Blizzard will never admit that Survival rework is a failure

I was, but I’ll admit, I did not find MM much deeper.

WoD MM was doubtless the smoothest MM experience I’ve seen, apart from Sniper Training being inflexible, and one of the best bases upon which to build for depth and breadth (imo, best through interesting, deliberately gameplay-affecting talents), but Legion MM easily provided more actual depth.

  • By depth I refer to the number of conflicting possibilities; of meaningful circumstances by which the best choice in this GCD, or across n number of GCDs as may change about depending on your team’s damage profiles, enemy TTD (time til death), etc.; of intersections by which that best decision is interlinked with others and therefore requires more simultaneous calculations; and so forth, but also the amount of cognitive load perceived by a typical veteran of either spec when playing it (i.e., weighing these above matters experientially).

This is partly why with my particular thread for a 4th spec suggestion I mention wanting to modernize it more, both from a gameplay perspective and thematically tie in what a lot of players here really liked about it. I don’t think it was perfect, but I definitely don’t think the baby should have been thrown out either so to speak.

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Short answer: I think that’s fine.

Having limited range (by being melee), just as in having limited mobility (as per cast-times / being a caster), is an inherent weakness, but the compensation given for such can be not only sufficient but often more interesting than having merely been left with no such weaknesses and thereby no compensation.

Admittedly, I did not say it directly. My exact words were that specs (due to how talents work now) can afford (have the systems in place to provide and, more at least than before, to leverage) more depth.

They do, but there’s an important interaction between baseline abilities and the fact that

Options (on paper), after all, do not accumulate evenly or linearly (in practice). I’d argue the principle we want to look at instead is thematic depth of play, i.e., in terms of possible decision-making or the number of considerations necessary to optimize play, and how well those decisions seem to align with or generate what’s most enjoyable about a given spec (or build thereof).

In some cases added buttons add almost nothing to that, while certain features may even detract from that.

Let’s consider some extreme examples. They are not “fair”, exactly, but they should be illuminating:

  • Arcane and Multi-Shot apply Serpent Sting, but you still have Serpent Sting as a button.
    • No matter; you just take your Serpent Sting off your bar. It’s now two things, neither of which are gameplay: it’s (1) a thematic statement and (2) a procedural note, in that the player should eventually take a tool off their bar, dismantling a simpler tool now that they have a new one.

  • Multi-Shot is tuned as to deal 35% the damage, per target, of Arcane Shot, but both apply Serpent Sting and instantly deal an extra tick. Let us say that Serpent Sting deals a sixth of Arcane Shot’s damage per tick, and deals 9 ticks over its duration.
    • In this particular case, tabbing between two grouped targets to spend your Arcane Shots while maintaining Serpent Sting, is now a faint damage loss, because the damage of a second instant tick eclipses the damage bonus of Arcane Shot. The feature has cost you some element of gameplay. Now, simple tuning between MS and AS could resolve that, again, but then you’d reach a point at which Multi-Shot is never worth performing over Explosive Shot, a different but nominally equal reduction to depth of play. Alternatively, you could regain depth of play through the removal of that feature (which amounted to depth on paper, meeting a feature quota, but not in practice, where it actually squished decision-making).

  • Or, consider again the QoL change to Explosive Shot, an added unique feature, whereby ES was allowed to roll-over, ignoring the constraints of the standard pandemic margin.
    • In doing so, it removed any cases for spending free procs on Arcane Shot, or SV’s otherwise thematic trend towards cleave (in which situations you’d be able to risklessly and wastelessly spend free proc charges on successive ES casts by spreading those shots across separate targets and therefore separate durations).

Let us briefly talk theme.

Serpent Sting on MM objectively increases depth, but oftentimes not a depth one would want increased, especially in MM’s present mode.

The present MM’s thematic core is incredibly front-loaded, and while that characteristic might be thematic for a sniper, it therefore pushes out or back any other front-loaded skills, such as non-bundled DoTs (e.g., Serpent Sting).

This leaves Serpent Sting at, at best, an impasse. Either it gets in the way of the thematic core, or it’s delayed by the thematic core, such that it feels tertiary and, for many, a mere added obstacle in the process ramp-up (typically stuck between having gotten all the CDs going and being able to actually take advantage of Precise Shots).

This impasse would only be worsened by making it baseline, as it’d lack the deliberate power push in a chosen direction (cleave, burst, execute, etc.) afforded by mutually exclusive choices.

That’s not to say there’s a flaw with Serpent Sting, or some inherent mismatch between Serpent Sting and any front-loaded spec, though it’s obviously given less room to leverage than in a spec with a notable back-loaded element, such as WotLK’s Chimaera Shot.

Placing it as a talent (1) situates it as a meaningful choice (e.g., a cleave bonus), adjusting likely player perception in regards to its other merits or demerits, (2) gives it the potential power to leverage that chosen position, and (3) allows players who are less okay with that variably-perceived conflict with the thematic the option to opt out of it.

:: That’s not to say I think Serpent Sting is sufficiently strong at the moment, nor that it’d be a poor idea as a baseline attachment to Aimed Shot, rather than a separate action, if it were to be made baseline. I actually think Serpentstalker’s Trickery is an incredibly smart legendary… if not for the fact that it renders useless a talent that would have already appealed to those to whom that lego would probably most appeal. That said, numerous reasonable fixes for that particular issue were already mentioned in the beta, so…

…I’d best end my rant there before I overly tire us both and conclude simply:

I do believe that many current specs, as their talents and legos and whatnot intersect to generate competitive playstyle options, have less depth and/or breadth than they should, but

  1. I do not believe adding more baseline skills is likely to be a good solution to that (or, at least, that more is necessarily better—a minimum amount necessary to build enjoyable synergies and flow from more often seems the better goal in building a good base)
  2. and must caution that lists of actions and features are a poor representation of actual depth, let alone thematic depth.
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Aimed Shot in WoD:

  • 2.5 sec cast
  • Dealt 500% weapon damage as Physical damage, on hit.
  • No cooldown

Explosive Shot in WoD:

  • Instant cast
  • Dealt (51.5% of attack power) Fire damage initially and every second for 3 sec.
  • 6 sec cooldown

See the differences? (Additional passive effects and interactions and how they impacted the gameplay of RSV, have already been mentioned before)

MM didn’t have Arcane Shot in WoD.

You also had the Mastery bonus for MM to manage. Something that wasn’t a thing for RSV.

“When you stand still for 3 seconds, you gain a buff which increases your damage, crit damage, and shot range. When you begin moving again, the buff continues to last for 6 seconds (and it will fall off unless you stop moving again to reapply it).”

As for the rest, we’ve already been over this several times before, why your arguments don’t hold up. You just don’t seem to take it in.

I read it.

It’s not the same ability. Nor does it actually amount the the same type of gameplay loop as it did for RSV.

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None of this has anything to do with what you could get from talents back then. For obvious reasons(seeing as the intended design was for them to be mostly the same for all 3 specs).

The only comparison worth making is between the core specs themselves.

This is kind of the whole point isn’t it?

People are so focused on what they were back then. And many are happy to judge their individual elements based on modern design philosophies. Philosophies that are irrelevant to the time before Legion.

The whole point is that it doesn’t matter whether RSV, as it was back then, would not hold up today. The whole point is that RSV if taken into the more modern era and with more distinguishing elements and functionality being added, it would be perfectly fine. Even with modern standards.

You tell me @Vitwolfen, if you compare modern MM to what can be seen in the linked post below, can you honestly say that they would be too similar to not warrant being separate spec options for the class?

First off, let me be clear that by those content with a mere revert, I am not including you, Ghorak. I really appreciate all you and Lazyguide have done in not just trying to bring back RSV, but reinvigorate it. Don’t take my being super hard to please as any point against that.

I think your proposed Munitions is undoubtedly suitably distinct from present MM to warrant an additional, separate spec. It would not, imo, be as distinct as BM and current SV, and I think it could be… more (more thematic, more distinct, more novel, etc.), but nonetheless, different enough.

That said, I also (minority opinion here) can imagine an MM talent tree that could actually offer these choices in a cohesive set, rather than the disparate name-grabs we have now, alongside giving greater options between, say, the more front-loaded or back-loaded concepts for MM, or the inclusion or exclusion of controversial skills like Rapid Fire.

I’ll note preemptively that I find the argument that any true RSV would necessarily muddy MM no more true than would be the case from AMoC, Serpent Sting, and Rapid Fire already, or running Mongoose Bite out of NSW-pure ST situations, Hydra, Butchery, Serpent’s, Terms, Chakrams, OWtP, etc., in SV or Dire, Killer Cobra/Instincts, Spitting, etc. in BM.

Many of those skills are no less intrusive, or no less short something otherwise “thematic” to the meta builds of those specs, than, across 3-5 talents, would be a difference between Munitions and Marksmanship.

If we’re entirely fine with taking a 5% loss to play the spec we like, it makes no sense to find a 2% loss in playing the build we like, within that spec, unmanageable.

Given that, I can’t say there is an absolute need for a 4th spec, only that I’d much rather have Munitions be a 4th spec than lose the more distinct Survival, melee though it be, unwanted though it was.

(My ideal preference, as I think I already mentioned on one or another of your threads, is a hybrid between the two, but that is wholly subjectively driven, and would also require a much more open-choice and intensive BM, atop more diverse options in MM. It is, therefore, a useless pipedream.)

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You are dense as hell. I’m telling you that marks NOW get it? NOW… Is similar to RSV in WoD.

You’re obviously not reading it because you think I’m comparing MM back then to RSV back then.

Marks NOW has arcane shot and NOW you use it as a filler focus dump like you did to RSV back THEN.

I hope maybe capitalizing the key words will help you understand a bit clearer.

Modern MM feels significantly more distinct to me from WoD RSV than WoD MM did…

Arcane Shot on RSV was essentially a Serpent Sting with a far higher direct damage component, though?

I’ll admit, though, in ST I suppose they function pretty similarly.

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Even during the period it enjoyed substantial popularity, early WoD (before it was kneecapped at the end of BRF), it was behind the “meta” spec. However it still saw substantial play, just as BM is currently seeing substantial play despite MM being the “meta”.

Here’s the breakdown for Highmaul and BRF (source):

BM: 59.95%
MM: 20.44%
SV: 19.61%

BM: 64.96%
MM: 13.91%
SV: 21.12%

So even in a raid tier where BM was considered ahead in DPS, more than a third of hunters chose to play an “off-meta” spec selection, and SV was the more popular of the two across the two raids.

Of course, once they kneecapped the spec with their infamous “we’d rather you didn’t play [survival]” speech, it plunged to less than 1% representation amongst hunters. And unsurprisingly to everyone but MSV zealots, it’s remained at <10% representation amongst hunters (and <2% representation amongst all players) for every single period except the BfA pre-patch, when they revamped the spec heavily again.

And yet, despite that revamp, despite the ~16% representation amongst hunters during that pre-patch, despite MSV being objectively the strongest hunter spec in 8.0, more than a third of the people playing it during the prepatch fled to the other specs by Uldir, and more than half of those remaining ditched it by BoD.

If that’s how coarse-grained you have to go to make specs “similar”, Trent is absolutely correct in calling you a “extremely dense or a blatant troll”. Like 75% of the DPS specs in the game, melee included, can be described as “spams hard-hitting abilities, fish for procs”. Your inability to comprehend the nuances that makes classes and specs feel different to play doesn’t actually mean they’re all just carbon-copies of each other.

Edit: and more to the point, if they are just carbon-copies of each other, why do you care so much about retaining MSV? I mean, it’s basically identical to quite a number of other melee specs, by your exact logic. No reason it should remain in the game, you can get that gameplay from one of the myriad of other melee specs, right?

Edit 2: In fact, Havoc:

Raptor Strike = Chaos Strike (spammed as primary spender)
Kill Command = Demon’s Bite (used regularly to generate resources)
Wildfire Bomb = Blade Dance (short-CD AoE)
Serpent Sting = Immolation Aura (damage-over-time ability used at an intermediate interval)
Harpoon = Fel Rush (movement ability)
Disengage = Vengeful Retreat (movement ability)

Clearly we should just delete MSV entirely, it’s basically the same spec as Havoc.

Actually, to be fair here, the one point Brigade actually has some validity behind is that Flayed Shot does act pretty similar to Black Arrow + LnL. Kill Shot versus Explosive Shot doesn’t have much meaningful difference in terms of gameplay. LnL procs let you triple-cast ES, which is a reasonably solid difference, but otherwise it’s a fairly similar mechanism, you apply a DoT, you get procs of an instacast nuke.

However, the fact that it’s not just a covenant ability, but an insultingly undertuned one, does not help there. Borrowed power should not and cannot be rationally used to fill out the “fantasy” of a class or spec. Blizzard has made it expressly clear that borrowed power is intended to remain confined to each expansion, and the pieces that carry over are the exception, not the rule. Especially in the case of Flayed Shot, it’s unlikely to carry over because none of the 3 specs really have the rotational room to need it.

Really, though, I think the central hilarity here is that Brigade still doesn’t see having to spend ~20% of your time (and ~75% of it in Trueshot) hardcasting a 2.5s cast as being a notable difference compared to WoD/MoP RSV, despite it having a drastic difference on the rotational feel. Heck, MM hunters were complaining en masse during the beta about the cast time on Aimed Shot, because it felt long even for MM (it was 2.0s in Legion, and at the time in the beta, it was 3.0s base).

Time for apple-based spaghetti sauce! And salsa! :rofl:

The fact that Brigade actually expects us to take things like this serious is actually hilarious:


You would be correct.

The trick is realising that Brigadester is incapable of understanding the broader, complete picture of a spec and instead focuses on nitpicking similarities between two different abilities at a time. It doesn’t matter that RSV felt different to people who played it; Explosive Shot and Aimed Shot both do damage and have a cooldown and therefore must be the same thing! Soon enough he’ll be telling us about how SV and MM were the same because they both used abilities from an action bar to do damage.

I’m going to help you out a little since you’ve been embarrassing yourself for over half a thread with this nonsense about Aimed Shot and Explosive Shot. Explosive Shot was actually more interchangeable to Kill Command of BM. They were both instant, 6 second CD attacks that served as the signature spell of those specs. They were still different because those specs had other distinct interactions surrounding those abilities (something you’re consistently neglecting to address with your Aimed Shot comparison because it ruins your argument), but in reality BM both now and in WoD were closer to RSV in gameplay than MM was/is. People just focus on the comparison between MM and RSV because of the thematic angle; BM has the more easily distinguishable thematic distinction of the pet focus while MM and RSV both focused on the ranged weapon; albeit with different approaches.


They got this in BC. It was kind of strange because you originally had to target the player and it worked off them (later on they made it automatically cast on the target of target) but AFAIK it did function like a taunt did in that it forced them to attack you for a few seconds and set your threat to the same as that of the original target.


I stand corrected. I just remember our extremely defensive-of-his-tanking-ability prot paladin during Hyjal BoPing the other tank if said tank taunted off him.

Don’t know whether to try to erase this disgusting concept from my mind or try to renegotiate the meaning of spaghettis such that, as long as it has a similar cook time, it’s actually the same as funnel cake, given similar portions of wheat and barley flour… (Idek.)

Let’s not necessarily assume a slippery slope here. In terms of decision-making, I have to agree that think modern Aimed Shot and RSV Explosive Shot each fill a niche in their respective specs that is slightly more similar than not.

You mentioned the heart of it already: they’re rotational CDs. But besides that, both are thematic cores, cannot self-reset, dealt similar damage relative to surrounding GCDs, were single-target, and had available unreliable chance procs to grant a bonus free charge (though two in ES’s case). In guides, they were covered pretty similarly to one another, to the point of cumulative/Hunter-wide guides drawing direct comparisons.

Until considering surrounding utilizations (where modern AiS covers most of the same as RSV’s ES, and then 4-6 capacities/interactions more), their primary difference is in the flexibility afforded by a second charge and the afforded lower priority of Aimed Shot relative to Rapid Fire (assuming no Focus overcap), Kill Shot, or even the likes of Serpent Sting (assuming one wouldn’t overcharge AiS).

Ultimately, though, it’s the surrounding utilizations—of Aimed Shot, especially—that set them apart for me: Trick Shot, Careful Aim, Double Tap, Serpentstalker’s, Unblinking Vigil, Surging Shots. And the latter half of those, being borrowed powers, stretch any “fair” comparison, already.

Of course, does that make any of this relevant, when one spec is already dead and therefore has yet to see any modern iteration that might afford similarly numerous but distinct surrounding utilizations? Nope.

That’s true though isn’t it? Other than the aesthetics most specs in the game are mechanically similar to other specs. There’s not that many new things they can add to the game and it shows they haven’t even tried. If we looked at our brand new covenant ability flayed shot isn’t it a reskinned black arrow? Resonating arrow is an aoe that makes us hit things inside harder that’s not new. Granted we get to ignore LoS that adds a lot to pvp which is cool. Wild spirits is just a resonating arrow clone that hits more harder on a longer cd that doesn’t affect los.

Yeah, you’re not wrong however I never argued that MSV was mechanically unique. If they rework msv that would be sweet. I’m telling you guys that RSV was never mechanically unique and you can still get that playstyle.

Hehe Love that you guys are having a hard time reading my posts. You are proving my point even further. I’m telling you that mechanically Aimed shot (Current MM) is similar to Explosive shot ( WoD RSV) and you guys are screaming “NOO EXPLOSIVE SHOT GO BOOM AND AIMED SHOT GO PEW.”

At least I’m talking about relevance now instead of going on every thread that has the word survival and linking a page from the manual 8 expansions ago.

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Spaghetti is a sandwich. =P


Good job buddy

Speaking of people having trouble reading…

Aimed Shot has a cast time, and a long one at that. Explosive Shot does not, and in fact was regularly cast back-to-back (something we only do with Aimed Shot during the incredibly degenerate Trueshot rotation) via LnL procs.

This reductionist strawmaning does exactly 0 to help your already hilariously flimsy argument, my man.

Nope. Delete it. It’s the same as Havoc, we don’t need two specs that are the same. I mean, that’s your argument. There’s no distinction between the specs, so we don’t need both, right?

MSV isn’t mechanically unique and you can still get that same playstyle from nearly every other melee, by your logic, so why are you fighting so hard to keep it? Just go play one of the many other MSV clones.


This is a food crime. I’m going to have to bring up the sandwich alignment chart in my group discord now. Again.


It still fills the same function of I’m gonna hit this when its off cd cause it goes brrrrrr

Never said they should have deleted RSV that’s not my argument. I just said you can find similar play styles to RSV elsewhere to everyone saying it was a unique play style. I don’t support deleting classes or specs that’s hater talk. If people prefer the the aesthetic of a shadow priest over an afflic lock thats their choice. If you prefer boomy over elemental awesome! Havoc over survival play it my dude!

If you are only looking for a spec that tanks you have 6 options. A healer, you got 5. You want a dot spec you have a few and if you want a bursty range you have a couple as well. If you want a melee with a lot of mobility theres a couple. This game is mostly aesthetics and a lot of specs are similar to others. If you guys only care about the playstyle and not weather or not your bread and butter ability is called explosive shot you wouldn’t be complaining.