FEEDBACK: Hunter Class Changes

Updated August 11

This week’s Beta and PTR builds include some updates for Marksmanship Hunters, notably their generation and spending of Focus, and updates to some of the more problematic talents.

In Battle for Azeroth, Rapid Fire’s focus generation and the Master Marksman talent increase the amount of available Focus you have a by a decent amount, which almost pushes Steady Shot’s Focus generation away from being necessary at all. Now:

  • Aimed Shot Focus Cost increased to 35 (was 30).
  • Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot Focus cost increased to 20 (was 15).
  • Rapid Fire duration lowered to 2 seconds (was 3 seconds). Total damage dealt by Rapid Fire should be unchanged.

The above changes should cause you to spend a bit more Focus, and passively generate less from Rapid Fire.

Several talent changes are also coming to both prop up some underused talents, and replace others:

Level 15 Row:

  • Redesigned: Master Marksman (Passive) – Your critical shots cause your target to bleed for 15% of the damage dealt over 6 seconds.
  • Serpent Sting’s duration increased to 18 seconds (was 12 seconds).

Level 25 Row:

  • Careful Aim has had the low health benefit removed as it felt redundant with Kill Shot returning. Additionally, the high health threshold has been lowered to 70% (was 80%).

Level 35 Row:

  • Redesigned: Steady Focus – Casting Steady Shot twice in a row now increases your haste by 7% for 10 seconds.
  • Redesigned: Streamline (Passive) – Rapid Fire damage is increased by 15%, and Rapid Fire now also reduces the cast time of your next Aimed Shot by 30%.
  • Chimaera Shot now replaces Arcane Shot.
    • Chimaera Shot’s cooldown has been removed for Marksmanship Hunters. It has a Focus cost of 20.
    • Chimaera Shot should work with everything that Arcane Shot works with, such as Precise Shots, or any Torghast Power, or Legendary effect.
    • Chimera Shot no longer causes both the Frost and Nature attack to hit a single target. This is a bug fix.

Level 45 Row

  • Lethal Shots proc chance has been increased to 30% (was 20%).

Level 50 Row

  • Lock and Load’s proc chance has been increased to 8% (was 5%).

The above talent changes should open up some diversity in talent choices, and Chimaera Shot replacing Arcane shot opens up some alternate 2-target cleave options without increasing your action bar bloat.

April 9

In this thread, we’re discussing Hunter class changes coming in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

Read more about initial class changes in the World of Warcraft blog.

This initial post will be updated periodically throughout the Shadowlands test. Please check back here for information about further updates to this class as they are made.

Thank you for your testing and feedback!


Edit to post: Adding in my most recent feedback so it is at the top of the thread.

I’d like to preface this with a concern about MM as a whole: It works, but it is not cohesive. A lot of the spec has some good ideas, but none of them are woven through the talents in a way that feels satisfying. Trick Shots is a great passive, but it only interacts with Volley. Precise Shots is alright, but doesn’t get any bonuses from our talents and even works against our main cooldown in that we can’t use those charges during the Trueshot window. Rapid Fire regenerating focus is a bit weird because we gain enough from Steady Shot. We have traps, but none of our talents modify them in any way (barring Binding Shackles). An example of an awesome idea for these kinds of synergies comes from Torghast: one of the abilities allows us to ignite Tar Trap with Flare. That is wonderful. It’s just a shame that very few synergies like this exist within our talents/baseline kit. With that, here are some things I would like to reiterate with our talents:

15 Row:

  • Master Marksman: Too strong of a passive effect compared to Serpent Sting and A Murder of Crows. This needs to be replaced with something that isn’t quite as strong so we can pick other talents on the row.

  • Serpent Sting: This talent simply doesn’t last long enough. It becomes awkward to use in the rotation because it only pandemics to about 14 second duration. It needs a baseline duration of around 14-16 seconds. Either that, or it could be fun to have it interact with some of our baseline perks. Why not allow it to spread to multiple targets if we are under the effects of Trick Shots?

25 Row:

  • Careful Aim: Like Master Marksman, this is simply too powerful. It is also slightly redundant since we have Kill Shot as an execute back. This feels out of place on the “AoE” row next to Barrage/Explosive Shot.

  • Barrage/Explosive Shot: These could use a little spice to make them more enticing. Again, why not have them interact with Trick Shots or Precise Shots in some way?

30 Row:
Talents are pretty fine here, there are niche uses for all of them.

35 Row:

  • Steady Focus: There is no point to this talent since we never cast more than 2 Steady Shots in a row. This is mostly because we have plenty of focus using Rapid Fire. Either Rapid Fire needs to lose its Focus Regen component or perhaps adding in a talent here that changes our interaction with Precise Shots?

  • Streamline: This talent makes our Trueshot windows (which are already awkward due to losing out on Precise Shot charges during the cooldown) even more awkward in that we have to spend so much time casting Rapid Fire that we lose out on Aimed Shot charges. Would love if this was changed in a way to REDUCE the channel time of Rapid Fire.

  • Chimaera Shot: This talent is fine as it adds a nice free button on a short CD. However, it does not have any interaction with any of our base toolkit. Would be great if it activated Trick Shots on two targets maybe?

40 Row:
Pretty fine row. Binding Shackles could be more fun if it affected our party members.

45 Row:

  • Lethal Shots: Kind of makes the rotation awkward in that we don’t need a shorter cooldown on Rapid FIre.

50 Row:

  • Calling the Shots: This is fine if the kinks are ironed out of Trueshot as a cooldown.

  • Lock and Load: Would feel WAY better if the proc chance was reverted to its pre-Legion 8%.

  • Volley:
    Love this talent, just needs some bug fixes. Also Trick Shots ends as soon as this spell ends, canceling the ricochets if we are channeling Rapid Fire as this ends.

Initial Feedback:

Been testing a bit on MM on the Alpha build. It. is. AMAZING. It feels like I have a ton of shots to choose from. Not sure but it feels like Focus regenerates a bit faster, and I almost always have the focus to cast what I need.

Using Chimera Shot, Dead Eye, and Lock & Load feels very much like old MM. I’m hoping getting access to Flayed Shot will help me feel a lot like Ranged SV again.

The bit point of feedback I have so far is that Serpent Sting needs a longer duration by about 4-6 seconds. You have to cast it far too often for it to feel like a useful spell in such a bursty spec. On the bright side, with higher focus regen, it is actually feeling viable to have it on my bars. Just wish I didn’t have to cast it as often while I’ve got Aimed Shot charges I’ve got to spend.

I submitted a bug because the animation for Binding Shot appears bugged.

I’m a little worried about talents like Careful Aim will be “mandatory” again going into SL because they just increase our damage so much without adding extra buttons. But again, I think the increased focus regen we have makes the WORLD of difference in diversity of talent choices.

Chimera Shot does not regenerate any focus, not sure if it is just missing that component or is simply not intended to have it.

Streamline, Steady Focus, and Lethal Shots don’t really feel as impactful as the rest of the talents on their rows in that Steady Shot is rarely cast more than 2 times in a row, Streamline doesn’t provide much interplay with our abilities, and Lethal Shots does not provide a concrete bonus like Double Tap and Dead Eye.

I’m hoping Lock & Load can have its proc chance increased to 8% to make it competitive with Volley and Calling the Shots.


On the flipside of marksman hunters we have survival. There was very little changed here and unfortunately the same talents are coming out on top as far as gameplay smoothness. Chakrams, even with a reduced focus cost isn’t likely going to beat out the wildfire infusion versatility or the birds of prey sheer power.

The Steel Trap buff might let you work that in as another dot, but that’ll be a numbers tuning issue.

Flanking strike just doesn’t compete with mongoose bite. You only need about a 2 stack of mongoose fury for those mongoose bites to beat out flanking strike’s damage and flanking strike has a 30 second cooldown per use. The cooldown on flanking strike would need to go way down, but it feels odd to be choosing between 2 choices of how to buff your spender or a secondary builder.

Revive pet for survival needs to be lowered back to a 2 second cast. 6 seconds to cast this means the counter to a survival in arena is simply kill the pet. They can’t regenerate focus because it’s tied to having a pet. It’s one thing to stifle the majority of beastmaster’s damage by killing their pet, but it doesn’t eliminate their damage. This basically does eliminate the damage of a survival.

Finally, the stuff added seems almost as if to mock the survival hunter. Arcane shot and steadyshot were added to survival, but require a ranged weapon.

Kill shot seems fun, but there’s nothing really in the toolkit for it. It’s just a use on CD after 20% with the same animation as serpent sting. It may not even scale enough to warrant using because it doesn’t cost focus and therefore survival mastery doesn’t apply to it.

Compared to their ranged counterparts their focus is about half as fast. I’m not sure why the other two specs received a buff to focus speed and this one did not, but it feels pretty awful having to rely on a cooldown locked ability to regen focus at a decent rate and it makes alpha predatory feel almost mandatory.

Overall, survival feels very left in the dust. Hopefully there is more to come (like maybe dual wielding?)


I think there have to be updates coming for Survival in the form of allowing the ranged abilities to work. However, I’m not sure why they were added for Survival?

Can we get some clarification on this? I understand having Arcane Shot baseline across all specs. However I’m not sure it serves a purpose on Survival unless we can auto attack from Ranged too? It also seems to cause Aspect of the Eagle to be a bit obsolete.

I love the idea of a melee/ranged hybrid class. But we’d need to be able to auto attack from range for that to be a thing. And it might be very OP.


I don’t think that would be OP since beastmaster can do that right now as is, but who knows if it would fit the theme they’re going for. I just feel like survival needs a lot more done to it, like some specs got stuff brought back that feels almost shoe horned in as extra stuff (mage wards that also stack with mage shields, all the extra druid stuff, etc), but survival got next to nothing they can utilize.


6 second rez pet time is too long. It should be more like 4 seconds or so.


Why are you talking about BFA abilities from the Heart of Azeroth when this is about Shadowlands and you know the Heart of Azeroth will be ditched?


I was trying out the Survival toolkit earlier and in comparison to BM/MM, it feels a lot less cohesive because the ranged abilities are “vestigial” from the leveling process.

Are there other specs that lose out on some of their main abilities they gain while leveling because of weapon restrictions?

I totally understand not wanting to dilute the niche of the hunter out. However, I’m wondering if there needs to be a bigger shift.

An idea I thought of is to have Aspect of the Eagle become a longer duration (say 30 second) stance that allows us to auto attack (using polearm damage #’s) from range with the mini crossbow, and transform the following abilities:

  1. Raptor strike -> Arcane Shot
  2. Muzzle -> Counter Shot
  3. Carve -> Multi Shot

In addition, you would need to have Steady Shot transform while leveling into Kill Command for Beast Mastery and Survival.

In this scenario, we remain a Spear wielding melee spec, but have the option every 1-2 minutes to attack from range like our brethren in sharpshooting.


Revive Pet is way too long of a cast now. It’s increased from 2s to 6s. If your pet dies mid-combat or while in pvp, which happens VERY often, you waste waaaay too much time to recover. Since BM’s main source of damage is from the pet and primary abilities are locked to having an active pet, it’d be too unfair to apply the 6 second pet summon cast to this spec.

Also, for the BM spec, it seems odd to have Arcane Shot. Cobra shot just seems like the better choice, seeing as how they are both on the GCD. I can’t think of a situation where I would arcane shot over cobra shot. It would make more sense if arcane shot was off GCD or had a cooldown and did more damage.

I’d also like to suggest that Bestial Wrath and Hunter’s Mark, at a minimum, should be removed from the GCD. Having both Aspect of the Wild and Bestial Wrath on the GCD is not fun gameplay. Regarding hunter’s mark, It’s clunky to constantly waste a GCD to swap hunter’s mark - especially in dungeons

EDIT - I’d also like to see the azerite traits Primal Instincts and Rapid Reload be worked into the talent tree somehow. Remove some of the unused unpopular talents and replace them with these. These talents smoothed out the single target and aoe gameplay in BFA and were fun to use

EDIT2 - Also remove tranq shot (and other purges from other classes) from GCD.


I didn’t mention any BFA traits/essences/whatever, just abilities survival have currently in alpha. So, which component are you talking about exactly?



Serpent Sting deserves to be buffed, it would be really nice to have a solid DOT for MM to spread.

Careful Aim no longer belongs in a row against 2 AOE talents (should be baked in honestly).

Streamline - this is just a cosmetic suggestion, but only with streamline active does rapid fire look even remotely decent. It’s one of the worst animations in the game, and with Streamline it at least comes across as fast. I’d rather the visual keep the streamline graphic, and this talent just buff the overall damage.

Dead eye - I understand why this talent is in this row, but it makes me sad that I have to pick between this and Double Tap, which makes the spells so much more fun and impactful.
Double Tap should be 30 seconds at this point to even compete with Dead Eye’s Damage.

Volley is a welcome return and works relatively well - even if the visual is broken currently. But with that said, how does a measly 5% lock and load even compete? Either increase the L&L change, or make it baseline since it simply makes the spec more fun with a proc chance. I would much rather have that and see a more creative talent here.


Beast Mastery

Blizzard, if you insist on having Animal Companion as a talent, that’s fine, but could you please just give us back the ESSENCE SWAPPER ?

It’s absolutely baffling why you’d push the two pets in Legion, get us to love it, make the twin pet visual so easy (with the essence swapper) and then subsequently take it away in BFA? Why? What did that accomplish besides making us have to recapture pets and fill up an already egregiously full stable?

I know that we’re getting more slots in Shadowlands and celebrated that news, but please just bring back the use of the Essence Swapper so we can get the visuals we want that You facilitated in the first place.
Thank you!


Beast Mastery

Spitting Cobra - is thematically neat I guess, but I found it very underwhelming. The visual is okay, but the mechanic is wonky and the damage the Cobra does is nothing to write home about.

Stampede - I very much hope returns what it used to be with the full stable attack. As it stands absolutely no one takes it and no one will. And it looks laughable.

Bloodshed - is a nice idea, more of a burst pet dps bleed. But from testing it still doesn’t come close to Aspect of the Beast, and the visual (while I know it’s early) is pretty much nonexistent.

Arcane shot - would love to see this do something interesting. BM has some of the least interesting visuals in the whole game, so much so that I’m excited about a generic bright pink arrow. But if you give it more utility, rather than just a worse cobra shot (as someone already pointed out), then I’d be happy for the addition.


I think for serpent sting to be buffed they should just make it baseline, cost no focus, and maybe allow it to be applied with Multishot making both abilities stronger than they currently are. I know there used to be functionality with this happening.


This would also just make survival even more rejected since this is one of their few main rotational abilities and they have to talent to make it spread to 3 targets instead of 1 and it costs them focus. To make matters worse, it actually lowers the duration the more haste you get so instead of having a fixed duration like almost every other dot in the game and doing more ticks with more haste, the more haste you get as survival the more GCDs and focus you have to spend on maintaining serpent sting because it does it’s same damage in a shorter and shorter time span. It definitely should not be better for marksman that specializes in powerful shots not dots.


Marksmanship in the past has had multiple abilities that have caused dots. Marksmanship used to have Synergies between Chimera Shot and Serpent Sting where you casted Sting once and kept it up the entire fight with Chimera Shot. You have a spec that has a mixture of Old Survival abilities and talents in Marksmanship. Chimera Shot was a Marksmanship staple since Wrath (Until Legion) is a talent right now for MM. Marksmanship has had Dots in Piercing Shots by having their Hard Hitting shots apply a bleed for 10% of their damage and their other dot Serpent Sting. Explosive Shot and Lock and Load (which honestly are garbage in current iterations) both being parts of Survival since Wrath are MM talents. Why Would I take them over Careful Aim or Calling the Shots/Volley in Shadowlands?

Maybe Serpent sting should have a focus cost and do the same thing with Multishot? Should Chimera Shot even be a talent and just be another Strong hitting 2 Target Shot? Maybe Bring back that synergy that it had with Serpent Sting? Blizzard wants to make classes feel like they did before the unpruning. Here’s their chance to give Hunters what they’ve been asking for. They’ve been asking for a while.


What am I doing as Marksman? I feel like I’m just waiting for Aimed Shot to come up to then deal my real damage. Other than that I’m just hitting other abilities as they fit into waiting for Aimed Shot? It’s incredibly boring with hardly any interaction. Blizzard has the opportunity to make Marksmanship less boring and more interactive. What they’ve currently done doesn’t do that.


If you feel like you’re only waiting for Aimed Shot to deal your real damage then what you’re actually asking is that your damage profile be shuffled around such that Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, Kill Shot, and Rapid Fire do more of your damage and Aimed Shot do less. There’s still no justification there to give marksman one of survival’s few baseline abilities as one of marksman’s baseline abilities when they already have so many compared to survival.


Quick focus testing for Marksmanship on live vs. Alpha:

17.19 seconds to refill from 0
5.8 focus regen/second

25 sec to refill from 0
4 focus regen/sec

This really helps the talents feel like they are worth taking that cost focus. Thanks Blizzard!

It still feels weird having Serpent Sting with such a low duration on the DoT. Damage numbers will likely be tuned in the Beta testing, so I don’t think that needs to be mentioned here. But the duration of the DoT should be increased. Otherwise, it feels like an interruption in the smoothness of the rotation to cast SS when you have to do so so often.