Patch 4.1.0: 20 Weeks Post-Cataclysm
Patch 4.1 hits live servers exactly 20 weeks after Cataclysm was released in Europe and North America. Because this patch has been in the Public Test Realms for quite some time now, sometimes even I forget that all of these changes are coming out today.
Overall, very few changes are being made to hunters’ offensive abilities, which gives us an indication that Blizzard probably feels the three talent trees are now pretty well balanced.
- Multi-Shot damage has been increased by 250%. Although this change, which gives us better area damage capabilities for Marksmanship and Beast Mastery, sounds very aggressive, it actually isn’t. Multi-Shot currently deals 55 percent weapon damage. When increased by 250 percent, Multi-Shot will deal 138 percent weapon damage.
- Distracting Shot and Multi-Shot are now properly 40-yard range. As I’ve mentioned before, this change closes an era of hunters having a 35-yard maximum range, which means the title of this blog is now obsolete.
Perhaps the biggest changes for hunters this patch comes from changes to the pet system.
- The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets. Sometimes I wonder why this change was not introduced when Cataclysm was originally released. The happiness and loyalty system is a relic of the original game when pets with low happiness and low loyalty would leave your side. Why did Blizzard wait 20 additional weeks?
- Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 3 levels below. I can also confirm through the Public Test Realm that tamed beasts that are below your hunter’s level will match the appropriate level when they are summoned again. I still remember the days after the Grimtotem Spirit Guide was discovered as tameable in Burning Crusade, and many hunters were bringing their level 30 spirit wolves into heroics to level them fast.
- Summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0. I have not tested this, but this is supposedly a solution to the problem of pets instantly dying if you are dismounted when being chased by a loose mob.
Auto Shot, which has cause a whole slew of problems after it became useable in motion, saw the bulk of bug fixes for hunters.
- Hunters will no longer automatically acquire a new target if the current target dies in the middle of a cast. Note that this note itself has been fixed since the previous version failed to include the negation “no longer”, which caused a lot of confusion.
- Aimed Shot and Steady Shot should no longer start casting Auto Shot on a new target when the “Stop Auto Attack” option enabled.
- Auto Shot now automatically turns off until reactivated once Freezing Trap is cast on an enemy player.
- Scatter Shot’s disorient effect should no longer sometimes be broken by the hunter’s Auto Shot.
We’ve come a long way since December, but still not everything is perfect. We’ve now taken for granted how to manage focus through rigorous shot rotations. We’ve also learned to bring out the inner collector in us and fill our stables with beasts we’ve come to love. There is, however, one curious item left over from the 4.0.1 patch notes:
- The Stable will now store 20 pets. If a pet is moved into the Stable, its talents are wiped. As far as I know, the second half of this note was never implemented, which makes for a curious question as to why this is the case and why there has been no mention of it.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that all these changes will have a tremendous impact on how we play the hunter class. Gavendo has surveyed how hunters have changed since beta yet believes that all the original tenets of the class still remains. With time, we will take all these changes for granted, whether for better or for worse.
Have these 20 weeks changed how you approached playing your hunter?