Community Council discussion on Hunter design

I think most of us here don’t read the Council forums because we can’t post there. It would be good if people here knew about what’s being discussed. I’ll post links to discussions here as I see them.


Discussion on DF talent design recently


Oh, thanks for starting up this thread!

With the annoucement of Dragonflight’s release by December 31, the community council is starting to talk more about talents and class design.

If any of you have specific points or concerns you’d like to bring up, please post in here. I’ll be happy to share it on the CC forum. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I probably should add. Currently, the two big things that we’re discussing on the CC forum and discord re: Hunter design is whether to add a talent in the SV tree to enable RSV (or MSV), and whether to make Exotic Beasts available for SV and MM hunters.


Hi Watermist, thank you for bringing that up! I had a look at the CC forums and I agree with your first post in the Exotic Beasts thread.

I’m not really a fan of the other specs getting exotic beasts - I think they’re as iconic to BM specifically as Avenger’s shield is for prot pallies. The fact that people want access to them on other specs indicates that they’re doing their job of being literally the only cool thing BM, as a spec with notoriously muted animations/spells has to offer.

I’m also not sure I agree with Maizou’s basic equation of ‘exotics suck now so all specs should have them’. I do agree that exotics are weaker than they should be - and trapped in undesirable specs - which is why you don’t see BM using them so much nowadays, but I don’t think the solution is to let survival hunters run around with devilsaurs, I think the solution is to buff them (and allow pet respeccing!) so beastmastery hunters like to use them again.

I really would love the ability to respec my pets back again - I love my cats but sometimes I’d like to bring out another pet and still be able to use lust, you know? I also think that ‘bm hunters can chop shop their pets’ thing sounds pretty clunky; I’ve never once been back to Storm Peaks to play with the Hati customization thing because it’s just too much of a trek to be worth it.

Maizou mentioned making heart of the phoenix a tenacity thing; I’d go a step further and ask why hunters don’t have a long-CD instant user-activated pet rez as a baseline thing available across all specs when warlocks have it and their summon demon also takes 3 seconds to cast? The warlock version is on a 3 min CD - is it a pvp balance decision not to grant hunters a similar option? If so, could that be solved by making hunters unable to instant rez in arena, or granting the hunter version a longer CD? (Genuinely asking the hunter pvp population on this forum, I haven’t touched a random battleground much less rated for 10 years).


I think it would be nice to address pet pathing or to know if it’s never going to be touched. I think I know the answer, but I hold out hope. Lol

Maybe a more realistic request is an instant pet dismiss since dungeons have become so focused on moving quickly. I’d be fine with it being disabled in PVP so people can’t take advantage of pet swapping there.

I’m grateful to know we have someone looking out for us.


One thing that I would suggest would be to have mobile Steady Shot back as a focus generator option for all specs. Either have it as a baseline ability or as an early point in the MM column.

The main reason is that Steady Shot allows you to not have downtime. Both focus generating abilities that BM got since Legion have caused it to have downtime and forced it to take specific talents to mitigate downtime as much as possible.

For the other abilities, I’d suggest putting them early enough so that they are easy to get (like Pillar of Frost) but not so low that you are forced into it (like the perma pet for Unholy).

1 Like

I would like to suggest a simple solution.

Add a low level talent that replaces Raptor Strike with old school, 6sec cooldown, Explosive Shot. A RSV alternative to MSV replacing Raptor Strike with Mongoose.

Just have both options in addition to a ‘keep raptor’ choice.

Simple and provides options for both Ranged and Melee survival players. It’s a Win/Win that this community has needed for a long time.


Maizou and I discussed that in the thread that Bepples linked. :slightly_smiling_face:

Maizou was thinking something along the lines of what you said here — MSV as the base spec, and with a talent to turn it into RSV.

I agreed that the talent tree revamp is a great opportunity to give us a Win/Win; what I disagreed on is the base spec. I argued that, for thematic and class identity reasons (since class identity is one of the selling points of Dragonflight, as per dev interviews), the base spec should be RSV, with a talent to turn it into MSV. (I also added that with this route, we could also add that talent point to BM for players who want a melee BM.)

To the rest of the folks in here… I’m liking the ideas I’m seeing so far! I’m starting to compose a new thread in my head (something like: “Hunter Wishlist: Pets”) or so), but I’ll wait until I see a few more suggestions, ideas, and concerns from you guys before I post it. :slightly_smiling_face:

PS: even if I don’t like the ideas, I’ll still pass it along. I want to be as honest and fair as possible.


I like both of your suggestions in the main thread very much!

I wonder whether having the Survival talent tree branch into “mostly melee” on one side and “mostly ranged” on the other side would allow for the spec to have that cool unique identity? This might be too divisive, so feel free to not include this part if you think it.

In that vein, can you ask if there are challenges on the back-end for weapon loot drops? Like since SV currently is flagged for melee 2-H weapons from Raid, would they have a challenge making it so Bows/Guns drop for those flagged as “ranged” in the talent tree and so 2H weapons drop for those flagged as “melee” in the talent tree? If this is a challenge, do they have a solution for this?


Ohhh, this is a VERY good question. I hadn’t considered this at all. Thank you for bringing this up!!


I love the idea Watermist had with making melee options for both survival and BM. I love the idea of a melee hunter and enjoy survival casually, but my original spec I played for hunter was BM. I love exotic pets, loved collecting them, the entire idea is neat.

I agree that both specs could easily provide a melee option with making the base of all things ranged again.

I feel this is an elegant solution that is truly a win/win for everyone.


I do skim the wow council forum now and again, even if I can’t comment I do ‘like’ on suggestions or comments I agree or feel are important.

Please definitely champion the idea of bringing back changeable pet specs. I’d love to use my spirit beasts or so many of my other pets. Pets became so squishy this expansion you pretty much have to use a Clefthoof or risk dying if you run into something big and bad, or can’t avoid large mobs.


Honestly, I JUST sat down to start a thread like this, no lies. There are a few things I want to say about the comments that just NEEDS to be said.

  1. Watch what you suggest about surv hunters.
    I do not say this in a negative way, rather, in a cautious manner. Blizz is NOT known for being able to understand between good ideas and bad ones. For example, both of your propostions of making surv a mix of range/melee and vise verse. NO! Bad pixels, bad! First, if blizz took these suggestions they would never be able to balance them (balancing equals within 5% of top dps spec and within 3% of each other.) SL was the worst xpac for balancing that we have seen in years. Requiring blizz to split the spec and balance that will only lead to surv returning to the bottom dwelling position its been at for years. In fact, the only reason why surv is doing well this tier is because of its tier set. The spec is still incredibly flawed and clumsy at its core and honestly should have never been melee. Blizz should have returned it to its LK version when it was at its peak. Second, if you ask for something like a split then you ALSO split the focus of the devs into basically two different specs. This means that the spec, as a whole, gets half the focus on each playstyle. The spec already needs double the work for just one playstyle. Plus, we get half the amount of talents per playstyle because they will inevitably try to make everything seem tied into each other and its just going to be a huge, huge mess. So please, for the sake of surv going back to what it should be: ranged, don’t suggest a mixture of the two.
    Second, I do like WIld Spirits, but I agree with you that ground effects in wow are obsolete. They need to go away. The movement requirement these days just makes ground targeted specs just clumsy and you hardly get the full affect, making balancing them even harder. Everything should be target based except for traps, that wouldnt make sense. But knowing blizz, they will still put it in there. Now, for resonating arrow, I would rather see that then Shakrams. Seriously. Those things are garbo. Not only are they massively undertuned, but they (and the original version of them that hunters already have) have had major pathing issues and they are cleave at best and we dont need anymore cleave. We need pure aoe that doesnt revolve around multi-shot, for god’s sake. Add flayed shot as a single target option, ok cool. But not shakrams.
  2. I agree that exotic pets need to stick with BM, HOWEVER, should we really even call them pets anymore? They are just pixels that follow us around and remind us that they havent been summoned when we cant use a cd or 1 spell. Honestly, the entire pet system needs an absolute bottoms up redo. I would rather have 1 big talent tree each of my pets that is the same for all of them. Then i can spec accordingly. I do not care if a cat or an exotic or even a bug is doing top dmg, I just want their uniqueness back.
  3. There needs to be more done in accordance with spec identity. Like for BM (which should of always been melee if one had to be one) should be a multi-pet spec. Not two, more like 5-6. It should be able the pets, summoning them, specializing in them. Get rid of barbed shot, honestly. There are better ways to skin a cat then having to manage that thing. MM should be a much more sniper/heavy machine gunner spec. When tehy changed rapid fire to the ‘spell-ie’ looking visual, it killed it for me. Surv needs back as ranged and needs to be more magic-ish based and is more of the dot spec. Keep the bombs, i like those, but thats about it.
    I really was trying not to sound negative with this post, but after playing for so long and seeing blizz do what they do every xpac and seeing hunter’s specs become more and more generic, the talent trees are the time to change it.

This made me laugh. :grin:

But I understand your caution – Blizzard REALLY struggled with balancing in SL, that’s for sure.

I think a part of it is due to Blizzard trying to force the “spec identities” too far – Lone Wolf for MM and melee for SV.

But the thing is… at least with BM, pets already do the majority of damage. BM hunters literally have 3 shots, and they are not the majority of BM’s damage. That’s why I think it’s actually the easiest to give BM a toggle option to go melee.

As for SV… well, right now, most of SV’s attacks are already ranged. I don’t think it would be balance-breaking to change the last few attacks (Raptor Strike is the only one that is melee range. Kill Shot has a 40 yard range, but requires a melee weapon).

I do understand your caution – balancing melee and ranged is tricky. I just think that if we give the option to toggle melee on BM and SV (with the base specs as ranged), it’s the best compromise possible that would keep as many people happy as Blizzard can.

I’m genuinely interested to see others’ thoughts on this! Because you do have a very valid concern.

And don’t worry, I’ve got a pretty thick skin. It’s hard to insult me. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I forgot to address your point 3 about spec identity. When Dragonflight was announced, Blizzard did a series of video interviews with their devs. They said that they’re focusing on class identity for DF. Just FYI.


Good to know and thanks for responding,
My primary focus in regards to splitting any spec into melee/ranged is just the split focus and balancing. Its when you get to this point that you just have to ask yourself, aren’t we just already at the 4th spec stage? We are. Honestly, to be able to provide everyone with the proper tuning and balancing, and to be able to justify the time on the business side, you would have to turn it into a 4th spec. This option is the only option, in my opinion. If you take LK surv, it had its own identity far away from any other hunter spec. I remember it as being pretty legit in uldar and icecrown. The only thing that beat it was MM with A LOT of armor pen.
Yea, i get what you say with BM. If they were to keep barbed shot but really loosen up the timers on it, and add the possibility “for another wild beast to smell the blood and join the fight for 30 seconds. No limit as to how many pets can smell the blood.” would actually make that spell feel much more in line with BM identity. It would not be a spell that you have to hit on cd, rather, if frenzy and the bleed was at least 10-15 seconds longer, that would feel better to actually be able to use procs and not loosing out on so much dps when stacks drops due to boss mechanics.
MM just doesnt have an identity. They keep try to force magic into it when it just needs to be the old armor pen spec. Snipers and heavy mech are not flashy. Surv just doesn’t work as melee. The ground targeted traps, with mongoose stacks, with SS procs with all that other just makes for one big mess.
But yea, I do think some good feedback on this will be helpful, but just be mindful that it will never be as easy as “toggling” a switch. Great as an idea, but once on paper and eventually into practical testing, just never ends up that way.
Good to hear about identity, just concerns me is this BLIZZ’s idea of hunter spec identity, or is it the PLAYERBASE’s idea of spec identity. lmfao

1 Like

I actually mentioned this in a GD thread. BM would be insanely easy to make melee. I wouldn’t be opposed at all, and I’ve played BM for a decade.
As for balancing melee vs ranged, wouldn’t it make sense for it to essentially be the same, just different max range and animation/ability names? Of course the usual changes like interrupt CD. I’m no game designer.
I’d also imagine there’d be some discussion about other classes having melee specs become ranged and vice versa. Probably for no other theoretical reason than 2 hunter specs getting the option.

I wish they leaned into the beast mastery theme more. Having two pets is great, but they feel very detached. I love my pets to bits, don’t get me wrong, but aside from a satisfying “crunch” sound effect when I press KC they feel as connected as a damage buff. More animals!

I also find each spec’s damage profiles thematically strange. MM doesn’t make any sense as a cleave spec. It thematically seems like it should ST specialized. Conversely, BM would make more sense as AoE or cleave. Survival being cleave/AoE makes sense, though. But fulfilling this would need a spec overhaul I don’t forsee.

1 Like

Good lord please, I wish people would stop suggesting BM be the one to go melee. Please. No melee.


I agree wholeheartedly. However, with as many talent options as we should have, melee could fill a small branch as an option. As long as it is completely optional (along with having multiple pets at once) I don’t see a terrible issue. It will just be the branch I avoid when talenting.


Honestly would it be so bad if all specs equipped melee and ranged weapons again? If that were the case it would seem pretty simple to make the class talent tree have options where you choose raptor strike or cobra shot, carve or multi-shot, ranged or melee interrupt, etc. Maybe lock MM to the ranged skills for obvious reasons though.

Oh my gosh, yes please. I have missed the hyena I used for so many years. I hate being regulated to the tiny handful of ‘proper’ pets. There are SO many gorgeous pets in this game. Let us tame and use whatever we like. I would even be happy with that toy…oh heck whatever it was called, that changed the appearance of the pet. Let me spec my Hyena ferocity!