Community Council discussion on Hunter design

This is a pretty good idea for a pet talent tree. However there are a couple of issues.

  1. This doesn’t solve the problem of useless pet abilities.

A cat (or any pet with a dodge) is going to be less useful than a Scalehide when soloing because the Scalehide has a 1 min Shell Shield. A Cat is going to be less useful than a Raptor in PvP because the Raptor has a Mortal Wounds effect. The same is going to be applied for all pets that don’t have those two abilities in soloing or PvP. In dungeons or raids, non-BM hunters can use whatever they want because all the pet abilities are useless in those environments (or have VERY situational use).

BM Hunters have an extra problem. In dungeons and raids, the ONLY pet they can use is a Spirit Beast because the heal is the ONLY ability that is of any worth in that environment.

  1. Pet spec choice would be non-existent.

If you put the active and passive effects of the specs on a single tree and have all the active effects be obtainable, why have a pet spec at all? I think it would be better to have the older talent trees back so that the spec actually means something. I would also go back to having Tenacity be the tank so you use it out in the world, Ferocity being DPS so it is used in dungeons and raids, and Cunning being for PvP.

lol good. melee survival was like the perfect girlfriend… when she was ranged. then she cheated on you with your best friend. now you dont care if she runs in traffic.


That is true. My proposed redesign for pet talents/specs isn’t meant to solve any issues we have with pet family abilities. It’s purely meant to allow you to move away from the idea of locked-in specializations, and to also provide a little more variancy over what you can get from each individual pet spec, in terms of active abilities/passive effects, etc. on live atm.

I’m of the opinion that pet family abilities, such as:

[Defense Matrix]
The Mechanical contraption creates a personal defense matrix around itself, reducing damage taken by 50% for 12 sec.

[Acid Bite]
The Hydra bites the target with corrosive venom, causing the Mortal Wounds effect.

  • Mortal Wounds
    Grievously wounds the target, reducing the effectiveness of any healing received for 10 sec.

[Nether Energy]
A pulse of excess energy releases from the Ray, removing 1 Disease, Magic, and Poison effect from itself.

…abilities such as these, they are very much designed around the theme of each individual pet family. You can ofc reimagine themes for some overlap, for certain families, like they have done already. But not every type of ability necessarily fits with every single family.

Again, though, while the concept I proposed in my previous post wouldn’t allow for complete freedom of choice, at the very least it would allow for more families/combinations, compared to what we have currently on live. I’m not saying that you can’t take another look at the family abilities, look at ways to further explore how to adapt them for a wider array of families. I just think that placing themed family abilities in a common talent tree’esque design would not be the ideal way to do it.

While it does ofc provide some benefits, and would continue to do so with the proposed concept, Spirit Mend nowadays isn’t as much of a “big deal” as it was in BfA where it essentially healed you for 40%+ of your total health with each use.

Having said that, I don’t think the issue with something like the benefits of Spirit Mend should be addressed through a central/common talent tree.

In the way we think of pet specs, as they work today where they’re essentially designed like Core Specializations are for classes, yes.

In short, because all three of the current active abilities we have that are tied to pet specs(Primal Rage, Survival of the Fittest, Master’s Call), none of these have a conflict with eachother in terms of design or niche. They all have their area of usefulness, and would provide for a neat character progression path, for you, as you and your pet level up.

As for the passive effects you’re referring to, they are, in my concept, placed on different paths in the tree. You wouldn’t be able to get all of them. I think the easiest way to explain it would be what you see in the images below.

Let’s say you’re in the process of leveling up, or you’re out questing at max level. Then this might be your chosen path of talents:
In a case where you’re trying to solo an elite, perhaps you would instead pick Heart of the Phoenix, over Discourage.

On the other end, when at max level, when inside a raid, you might instead want to go for this path:

For PvP, you might prefer either of these paths:
Perhaps another one?

The point here is that this would be possible to do on a single pet, if you so wish. Obviously you could achieve that part by simply making it possible to switch between the specs we already have. But IMO, the above would be a lot more fun to play with, than what we have on live atm.

Note that what you can see below here, this should not be possible. If you select/start putting points in one passive, then you cannot continue by selecting talents to the left or right of that one. You should only be able to continue further down towards the bottom.

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thank you thank you! the only disagreement i have is bring back Legion MM. missiles shooting out of my bow when the class fantasy is a sniper should never be spoken of again!

I know these have already been mentioned but I wanted to reiterate anyway; the most important things for me would be:

  1. Pet talents - we should be able to tailor the pet of our choice for situations instead of being limited based on what a certain species provides (i.e. if I need a cunning pet with mortal wounds, it’d be nice to spec whatever animal I want into this instead of having to use raptor/hyena/rodent).

  2. SV dual wielding - keep the 2h also, just make dual wield viable as well.

From the community council forums:

I really don’t like this argument that they need to tack on a bunch of annoying chores in order to feel “attachment” to them. Making pets cumbersome in this way mostly has the opposite effect on players and see them as a burden which leads to demand for things like Lone Wolf. It was especially egregious when they had a happiness penalty tied to Dismiss Pet meaning you were directly punished for Blizzard’s bad pet pathing. It’s enough to allow people to pick whatever pet they want and choose a name for it, while also allowing playstyle options (i.e. BM spec) that have close operation with a pet.

After all, for all that “levelling and training” you did on Classic you did just set the pet on the target and forget about it as there was 0 real gameplay interaction with the pet during combat, and like 90% of Hunters on Classic and BC just pick the highest DPS option. If you look around on BC classic most of them are just running Ravagers, many of which aren’t even renamed away from Ravager.

I do agree that they shouldn’t require a Certificate of Ownership to rename away from a unique name. However I have no problem feeling a “connection” to my pet in retail and I don’t need a bunch of pointless busywork to establish that connection.


People just want to use their favorite pet and have it be viable if blizzard can do that it would make folks happy. People want switchable pet families and pet training.

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Oh man, I’m still mad about the time I busted a hump taming Humar during BC as a level 20-ish alliance hunter on a pvp server, had to go afk after hearthing back to Ironforge for IRL reasons, and came back to discover my new rare lion that was a pita to tame (so many gankings!) had gotten hungry enough to run away. great gameplay that. not frustrating at all.

Yes being able to choose what pet you want is critical to developing attachment, and the funny thing is classic and BC actually did a pretty bad job at that. Of course there’s the argument that classic and BC were easy enough that you could make a lot of unviable choices and still get by (although that’s a common denominator for every expansion), but the pet system back then established a clear hierarchy of best pets and worst pets and since there was a lot of investment to get a pet up to speed (levelling + loyalty), there were only 3 stable slots, and there were just fewer unique pet models available, it encouraged the Hunter to just pick the very best option and stick to that. And you can see how it plays out in classic and BC. In Classic almost everyone is using a cat, in BC it’s a ravager, and in WotLK it will be a wolf.

Back in classic (in 2005) I liked Raptors but people always told me not to use them. I really wanted to train Stealth to one because I found a raptor in Wailing Caverns that used Stealth however I found the training system didn’t let you do that. It had a lot of stupid restrictions like that which makes one wonder why it exists in the first place.

I love turtles and hippos but rarely do dungeons or raids I miss being able make them ferocity for the leech for tanking and healing. Legion did pets best then undid it cause people complained stuff like it makes no sense i want realism over fun.

I would agree with this.

While I do understand what they were going for with things like having to continuously feed your pet to keep it happy, or the training system. In practicality, these features became tedious, more than anything else. To a degree, it would have to do with how I play the game ofc, where my focus is, and was, on raiding. If you play the game for the reason of taming, leveling, feeding your pets, where your interest is more on the RPG side of playing as a hunter in the world, then obviously, you might see things different.

In short, what one feels about features/functions like the above, it would likely depend on how one plays the game, and why.

As an example, for me, the pet training system boiled down to nothing more than a second talent-system that required more of your time, compared to the regular talent systems that we had. But that’s how I saw it. It doesn’t mean that everyone felt the same way, I’m sure that some players love/loved it.

This is good, good systems (but those kind of systems that we all loathe) design thinking. This is the kind of proactive thinking that the team at Blizz need more of!

I really don’t like this either. One year in Classic made me really appreciate my pet and dread the chore of managing it.

I’m very attached to my pets but as Watermist mentioned in the CC post, pets are one of our weapons in reference to damage as well as a companion in playing. That would make BM very tedious and our main damage dealer would be hindered by dying and rezzing or being dismissed as you pointed out. Even covenant companions don’t do this currently.

It’s a shame we can’t respond in the CC forums.

WIND BURST PLS!!IDC IF ITS WEAK!! I just want my ranger fantasy! =D

Honestly, there is soooo much wrong with the pet system these days in retail. Theres no connection, no emotional bond, and no special pixels. Nothing. Just a lighted up kill command.
There are tons of things that can be addressed.

  1. You go out to find this cool looking pet and you get some basic, blizz approved looking pet. Highly demoralizing. Yes it has gotten better but far from what it can be.
  2. Yes the classic chores were bad, but it was also bc of those chores that you loved your pets more. I think there is something in the middle that would be good.
  3. I honestly think that one big talent tree for all pets would be best. You go out, you get any and all of your favorite pets, you pick 5 to come with you. Summon one pet and open up its talent tree like a character tree. One tree is for your pets class and focuses on that. Like bleeds and stealth for cats. The other tree is the pet tree thats identical for all pets. Spec tank/dps/w.e in that one.
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Thank you, but it’s likely they have people asking these kinds of questions on their team already :3

Are you being ironic/sarcastic with this point?

No, the chores absolutely did not make us love our pets more.


Something that will likely never happen but would be amazing…

Ability to customise pets, similar to barber shop options… Doesn’t have to be super detailed, simple things like adding spikes to Cleft hoof horns… Just generic changes to each pet family.

Probably an unpopular opinion but I also loved the loyalty & happiness system pets used to have, made pets feel more like your companion.

I truly and honestly, and sincerely doubt that they do haha.

Blizzard need to heavily invest in some UX designers to get this kind of thinking out there.

Just a quick note (since I’m busy atm), but you can quote posts from CC, and if you quote anything from me, I’ll be notified to your post.

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