If I’m Right and Nothing Changed, Why is it Depressing?

May 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm (Game Design, Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

So as everyone knows 2.4.2 was released yesterday and the patch notes included the line:

“The pet ability Growl will no longer scale with pet Attack Power and now scales with the hunter’s Attack Power.”

Of course it’s plain wrong. Mania verified it, I verified it.  I think even Rend in UBRS knew that growl hadn’t changed, and he hasn’t been seen in years.

Ok, fine.  Bliz doesnt’ know what’s going on, and I guess I had come to terms with that over the course of the test realm saga.  For me, there were actually 2 bright spots.  First, it meant that I could continue the pet review without having to account for a change in mechanics.  Big win there.  I think I’m on course to get it finished before WotLK.  Even if major changes happen there, the review can still serve as a baseline for comparison.  That’s all I really wanted from it.  A consistent, impartial voice about the merits of each family while holding all other things constant.  (BTW: Serpents done, dragonhawk at level 69.)

The second, boon being that I found an awesome way to solo via the MM spec. I was probably more excited about this.  I actually think I could mathematically prove how awesome the spec is for soloing.  In fact I have several half written posts on those subjects, including leveling guides.  Then, this comes up on the bug forums from Mania’s post:

“There is still a bug with Growl that is allowing it to scale with some pet attack power buffs as well as the hunter’s attack power. This (scaling with PAP buffs) will be fixed in a future patch, until then enjoy the extra threat from these buffs.”

“It (growl) may not scale at a rate that you like but it does scale at the rate the developers currently want.”

So, they 1) knew the patchnotes are wrong, 2) cut-off all discussion about them being wrong (twice), and 3) still published those wrong patchnotes.  That deserves a Chief Wiggum, “That’s some good work there, Lou.”

The other 2 parts are what really have me peeved.  No growl bonuses from +PAP in the near future, and current scaling ‘working as intended (TM).’  I did some number crunching, and what I found was that pre-BC I was about 150 RAP short of scaling, and right now as BM, I’d be about 450 short of scaling.  Seeing as my RAP tripled over those 10 levels, that seems reasonable.  EXCEPT!  My DPS is at least 4-5x what is was rather than the expected triple.  Why?  Steady shot.  Before the only thing I could add to my Auto Shot while soloing was an arcane every 6s, and a Serpent’s Sting (remember that?).  The spec I have been testing for the road from 70-80 has it’s head on the chopping block without even having a chance to prove itself. (For now I’m still loving it.)

I have to ask myself why am I upset at a non-change.  Mostly because they still intend to change it.  Hunter’s have been having more and more pet threat issues.  With welfare epics, even casuals like me are running into the issue.  However, while we are looking to improve threat, Bliz is going to reduce the only methods we have to do so.

I’ve heard people saying that this is all because of the gold farmers.  They can turn on a bot to just auto shot and mend pet, never having to worry about pulling agro.  If that’s the case, what does this change do to prevent it?  Those guys are not getting all epiced out, they’re buying BoE greens from the AH.  I doubt they’re anywhere close to the scaling threshold.

This is obviously a change looking ahead to the next 10 levels.  My hope is that there’s something coming that will make this tolerable.  For now, I’m just annoyed at lies (claw damage scaling and 1200 RAP lol), double-speak, and miscommunication.



  1. Ceolwulf said,

    So are they saying that True Shot Aura will, once they “fix” it, no longer add to Growl threat?

  2. Znodis said,

    No one knows at the moment, but his statements seem to indicate that the only thing they want to affect growl is RAP. Any AP buffs to the pet are likely to be nerfed to no longer improve growl. There is a [i]chance[/i] that the only AP buffs they are concerned about are those from other classes, since the one he’s repeatedly mentioned is Blessing of Might rather than TSA, and that TSA, Kibler’s, and LoBM are going to be spared. I wouldn’t bet even 1g on that at the moment.

    Our best bet is actually to totally drop the subject and hope they get too busy with WotLK to ‘fix’ things.

  3. Jayhawk said,

    I’ve swapped from BM to MM and saw a 300 increase in RAP and hardly pull from my pet(s) anymore (especially the Screech empowered ones), however, I seem to have made a massive drop in my DPS.

    Was this w hat you expected/have experienced? Oh, for the records, I’m mostly in (non-instance/pvp) blues.

    It really makes you wonder if the hunter is actually going to be a playable class in WotLK… =/

  4. Znodis said,

    I definitely noticed a drop in pet DPS, while my 1:1 macro DPS seemed the same. If you’re hand weaving with high latency, you could get a huge drop.

    You may want to look up a 1.5:1 macro (rather than the 3:2) to see if that helps out. If you have very high latency, 500ms, you’re going to see much better DPS with a macro.

    Since I took 5/5 Improved Arcane, I’d rather wait the few tenths of a second for the cooldown to be up rather than miss it for an entire rotation. My macro looks something like this:

    /castrandom [target=pettarget,exists] Kill Command
    /castsequence !Auto Shot, Steady Shot, Aracane Shot, !Auto Shot, Steady Shot

    If I didn’t have Improved Arcane, the macro would stall there until the cooldown was up, and you don’t want that. Instead, you want to cast Arcane if it happens to be up, but not wait for it if it’s not.

    /castrandom [target=pettarget,exists] Kill Command
    /castsequence Steady Shot, !Auto Shot
    /castrandom Arcane Shot

  5. Eric said,

    Try using a 1:1 macro and hand weaving in arcane shot. Seems much more reliable (and makes the game slightly more fun, I went MM to get away from the 1 button wonder BM). This also allows you to substitute in other shots for arcane when needed. Mainly, multi-shot, scorpid sting, even serpent if you don’t care about mana.

    In other words:
    Auto, Steady, Multi-shot, Auto, Steady, Arcane, etc..
    My slower 3.1 speed xbow seems to let me add an extra shot if I can/need to.

  6. Jayhawk said,

    Call me silly, but I’m confused by the macros (and thus probably done something stupid and cant get them to work).

    castsequence means, iirc, every click advances the spell cast by one wrapping around at the end. The !-marks however are confusing.

    castsequence Auto Shot, Steady Shot, Aracane Shot, Auto Shot, Steady Shot (no !-marks) should cast auto, followed by steady, arcane, then auto another steady, then start all over again.

    I’m currently doing it manually (using a Valanos’ LB), although I start off with Steady, allowing my pet to grab a bit more aggro before the first incoming shot. Auto will kick in and I’ll hit Steady again, followed by Arcane, auto will fire, and I tent to get in another steady without clipping (much). Auto, Steady will follow and then the Auto, Steady, Arcane cycle (if I don'[t grab aggro before hand, have to heal or cast Kill Command).

    I’m using power auras to see when Kill Command is up and fire it with a mousewheel up (down is pet healing).

    I probably should put this on TKA… =/
    (posting there as Woodsong)

  7. Znodis said,

    Here’s the simple explanation for the ‘!’

    What happens when you hit the auto shot ability? It turns Auto Shot on, and it stays on. What if you hit it again? It turns off. So /cast Auto Shot really means to toggle auto shot off if its on, or on if its off.

    When you have a sequence of shots what you’re saying is use steady, then wait for an auto, then continue with the sequence. We don’t want to toggle, we want to wait. That’s what the ! does. It tells the macro not to toggle auto shot, but rather wait for it to go off before continuing. If you wrote /cast !auto shot, it would turn auto shot on and it would remain on no matter how many times you hit the macro.

    If you’re BM, you probably should avoid arcane. It’s mana-inefficient and just delays auto shots. If you’re looking for a macro to use.

    /castrandom Kill Command
    /castsequence Steady Shot, !Auto Shot, Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, !Auto Shot

    or I suggest

    /castrandom Kill Command
    /castsequence Steady Shot, !Auto Shot

  8. Jayhawk said,

    Thanks, for the explanation I’ll give it, pardon the pun, a shot. =)
    I recently respecced from BM to MM following your remarks on TKA, got the Improved Arcane to make it worth/work too.

    I do notice I take longer to pull aggro, or rather with an Auto/Steady/Auto/Steady (1:1?) cycle I’m fine if I add Arcane in there I tend to get aggro by the second/third Arcane shot.

    As for the damage I was talking about. I have the memory which suggests having around 400 DPS (Serpent Swiftness? helping to get off more shots?) On an Auto/Steady alternation. Now, I get to 230 or so, mixing in Arcane will push it up to roughly 300. That’s what sparked the initial question. =)

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