But don't think this will help Lock and Load though. If the mob is immune to Frost, then Lock and Load won't work either.
A change to Mind-numbing poison from Snake Trap was reduced to a 30% increase in casting time, from the original 50%. While technically this is a nerf, it is really another move to bring Snake trap into alignment with other similar effects in the game.
The next move is an example of how the developers are trying to make Hunter's less cooldown dependent. Patch 3.2 will have separate cooldowns for each type of trap. With Fire traps (Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Black Arrow), Frost (Freezing Trap, Frost Trap) and Nature (Snake Trap). This change basically will let a Hunter will be able to lay down 3 different traps with only about 1.5 seconds in between each trap.
In an effort to improve Beast Mastery's DPS, Catlike Reflexes will now reduce the cooldown of the Kill Command by 10/20/30 seconds. This will probably result only in a minimal DPS increase. However, as we we found out in the Hunter Q&A, without making some major changes to the talent trees the developers feel buffing the pet's DPS is the safest route to increase DPS for BM Hunters without increasing it for all specs.
Removing Immolation and Explosive traps from benefiting from Entrapment is probably more geared to PvP than PvE. This might also be related to the traps being on separate cooldowns to help insure we don't stun an enemy target with Explosive Trap and follow it up with a Frost or Freeze Trap.
The change to Lock and Load is more puzzling to me now than it was before. In the Hunter Q&A Ghostcrawler stated he felt Hunters were too cooldown dependent. Yet, here we see Lock and Load being put on a 22-second cooldown. My only guess is this has more to do with trying to stabilize proc rates than anything else. Also, just to make sure we didn't forget, the developers thought it a good idea to remind us that mobs who resist Frost traps won't proc Lock and Load.
The redesign of Roar of Sacrifice seems to be an effort to help Hunters have more utility by sacrificing their pet for another party member (e.g. a Priest or other healer) in PvP and PvE. With the pet absorbing 20% of all the damage taken by the friendly target, Hunters can sacrifice some DPS for the benefit of the greater good. This does come with a penalty, the cooldown was increased from 30 seconds to now being 1 minute.
- All ranks of Sonic Blast now properly have an 80 Focus cost.
- Black Arrow Ranks 5 and 6 training costs have been lowered significantly.
- Furious Howl: Ranks 1-5 will no longer give slightly more attack power than is listed in their tooltips. (It will be interesting to see how this affects the Wolf being the leading Ferocity DPS pet.)
- Lock and Load: The tooltip for this talent has been updated to indicate that it also works with Explosive Trap.
- Roar of Sacrifice: Damage transferred to pet is now considered Nature damage.
- The tooltip for Improved Tracking has been slightly re-written to indicate that it only works on the Hunter, and works on melee damage as well.
- T.N.T. (Rank 3): Now indicates that the talent works with Black Arrow.
- Adamantite Scope: Attaching this scope to an item will now cause it to become soulbound as intended.
There you have it folks. We have some buffs (like the separating of the traps onto separate cooldowns) and we also have some nerfs , (like the Replenishment change and the trap availability time reductions). All in all, this patch is having me look ahead to the next patch and see what if anything Blizzard may think we need changed as we continue to prepare and hunt down Arthas