Beta Build 8885

As I type this, the Wrath of the Lich King beta realms are down and being updated with a new beta build: And I am busy downloading all 458MB of the client patch. As usual, I will be live-blogging this build as I check it out, although I may have to stop early.

[edit] And now I’m done! Feel free to read my adventures at your leisure. [/edit]

Although the realms are still down, we are already hearing something about the contents of this patch. MMO Champion has updated their character talent calculators, for instance, and I noticed that Improved Hunter’s Mark no longer mentions melee attack power at all, as implied by Blizzard’s post on stacking effects yesterday.

I’m sure there are lots of other important hunter talent changes in there — I am expecting this new build to finish up the hunter changes that didn’t quite make it into the last build, and add a whole bunch of new changes to boot — but I haven’t finished looking through them yet.

On the pet front, WotLK Wiki is saying that Rhinos now have a Stampede skill. I’ll have confirmation and details on that as soon as the realms are up. Speaking of which, my client download just finished!

*cough* It really helps if I hit ‘Publish’ rather than ‘Save’ when I’m ready to, you know, Publish.

Well the realms seem to be up, but not exactly speedy and I’m getting some really interesting console error spew about missing textures. (And it’s a bad idea to hearthstone when you are half a mile above Zul’Drak, by the way.)

My stabled rhino does indeed now have a family skill:

Stampede (Rank 5): Your rhino slams nearby enemies within 10 yards, causing 47 to 63 damage and knocking them back 15 yards. (Melee Range, Instant, 1 min cooldown)

A knockback! I know a lot of hunters were hoping for that one.

And HEY! My level 71 carrion bird became level 72 when I pulled him out of the stable. It looks like stabled pets now do a level check when you pull them out. (He showed as level 71 in the stable intreface.) I had heard that this might be in this build, but it seems to be true. Nice!

Speaking of rhinos, the Tenacity pet talent tree has changed as expected. Charge has replaced Dash in the first tier of talents for Tenacity pets. It also remains in the third tier of Ferocity talents. The descriptions and details of the two locations appear to be identical. I don’t see any other changes to the pet talent trees.

Likewise I’m not seeing many changes in pet skills, although I’ve only looked at 13 of them so far. But Furious Howl is back to boosting attack power instead of damage. It also lists a flat add (+148 AP) but since it only has one rank I assume that that is actually a calculated value.

The map for Crystalsong Forest has changed rather a lot, but unfortunately while flying out of Dalaran I passed into Icecrown (which still isn’t open) and ended up in Warsong Hold. I’ll have to go back and see if there are any creatures there yet. But hey, look like I can finally use my flying mount in Borean Tundra! That’s good news.

Okay, time for a break. I should be back in about an hour or two to finish looking over the skills and check the zones for new pets. In the meantime, if you see anything cool please let me know!

I’m back! So on to Crystalsong! This zone now has named areas that can be discovered, but I still don’t see any NPCs about, and certainly no beasts. That’s a pity. I really hope it gets some wildlife soon.

I also learned that it is not a good idea to take a flying shortcut over Wintergrasp right now. As soon as I entered the Wintergrasp Combat Zone I dismounted and fell — onto an unclimbable slope above cliffs of death.I as lucky to be able to slide partially down the slope and across the zone boundary so I could remount, but according to the poor Horde stuck in the zone, once you are inside the ring of mountains you have to win to get out.

Storm Peaks is apparently still closed as well, so it looks like I have no new beasts to find and tame tonight. So much for that!

So I think I’ll call it a night. I’ll finish up retesting pet skills, but it looks like most of the changes in this build are hunter-related instead of pet-related. Well, except for Stampede, and the Furious Howl range and effect, and stabled pets auto-leveling …

89 thoughts on “Beta Build 8885

  1. Palladiamors

    I’ve never had a problem healing TWO targets, thats part of my issue with it. I can easily bouncing between raid healing and single target healing on my paladin. Its not hard. Its BEYOND two targets that screws paladins. Hell, I’ll go so far as to say I can do three as long as its not a constant barrage against all three targets. Its not hard. Its just a redone mechanic that makes me angry. Really, the only real upside I can see to this is you can get double the effect off of flash of light or holy light by casting beacon on the main tank. In essence it will allow us to double our healing numbers, but it still just FEELS funny. It doesn’t fit, and it isn’t what we really needed. And honestly, I’ll take a cheap knock off of another heal spell if it’ll give me the tools I need. Beacon just ain’t it.

    As for camouflage, I think that ones a wait and see. I don’t harbor any hope that we’ll be able to aimed shot while stealthed. I also don’t really know how I feel about it. It almost feels like its tacked on for fun, and not to be serious. Promises to be…. interesting for BGs, when every rogue, hunter, and druid are stealthed.

  2. Stranger

    How is boar’s family skill “gore” working now? If it only benefits from “charge” once in the begining of fight, it’s somewhat weak.
    If let me make the change, I would propose this:

    Gore: Boar gores the enemy for X damage. If the enemy is slowed (on frost trap, tendon rip, or any slow effect) or dazed (concussion shot or any daze effect), gore will do double damage. If the enemy is imbobilized (imobilization 1 sec of charge effect, frozen by freezing trap…) or stunned, gore will do triple damage.

  3. Kristy

    The Beta isn’t fair.. 3.0.2 or whatever needs to go on the Public Test Realms already.. There needs to be alot more players sayings stuff about Tameables.. Alot more people need to be able to get into it…

  4. Peter

    I guess most of you are *NOT* playing PvP instead all the time just PvE.
    That’s the reason you aren’t crying about the Aspect of the Viper change.
    Believe me, in PvP situations, it’s very crucial to get out as much damage as possible in a short time, not only 50% of your whole damage. The old AotV doesn’t decrease the damage, instead there was only a missing boost from the AotH.

    So please, that’s ridiculous what some of you is that writing, it’s NOT amazing for PvP players, it’s a real mess and I fear that’s a big nerf compared to the situation before for PvP players.

  5. Nimizar

    The old AotV DOES decrease your damage, because you can’t get hawk AP while it is up (which means missing out on at least 450 AP with the level 80 version of Hawk plus the new Aspect Mastery talent).

    The bit you are missing though that makes this a fairly major buff for all areas of the game is that even under non-optimal conditions, a hunter can use the new AotV to refill their mana pool in a matter of seconds before switching back to Hawk and putting out full damage again.

    I think the following post sums it up pretty well (linking the quoted version because of the identity of the poster, and the part of the quote that he emphasised):

  6. Nachtwulf

    I pray that the Viper change goes live. Oh, how I pray it does. It’s a pure and glorious gift to raid/instance… and anyone that says it sucks in PVP has obviously never found themselves trying to gain mana back /fast/ in a battleground. Sure, your personal deepeez goes down for a few seconds, but better that than vanishing completely because you’re dead because you ran out of mana!

    As for the drop in 51-BM… All I can think of is that someone said ‘whoa, someone’s sure figured out how to min/max their pet on 5 points! We better defuse that’ and nerfed it by one so they couldn’t make some magic combo. As for what that combo is…who knows, I dun have a beta key. XD

    And… my two cents… charge > dash, especially for a tank pet. Does anyone know how this interacts with Warp though? (Are warpstalkers tenacity? I don’t even know for sure…) Would the stalker warp and then charge?

  7. Seidouyumi


    With this, even if it lasts just a minute (though it should last longer and I still can’t find any data on it like what is the cool down on it!), this means you can easily heal the main tank AND heal four or five or six people and keep the main tank up. I can see it having a lot more of an application than a group HoT that you all have to stack up next to the guy to get. You get two heals for the literal cost of one.

    Palla, part of the problem is that, in most situations where Palladins aren’t overgeared, it is a constant barage of damage against two, three and sometimes four players. I had forgotten how hard it could be to heal groups when there’s a lack of CC simply because my gear was so high now that most of those situations were easy. I then healed with my Shaman, and those situations were easier with her than even my uber-geared Paladin because of the types of heals that she has. I mean, she has a flash heal that can heal for a lot, a longer heal that she can heal for a real huge amount, and a chain heal which, I’ve been known to spam going back and forth between the two getting hit the most. However, I cannot comment beyond the ‘it MAY be a great mechanic (please note the may)’ until I have a chance to test it out.

    I know you say it ‘feels’ wrong. I’m not sure what you mean by that.

    As for Camoflage, has anyone noticed that Hunters are becoming more and more Scout/Ranger like?

  8. Nayana

    Hey, guess what!

    This is a Hunter blog! Mind not derailing it every third post with a giant paragraph about Pally healing?

  9. Seidouyumi


    We do it all the time. We all discuss things other than Hunters here. We discuss mostly hunter stuff, but we do go off topic quite often. I was trying to allay Palla’s conserns about the changes to Paladins. However, I might ask you to note that the discussion about changes to Hunters is still going on and nothing’s been derailed.

    In fact, this is NOT a Hunter blog. It is a HUNTER PET blog. And, yet, we discuss Hunter issues all the time.

    Kristy, Darknez- There do not appear to be any new pets from the information that I’ve gleaned through. There is a new Hunter Pet ability that’s shown up, but not on any of the pets yet. It may be something for their next patch. They stated that this particular build was going to focus mostly on Rogues.

  10. Kristy

    To Sei: Yes. Thank you. Yeah, I’ve seen/heard that possible Hunter Pet ability thing before. It sounds really nice. And UGH, Rogues. Yuck. I hate Rogues.

  11. Seidouyumi


    I use to have a rogue until around lvl 63. At that point, she kind of imploded. I hated to, but I ended up deleting her since I had hit a point where I wasn’t going to play her again.

    The new ability looks nice. I wonder if it is either old data (something not fully removed) or linked to a new pet.

    Ghostcrawler said something in the Paladin forums about them doing things in cycles. Last big patch was Hunters, next was Rogues, next might be Paladins. They’re still working on it.

  12. agnidragon

    I’m 100% positive Aspect of Viper will either go back to how it was, or get buffed. I think Blizzard should be smart enough to realize how stupid that aspect change is.

    Then again, they nerfed the heck out of paladins and forbearance…

  13. agnidragon

    Forgot to mention this:
    New aspect of viper completely kills your dmg so you can regen mana(which means not as much mana return, and u have to factor in the mana cost of abilities to begin with)…old aspect allowed us to dps WHILE regaining mana. Slower, but it didn’t kill dps all that much.

    Beast Mastery change was stupid. I was already of the opinion Exotic Pets and +5 skill points was not up to par with the others. Its showy, looks cool, and certainly is nice to have, but in the end Exotic Pets don’t have the power or usefulness a 51 point talent should have.

  14. Nimizar

    Old viper: maxed out at 35% of level and 55% of intellect – around 190 mp5 for a level 70 hunter with 300 intellect.
    New viper: 2.5x hunter DPS as mp5. That works to something like 5000+ mp5 for a T6 raiding hunter, and 3500 or so for a T4 raiding hunter.

    The old version of viper isn’t even in the contest because the rate of mana regeneration is so much better with the new version – 50% damage for 5-10 seconds (and probably up to double that or so in PvP or a high movement raid encounter), then straight back to Hawk for the +AP and possibly the chance of a Quick Shots proc (depending on spec). Repeat ad infinitum.

    As the poster Megatf said, it is a change that if it goes live will put hunters squarely in the infinite resource physical DPS category.

  15. Nachtwulf

    Yeah… given what my Lv70 hunter is capable of dishing out as DPS… if the new Viper returned dps-as-mana at full strength it’d take me exactly two autoshots to refresh my mana pool from like zero. And that’s saying I didn’t crit.

    Being able to fire once, and get 75% of your mana back is OP. Seriously. No, the new Viper is just fine. Also, I like the idea of it as a low-impact threat dump, it saves me mashing Feign every time I get close to the tank.

  16. Peter

    I’m still not convinced that the “new” AotV is really a good bargain. I was farming with AotV constantly making 100% damage (and not 50%) but never run out of mana.
    And, what many doesn’t know: A hunter is NOT a caster only, so I am not completely doomed if I have no mana. With AotH for sure I will do additional damage, but not 150% (I guess it influences total damage value just for 10-20%), and I am playing BM and not Marksman.
    And it was very comfortable just staying with one aspect instead of changing nervous between two aspects all the time – playing without a macro will not work then.
    If I do not make 100% damage for 5-10 Secs in Pvp, I am DEAD. So it’s a big nerf and I will hate this change for sure.

  17. Tabmow

    it boggles my mind that some hunters are complaining about having to switch aspects while grinding. the new aotv is so much better than the old.not only are mana costs lowered,it took me a lot longer to go oom, i popped the new aotv and was full on ONE mob! i was getting over 1000 mana back per shot! (crit)while still damaging my in less than 8 seconds i went from 0 mana to 8k mana,

  18. fearstalker

    It’s clear that BM is dying.

    I must say, it seems rather disheartening to see abilities getting mashed by the nerf hammer because Blizz added too much someplace else.

    The viper change would be gerat for raiding, but is going to hurt a bit for solo as it was a good way to manage threat since pet aggro was reduced once again on live.

    I have to say I’m seeing less reason to stay BM since Blizz is trimming us on every side. We can’t use much haste gear, scaling is limited, and with the steady scaling back of our exotics, they will soon be nothing more than different skins.

    The only saving grace is that the switch to MM will be relatively easy, since MM pets can have basically all the same stats and utility of a BM pet with the nerf to the BM 51-point and to the exotics. (That 51 pointer is going to be one of the worst by the time Blizz is done. A 51 point talent that basically provides a cosmetic change, or at best some situational pets. We’ll be down to 2 or 3 points before they are done, and the devilsaurs will be nerfed).

    If ther’es a lesson in all of this, pray that your spec doesnt look good at the beginning of beta, becuase it will be nerfed to second class if it does. Just asj the broken ret pallies. Blizz couldn’t fix the scaling so they made judgements useless…

    So, I hate to say it, but I see BM as being a vanity spec when Blizz is done, a spec that won’t be in raids anymore. A MM with a pet with a few less points, but all the scaling from haste that MM provides will likely be just as good.

    @Tabmow: It’s not the switching that’s the problem, it’s that AOV was a good aggro control tool

  19. Seidouyumi

    I do not intend that this is going to sound snarky, but it’s going to.

    Ok, when you guys say ‘I need maximum damage in PvP and can’t have my damage reduced by half or I’m dead’ Do you mean PvP Battlegrounds? PvP Arena? PvP Raids on Cities? or PvP Servers? Somehow the ‘OMG this is horrible’ arguement falls apart if you don’t explain how it impacts each.

    When it was mentioned that Aspect of the Viper was used to manage threat generation, but now it is not, I felt like asking ‘okay, you do realize that dropping your damage rate by half for long enough to build up mana was going to drop your aggro generation?’ And when it was mentioned that ‘Aggro has been dropped again in Live’, do you mean the current build in Beta or do you mean the current build in what I’ve always though of as Live- that is 2.4.3?

    As for the dropping of a single point from the 51 BM talent, I’m not sure that’s a huge loss. Four extra points is still four extra points. I don’t see how loosing one is going to break this talent as it still means that even a normal pet is pretty strong. As for the abilities in the exotic pets, a lot of those are better than the average pet’s abilities, and would be worth the talent. Since it does not look like any of those have had more than minor adjustments (Froststorm Breath was the most major one, and that’s because the co-efficients on a skill that does two types of damage at once were screwed up for a long time), those skills are still pretty good when taken into account with the extra four talent points. It really means being able to get two of the top tier skills rather than one. In fact, the removal of that single point really just isn’t important since it isn’t enough to really do anything.

    I don’t see how the changes to Aspect of the Viper is going to impact Arena all that much. You’re going to drop your max DPS by half for a handful of shots rather than dropping your DPS down by 2/3rds for the durration of the old Aspect of the Viper. If anything, what this is doing is mitigating your DPS downtime AND helping to reduce aggro while doing so.

    I am sorry that this is a bit snarky, but it is hard to judge if something is broken if a lot more of the specifics are there.

  20. Verun

    The viper change would be gerat for raiding, but is going to hurt a bit for solo as it was a good way to manage threat since pet aggro was reduced once again on live.

    As Ghostcrawler has said on the Beta Hunter forums:

    Growl sucks. We’ll fix it.

  21. Kristy

    Ugh. Beast Mastery is not “dying”. Exotic pets are special. Exotic pets are not getting “major nerfs”. Duh. And they better not so-called from you “nerf” Devilsaurs.

  22. fearstalker

    @ Seidouyumi

    I’ve noticed that agrro got worse again after one of the recent “hot fixes”, so yes in live. I need to run in Viper just to avoid pulling aggro.

  23. fearstalker

    @Kristy I surely hope they don’t, but the fact remains that we will be dependent more on our pets for dps, and they keep scaling them back. Meanwhile, MM is getting better and better scaling.

    And I still think that a MM specced at 70 for the 51-pointer is going to be doing more damage than a BM specced for the 51 pointer.

  24. Nimizar

    They will probably tune the DPS of all the hunter specs to be comparable, since there isn’t going to be a major difference in the degree of utility provided (damage scaling in BM, AP scaling in MM, mana restoration in SV).

    With the BM exotics, I’m actually seeing a bit of trend towards having the family abilities actually be outright better than the corresponding non-exotic abilities despite what the devs said earlier in the beta. Currently, Worm Acid Spit is outright better than Wasp Sting, Rhino Stampede is better than Gorilla Thunderstomp, Chimaera Froststorm Breath is better than Windserpent Lightning Breath, Devilsaur Monstrous Bite is better than Raptor Savage Rend, Silithid Venom Web is better than Spider Web. With more of the benefit of the talent moving to the family abilities, there is less of a need for additional pet talent points.

    I’m actually quite OK with that apparent change in philosophy, as with the current setup of the Ferocity tree, the extra pet talent points don’t provide any additional pet DPS.

  25. Seidouyumi


    I’m going to have to assume now that you mean 2.4.3 and not 3.0.whatever. Yeah, growl’s pretty much messed up in the game. We’ve been told that those issues should be fixed in Wrath. That’s what Ghostcrawler keeps telling us.

    And, you missed the point I made in my post. If you don’t tell us which build/version you’re working from, we cannot address any specific point you make. I do NOT know if you are in Beta, or if you’re just talking about the information coming out of Beta.

  26. Guthorm

    i just now started downloading mania, so i gotta kill 2 hours…but nice on aspect of the viper, seems like us hunters wont be needing water anymore

  27. Kristy

    Fear Stalker: …O-kay. “they keep scaling them back” eh? Prove it. Going by what? The Chimera alone? *1* single pet? No, I do not think they are “scaling them back”. Exotic pets are good in doing their DpS.

  28. Kiya

    I can verify the change to stabling your low level pets. I am in beta, and had a lvl 41 tallstrider in the stables. She showed as lvl 41 in the interface, but when I pulled her out of the stables she changed to lvl 65. I am lvl 70.

  29. Phiil

    The so called nerf on chimeras was explained in a blue post. The only reason they were doing so much damage was because of a typo in the tables. The increased cooldowns on pet talents was due to reduced focus costs so that the skills can be used for more than just an opening move. Having charge instead of dash for the tenacity tree is just following established practice from boars. I have yet to see an actual nerf to pets other than the reduced points from beast mastery which still gives 16 levels worth of extra points.

  30. lianardo

    well if you think practical turtles and crocolisks can charge (they can bairly dash) and warpstalkers would render it completly useless because of blink – blink=30yard instent teleport there and 50% dodge chance for first attack’ charge=30yard huge speed boost and 25% more damage
    Im pretty shure 50% dodge chance for a tankign pet is better then 25% damage and since ther eboth 30 yards and blink is faster charge has no purpus with it the only animals charge is good for and pracitly good for is boars and rhinos (its good for the rest but you cant really see a gorilla going that fast can you?)

  31. Nimizar

    I can’t see human encased it full plate going that fast either, but it doesn’t stop warriors :)

    An instant burst of speed through sheer strength is far more believable for most of the tenacity pets than a sustained sprint, and for many of them it is backed up by real world behaviour (gorillas, crocs, boars, bears, rhinos).

  32. Shinryu Masaki

    @ lianardo

    Warp Stalker’s move is called Warp, and yes it does have a 30 yard range. However, Charge’s range is 25 max to 8 min yards. Warp also has a 15 seconds cooldown, while Charge has a 25 seconds cooldown.

    Right now the problem is that both moves are way too similar, thus the Warp Stalkers ends up in a weird state of having two moves that do the same basic thing. Blizzard could give back Dash to them only instead of Charge, or put Warp in place of Charge and give them a new family skill.

    And then we still have the Prowl problem with Cats. Doesn’t do anything for long battles, and with Camo at 80 it pretty much becomes worthless. While I do think Cats should be less used by hunters (there’s WAY too many of them around, especially King B.), but I do think they deserve a better family skill, one that they can use in combat.

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