As the release of Patch 3.3 approaches, the class changes seem to all be in place and finalized. Let’s take a look at our upcoming tanking related changes before the patch hits.
Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
Straight buff as far as we’re concerned. Our AoE damage reduction goes from 75% to a whopping 90%, and it doesn’t cost us those three precious talent points.
Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). 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.
A mediocre replacement for the old Avoidance as far as tanking goes. It makes for a nice DPS boost, but we should be more concerned with survivability or TPS, which other talents will do better. Just take those three new points that this talent would take, say thank you and smile, then spend them elsewhere.
Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet’s movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20
Hot diggity, a brand new and free tanking cooldown! With 3/3 in Longevity, this talents down to a 32 second cooldown, so it can be liberally used throughout an encounter and still be saved for specific moments when you know there’ll be a big incoming hit. This addition gives all tenacity pets almost the same durability that turtles have had, and if you time this together with Shell Shield on a turtle it’ll almost completely negate any incoming damage for 6 seconds.
Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
Sadly we won’t be seeing this ability as it’s not part of the Tenacity tree. Sorry folks.
Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
Moar threat is moar better. This change is almost unarguably the most important in this patch, as it will significantly improve the amount of threat that both we and the other hunters in our groups can give to our pets. If you had 3 other hunters in your raid group using MD every cooldown, that could easily add an extra 3k TPS to your pet. While its still not as good as if Tricks of the Trade could target pets, this will still cause a paradigm shift in terms of what we’ll be capable of tanking.
Pet Resilience: All player pets now get 100% of their master’s resilience.
Less required resilience stacking to be uncrittable never hurt anyone. Stamina junkies like myself won’t see any change since we’ll be well over the cap from Gladiator gear already, our PvE wearing Threat-lovers will get some extra flexibility in their gearing.
Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.
As long as you had dual specs, the cooldown on this ability was effectively 20 seconds anyway, but if you don’t feel like throwing down a thousand gold pieces you’ll now be able to throw out your pocket tank pretty much whenever you feel the desire.
Taunt Diminishing Returns: We’ve revised the system for diminishing returns on Taunt so that creatures do not become immune to Taunt until after 5 Taunts have landed. The duration of the Taunt effect will be reduced by 35% instead of 50% for each taunt landed. In addition, most creatures in the world will not be affected by Taunt diminishing returns at all. Creatures will only have Taunt diminishing returns if they have been specifically flagged for that behavior based on the design of a given encounter.
This change suprised me when I was going over the patch notes for this article, as this announcement has gone under our radar. Now while the diminishing returns part won’t effect us much, its still a nice little bonus on those mobs that we can Taunt.
If we’re lucky though, and I mean very lucky, them maybe while they played around with taunt mechanics they fixed out taunt either intentionally or just as accidentally as they broke it when instituting this change in the first place.