The class tree is still lacking. Sentinel is a joke both in design and its position, by far the worst thing they could have possibly added to the tree AND you are forced to go through Camo to even get to it (link Lone Survivor to Born To Be Wild and unlink Camo from Imp Traps).
Imp Traps, Imp Mend Pet, Trailblazer, and Concussive Shot are all dead talents that will get ignored 99% of the xpac for PvE. Binding Shackles remains in a bad spot and it too is mostly useless in PvE, and completely useless in raiding. I shouldn’t be forced to pick either Binding Shackles or Imp Tranq Shot to get to Beast Master. The other side of the tree gets to snag run speed to get down to the good stuff over there which isn’t great but it is leaps and bounds better than either of these two “choices”.
One last note about the spec tree, you can get Imp Tranq without taking Tranq which should never be possible. Also, Rejuvenating Winds shouldn’t be 2 points and why does it have to be the sole path to get to Intimidation? Hunter’s Agility is just bad, avoidance was meh enough but dodge chance in PvE is a joke but there it is front and center.
The spec tree is still a gigantic mess with absurd bloat at the top. The overwhelming majority of content in WoW is 2+ targets so if you spec the tree for that situation you aren’t gaining anything new or exciting; old stampede coming back is nice but it just isn’t enough when you are also losing stuff like Thrill of the Hunt or Stomp to get it (I don’t think Stomp is a great talent in general but that is a conversation for another time).
What I’d still like to see on the spec tree (in no particular order except the first two points, obviously):
- Remove Loaded Quiver and bake the charge into baseline Barbed Shot.
- Reduce Barbed Shot’s CD to 11s baseline OR add a talent for this interaction, below Training Expert is a good out of the way place for it. Frenzy feels really bad to play at 12s especially at low haste like the beginning of an xpac. Give us an option to clean the rotation up early on that we can opt out of later in an xpac as you gain more gear.
- Training Expert reduced to 1 pt.
- Move Kindred Spirits to below Pack Tactics (where Loaded Quiver currently is) and make it 1pt for 20. This is a bad talent in general and should probably either go into Pack Tactics or into the class tree somewhere.
These 4 changes will put the top of the tree at 9-11 points without Multi-Shot/Beast Cleave or Flamewalker’s. That is how bloated the top of the tree is right now that you can cut a bunch of stuff and still be above 8 and barely started. We currently spend 13(!) points without Beast Cleave/Multi (3 more) and Flamewalker’s (2 more). That means in almost all PvE content BM hunters on the current tree are essentially forced to spend 16 points before the first gate.
- Change Thrill of the Hunt to 2 points at 1.5%/3% per stack max 3 stacks.
- Swap Dire Beast and Stomp; swapping them reduces the cost to get to Dire Pack without reducing the cost past the second gate. Or link Dire Beast and Dire Command, this doesn’t solve the issue of cost from BW to Dire Command but it becomes easier to get there.
- Swap Wild Call with Aspect of the Beast AND One With The Pack (reduce to 1pt for 10% just like Wild Call) with Animal Companion. This brings Wild Call, which is essentially a must have for the spec to function, up so it is no longer locked behind the very expensive Kill Cleave or Bloodshed. Something this important to how the spec feels/plays shouldn’t be so low in the tree or so costly to reach. This also gives an alternative route outside of AC into BW/Dire Beast for those who don’t like AC and don’t want to take Multi-Shot/Beast Cleave.
- Blood Frenzy seems very expensive for what it does, at most it is semi-useful during a 2min CD or rebuilding stacks which is very lacking for 2 points. It being down past the 2nd gate just makes it a tough to pick talent when you combine it with the talent bloat at the top of the tree.
- Both Sharp Barbs and In For The Kill are never pick talents given their positioning and the aforementioned bloat. Stomp just does more damage for free (both in focus and GCD costs) so it isn’t even useful to bypass stomp to move down toward Dire Pack.
- Aspect of the Beast seems like a very expensive talent. 15% more Bite damage in the current game is somewhere around 1% per talent point. In AE situations with Beast Cleave it does better but not by a whole lot; which is why it should be moved to below Killer Cleave. It would still be reachable under Bloodshed/Crows for single target.
There is so much meh in our class/spec trees that I’m having a hard time seeing the love that could have gone into them. We were hardly touched coming out of BfA and that is basically repeating itself coming out of SL. BM feels like it is losing stuff but also not gaining anything which is really really sad considering other classes are getting raid utility either added back or brand new. We are just getting more of the same but with less of it.