Scattered Shots: Bugs, not bugs, and oddities of patch 5.0.4

Brian Wood
B. Wood|09.06.12

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Scattered Shots: Bugs, not bugs, and oddities of patch 5.0.4
Scattered Shots Bugs, not bugs, and oddities of patch 504 THURSDAY
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+.

As much as the beta process eliminates hordes of bugs (but never the horde, sadly) there are always some that follow us to the pre-patch. Patch 5.0.4 has brought a handful of hunter bugs with it, and it appears that Blizzard is making some progress on stamping them out.

Here are the top bugs, strange things that might or might not be bugs, and things hunters thought were bugs but turned out not to be so buggy after all. It's worth noting that this is not a comprehensive list, but these are the things that are most likely to affect your game experience in some way.

Kill Command bugginess

When patch 5.0.4 first hit there were a lot of bugs with Kill Command failing to work on certain bosses -- specifically Ultraxion and Madness. Since then it appears something has changed as Kill Command now appears to be working on Ultraxion, but is still having issues on Madness (and to be fair, pets always had pathing issues on Madness).

There's a lot of speculation that the new charge component to Kill Command is responsible for some of the issue. Ghostcrawler has confirmed that they are actively working on Kill Command bugs. However, pet pathing issues have always been present in the game (and anyone whose been around since vanilla knows how vastly they've improved over the years). I suspect that we'll continue to have the occasional boss encounter with some kind of pathing issue that forces hunters out of BM for that fight.

Spirit Bond does work in combat

When the patch hit there were world of reports of Spirit Bond not working when in combat. It appears that this was strictly a bug with the icon displaying. When you entered combat the icon would disappear and then come and go erratically; however, you still got the heal every two seconds despite the odd icon behavior.

So this bug does not in anyway affect the mechanical advantage of the ability.

Explosive Shot tick clipping

One of the great quality of life improvements for SV hunters in Mists of Pandaria is that we no longer have to worry about Explosive Shot ticks clipping during Lock and Load. Explosive Shot can still clip, however, we just don't have to worry about it.

What happens is that when you overwrite an Explosive Shot, you extend it by a tick (same as Catalcysm) but if you extend it further, the damage of any ticks that gets clipped is then added to the damage of the new Explosive Shot and re-divided by the new ticks.

What this means is that Explosive Shot can still clip, but you will still gain the full damage from every shot, because the clipped damage gets added into the other ticks. Thus Explosive Shot tick clipping is not a bug, and you do not need to worry about this clipping at all.

Serpent Spread bug and SV AoE

An interested bug Zeherah pointed out slightly changes the optimal AoE behavior of SV. When SV fires Multi-Shot, Serpent Spread applies a Serpent Sting to everyone hit, and Improved Serpent Sting then does additional instant damage in addition to the damage over time effect.

It appears that if Serpent Sting is above the maximum duration (which happens if you refresh it immediately after firing) further Multi-Shots do not re-apply Serpent Sting, which then means that hunters don't gain the instant damage from Improved Serpent Sting.

This means that for AoE SV hunters can fire their first two Multi-Shots in a row, but thereafter they'll need to interleave a couple other shots before hitting Multi-Shot again to maintain optimal AoE damage. If you spam a bunch of Multi-Shot in a row, you'll only get the Multi-Shot damage, and not the Improved Serpent Sting damage.

I should stress that this does not in any way reduce the AoE damage SV is capable of, it merely makes their AoE rotation more complex. This is certainly a bug, and hopefully it gets fixed; however, I can also see this as a low priority bug (since it doesn't diminish max DPS) and I'd certainly rather some of our other bugs got fixed first.

Squishy pets

There are tons of reports of hunter pets being radically squishier than before the patch. Certainly pets lost a small bit of health in the transition, but not enough to make a noticeable difference.

There are two potential suspects for this. The first is pet Avoidance not working in some situations -- thus where hunter pets normally have 90% damage reduction from PvE AoE, they are instead taking full damage. I have not yet been able to confirm this myself, by the way.

A second issue is pet armor: in the conversion to MoP pets lost their base armor in exchange for a higher inheritance from the hunter. Ghostcrawler has posted that they will be substantially boosting pet armor by increasing inheritance from the current 100% up to 170%.

Anecdotally, I haven't had issues with my pet getting squished, but I also haven't paid close attention to logs to see whether Avoidance is working correctly or not, or in what situations it might not be working.

Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. From leveling your hunter 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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