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WotLK Talents & Abilities Discussion

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As changes are frequent and oft-times undocumented in beta patches, combined with a lack of time to keep this thing constantly up-to-date, I'll make this short and sweet.

For the latest beta talent build:

http://talent.mmo-champion.com/

A decent rundown of changes:

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King: Beta - Wowhead

Also, keep the thread civil, even when beta changes go through that are completely illogical or just plain bad. Remember that the current build is way different from the first build and the final build will likely be a different beast altogether from the current.

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It's quite surprising they've shuffled a few previously higher tier talents to lower tiers.

Namely Careful Aim and Mortal Shots (and changed the requirements). With the addtion of Improved Tracking that probably means these talents will be near-compulsory for all talent specs.

A lot still depends on how the higher tier activated abilities actually work though. Especially the Beastmaster 51-point talent. What exactly will 'exotic' pets be and will you retain them if you respec? Will you take Invigoration or Cobra Strikes? After playing with the calculator a bit I can't take them both unless I skip 3 points in either the MM or SV tree.

New BM spec? Assuming our mana problems will be as much a non-problem as they are now.

I guess in the lower tier it'd be a choice between Imp. Revive Pet, Master's Call and Imp. Mend Pet to fill out the points to get to the higher tiers. Spirit Bond and Catlike reflexes didn't get any changes so the rest of the tree is pretty straightforward.

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New non talented abilities known so far (from various sources):

* Camouflage: (Level 68, 5 min cooldown) You Camouflage, causing you to blend in with your surroundings. Instantly removes all physical and spell debuffs, and you fade into an improved invisibility state. Camouflage will break after you deal damage. Lasts until cancelled.

* Heart of the Phoenix: When your pet dies, it miraculously returns to life with 10% health. Cannot occur more than once per 10 minutes.

Bear Trap (updated)

Level 75

100 Mana

Instant cast

30 sec cooldown

Place a bear trap that locks onto the first enemy that approaches, rooting them and causing [RAP * 0.1 + 1575] Bleed damage over 10 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Trap will exist for 1 min. Only one trap can be active at a time.

Kill Shot (updated)

Level 80

475 Mana

5 - 45 yd range (wtf?)

Instant cast

6 sec cooldown

You attempt to finish the wounded target off, firing a long range attack dealing weapon damage plus [RAP * 0.15 + 325]. Causes an additional 745 to 825 bonus damage against targets at or under 20% health.

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I think the single most interesting and puzzling thing about the new Hunter changes will be the Beast Mastery talent. Will the "exotic" pets creature multiple, new and unique types of pets, or just use a single "exotic" category for anything you will be able to tame with the talent?

Also, Chimera Shot + Scorpid Sting on bosses would almost require Marksmen Hunters if encounters are balanced around *and* if it affects bosses.

Edit: Point of No Escape's wording makes it sound as if a Survival Hunter spamming Bear Traps and buffing the raid/group with Expose Weakness and Hunting Party (with Master Tactician, would putting 5 points in it be worth it in 25 mans?) would be an important role to fill.

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Im extremly glad to see mortal shots dropped to tier 2. This coupled with improved tracking, is a heavy and reachable dps boost of any spec.

Im extremly intrested in what is ment by "exotic pets" with the 51 point talent. Finally we may be able to tame some dragons! The other intresting point of the late BM tree is the relationship between cobra strikes and invigoration. So after a Crit we regen 3% mana, which could be extremly usefull, considering the last rank of steady will be 220 mana.

Edit: A couple of questions answered above.

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Also, Chimera Shot + Scorpid Sting on bosses would almost require Marksmen Hunters if encounters are balanced around *and* if it affects bosses.

Edit: Point of No Escape's wording makes it sound as if a Survival Hunter spamming Bear Traps and buffing the raid/group with Expose Weakness and Hunting Party (with Master Tactician, would putting 5 points in it be worth it in 25 mans?) would be an important role to fill.

I can not think but that bosses are immune to this effect. It's such a massive reduction in damage output and with multiple hunters it'd be easily sustainable in a rotation. It's almost as bad as a tranq shot rotation was.

Point of no Return sounds more a PvP ability to me, effectively reducing the effect of resilience by half while doing what we usually do in arenas (i.e. kite melee). If it works on bosses it would be quite an asset though, although a bit awkward to do (reminiscent of running to Illidan to drop a slow trap before the shadows spawn...)

It seems to me that apart from our single high dps tree (BM it looks to be) they're making the other trees very attractive to have at the same time. I can't see raids bringing 3 hunters (one of each spec) to each raid though, especially with death knights coming into play now. Although we are supposed to have 2 specs to switch between now (I haven't seen any information on the implementation of that yet).

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The BM tree seems to have some nice synergies, especially between Cobra Strikes and Invigoration. Basically, when your Steady Shot crits, your pet has a 60% chance to restore 6% of your mana with it's next three specials.

I'm a bit disapointed with Aspect Mastery though, it seems a bit week for a tier 10 talent (even with current itemization, the new Careful Aim will grant you more AP for less invested talent points).

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The BM tree seems to have some nice synergies, especially between Cobra Strikes and Invigoration. Basically, when your Steady Shot crits, your pet has a 60% chance to restore 6% of your mana with it's next three specials.

I'm a bit disapointed with Aspect Mastery though, it seems a bit week for a tier 10 talent (even with current itemization, the new Careful Aim will grant you more AP for less invested talent points).

Your shots (Steady, Arcane and Kill) have a 60% chance to make your pet crit on its next 3 special attacks and _every_ crit your pet does with a special attack will give you 2% mana. No doubt both talents will have an internal cooldown, but given that we pretty much crit every few seconds it'd have a ridiculously high uptime without any internal cooldowns.

It's a question what exactly qualifies as a pet 'special' ability though. My assumption is any ability that costs focus, but will Kill Command work as well? (even though the hunter casts it).

If you compare Kill Shot and Arcane Shot, they have similar scaling, but the damage bonus against sub-20% targets clearly pulls it ahead (as it should). It does have a potential for very big crits though, since we get such a huge damage bonus on crits (even more with the new MM talents).

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Your shots (Steady, Arcane and Kill) have a 60% chance to make your pet crit on its next 3 special attacks and _every_ crit your pet does with a special attack will give you 2% mana. No doubt both talents will have an internal cooldown, but given that we pretty much crit every few seconds it'd have a ridiculously high uptime without any internal cooldowns.

It's a question what exactly qualifies as a pet 'special' ability though. My assumption is any ability that costs focus, but will Kill Command work as well? (even though the hunter casts it).

Yeah, my wording was a bit off (not a native speaker and all that...), I basically meant to say what you wrote ;)

I updated my post above with new information about Kill Shot and Bear Trap from wowhead's WotLK page, and holy shit, take a look at Kill Shot :ninja:

Oh, and Wyvern Sting now does 2460 damage after the sleep effect expires, and Serpent Sting is also massively upgraded (to 1210 + 10% RAP at max rank), as well as Viper Sting (3092 mana drained)... seems they really want us to use our stings more.

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It's a question what exactly qualifies as a pet 'special' ability though. My assumption is any ability that costs focus, but will Kill Command work as well? (even though the hunter casts it).

Since KC also has been triggering FI for some time now I think it can be safely assumed that it counts as a special attack of the pet itself.

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Chimera Shot consuming SS (so working as a DPS ability) seeming a bit weak to anyone else?

Even when you assume a really high damage output of 2k by your SS, that Chimera Shot is just 800 dmg, less than your arcane will be at that gear level I think, not even taking the other shots into consideration.

edit: Any information on Explosive Shot scaling available?

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Does anyone know if Trueshot Aura will affect the entire raid within range?

The talent calculator still shows TSA as party-only, which seems to fit with the general assumption that MM spec is the PvP focused tree (especially with the new Hunter's Mark dispell resistance). Chimera Shot is interesting - the longer you leave your sting on before you fire Chimera Shot the more benefit you get, but the greater the chance that someone will dispell it.

At first glance on the new talents, it still looks like most hunters will spec BM and you'll have a Survival hunter to keep up Expose Weakness. The Hunting Party talent deep in the Survival tree means you can put the Surv hunter in any party.

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Here's my BM build:

Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

Depending on what the highest rank of Hawk is and what your int is sitting at, it might be better to drop Imp Aspects and go 3 in Careful Aim and 2 points elsewhere (Improved Tracking looks interesting...). If the 41 point talent lets use train Devilsaurs and other dinos from Un'Goro finally, I'm speccing BM. Otherwise, I might just go Surv.

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Chimera Shot is interesting - the longer you leave your sting on before you fire Chimera Shot the more benefit you get, but the greater the chance that someone will dispell it.

Chimera shot is seriously weak if they don't tweak it. Assuming 5/5 stings and 3kap, serpent sting does 2k damage (400 per tic, 5 tics). Chimera shot after the 4th tic means it does a total of 2.4k damage instead of 2k damage, at the cost of 540 mana and a global cooldown.

Viper sting will drain 4k mana over 8 seconds (1k per tic, 4 tics). Consuming it after the 3rd tic means you will drain 4.2k total from the target (75% from the first 3 out of 4 tics, then 30% for the chimera shot). It will also return 1200 mana to you. Viper sting costs 680ish mana and chimera shot 540, so no net gain there... essentially just a free viper sting.

Consuming scorpid looks... problematic. I'm unsure on that one.

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This looks promising.

All trees have received some good changes.

BM tree:

Masters call might be useful in both PvP and PvE. In PvE this will help in cases when mob snares(freezes) tank and goes for rest of party, like litches(forgot name) in Karazhan.

Invigoration + Cobra strikes removes need to use mana potions, stack haste potions now :) .

Longevity equally powerful in PvE and PvP.

Best point from Aspect mastery is not buff to Aspect of Hawk, but to Aspect of Monkey. This may give hunters "ranged tank" role that was reserved to soullink warlocks until now.

Best Mastery (exotic pet) talent we need to see in game. This may open some more pet families, and we need to see in game how additional pet skill (talent?) points fit.

Talents that are left unchanged and useless : pathfinding, improved aspect of monkey.

MM tree:

This tree changed most and this was required. Until now 20 talents in MM where a must in any raiding spec. Now minimum requirement is 10 points (lethal+mortal shots).

In middle of tree Concussive Barrage is changed to work with Volley too, but I doubt that 6% chance of daze is of any use in PvE or PvP. If changed to 100% daze from Volley, this talent might be useful in some situations.

I do like changes in lower part of tree, but only change on higher talents that I like is Chimaera shot when used with scorpid sting. It is mirror ability to priest pain suppression.

Overall MM looks improved as PvP tree.

Survival tree:

Improved tracking <3, change that was in about every hunter wishes tree.

Trap mastery removed(in notes, but not from calc), not needed anymore because +hit now works with traps too.

Master tactician at last is improved to match Lethal Shots in efficiency.

Point of no escape looks promising on both trash fights and may be boss fights if frost trap will add this effect to bosses(even if they are immune to slow effect).

Hunting Party, hunters as improved shadow priests ? :)

Sniper Training, very promising talent, but we have to see if we will have to run to bosses to trap them every 26 seconds :)

Explosive shot looks like improved Multishot with no target count cap, but smaller radius.

Survival will be tree of PvE love and will compete with BM.

Only Potent Venom does look doubtful to me, but still it may be included in shot rotation.

In my opinion BM may need one more party wide buff like FI is now, but both BM and Survival are very good PvE trees. This party/raid buff may come from new pet abilities, so we need to see now this will work in game.

PvP:

At same time I am not sure how much hunter problems in PvP will be solved.

Focused Aim, Masters Call addresses some, while not changing mechanics of PvP combat. But we probably will see more improvements until WotLK.

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Point of No Escape seems like pretty interesting talent. Another method for Survival to buff raid dps, although it would most likely be problematic to think it would be down most of the time.

I'm loving the looks of Invigoration+Cobra Strikes. I wonder what the cooldown on the Invigoration proc would be since it doesn't seem likely that they would allow the combo in that way. That has potential to be a ton of mana returned. Aspect Mastery does seem kind of weak for the investment. I can't wait to see what these 'Exotic' pets are going to be. It'll be nice to train new pets in wotlk too. I always wanted to train better looking pets, but never at the cost of having to level one.

It's interesting to see how they're buffing Stings to actually attempt to push them into use. Chimera shot seems like an interesting pvp ability. Overall I think these could be nice, it'll be interesting to see if/how they change in the future.

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Has anybody got access to the beta here (if it's currently working)? I have a question about Auto shot.

Maybe it's just wishful thinking but did anybody else ask themselves how Blizzard was going to fix Steady shot so it didn't clip Auto shot? Making Auto shot usable while moving (i.e. removing the crappy little hidden cast time) was what I thought.

Comparing the two spells on Wowhead:

Auto Shot - Spell - World of Warcraft Wrath one.

Auto Shot - Spell - World of Warcraft Current one.

As you can see the current one has a cast time of "Weapon speed" while Wrath one has "Instant".

Is anybody able to check this out?

Also, sorry if this has been asked/answered before, a quick search yielded no results.

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In my opinion BM may need one more party wide buff like FI is now, but both BM and Survival are very good PvE trees. This party/raid buff may come come from new pet abilities, so we need to see now this will work in game.

I think it's more likely that the dps gap between BM and the other 2 specs is going to increase, rather than Blizzard adding more 'utility' to it. Certainly the talent changes to the BM tree and the better availability of the talents in other trees is going to help. Pets are getting a huge help as well with changes to the way totems work (WF totem :) and the top tier talents in the tree.

The only thing that could really confirm BM as the top dps spec is the 51p talent really, but we'll have to see how it works first.

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These changes look great. But before we can even start theorycrafting, I think there are several things we need to find out. I'll make a list here, please tell me if I missed anything. And of course, if we have any theorycrafting hunters that are in the beta, please update us :P

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

General:

* How are mana consumption and mana regen in WotLK?

* What is steady shot's new damage formula?

(Unsure for the moment)

It must be either:

steady_shot_damage = [range_ap]*0.2 + [arrow_dps] + [steady_shot_dmg_bonus] + [weapon_dmg]/[weapon_speed]*2.8

or

steady_shot_damage = [range_ap]*0.2 + [arrow_dps]*2.8 + [steady_shot_dmg_bonus] + [weapon_dmg]/[weapon_speed]*2.8

Obviously the latter would be nicer :P

Beastmastery:

* Does invigoration have an internal cooldown?

It currently has no internal cooldown on the beta.

* What does "Exotic pets" imply in the Beast Mastery talent?

Marskmanship:

* What is the new rank of Hunter's Mark and how will it affect Imp. Hunter's Mark?

The new rank on wowhead is correct! Here it is: Link

This means that 3/3 Imp. Hunter's Mark will give 300 melee ap to the raid, which is VERY nice to say the least.

* What are the armor values of mobs in WotLK and as such what is the benefit of the Piercing Shots talent?

* Can Chimera Shot crit?

Yes, its 30% weapon damage component can crit, and so can its Serpent Sting consume component.

Survival:

* Can bosses be affected by Frost Trap or Bear Trap, and as such, what is the value of the Point of no Escape talent as a raiding talent?

* What maximum mana will Hunters and other classes have while fully raid buffed, and as such, what is the benefit of the Hunting Party talent as a raiding talent?

* Does Exploding Shot scale with AP and can it crit? Also, does Exploding Shot actually damage the target its been shot at or just the mobs around it?

Each tick behaves itself as a shot: each tick can crit, and the damage it deals scales with your attack power.

It does NOT however trigger ToTH or Hunting Party on crits.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By the way, if people haven't realised, we may already have a good list of pet skills on wowhead.

New Pet abilities: here

Thanks go to Sean for answering these questions :)

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I thinked about a raid dps build for BM, and got this:

Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

Maybe two points from Improved tracking to Rapid killing is better. (i think it does more than 2% difference, bigger burst damage. And if you forget to switch tracking, you loose not so much dmg. ;))

Plus there is efficiency on the next tier (If invigoration is not enough (ie: got internal CD)), or Imp. Hunter's Mark if noone got it. (it could (maybe) mean the lost 1-2-3% dmg from Imp. tracking)

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I have a lot of modeling to do. :)

I'll take a stab at some of these talents this weekend. I'll basically add some new tabs to the spreadsheet incorporating my models for them. I'll also go ahead and start setting up changes to support non-interfering shot mechanics.

In case anyone is wondering, the change to Master Tactician is going to push its value to about 6-6.5% effective crit. So it now becomes better than Lethal Shots point per point.

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