Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WoW 3: Revenge of the Beast Master

The Survival tree looks pretty sorry these days, as far as melee hunting goes. Too many points have to be wasted to get to any of the good stuff. Compare a level 70 beast master build with a possible level 70 hybrid. Four points wasted on Surefooted and Deflection, no Focused Aim (for the hit chance), five points blown on Survivalist just to get Hunter vs. Wild. Beast Mastery is the future of melee hunting.

There are a couple of unanswered questions:

When Focused Aim says it increases "chance to hit by 3%", does that include melee hit, or just ranged? I'm assuming both, since it doesn't say otherwise. I suppose I'll find that out when I respec tonight.

When Petopia claims that "pets now inherit the hunter's hit rate and critical rate as well", does it mean my melee or ranged crit rate? Presumably ranged, especially since pet AP is derived from your RAP, but I won't know until I run some tests with Recount since the pet panel doesn't yet display your pet's hit and crit rate.

But regarding that... your chance to crit is in part determined by your weapon skill. Now, since Levixus boned my Thrown skill, I went ahead and leveled my Thrown skill to 350. Since doing that, I see in the Armory that my ranged crit chance is now 19.47%, far ahead of the untalented 3-4% it was a couple days ago. While Thrown weapons don't count toward using ranged hunter attacks, apparently Thrown weapons do count toward your ranged crit chance, meaning that from here on out I'll want to always use a Thrown weapon and maintain its skill, for the sake of the ranged crit chance from it that my pet will inherit.

Pre-patch, I spent a while regemming and reenchanting for raw AP, in anticipation of the Aspect of the Beast buff. If I'm to be a Beast Master, I want to beef up my pet as much as possible. But I chose raw AP before I saw from Petopia that pets are now supposed to inherit your crit chance. Now I'm rolling in Attack Power (2004 AP/1942 RAP/19.47% crit), but lacking in the notoriously scalable Agility. Again, some tests with Recount are called for. I'll go maul something tonight until I'm out of mana, record the numbers, and consider a retest once I'm back to a more balanced gear configuration.


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the 3% chance to hit applies to melee as well. It's pretty much the 2nd part of the old Surefooted talent just tacked on to the new 70% Steady Shot interruption prevention.

I leveled a melee-only hunter to 48 just recently, but decided to start using ranged weapons because of the changes made to the talent trees for WotLK. Whatever synergy Survival had for melee is now gone.

I must say though, munting is COMPLETELY overpowered for leveling. It's too mana efficient and the damage is just as good as using ranged (if you keep your gear up). My hunter just hit 54 last night and ranged combat is starting to outshine going melee-only. In short, melee leveling = viable/optimal. Melee endgame = Not so much anymore.

Gweryc Halfhand said...

Melee endgame viability has yet to be seen, post-3.0.2. Since the Survival tree, as you said, has been farked up royally for melee synergy, I'm on unbroken ground with the new BM model. But I believe it will be even better than what I've already been pushing in T6.

I'm not sure just how good things will or won't be, but you can be sure I'll find out!

Anonymous said...

Well I can't wait to see how things develop for you in WotLK! Best of luck to you sir, and thank you for giving me a reason to get back into WoW again. :)

Ragar said...

Gweyrc, it looks like they're making Aspect of the Viper useful for you again. Passive regen of 4% max mana per 3 sec., per attack regen reduced by 50%, but the per attack now works with melee attacks. There was also something about exotic pets since you're looking at BM, but the mana regen part seemed like the big thing. The link's up on World of Raids - I'd add it, but apparently copy/paste still eludes the iPhone devs.