The first change we've seen to Beast Mastery hunters is that Ordres de guerre
's chance to reset the cooldown of Ordre de tuer
got reduced from 50/100% to 25/50%. This is a relatively impactful change for just one talent, as the talent was part of the "engine" behind the Beast Mastery Pre-Patch playstyle. This results in a ~6% loss on single-target and a ~3-4% loss to AoE, which isn't the worst thing ever considering that many other specs ended up much worse off in this tuning round. This change will however be notably larger at level 70, mostly because of the currently-unobtainable Meute féroce
talent synergizing well with Ordres de guerre
, leading to upwards of a ~10% single-target loss at max level, although this particular build was likely overperforming to begin with. The change also means a slight increase in RNG in your rotation as resets are no longer guaranteed, but this shouldn't lead to large swings in terms of output. It will just be a gameplay difference.
In the short term this does not mean any changes in terms of talents. The rotation does sees some changes, even though your ablility priority technically won't change much. The rotation becomes less about alternating Tir acéré
and Ordre de tuer
and now involves more Tir du cobra
s as you won't has as many Ordre de tuer
s available to you now. As much as this current "two-button" playstyle was widely enjoyed, it is understandable for Blizzard to nerf a playstyle which mostly ignores one of your main abilities. This would likely have been more of an issue at level 70 when you can learn Meute féroce
to further increase your Ordre de tuer
generation. This would likely have locked Beast Mastery into a very similar playstyle and talent build for most of Dragonflight, which they probably wanted to avoid. This change opens up the free GCDs to use on other abilities. However, it's important that they also make these other abilities interesting to press too, namely Tir mortel
, Appel de la Nature Tir du cobra
and by extension Aspect de la Nature
could use some changes or improvements. This would truly open up other talent builds and make full use of our talent tree.
The other change we saw was that hunter healing towards the pet (via Guérison du familier
) no longer indirectly heals the hunter via leech. This was a relatively unknown interaction which is a shame to lose, as it had niche uses. While the extra healing from Enthousiasme
would often cause overhealing (especially with Vent régénérant
in the mix), using Guérison du familier
was a nice last resort to have available and was quite useful in solo content, especially when soloing old raid bosses. This by extension means Remède des étendues sauvages
loses a potential niche as a defensive talent outside of solo content. I don't really see a reason for them to have changed this interaction but it's not going to affect most hunters too significantly in the end.
Windwalkers were apart of a large tuning pass done on Friday October the 31 that, fitting for Halloween, terrified many class and spec communities. For Windwalkers this came in the form of rather sweeping nerfs that included reducing the damage of Poings de fureur
, Coup de pied du soleil levant
, and Frappe du voile noir
, tuning down the talents, Bottines de boxeur des ombres
, Enseignements du monastère
, Fureur de Xuen
, Coup de poing du dragon tourbillonnant
, Technique interdite
, Vent de jade fulgurant
, and Tenue de combat de Xuen
. They also reduced the duration of Invocation de Xuen, le Tigre blanc
and the damage buff of Tempête, Terre et Feu
. Thankfully, they included a Developer's note that mentioned they were looking to reduce the damage of Chi spenders with the exception of Coup tournoyant de la grue
and Frappe du seigneur des Vents
(CHECK), reduce the power of major cooldowns (CHECK) and reduce the effect of several powerful talents (CHECK).
When looking at the changes, they were completely justified in nearly all ways. Data from the first week had Windwalkers (and several other specs) doing a very high amount of damage relative to others. Windwalkers also had, and still have, several talents that are more or less standard in all builds, and throughout Shadowlands, Windwalker had enjoyed some of the highest burst throughput of any spec, whether in single target in Nathria due to Armes de l’Ordre
, or through Sanctum, Sepulcher, and Mythic+ due to Breuvage poussière-d’os
. Windwalkers had plenty of damage to lose before any concern, although that certainly doesn't stop the snap judgements of many in the community.
On Friday night I napkin-mathed
that the nerfs would end up being at least 13.5% to ST and roughly that, if not a little more, to AOE. In practice, it appears that may have been close to being correct. Sims show that, for the average S4 geared Windwalker, the change was around 12% in single target and slightly closer to 15% in AOE. Given the damage that Windwalker was doing, these changes appeared to have had the desired effect of brining Windwalker's single target closer to the average and reining in their AOE, without pushing the spec too far down.
Looking ahead to Dragonflight, Windwalkers should be fortunate to find that the current strength of the spec is as much due to Dragonflight systems as it was Shadowlands ones, and that losing the Shadowlands systems should not cripple the spec in any sense of the word. In fact, the current Dragonflight tier bonuses appear to be very strong for Windwalker and should help to offset much of the damage loss from these past nerfs, without risking Windwalkers pushing back into the "overpowered" category. While it was certainly a scary moment for many in the Windwalker community, especially those newer Windwalkers who haven't experienced the long history of ups and downs like some of us have, Windwalkers currently stand in a good place relative to other specs, and should remain such in Dragonflight.