Patch 4.2 is following fairly quickly on the heels of 4.1 and is currently working its way through the PTR. What preparations should hunters make for it?
Breath a Sigh of Relief or Boredom
. . . because there really is not a whole lot we have to do to get ready for 4.2. There are no huge talent or ability overhauls. There are no sweeping nerfs or balance-shifting buffs. Hunters will for most intents and purposes be the exact same class in 4.2 that they were in 4.1. This unusual calm in the now-typical patch-to-patch tumult for hunters will be a welcome relief to some. Yet, to theorycrafters who enjoy having new numbers to play with, this will be one of the more boring major content patches in recent memory.
An exception to this general lack of new numbers will be scaling. Our itemization budgets will go up from the new gear. This includes weapon damage, which may skew MM ahead of other specs even further. Another possible exception to is mid and late expansion bosses allegedly requiring higher levels of hit and crit to maintain 4.0 percentage values. However, I have yet to see any word or evidence of this.
Don’t Stockpile Valor Points
. . . unless you want a bunch of Justice Points. 4.2 is our first mass currency conversion of the expansion. All Valor Points currently in possession are becoming Justice Points and so, contrary to common belief, stockpiling Valor now will not get you a head start on Valor purchases in 4.2. The extra Valor won’t even convert past the normal 4,000 JP cap on the PTR, meaning that people whose Valor and Justice Points sum to a total over 4,000 will likely simply lose the excess points.
If previous patches are any guide, items obtainable via Valor in 4.1 will be purchasable via Justice Points come 4.2. This will make 4.2 a great time for gearing into ilvl 359 but everyone will be at square one when it comes to ilvl 378 purchases.
Note that Conquest and Honor Points will be making a similar conversion, likely when the next new arena season starts after 4.2 launches.
Stockpile Crafting Materials
. . . if you intend to have the new 4.2 agi BoEs made. Because the new crafting recipes (including the recipes for the ilvl 365 gun and the ilvl 365 agi two-hander) will require expensive materials and these materials will only go up in price once 4.2 hits, it makes sense to buy up any Truegold, Pristine Hides, Hardened Elementium Bars, volatiles, etc., that you will require now. The demand for materials will force existing crafted items up in price as well, so you might, for example, be able to save some gold by buying your new leg armor before the patch hits.
The role of Chaos Orbs (the gun and polearm both require five) remains uncertain. Blizzard has merely said that they plan to make the orbs BoE in “a future patch” and not 4.2 specifically, so there’s no guarantee that any you save now will be able to be put toward the gun (unless the hunter is the engineer, of course).
If You’re a Dwarf, Get Ready to Farm Conquest Points Again
. . . because to all current appearances pve agi guns have been relegated to ‘pre-raid’ status. Mind you, we may end up finding a pve gun in the Firelands afterall, but it appears as if the only way to get a top ilvl gun will be through arenas or rated BGs. Well, that or sacrifice Valor Points for Conquest Points (an inferior option to just running a few arenas in my opinion). And, just to be clear, the new ilvl 365 engineering gun is not top ilvl. It sits between the ilvls of 4.1 raid content (359) and 4.2 raid content (378). You can see a list of the ranged weapons on the PTR here.
Scratch all that. There is a now a raid-quality pve gun on the PTR.
Tenacity Pet Intervenes as a Viable Raid Tactic
In 4.2 Tenacity pets will only take up to 50% of the their health as damage resulting from the use of Intervene. Why does this matter? It means that tenacity pets can successfully and repeatedly be used to soak spike tank damage, such as Chimaeron’s Double Attacks. Previously our pets would just die, but with the 50% cap, Intervenes can possibly save lives in encounters where spike melee damage on tanks is a greater concern than hunter dps.