Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patch 3.1.0 Post: Part One

As the title says, time for part one of my analysis of the new game content and mechanics in Patch 3.1.0.

Now for the topic: DPS

Not just any DPS, mind you, but Pet DPS. The changes in Ulduar really hit home here, as I am a faithful Beast Master hunter.

The story begins in January 2009 with patch 3.0.8, a.k.a. The Great BM Hunter-Nerf of '09.
As the name suggests, patch 3.0.8 nerfed BM hunters up the wazoo (yes, wazoo). Steady Shot's damage lowered? Both the Unleashed Fury and Kindred Spirits damage increases knocked down by 20%?! Reducing my pet's haste from Serpent's Swiftness by 10%?!?!? It's like they hate us!

3.0.8 spelled dark days for Beast Masters with its almost halving of DPS. Many simply switched to Survival and its now superior damage, but some like myself decided to suffer the DPS decreases and ride out the storm.

Well fortunately, Blizzard realized its mistake.

Well, at least they acknowledged it. 

As you know, there weren't any real noticeable buffs other than the return of the pet haste from Serpent's Swiftness.

On and on...

Would it ever end?

Well it has!

Patch 3.1.0 adds a new treat for us Beast Masters: A New tier of damage-increasing pet talents, almost exclusive to the Beast Masters! For ferocity pets, (the only ones I bother with) these new talents are Wild Hunt and Shark Attack. Utilizing these new talents brings Pet DPS at about the same amount it was pre-nerf for the Beast Masters. Huzzah! I personally like Wild Hunt. First, the 40% increased stamina contribution means you're pet will have more health. "What's the big deal? It's only health," you might say. Well I'll tell you what the big deal is-

More health means that: 
1. Your pet dies less, meaning increased up-time of the pet and therefore more DPS. 
2. Your pet requires less healing, which saves you mana, meaning less time in Aspect of the Viper and using Viper Sting in place of Serpent Sting, and less time waiting on the global cooldown after the heal to fire the next shot. This gives you, once again, more DPS.

Secondly, Wild Hunt increases the contribution your pet gets from your attack power by 20%! While the obvious benefit is the increased damage, what people don't seem to understand is that as the effect is that the pet has increased contribution, the increased damage it deals scales. In other words, as your shots get stronger, so does your pet's attacks! It's for these reasons that choose to put points in here rather than Shark Attack.

While BM DPS is still not as high as before, at least we can be legitimate raid contenders again.

That's it for part one of the official Zolton Patch 3.1.0 Analysis.

See you later,
-Zolton of Stormrage 


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