Feedback: Dark Ranger in The War Within

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And let us know your thoughts here!


Pasting tree here in case anyone is mega lazy like me. Initial feedback is right below.

I think the current iteration is more focused on MM benefits/synergy than BM. The cooldown refreshing aspect of Black Arrow focusing on Barbed Shot seems a bit redundant with how often Barbed Shot CD resets with BM talents currently.

I believe the Kill Shot nodes here are very unappealing for BM with current tuning.

Embrace the Shadow seems extremely unappealing compared to Smokescreen, but that’s just tuning again. This also kind of ties into Darkness Calls as there isn’t that much shadow damage it seems initially.

Maybe Black Arrow procs could turn the procc’ed ability in to shadow damage?


Hope we can get glyphs for arcane shot (shadow shot?) And aimed shot (black smoke effect maybe?) To really get the theme going! So far it looks really nice!
Edit; flayed shot glyph for kill shot would be awesome aswell for all specs
Edit 2; incoperate Wailing Arrow into the tree somehow (maybe have Black Arrow proc it?)


Regarding Dark Ranger and Black Arrow specifically, are there plans to change the way that the MM talent Lock and Load works since there’s significant overlap with Black Arrow? Baseline, Black Arrow seems to be simply a worse version of Lock and Load since the refunded Aimed Shot is free and instant via Lock and Load. Once you add on all the extra talents/effects from the hero talents, Black Arrow is then just a better version of Lock and Load. Are the devs comfortable with this overlap?


Adding Shadow Damage through Black Arrow and Dark Hounds to one of the few purely physical damage classes remaining furthers the imbalance between Chaos Brand and Mystic Touch as group/raid buffs and adds more power to a class that doesn’t need it (Demon Hunter).

For the sake of the game and balance you need to completely remove Chaos Brand and Mystic Touch, or as an absolute minimum you need to spread those effects around so they can come from more than one source.


As a BM hunter it’s incredibly disappointing, more Barbed Shot resets. Call of the Wild already affects the CD of Barbed, Kill Command has a chance to reset Barbed. Rotationally we get to use Multi-shot during Call of the Wild now even though permanent Beast Cleave for the AoE proc and Kill Shot which feels terrible, barely higher damage than Kill Command. Otherwise, back to the ol bread and butter. Hunter’s Prey talent hasn’t been used by anyone since its iteration so I’m not sure why it was forced into the hero tree. The tree feels entirely MM-focused.


Dark Ranger Feedback

Black Arrow:
PVP issues if it has no dispel protection and on a 30 second cooldown. I like it, but it has the same problem that survival had in mop. One dispel and its gone and has a long cooldown to reapply.

If a bunch of damage is behind this spell and it can be instantly dispelled, it wont be viable in pvp to play dark ranger.

Dark chains
40% slow is really not that great these days, now that every class has freedom\charge\instant movement. Its super average, maybe make the spell change disengage into a new movement\mobility skill. Disengage is very outdated

Dark Hounds
As others have said, not a huge fan of clutter and pet spawning when playing MM. Not a huge fan of this one. Would of preferred some maybe improved traps, like maybe adding dark magic to traps and buffing its damage or effects. Dark ranger to me is more about assassination and death magic rather than summoning dogs.

Survival or BM?
Personally i think BMs wont like dark ranger due to the extra dot on top of barb and the whole vibe of it isnt really BM like. I do understand it must of been difficult figuring out if it should be BM or survival getting dark ranger.

Overall i like the idea of dark ranger, but this talent tree something, and im not sure how black arrow is going to feel like playing on BM. I think we need more spells on the talent tree that have MM specific effects and BM specific effects. The specs are just so different that you cant really have them share spells and have them make sense\feel good to play with on both specs.


I adore the idea of bringing Black Arrow back! Thank ya’ll for doing that.

I share some concerns that others have that it is sort of a redundant effect with other MM talents like Lock and Load. Are there plans to streamline the MM tree and remove some semi-redundant effects? If so, can you make sure that Black Arrow makes the next Aimed Shot instant like Lock and Load does? OR even making it cause the next AiS to be castable while moving? Otherwise Black Arrow will feel fairly frustrating if it procs and overcaps Aimed Shot charges because we have an unexpected 2 second cast to get through.

I worry about redundant effects due to effects like Serpent Sting and Serpenstalker’s Trickery being in the game together. I love Serpentstalker’s Trickery, but having an essentially dead button on the class side with Serpent Sting feels so strange. If ya’ll can sort out a way to streamline Lock and Load vs Black Arrow and SST vs Serpent Sting, it would be amazing.

EDIT: Also make Multi Shot baseline!


I think it’s great tbh. I may try it but really looking forward to Sentinel. Luna’s not really… Sylvanas material lol

I am still desperately hoping for a larger scale redesign of MM. Because at the moment this tree looks “fine” but will exacerbate the already existing problems with the spec. Many of these effects give you more aimed shots, when we already don’t always have the GCD’s available to spend the precise shots stacks we generate, wasted and munching them entirely. The focus generation of Dark Empowerment is not going to be sufficient to equalize the increased cost of more aimed shots, and during trueshot we already don’t need more aimed shot, we are already struggling to fit in the other required focus generation of Rapid Fire and Steady Shots for their haste buffs (steady focus during trueshot especially is awkward to fit). They are not solving problems or opening up new gameplay in the spec, just making the already clunky parts of the spec even worse. Overcapping aimed shot feels bad and is your #1 priority to avoid, these hero talents make it nearly unavoidable that overcapping aimed charges will occur, unable to be played around or avoided proactively.

Embrace the Shadows looks incredibly weak, even if you assume we do 100% of our damage as shadow I’m not certain it would be taken ever compared to smoke screen unless for soloing old raids or something (Which also need to be considered legacy content with the buff applied sooner). Similarly Darkness Calls is also likely to be severely weaker than Shadow Assassin. Both of their effects are also somewhat boring and uninteresting imo.

Its hard to imagine Dark Chains ever having any use in PvE. Would be cool if you could “pull” the chain via disengage, allowing easy self-activation of your own Binding Shot, rather than needing a typhoon or something. Ideally aoe to work as an aoe stop or more reliable knockback compared to the laughably awkward uses of Explosive trap or Bursting Shot (Bursting never taken in PvE)

Edit: After listening to the interview, I dont know that I have ever associated Nathanos as a dark ranger, certainly I dont feel a thematic link with his hounds as relevant to me as pets as a lone wolf Marksmanship Hunter. Weird mismatch there and a mismatch fantasy wise imo.

Thematically, I love sylvanas and the dark ranger fantasy, but as a “gameplay first” minded competitive player, I was hoping to see more interesting and engaging gameplay and things that improve how the spec feels to play.


Without even getting into the topic of Barbed Shot resets, Black Arrow’s Aimed Shot procs are kinda lackluster compared to Ranged Survival’s Black Arrow Lock and Load procs, which

cause your next two Explosive Shots to cost no Focus and trigger no cooldown

The triple free cast, combined with Explosive Shot being instant is what made Ranged Survival fun. This new proc is really bland in comparison, especially with the current version of Lock and Load already being in the spec tree.


Pasting my thoughts from the other thread:

Tree feels extremely uninspired for BM. They’re doubling down on the boring rotation that has been around since Legion, and to some extent even longer than that. I was really hoping for something different.

Also I’m a bit confused on the Shadow damage part. Is there a stipulation that our pets will gain access to deal shadow damage now? As it stands, I can’t think of a single pet ability that deals shadow damage other than the one provided on this tree.


Questions about the new Dark Ranger abilities.

Will Black Arrow have a casting time? I hope not.

Dark Hounds : Will these hounds be capable of being feared or turned?

Withering Fire : Sounds cool, please make it’s animation noticeable?

Currently most of hunter’s abilities are really lack luster in appearance in comparison to many other classes. We lost Wild Spirits which was one of our more interesting and exciting spells.

Please don’t make it a copy and paste of Volley in purple. When it comes to Dark Arrow I hope you will also make it look significantly different from wailing arrow.

Also please let Sentinel allow Survival to dual wield. It’d be the perfect opportunity to let night elves have another class that gave them access to the glaive heritage weapons.


Nope this ain’t it sorry.

MM needs a revamp and general fixing in the first place… but okay let’s actually do a PvE rundown of this hero tree without knowing the specific numbers.

  • Black Arrow - a mandatory button on all prio targets and bosses. every raid fight now has a mandatory press this button every 30 seconds situation and this will result in everybody just putting this on some kind of macro just like salvo…

  • Ranger’s Finesse is boring’ol throughput but we’ll take it. Dark Hounds being a CHANCE makes it pretty uninteresting even though it sounds cool. Death shade is big trash.

  • Dark Empowerment is just QoL. Grave Reaper is M+ only. Embrace the shadows for a class that deals almost no shadow damage seems garbage? Smoke Screen is fine, but a bit underwhelming. Dark Chains is basically pointless in PvE.

  • Intense Darkness… doubles the ticks? doesn’t shorten the duration right? If it doubles the ticks it’s good for AS generation I guess? But that’s a QoL fix yet again. Shadow Surge is M+ only and limiting it to once every 6 seconds while also taking away our S3 tier set and also keeping us target capped and point heavy to get decent AoE… bruh. Darkness Calls is shadow damage which is problematic as pointed out above. Shadow Assassin is swamp tier.

  • Withering Fire seems okay if the chance to proc Black Arrow is decent to begin with but ultimately it’s just a 10% damage increase against the target… this is SO boring guys. it’s nice that you’re handing us 10% more damage on single target but idk.

The whole hero tree feels like a crutch coming from a PvE MM perspective. I’m not sure why this whole thing seems so blah… I’d like to see more shadow damage synergies and maybe even changing damage types of skills to shadow for being a dark ranger (rapid fire and aimed shot become shadow? free trickshots off a black arrow target or ability to spread the black arrow with multishot rather than the limited burst?)

I’m sure there’s a million ideas I could come up with that would be more interesting and cool than most of the stuff listed. I don’t think as-is it’s very good though. I’m gonna go ahead and give this a… 6/10 currently.

EDIT: Oh and if Black Arrow is on GCD then I change my score to 4/10 - hope it’s not

EDIT2: Changed some stuff to reflect knowledge gained. I stand by 6/10 currently unless Black Arrow is on GCD lol


Mechanics for BM look a bit meh overall. Lot of BS resets which doesn’t do much. Smoke Screen looks awesome though.

Class fantasy wise (ignoring mechanics), I still strongly dislike having this as an option at all TBH. It doesn’t feel like it fits BM at all, and only fits a handful of races such as Forsaken and elves. Dwarves, Tauren, Orcs, all seem very odd as “dark rangers”. Also, if I had wanted to be a hateful necromantic magic class I’d have picked Death Knight.

Excited to see Pack Master, hope that gives a valid option that fits a broader class/race fantasy.

  • Ranger’s Finesse is almost certainly what people will take since it’s pure reliable throughput. Dark Hounds being a CHANCE makes it pretty uninteresting even though it sounds cool… if it’s tuned way up then everybody will just pick this. Literally nobody will play with Death Shade

You get access to all node in the hero talent trees, you only have mutually exclusive choices in the singular choice nodes themselves.


so we’re going to actively have ranger’s finesse, dark hounds AND death shade then? I thought we had access to all but had to choose one of the 3 options.

in either case it doesn’t make something like death shade any better lol

I can see the effort, but on my part, I look back on OG barbed shot fondly because proccing a bunch of explosive shots felt really satisfying. Barbed shot is a dot that does not feel satisfying. You might as well release a talent for shadow priest that’s like, ‘your dot has a chance to let you cast shadow word: pain!’

like i get it, you’ve stripped bm down so that barbed shot and cobra shot are literally its only two non-execute abilities actually cast by the hunter. but i don’t think at any point in the last three expansions has anyone gone “wow i hope i get to cast barbed shot more, that weak ‘thwack’ sfx and no discernable immediate drop in mob hp is dope”. :confused:


huh??? but why?

ah I was about to edit that. It was if it was against extra focus or reduced CD on the left but if we’re just getting all 9 in the center then yeah it’s almost certainly better than embrace the shadows since we dont do much shadow damage!

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