Community Council discussion on Hunter design

Maybe you can explain this to me as a class advocate. What is the identity of SV? When you see a Mage, you say “Oh, I’m going to get frozen, burned, or, uhh, arcaned.” When you see a Warlock, you say “Oh, I’m going to get mauled by demons, rotted, or OBLITERATED.” When you see a Rogue, you say “there’s a Rogue here somewhere…” I kid! But seriously, when you see an SV Hunter, what do you expect to happen? THAT is the problem, not where node a, b, or c are.

Your interaction has largely been figuring out the best way to play the hand Blizzard has dealt us. The problem is the hand. We need a new hand.


What makes this particularly galling is how they ostensibly made it melee because ranged SV was the one with the confused identity that borrowed too much from another spec. If that were the case they made it much worse.


I actually am thinking of discussing the class identity/theme, because as I’ve been working through all the classes (I’m saving Hunter for last), I couldn’t help but notice how strong the identity is in most of the trees. From what I recall when I checked out the Hunter on alpha two weeks ago… some of the stuff are just weird and too much “warrior-like” (butchery, carve, etc) or too “engineer-like” (salvo!?).

So yes, I am thinking about adding this part in…


I appreciate that. Though I’m hoping you really press them about it, because the blues seem to do a lot of deflecting. I would like to understand BLIZZARD’S idea of what SV identity is intended to be, and if they think they’re actually achieving that, or have for the past however many years now. Melee Hunter is not an identity.


I’ve also been working on-and-off a post for the CC forum that focuses exclusively on the question of class-and-spec identity and design. I have thoughts! :slightly_smiling_face:

But I’m taking a pause on that and focusing on the present for the alpha. I’m trying to rush, honestly, because today was my first day back to work. I have multiple day-long workshops to attend before my students return to school on Wednesday.

After I’ve shared my observations and the concerns in this thread (and a few others) on alpha, I’ll go back to finishing up the CC thread.

I’m a little hopeful because I did get some discussion on my pet thread… but we’ll see what happens.


Honestly I like the more engineer parts of the Hunter class. I think that’s what was special about SV in its ranged days. It still has some of that… it just has this Warrior/Beastmaster thing going on in the same space and it doesn’t make much sense. Also since WoD I’ve played a lot more Beast Mastery (I didn’t play it much before then) and I don’t appreciate SV encroaching on BM’s unique stuff.


That was literally my first thought. “What is this doing in the MM tree!? This has always been SV’s thing!”

But seriously, as I’m working through the trees… the other classes are getting cool, fun, thematic stuff.

Shadow priests could choose to spec into a pseudo-Mirror Image thing!

Demonology warlocks could spec into temporarily summoning a Pit Lord!

I’m just downright impressed by the warrior and shaman trees. They’re just brimming with flavorful talents…

Yeeeah, there’s a reason I’m looking at the Hunters last. I want the full impact. Lol.

But I can see why the Feral druids are complaining. Oof…


Honestly, that’s a kind of meaningless metric.
You can have a great spec with small number of nodes and having 2-3 point ones (if they synergize well, and are interesting), at the same time you can have a subpar spec if they have a ton of nodes and they’re mostly 1 pointers (just make it be random)

At the end of the day it’s still going to depend on individual talents.

Tbh can make an argument for BM hunters in terms of needing to commit almost 1/3rd of the talent points to just get back to almost same current BW and it’s effects :

If you don’t mind. Can we ask why we aren’t getting anything cool back? Warlocks, as you pointed out are getting a freaking pit lord. Warriors…they have a ton of skills/talents coming back that are just straight up good/fun.

Skills that come to mind when I bring this up are Titan’s Thunder, Black Arrow, Aspect of the Fox, traps (exploding & immolation). I’m sure there are plenty of skills/talents I’m missing. It just feels like they are extremely hesitant to bring back anything cool.

Also. Instead of that dodge node, I’d gladly take choice node that has Aspect of the Dragonhawk / Aspect of the Iron Hawk. (Squishy hunter)

And finally, I can whole heartedly say that 99% of hunters would love if we can select ferocity, tenacity, or cunning for our pets. They can keep their family abilities, just let us choose the spec like we used to be able to. I read your other post on this. Again, they seem so hesitant to do this.

And finally finally, thanks for chiming in here.


That’s kind of my point. The Hunter trees have few active and “cool” talents compared to the other trees — it really feels like Blizzard couldn’t think up good nodes for Hunters so they slapped on multiple points to eat up space.

This ties in with the complainants about bad pathing, especially in the BM tree.

That’s what I gleaned from counting the nodes! It really brought attention to how many active talents other classes (like warriors) have, whereas with Hunters it’s a lot of boring passives…


Bad pathing and bloat. It’s a sad state of affairs when a single point reduction to Beast Cleave gets favorable responses amongst the community. This should be a 1 point node with an optional side branch to extend its duration AT MOST. With the addition of Kill Cleave it should just be 1 point at 6s considering we’re already spending 1 point on Multi-Shot anyway which does nothing but activates Beast Cleave.

My only DPS character, and my main, is a BM hunter because I love the pet fantasy. Our tree is lacking that fantasy and I hope we can get more out of it.

If you build what is considered the ST build right now were gaining old Stampede and Cobra Shots give you free Kill Commands. That’s all. That’s 4 new points out of 30 and we can no longer do multi target of any kind, we lose Beast Cleave and Stomp to get those two things.

If you switch it up and go for a Beast Cleave build them you lose other things to get it. There’s no way really to get what we even have right now much less anything new or fun.


I haven’t yet gotten to update my topic on the class tree + beast mastery tree with the changes in the most recent build. Will probably get to it today.

Looking at the class tree, there are some main points in my view…

  • The things they’ve added, especially with the latest build, amount to how the class is now much more capable of keeping itself alive. We’re not by any means at the top, but at least now, we have gotten some tools to increase our survivability.
  • With all changes that they’ve made to the class tree over the weeks of alpha, we’re now in a state where the positioning of individual talent nodes, and general structure of the “tree”, should be questioned.
    • Everything is more or less mixed together, different types of talents blend with eachother in terms of pathing and connections.
      • If you take Tar Trap, it leads to Tranquilizing Shot, Rejuvenating Wind(HoT), or a node that now increases our Dodge chance. Taking Rejuvenating Wind then leads to Improved Tranq Shot, or choice nodes for various types of CC. Most trap-related talents are to the left side of the tree, but then you have the node for Improved Traps by itself, on the right side, which you get by going through Camouflage, or a choice node tied to Survival of the Fittest.
    • Some talents that are designed to focus on somewhat niche/situational utility, they are placed in key positions(crossings) that you would want to go through, when heading to the third bracket/bottom section.
      • As an example, in order to get to the bottom left side that is focused on Beast Mastery/Survival talents, you have to go through Improved Tranq Shot, or Binding Shackles. Both of these are highly situational, and often aren’t at all useful to what you’re doing.
  • Several talent nodes aren’t very useful, more-or-less in any scenario. By that, I mean that they often enough are not worth the talent points required to get them.
    • Hunter’s Agility - Increases dodge chance by 4/8%.
    • Improved Tranquilizing Shot - Gives you 5 Focus when you dispel an effect.
    • Improved Traps - Reduces the cooldown of traps by 2.5/5 sec.
    • Agile Movement - Increases movement speed by 3/6%.
  • Some talents, I would question whether they should be in the tree at all, regardless
    of their power level.
    • Hunter’s Agility - Again, increases your dodge chance. Might see a rework in an
      upcoming build, based on what was said by the hunter dev, Nimox.
    • Nesingwary’s Trapping Apparatus - Increases Focus gain when you successfully trap something with Freezing Trap. As mentioned by several other players, it promotes degenerate gameplay, where people would want to use utility/CC for damage.
  • Like other people have pointed out, the hunter class tree contains several talent nodes that require 2 points, nodes with individual effects that in similar cases, with other classes, only require 1 point.
    • Rejuvenating Wind
    • Hunter’s Agility
    • Improved Traps
    • Born to be Wild+Lone Survivor = 3 points, for Survival of the Fittest CDR.
    • Agile Movement
  • Building on the previous point, the hunter class tree is somewhat sparse. It has a fairly low amount of talent nodes to pick between, when compared even to other pure damage classes like Rogue, or Warlock. But proportionally, we still don’t get to fill out more of the tree, due to how our individual talents require more points on average.

Aside from the above, the class is still lacking a sufficient type of raid-/group-utility. The newly added talent Sentinel, isn’t going to amount to the same value as what other classes/specs can bring to certain encounters. It does have some value ofc, especially in PvP, and Mythic+, in some cases. But in raids, unless they rethink their general approach to encounter design, Sentinel definitely won’t be what “puts us on the map”, again, talking a raid setting.

Note that my thoughts above aren’t necessarily always pointing to how they should simply get rid of all the aformentioned talents. But I would like it if they take a look at their individual design, and respective power levels. And, in cases like Born to be Wild, you could pick that talent apart to provide enhancements to individual abilities via several 1-point talents, instead of a single 2-pointer. And with that, increase the power of each of those individual nodes by a little more. Example:

  • Born to be Wild: Cheetah - 1 point. Reduces the base CD of Cheetah by 60 sec.
  • Born to be Wild: Turtle - 1 point. Reduces the base CD of Turtle by 60 sec.
  • Born to be Wild: Survival of the Fittest - 1 point. Reduces the base CD of SotF by
    30 sec.

Something like that…

The class tree should allow us to work our way down, by getting most of the base abilities/effects, things that are useful in most/all scenarios. And if you want additional improvements to those abilities/effects, or if you want certain niche utility/defensives, that’s where you would need to commit to spending additional points on tangent nodes, or diverging paths. Like what they’ve done with Scare Beast, or the placement of Sentinel.


Good to see yoh again, mist.

I do have one request, though. Don’t post your hunter stuff to CC and alpha pages until i post later today. I finally got a hold of that tree creater thingy and i think it will give you a wonderful example of what we are thinking about when it comes to the generic hunter tree. Ill do one for surv as well but it will take a few days.

I disagree with 2/3 point nodes being meaningless, you even disproved your point by then posting how those 2/3 point nodes cost a BM hunter 1/3 of their points just to get back to almost same current BW and its affects!

When looking at the DPS spec trees, somewhere between 20 and 25 points in 2/3 point nodes seems to be sweet spot.

5 DPS specs are currently either 10 (1), 12 (3), or 16 (1) points in 2/3 point nodes

10 DPS specs are currently either 20 (4), 22 (2), 24 (3), or 25 (1) points in 2/3 point nodes

And then you have the 3 hunter specs as big outliers;

MM - 28
Suv - 33
BM - 38

My take, hunter specs are an outlier. They need to be brought down into that sweet spot range.


I really think this is a big issue, looking at MM for example there are so many point nodes to just add power back into your basic abilites like aimed shot and steady shot. MM is the only specc that focusess on the ranged weapon and there has been multiple itterations of MM from MoP to shadowlands and we lost alot of ranged flavour with survival going melee.

So it really feels like a big wast missing out on more talent options. We could have a version of Sidewinders back, changing the focus regen really alters how the class feels. We could get aimed shot being castable on the move again like it used to be, giving back some of that free mobility that used to be what set hunters apart from other ranged specc. You could also make it instant like the old HFC set bonus, or you could replace it with something else that takes insperation from old explosive shot. Return black arrow and give some of that spellbow feel.

It really feels like a lost opportunity to not play around more with old itteration of hunters in the talent tree, and maybe some more themes like spellbow or guerilla fighter.

While watching some stupid movie last night I played with the hunter class tree. Here are my thoughts.

It’s tough to find 20 useful talents and open final tier. I was literally at 13 and then had to find 7 talent spots to burn points in. 4 went to get Sentinel, 1 to Imp Tranq, 1 to Concussive Shot and 1 to Binding Shackles, all things I was perfectly willing to pass on.

Passed on Trailblazer (sped out of combat isn’t very helpful), Imp. Pet Mend as all my content is PvE, Natural Mending as just don’t need Exhil. that much, Scare Beast (never use), Imp. Traps mostly useless (PvP maybe), Agile movement not needed.

Forced to take either Imp. Tranq shot (useless ) or Binding Shackles (looks like a PvP talent as only affects YOU) to reach Beast Master and bottom left.

You need 3 points to reach Sentinel, Camouflage (only time I have seem used in PvE is to sneak back after a wipe in M+) and Born to be Wild. Sorry but neither of those are that useful.

Master Marksman - can BM/Suv and use this? Passed because states Marksman. Serpent Sting and a choice node locked behind this.

Steel Trap could be interesting, but not wasting 2 points on Nesingwary’s to get it!

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Do you think it is PR actually preventing devs from interacting with players or devs themselves choosing not to interact on the class forums (hard to remember when any class forum got a blue post)?

I do agree with taking a page from FFXIV regarding changes. Does anyone remember before Legion launched when before releasing the changes to the spec, blizzard would speak on what they wanted the spec to do, their goals, where they fell short, what they wanted to improve etc… So every spec would get a few paragraphs from blizz-that was nice. That communication (even if you didn’t agree completely with blizzard’s vision) was nice. But I don’t recall seeing posts like that in the lead up to BFA, shadowlands and I guess DF as well.


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Not to be rude, but you don’t play at a level where you should be giving meaningful (i.e. listened to) feedback on how talents should be aligned and play out.

To be fair, operating in the 95th percentile doesn’t necessarily give a player the tools to communicate class needs at large. The best coaches typically weren’t the best players. In music, very rarely are the best teachers the best performers. It seems like >50% of the time, the BEST players in the digital realm have some kind of social anxiety disorder and can’t communicate with anyone. There’s probably some correlation between a high, singular focus on one very specifc thing and not being neurotypical.

Anyway, long story short, get off Watermist’s horns. They represent the majority of the Hunter community, or at least are trying to.