A new item of interest to Hunters was included in MMO Champion’s data mining report yesterday. Hunters will once again have access to epic ammo. It seems that there will be 2 plans for craftable ammo that will be available to engineers once they reach honored reputation with The Ashen Verdict. The plans are for: Iceblade Arrow and Shatter Round. The Ashen Verdict is the alliance between the Argent Crusade and Knights of the Ebon Blade. I’d imagine slaying beasties, demons and the like in Icecrown Citadel will get you on their good side.
There are a couple of interesting notes about this new ammo. For one, since they’re craftable, the new epic ammo will available to all Hunters once they reach 80. This is very different from epic ammo that had been introduced in the past, as previously it required a rep grind to obtain. Now all’s you have to do is have an engineer buddy make you some if you’re not already an engineer yourself. I’d imagine honored reputation should be pretty easy to obtain, so we should start seeing this stuff in the AH not long after 3.3 goes live.
The one thing that’s rather unusual, is these items require either Gnomish or Goblin specializations. These two paths have been irrelevant for the most part since TBC, but it seems that Blizz may be moving back towards specialized professions heading into Cataclysm. To craft the arrows you have to be a Gnomish Engineer, and to craft the bullets you must be a Goblin Engineer.
Lastly, the mats are ridiculously inexpensive, for now at least. The arrows only require two Crystallized Shadow, and the bullets only two Crystallized Earth. On my server, these go for maybe 2-3 gold apiece. I’m sure opportunists are hording these things as we speak, preparing to escalate the price once 3.3 goes live. I dunno though… the drop rate on that stuff is ridiculously high, especially if you’re a miner. 15 minutes of killing Shadow Revenants in Wintergrasp would keep me in arrows for an entire week.
This new ammo provides a tooltip DPS increase of 24 over the current blue ammo – Saronite Razorheads and Mammoth Cutters. I’m not a mathematicalist, but I’m guessing this should translate to maybe around a 1%-1.5% gain in DPS with raid buffs, as this is the approximate gain one receives from the current blue ammo over the previous TBC Adamantite stuff. I’d expect to see Marksmanship Hunters to see the greatest gains from the new ammo, as they’ll benefit the most from the raw physical damage increase.
So that’s the latest… Looks like non-consumable ammo won’t be coming to a server near you for some time. Most likely it will occur along with the Hunter class overhaul planned for Cataclysm.
Here’s a look at the rest of the reputation rewards that The Ashen Verdict has to offer. The Ashen Verdict look’s to be WotLK’s version of The Violet Eye. In addition to all of the crafting recipes, they also offer rings that will most likely upgrade as you gain rep with them, much like the ones we received for running Karazhan (and like the one I still have in my bank).
Since all of this is off of the Patch 3.3 PTR, none of it is finalized. Let’s just hope that the material requirements remain the same.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty excited at the thought of venturing into Arthas’ hood. Come on 3.3…