PTR updates: Goodbye AOE

Here’s some news of what’s happening on the PTR right now. Unfortunately, the news isn’t good.
If you missed the PTR updates  from a few days ago, check out this previous post.

Hunter changes


  • Cobra shot cast time is now affected by haste.
  • Steady Shot cast time is now affected by haste.
  • Concussive Shot duration has been increased to 6 seconds, up from 4.
  • Freezing Trap now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Master’s Call now has a 35-second cooldown, down from 1 minute, and its range has been increased to 40 yards, up from 25. In addition, the visual effect is more obvious.
  • Wing Clip now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.


  • Wild Quiver (Mastery): Chance for this to trigger per mastery has been increased by approximately 17%.


  • Black Arrow damage has been reduced by 25%.
  • Explosive Shot damage has been reduced by 25%.
  • Hunter vs. Wild has been increased to 5/10/15% Stamina, up from 4/8/12%.
  • Serpent Spread can now only affect up to 4 targets per Multi-Shot, down from unlimited.


  • Glyph of Concussive Shot redesigned. It now limits the maximum run speed of the target while Concussive Shot is active.
  • The PvP hunter 4-piece set bonus has been increased to 10% Focus regeneration, up from 5%.

Bug Fixes

  • Cobra Shot now properly increases the duration of the Serpent Spread Serpent Sting.

Our hopes of Survival’s dps being nerfed enough already with the previous PTR patch notes have been squashed. The nerf to Explosive Shot’s damage by 25% greatly reduces our dps. Check the log of your regular rotation and you’ll see Explosive Shot as your number one damage dealing ability with maybe a third of your damage in total coming from it.
I’m not gonna write extensively about this change because Frostheim already did, check out his post over on Warcraft Hunters Union.

And besides, Bashiok has already answered our concerns on the WoW forums:

The patch isn’t finished. Our intent is to bring Survival DPS down to the level of some of the other dps specs while making Marks and BM more attractive in PvE. With pure DPS classes it is probably impossible to engineer a three-way tie on all encounters. However, we think we can make them close enough so that players can choose to play their favorite without feeling like they are a burden on the rest of the group.

For an overall approach, we made a few changes that will buff Survival, or even hunters in general. First, focus generation was lower as a result of a bug with haste buffs such as Hunting Party. We’ve fixed that bug, so focus generation will be higher now when that buff is present (presumably all the time for Survival). Second, we made Steady Shot scale with haste, which will let hunters get more attacks in overall and have more focus with which to do so. These changes would have been a net buff for Survival without additional nerfs to compensate.

We also changed Cobra Shot and the warrior ability Slam to scale with haste. This does not mean all physical cast-time abilities will automatically scale with haste though.

If we actually do get haste to scale enough to allow for more shots in our rotation, that will undoubtedly provide a substantial dps increase. However, I am very skeptical about this promise. Essentially, the cooldown on our signature shots limits the amount of steady/cobra shots we can possibly fit in our rotation in such a way that there will be thresholds where you can get one more shot in and then later maybe two, but eventually you’ll be limited by the GCD.

I want to write a little bit about something Bashiok did not cover… The Serpent Spread change. Serpent Spread can now only affect a maximum of 4 targets? What? How is this AOE? I guess we can call it a cleave in the future.

Blizzard does not want hunters to do any AOE, they want us to look silly while trying to AOE. BM has no real AOE, apart from bringing a special pet, but it doesn’t really compare to proper AOE. MM has nothing at all, just a round of multi-shots every few seconds dealing tickling damage to all the affected targets. SV will still be best at dealing AOE damage, but now it’ll be far behind mages, warlocks, warriors, rogues. etc.

We are no longer an AOE class. This means we are nerfing any raid that requires good AOE and certain encounters do need AOE. Magmaw is an obvious example, with all of it’s worms constantly being spawned that has to be AOE’d down quickly.

With our AOE being abysmal and might as well be non-existant, shouldn’t there be a trade-off in higher single target dps? Mages for example are excellent at single target dps, AOE and even shines like a burning star in PvP.

Profession changes

Unlike the nerfs to Survival and other hunter tweaks, the profession changes are mostly very pleasant and uplifting.


  • A socket has been added to all crafted epic armor pieces that did not already have one.


  • Survey now has a 3 sec cooldown, down from 5 sec
  • Archaeology finds now grant a guaranteed skill point up to 50 skill, and then no longer grant skill gains, as opposed to granting up to 100 skill very slowly.


  • Alchemist’s Stones for Agility, Strength, and Intellect have been added.
  • The number of herbs required to create flasks has been reduced, while the Volatile Life needed has been increased slightly.


  • New bracer enchants have been added that provides Agility, Strength and Intellect.


  • The Electrified Ether recipe now creates 2 to 3 Electrified Ether instead of 1.
  • The Heat-Treated Spinning Lure buff duration has been increased to 20 minutes, up from 5. In addition, the recipe now creates 2 at a time.
  • Synapse Springs now increase Agility, Strength, or Intellect (whichever is highest for the character).
  • Volatile Air now has an increased chance of dropping from rich mining nodes and Pyrite.


  • New meta-gems have been added; Agile Shadowspirit Diamond, Burning Shadowspirit Diamond, Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond.

New sockets on crafted epics will only affect two items for us hunters; Dragonkiller Tunic and Corded Viper Belt. This means we’re getting at least +40 Agility on each one of those, if the gem bonuses are good we might even get a bit more. 🙂

The new alchemist stone with Agility is called Quicksilver Alchemist Stone and it provides 351 Agility (if properly gemmed) and 194 critical strike rating. If you’re an alchemist and a hunter, make one!

The new bracer enchant provides +50 Agility and therefor Leatherworking drops down from being the absolute biggest dps-increasing profession for hunters with 115 Agility more than the standard enchant – to being totally average with exactly 80 Agility more compared to the standard enchant. On the plus side for leatherworkers is that your bracer enchant is a lot cheaper than the regular enchant (which requires 2x Maelstrom Crystals among other things)

The change to Engineers Synapse Springs makes Engineering again a viable profession for providing dps. If you’ve read my guide to professions you know that Engineering was at the absolute bottom of the list of the crafting professions in terms of providing dps. No more! With this procced ability Engineers can get +480 Agility for 12 seconds every minute. This is an average of +96 Agility in total, which puts Engineering ahead of the curve when it comes to professions. Additionally, it’s even better than passive Agility, since you can activate it when you want it, which means you can stack it with all other cds.

Our new favorite meta-gem is called Agile Shadowspirit Diamond and it provides +54 Agility and +3% Increased Critical Strike damage.

Random reading


About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
This entry was posted in Blue Posts, General, Patches and Hotfixes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to PTR updates: Goodbye AOE

  1. Bristal says:

    “The new bracer enchant provides +50 Agility and therefor enchant bumps Leatherworking down from being the absolute biggest dps-increasing profession for hunters with 115 Agility more than the standard enchant to being totally average with exactly 80 Agility more compared to the standard enchant.”

    Great post. But, can you edit/explain the above paragraph. It doesn’t exactly make sense.

  2. Gavendo says:

    Sorry, must’ve gotten too excited. 🙂

    Enchant Bracer provides +50 Agility.
    The leatherworking-only enchant for bracers provides +130 Agility.
    130 – 50 = 80 Agility


  3. Aeliel says:

    I’m quite happy about the change to Synapse Springs. My hunter has been an engineer for a long while, and although she’s an alt and as such I don’t really have optimal professions (to the point that my second one is Skinning) I wasn’t very happy to realize that there wasn’t any useful glove tinker.

    • Gavendo says:

      Same here, I got Engineering and Leatherworking. I always loved Engi because of all the neat stuff engineers can do (even some special stuff in raids like the rocket boost).


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