Scattered Shots: Beta changes to hunter self-heal

Brian Wood
B. Wood|06.07.12

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Scattered Shots: Beta changes to hunter self-heal
Scattered Shots Beta changes to hunter selfheal
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we were talking about the hunter self-heal nerfs in the beta, and we're already seeing more adjustments: partial un-nerfs, other ability nerfs, and substantial reworking of hunter self-heals. This is clearly an area of a lot of testing and scrutiny in the beta right now.

In addition to the self-healing changes, we also saw more fun cosmetic minor glyphs and got some clarification from Ghostcrawler about our new Stampede ability. It all adds up to lots more news of what hunters are going to look like in Mists of Pandaria as things continue to settle out.

To begin at the beginning, we saw a lot of adjustments made to the hunter self-heal situation in Mists, including a couple that I predicted. Here is the complete list.

Hunter self-heal changes
  • Chimera Shot now heals for 3% of total health, down from 5%.
  • The Glyph of Chimera Shot now increases the healing of Chimera Shot by an extra 2%, down from an extra 5%.
  • Spirit Bond how regenerates 2% of total health every 2 seconds, up from 1% (and down from the original 5%).
  • Exhilaration has been completely reworked. Instead of healing on Disengage, it's now a flat self-heal for 30% health (plus 100% health for the pet) on a 2-minute cooldown.
Essentially, what we're seeing here is a middle ground on Spirit Bond that is probably right about where it should be: down from the crazy high numbers originally in the beta but up from the sad nerf of a couple weeks back. To keep overall hunter self-healing down, the MM-only Chimera Shot self-heal component has been substantially reduced.

The really interesting change here is Exhilaration. The new Exhilaration nets a greater amount of healing than the previous incarnation but less than the first version at the start of the beta. The significant part, however, is the amount of burst heal it provides. In PvP, burst heal on demand is far more useful than a small, continuously active heal, and as a result, these larger burst self-heals come with longer cooldowns.

It's also worth noting that the new Exhilaration will work with Readiness, allowing hunters to reset the cooldown and double dip on the burst self-heal (and total pet heal) when needed.

Cobra Shot focus buff

The focus regenerated by Cobra Shot has been increased from 9 focus per shot, up to 14 focus per shot. This now matches the identical boost that Steady Shot got a while back. Ghostcrawler had talked about concerns that hunter focus regen felt a little low, and it's nice to see this substantial boost.

To be sure, many hunters would have preferred to see this in the form of a boost to our passive focus regen, but with minimum range, Cobra Shot can just about always be used to regen focus, even in PvP.

New mastery buff

Cats and Spirit Beasts will now be bringing the mastery buff to the hunter raid buff toolbox, providing 5 mastery to all party and raid members.

New minor glyphs

Hunters are seeing a couple of new minor glyphs in this patch, continuing the theme of making minor glyphs primarily cosmetic and leaving the meaningful upgrades to the major glyphs. This is a design philosophy that I agree with -- I'd love to see all the minor glyphs be purely cosmetic ones. It's fun and lets you make a decision purely on what you think is neat, rather than what is best. And they are called "minor," after all.

Of course, as long as the minor Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah is in the mix, providing a meaningful benefit in many situations, that's going to have a reserved slot in my minor glyph mix.

Here's the new ones:
  • Glyph of Fireworks Teaches you the ability to launch fireworks from your gun, bow, or crossbow. This is replacing the Feign Death glyph, which reduced the cooldown of FD by a slight amount.
  • Glyph of Stampede Your Stampede no longer summons pets from your stable and instead uses copies of your current pet. This appears to be replacing the Glyph of Scare Beast.
At first, it looked like the Stampede glyph's primary purpose (other than making an army of sporebats easier to achieve) was to allow MM and SV hunters to use Stampede without losing any pet DPS when having exotic pets in their active stable. However, Ghostcrawler clarified that in fact Blizzard is aware of this and already has plans to make sure that no MM or SV hunters get screwed out of DPS, regardless of what they have in their stables.

Ghostcrawler - Lead Systems Designer
The design intent is that Stampede skips over any unusable pets (such as an exotic for a non-BM) hunter or any blank slots (in the case that maybe you left a hole in case you tame something interesting along the way). For any skipped slots, Stampede would just clone your current pet for that slot, so you would still always have 5 pets when you Stampede.

The idea of the glyph is that it would use the clone mechanic all the time. Theoretically, a hunter with only one pet would be wasting the glyph.

Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter and choosing the best patch 4.2 gear to learning the DPS value of skill, we've got you covered. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?
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