Locked and Loaded: First look at Hunter legendaries in Legion
Legendary items in Legion seem like they will have more in common with Diablo loot than WoW loot. They can be extremely powerful, essentially giving the equivalent of a tier set bonus on a single item, yet their acquisition is going to be completely random. One could drop from a random bear in Highmountain, or practically anywhere else. With about a dozen legendary items per class, there’s really not much in common with the WoW legendaries of the past. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that a former Diablo item designer is now on the team working on these items.
At the start of Legion, you’ll only be able to equip one of these at a time, and as the expansion progresses you’ll be able to equip more. Legendaries in Legion have slightly more stats and ilvl than a normal item, but their real power comes from the equip bonuses. Most of these items will probably be re-balanced or changed entirely, so don’t be surprised if you see a few that look a little too good to be true.
In short, these boots let you double up on all of your traps. Now you can drop two Explosive Traps back-to-back for double the damage, though things will be a little more complex with crowd control traps since you can only have one Freezing Trap or Steel Trap active at a time. You’ll need to trigger the first one before you cast the next (within that 3 second window). It’s also unclear if you’ll actually be able to trap two enemies at the same time. Tar Trap has no such restriction, so you will be able to slow down enemies over a larger piece of ground with two simultaneous traps.
This is a ring that gives you 30 Focus every time one of your traps is triggered. Yes, this turns your traps into Focus generators. This is exactly the type of loot I expected to see with a former Diablo developer working on the team. This will be quite valuable as Survival is a spec where you’re often waiting for your Focus to generate, and this gives some control over it. It gets even crazier once you combine it with Nesingwary’s Trapping Treads.
Helbrine, Rope of the Mist Marauder
When you Harpoon a target, this belt will give a short damage buff on that target based on how far away you were. So if you used Harpoon at 40 yards, you would get the full 30% buff. The important thing to note here is that it only seems to work the first time you harpoon a target, meaning its utility on something like a raid boss will be greatly diminished. It could still have some value on fights where there is a lot of target switching, and of course out in the world where targets are short lived.
During Bestial Wrath, all of your Focus spenders cost 20% less Focus. Great! The problem is we have this today, in Warlords of Draenor, and now they’ve just removed it in Legion only to re-add it to an item. It just doesn’t sit right. Since Beast Mastery often finds itself Focus starved in Legion, anything that reduces Focus costs will be welcomed. I don’t think 20% is enough to make much of a difference, but numbers can change.
Every time you cast Dire Beast (and presumably Dire Frenzy), Kill Command’s cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds. More Kill Commands is never a bad thing, but it seems a bit underwhelming to me. It does help make up for Kill Command’s increased cooldown (7.5 seconds, reduced by haste) and should allow you to fit two of them into every Bestial Wrath. Wild Call adds enough randomness that I don’t think this will fundamentally change the rotation, it will simply result in a few more Kill Commands and perhaps some adjustments in priority.
Each enemy you hit with Multi-Shot increases the damage of your next Aimed Shot by 10%, stacking up to 20 times. This belt is going to be amazing for multi-target situations. Remember, Multi-Shot is a Focus generator for Marksmanship (2 Focus per target hit) so you will be spamming it when there are multiple targets anyway. A few Multi-Shots onto a pack of adds will seriously boost the damage of your Aimed Shot, which is already being buffed by Marked Shot and artifact traits. Best of all, now you have an excuse to spam that AOE even when you shouldn’t be!
This item still has a placeholder name, but it allows you to use Marked Shot on your current target even if it’s not afflicted with Hunter’s Mark. Currently, there needs to be at least one target with Hunter’s Mark in order for Marked Shot to be available for use. This means in order to take advantage of this, you’d have to be switching to a new target while a previous target is still alive with Hunter’s Mark. With Multi-Shot, if one target gets marked they all seem to get marked, so it seems to me the usage would be for situational target switching. However, if the ring allowed you to use Marked Shot on your target regardless of whether or not you have any other targets marked, then it would be much more interesting. We’ll have to wait and see.
Another placeholder, these boots reduce the cooldown of Trueshot by 1 second every time you cast a damaging shot. This should let you use Trueshot about twice as often, which means faster Aimed Shots and more Focus regen. It’s not the most exciting bonus in the world, but who’s going to complain about being able to use their big cooldown more often?
The Shadow Hunter’s Voodoo Mask
It turns out Vol’jin’s mask makes Hunters better at playing dead. When you Feign Death, you heal for 20% of your health per second while Feign Death is active. Yeah… so this isn’t going live like that. It would be hilarious, but something tells me healers would be upset with Hunters topping the healing meters. I could definitely see the first part sticking around (a single heal on use), and that would be quite useful in itself with a mere 30 second cooldown on Feign Death.
When you stand still, you heal 5% every 5 seconds. In its current state it kind of feels like a runner up prize to me. For comparison, this gives you the same amount of overall healing as Spirit Bond does today (which is going away in Legion) except you have to stand still to receive it. Maybe it would be more interesting if you also got a damage buff on top of the healing.
Keeping with the theme of taking away abilities or talents and re-branding them as rewards elsewhere, this ring essentially gives you the old Adaptation talent which is being removed in Legion. I’m happy to see it, as I really do enjoy having a “super pet” of sorts with Adaptation. This ring gives you all of those fun passives and a 10% damage boost to your pet. I can only hope the RNG gods are in my favor when I’m hunting for legendaries on my Beast Mastery Hunter.
These bracers reduce the cooldown of all your aspects by a whopping 50%. This includes:
- Aspect of the Cheetah
- Aspect of the Turtle (aka Deterrence)
- Aspect of the Chameleon
- Aspect of the Eagle (Survival only)
- Aspect of the Wild (Beast Mastery only)
Extra defense, offense, and utility. It’s a little less exciting for Marksmanship Hunters, but with the long cooldowns on all of these Aspects it will still be valuable.
In addition to all of these Hunter legendaries, there are two more that appear to be available to all classes:
- Sephuz’s Secret: Successfully applying an Incapacitate, Disorient, Fear, Root, Sleep, or Stun to an enemy grants you 70% increased movement speed for 10 sec.
- Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus: After not taking damage for 5 seconds, gain an absorb shield for 30% of your maximum health for 30 sec.
One could look at the Archimonde class trinkets as an early experiment for these new items, but I would say Diablo is the main influence here. My main concern is the acquisition of these items and just how random they will be. Some of these items are powerful enough to become “mandatory” for raiders, and I worry that people will grind themselves into oblivion trying to acquire the one they want. I personally don’t have a problem with grinding if I’m slowly progressing towards a goal, but with complete randomness it can be frustrating. I’ll reserve judgement until we know the full details of the system.
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