A new version of the 3.3 PTR patch notes went up very recently, and there’s one or two hunter changes on the way. Also a LOAD of hunter-pet changes! Many!
- Call Stabled Pet: cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. (Yay!)
- Deterrence: Now increases the chance for ranged attacks to miss the hunter by 100% while under its effect. (Also Yay)
- Many tail sweeps with knockback effects will no longer affect players’ pets.
- All player pets now receive 100% of their master’s resilience.
- Avoidance: Removed from pet talent tree. All pets now receive 90% AoE avoidance in PvE innately, requiring no talent point expenditure (Yay!). This will not apply to PvP damage (boo!). This talent is replaced with…
- Culling the Herd: increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack. (Sounds good! The question is, if you’re a beastmaster with Lick Your Wounds / Heart of the Phoenix, will it work out better to put the newly freed up points here or into Shark Attack?)
- Cower: Redesigned. No longer affects threat (what?!). Now reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45 second cooldown. While cowering, pet speed is reduced by 40%. (Uh, okay. I could see this causing aggro problems in PUGs with new tanks. My Main Battle Tank will be unaffected, however. I guess we won’t have cower on autocast any more in groups, it’ll be something we trigger manually when necessary.)
- Improved Cower: Redesigned, two ranks. Now reduces movement penalty on cower by 50% / 100%. (Hmm. I’ll keep my points in Bloodthirsty)
- Demoralizing Screech: The attack power reduction from this ability has been increased by 40%, equalling the maximum possible attack power reduction from the abilities of other classes. (Oh, cool! Utility!)
- Venom Web Spray and Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards. (Okay!)
- Wolverine Bite: This talent is now enabled when the pet lands a critical strike rather than from the target dodging the pet’s attacks. In addition, this talent no longer has a prerequisite. (This would appear to be a decent upgrade for Cunning pets. With that said, I’m not sure what the 5-man / raid boss dodge rate is compared to pet crit rate. Further investigation needed.)
Interesting. Pet survivability versus bosses should be improved – although there is now a third pet-survivability button that must be triggered by the player, to go along side Lick Your Wounds and Mend Pet. Pet survivability in PvP however is less certain (except for 6 out of every 45 seconds), with zero AoE avoidance but now 100% of the hunter’s resilience.
WTB longer, improved pet command bar!
EDIT: A quick quote from Mania’s always-insightful commentary: Egad.