Because, of course it did.
Shaman is improved
What I read from the Shaman Discord is many of the mechanical issues with Shaman were addressed. Stormstrike got a big damage buff, as did Crash Lightning. AoE should be better and Stormstrike should feel more rewarding. Elemental Spirits got changed so all three outcomes are similar. Shamans are no longer a bit of a mess and I've opened the door a crack for the Shaman to make a last minute push to take over as my BfA main mostly because...
Mongoose is back
Mongoose Bite got buffed and looks to be competitive. This will delight many current Survival Hunters, but it brings back the Mongoose Fury damage window. I hated the Judgement/Colossus Smash damage window on Ret and Arms. Mongoose Fury is a little different than those so I decided to try it out on Beta/PTR. I don't play Survival today, so its not a mechanic I understand well. At first, it was frustrating, but after a while I started to get it. Still, its not as much fun as the Tip of the Spear build I had been playing. With that build, you want to hit Raptor Strike after a Kill Command. Mongoose Bite puts pressure on you to decide if you want to start a Mongoose chain or not. Once you start the chain, you're on a timer to get Mongoose buffed to five and then get as many Bites as you can before it falls and you have to start all over. From a design perspective, those decision are probably better, but I have concerns about my own ability (or lack thereof) to pull it off. Survival Hunter is a Pure DPS class. If I can't pull off the numbers, I'm not much use to the group.
It's not as much of a problem out in the world where nothing lives all that long. I fought a mob with a knock back and once again fell in love with Aspect of the Eagle. I keep seeing places in Legion Mythics where it'd be super helpful. Add on Curator in a puddle? No problem, pop Eagle and finish him off. Flame Wreath getting ready to go off and worried about overlapping with the other melee? No problem. Disengage out and pop Eagle. I hope Mongoose doesn't become the go to talent on that row, though its certainly looking that way.
I got the part of the Balance of Power chain where you need to run several Mythic dungeons. You have to do the regular, no keystone, Mythics. It's boggling to me you can't complete these quests in Mythic plus. There were only two groups in group finder, both with two DPS a piece and not a single healer or tank. If its this hard to get groups for Balance of Power while Legion is still current, it's going to be harder when everyone is busy with the new expansion, although, I guess like many other transmogs, soloing it at level 120 would be doable. It's always been so easy for me to get groups as a tank. I do think I'd like the option to get easy groups as a healer.
The changes have me rethinking my decision. I do love playing both so my passion isn't a problem like it was with the Monk. I still can't tell you why Windwalker didn't click with me.
Raid and Mythic+ viability for either Enhancement or Survival are still unknowns at this point. Numbers and final tuning will determine how each class performs and ranks against each other. Windwalker still looks the strongest of the three, but I can't choose something I don't find fun. I wish I had gotten more enjoyment out of playing the class.
The needs of the many
Our team had our big BfA prep meeting to see what we need to recruit. As I suspected, we've got two other players in our ten to twelve man team planning on playing Beast Mastery Hunter. Someone else was hoping to play Hunter, but has already said he'll pick something else since we're at three Hunter including myself. We're pretty casual (definition: we'd like to clear Heroic raids in BfA), and we don't want to tell anyone what to play. At the same time, there are concerns about how viable our makeup will be, especially with BfA going back to 'bring the class, not the player'. My people-pleaser gene kicked in, and I wondered if I need to switch to something else, too.
Our team is scattered on many different servers and we organize everything through Discord. Some think we would do better recruiting if we were a traditional guild, all on the same server. Blizzard just announced a sale on Character Transfers this weekend. If we're going to move, now would be the time to do it.
It also means my timetable for making a final decision got pushed way up. As much as I'd prefer wait and see what everyone else does and how the final tuning numbers shape up, I need to figure out what toon to pay to move. This patch has made me a little less excited about the Hunter, a little more excited about the Shaman. But is it enough to make a decision? As a range off-spec, I still prefer BM to Elemental, Its a guess if I'll like Resto healing if we need it.
Check back on Monday and I'll let you know what I did.