5.4 PTR - Siege of Orgrimmar

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I've been off and on the PTR the past few weeks. I've been taking a look at the raid testing, the new tier bonuses, and trying to get a feel for where Marksmanship and Beast Mastery are.

For this post I'm going to look primarily at the first two Siege of Orgrimmar raid testing with some comments in regards to the specs. Expect later remarks on the "button homogenization" people have been worried about. 
For the purpose of herein, "BR" refers to fights that happened "before readiness changes" and "AR" refers to fights that happened "after readiness changes." 


Immerseus is very straight forward for hunters. It's also very long. The description says he goes to full health every phase change until his corruption reaches zero, but on the PTR he was returning with the percentile he had as corruption. For example, if you managed to drop his corruption to 85 on the first phase then he returned at 85% HP. This means that as the fight progresses you see less of Immerseus and more of the intermission phase.

It ALSO means that Marksmanships benefit from Careful Aim disappears very quickly and never returns. I simply wasn't able to keep up in any fashion as Marksmanship with the other two Beast Masters and gave up on it quickly. The only benefit is with intermission adds and having slightly more punch from your bow, but this is largely answered by the BMs Blink Strike. Part of this was Readiness still resetting cooldowns. 

You receive a damage buff from being in range of the "splash" of the intermission adds dying. This damage buff only affects other intermission adds ("Sha Puddle"). This adds an element of RNG: if you get a lot of adds near each other then you can just AoE them down, get the buff as they die, which causes everything else to be easier to kill. If they're all spread out or there's only a few on your side then you're more on your own. 

Other than that it's don't stand in bad things and don't walk into melee range during bad things. 
Here's a three minute clip of this fight as Marksmanship:

And here's a nine minute clip (and kill) of this fight as Beast Mastery:


The Dark Shaman will probably see some more tweaks than Immerseus will before launch, but the hunter fundamentals here are the same. Two cleave targets that share HP and periodically summon adds. They also begin with two wolves, but we just AoE'd them down as a pack of four. Beast Mastery's AoE was surprisingly strong here, especially with barrage: starting the pull with two barrages and faceslamming multishot was much more effective than my attempts as Marksman. Again, partially due to Readiness. 

As a hunter, stay away from bad things:  clouds, purple things, green things, red things, etc. So long as you stay a healthy distance away you're usually good to go. Every once in a while the shaman will put a small green arrow above someones head: that someone needs to move, or you need to move from them, because in a few seconds the Shaman will shoot a large green beam at them that does quite a bit of damage on impact. 

Survival will probably do fantastic here. Not only is there an AoE segment that will grant it superior ISS performance, but the shaman sharing health pools will let an SV hunter double DoT black arrow with the "agility readiness" trinket (if it's currently accurate and will, in fact, reduce the cooldown of BA). Otherwise, the "whack-a-mole" feature of BM gets its AoE feature here by letting you stack the 4PC up to its cap of 15 with well timed bestial wrath/multishot spam on the green oozes. Bestial Wrath -> Multishot to 15 -> KC under BW. Marksman requires a little bit of a ramp up time with AoE, primarily for reduced focus cost on bombardment, so it seems it fell behind here.

Here's a 2:45 minute video of this fight as Marksmanship:

And again a 2:52 minute video of this fight as Beast Mastery:


Nazgrim is a fight that I feel will be substantially different on 25 man versus 10 man. The way adds are dealt with will affect the raid a lot more. I might be wrong with that, but this seems to be the trend with fights that have adds like this. 

Nazgrim is chilling out in the middle of Ragefire Chasm with a collection of friends. The fight starts out with a cute pack of AoE then quickly drops into hitting Nazgrim as much as possible before he pops defensive stance / summons a set of adds. In 10 man there's two at a time, generally always one will be initially ignored (for us, anyway). 
Ironblades are tanky melee with bladestorm, offtanked and not a big deal to us. 
Arcweavers are casters that need to be interrupted: the best luck we had with this was counterspelling / silencing shot pulling him up to cleave with Nazgrim. They're pretty squishy and not a threat whatsoever without their spells. This is one situation where not having a ranged interrupt will really hurt 10M hunters. 
Assassins come out stealthed and can be revealed by flare - generally they're pretty easy to spot so long as you're facing the direction it's coming from, though. If you miss your flare, have a finger over scatter shot and you're golden. They will backstab for 500k if you let them see your back, so don't. They can be stunned, kited, disarmed, etc, but if you let them touch you for too long they'll start landing 200k melee crits. Rogues hit fast, y'know. 
Shaman will heal up adds AND Nazgrim pretty quickly if you let them, so they are your number one priority: especially if they drop any totems. Lock them down and take them out, more or less. Banners are also bad - Nazgrim drops them himself so they're usually melted by cleave. 

I'm not sure about this one in terms of spec. They'll probably all be fairly close, but Marksman is pretty nice utility wise right now so long as they keep the only silence/interrupt of the three specializations. On top of that, I liked the mass daze provided by Concussive Barrage. Probably only want to cast Multishot if you've got a clear hit of three targets, though. Scatter and intimidation makes sure we're able to provide a little control, which is available to all specs.

Here's a 2:17 minute clip of this fight as Marksmanship:

And a 2:19 minute clip of this fight as Beast Mastery:


Going to hand it to this one: definitely unique. There's a lot going on and a lot of things to learn. On the left side of the room there's a conveyor belt: this conveyor belt spews out three of four possible machines each "round." All of these are "deactivated" and can be attacked. You are able to kill ONE before they become immune to damage and/or leave the left conveyor belt to pop out on the right conveyor belt activated.

As a hunter, doing the conveyor belt was pretty nice. Melee would have a hard time keeping in melee range running against the conveyor belt and casters would only be able to use their instances, so we're in a good place to dish out damage to the left side machine choice. The BM hunter went first and had no problem taking his out under cooldowns/bloodlust - I, as MM, went second and had a little more trouble but not so much that it was impossible to kill before the rolled out. You'll definitely want some sort of burst guarantee: for BM, BW - for MM, I used Fervor while praying to the Gods for crits. 

Besides that, I'm not entirely sure!  You have a five second window after a "Death from Above" cast to lay some thick onto the Shredders, as they will take increased damage when they land and are stunned. You also only have about a minute to get rid of mines if you have them, but I was always on a conveyor belt when the group dealt with these. You can avoid the thrown saws by watching the cast bar. The missiles ground effect works exactly like Ragnaros' World in Flame, so stay on the edge and strafe backwards. I'm sure we'll see more of this guy another time. 

No clip as Beast Mastery I'm afraid, and Skada wasn't cooperating with the room layout to catch the other hunter, but here's a 2:02 minute clip as Marksman that primarily shows the left conveyor belt:


This has the potential to be pretty confusing. There are a lot of different abilities and different combinations, as well as orders, but the general consistency of dealing with them were pretty lax. As a hunter it was primarily just "don't stand in things on the ground" and shoot the target you're asked to shoot. If there's an amber up and targetable, blow it up or it heals the paragon. We blew up the manipulator before we had to deal with hungry critters. Probably could've taken out the bloodletter without dealing with bloods if we had saved the haste cooldown for him. 
Giant red laser beam. It should be self explanatory, but if the red laser touches other people it hurts them. Cross the beam over people and they hurt. You'll always be connected to two other people if you have it.
Each paragon grants an ability to someone on death/click, but as a hunter you probably won't see much of them. 

I was pretty impressed with Marksmanships performance here, but part of this was the massive unfriendliness this fight had with pets. Anything and everything killed them, and while this will probably be fixed, it made Beast Mastery an unfortunate victim of the swarm. And Wolf, but I don't care about Wolf as much when I'm Marksman. Heard it here first, folks. DoT with a travel time. One thing to note: there is zero benefit to cleave or AoE. When one paragon dies, the others are all returned to full HP. It's tempting, it's fun, and it's nothing but useless padding. Unless, of course, you're being lazy to target ambers. 

Here's a 6:05 minute clip of this fight as Marksmanship, playing against a Beast Master:


  1. Hey Jade, any chance that we will be seeing more opinions and previews of other fights from the PTR? I am trying to get prepped for it, but our guild does not seem interested in actually going on the PTR and trying it out.

    1. Totally!
      I lost some of my videos, but I have kills from Flex of Malkorok, Spoils of Pandaria and Thok. I also have some separated WoL from Flex of Galakras, Iron Juggernaut, the Dark Shaman and Nazgrim. Once I catch up on some work and make some room maps for 5.4 updating this was next on my list before the patch lands, including going over the gear drops. So, basically, some time this week. Was hoping to finish up my LeiShen and Raden stuff before I did, though, so we'll see whether the chicken or the egg comes first.