Feedback: Hunters

I have a few pieces of feedback for Marksmanship hunters:

1- The Marksmanship Hunter Spec Tree feels very top heavy, this made me feel as a player that getting to the next tiers of the spec tree were not a fun “unlock” moment because I still had so many options that felt core to my experience “above” the line. Providing either less overall points at the top or more choice within those options would feel a lot better for me. Personally I love choice nodes as a solution here.

2- Careful Aim and Bullseye seem like they could be a very interesting option for a choice node. Personally I really enjoy Choice Nodes, I feel like they offer the player a meaningful choice where there normally would not be one. Bullseye and Careful Aim really feel like a strong candidate for this. It adds some more hard options for the player to choose from and I think that’s fun.

3- Lonewolf has been the identity of Marksmanship for so long that many of us will likely just pick this talent option without thinking about it even if it isn’t the best personal dps option. While this paradigm was interesting for the class overall, with the inclusion of the class tree there is a lot “feels bads” looking at that and then looking at lonewolf. By forgoing all pet related talents and builds that could have a pet involved feels very limiting for Marksmanship Hunters in the class tree.
I am curious if this node could be made more interesting by adding a choice node here, something incentivizing pet play. Adding that element to the tree would also open up the possibility of a deep left Class Tree, an element that doesn’t really exist in the current iteration of Marksman Hunter and because of that side of the class tree not working for us, we have a very static class tree selection path.

As some ideas for what it could be, maybe:
	Kill command increases the damage of your next rapid fire by X%, stacking.
	Arcane/Chimera shots empowered by Precise Shots have a chance to reset the cooldown on Kill Command and increase its damage by X%.

The reason why as a player I would prefer this approach rather than just a tuning nob would be that we can be excited about picking between 2 builds.

4- I’m personally not very happy to see Serpent Stalker’s Trickery back because I think it’s boring and removes gameplay from the Hunter, especially with Latent Poison Injectors talent in our class tree. With its position in the tree right now gating wailing arrow and bullseye, both of which are super cool options, feels really bad. As a player, I personally hate having to pick this node to get to a single target all-star talent like Bullseye.

The one thing I would say in defense of Serpent Stalkers however, is how it interacts in AOE situations. Managing multiple serpent stings across multiple targets applied by aimed-shot was fun with our legendary, but I worry that with us receiving serpent sting baseline that bit of gameplay will be nullified.

5- In regards to hunter survivability, we are still very fragile in a raid environment. For me, weak survivability as a choice when selecting hunter feels very unfun for the player. Some classes give up mobility, some give up on utility, but giving up on survivability is different than those other sacrifices or choices because the reality of this sacrifice in many instances is just a pass/fail. And the fail means “sorry you don’t get to play anymore” as you lie on the ground for 5 minutes, potentially costing your group a kill on a really tough boss.
To further add to this issue, we unfortunately don’t really have many options to increase our survivability in the tree itself. If survivability is an interactive choice for us about what type of survivability options you get in the class tree itself at least we gain some of that agency that many of the other classes seem to have in spades.
These options could be potentially tied to some of the pet solo talents on the left side of the tree. Seeing some survivability choices there would allow us to at least make the choice and make the Pet vs. Lonewolf argument have some upsides outside of DPS.

Thank you for interacting with this thread so much, seeing some of the great ideas here making their way into the talent tree has filled me with confidence in this game and the class I love so much, and the class it self more fun on alpha to play right now for me than on live.

18 Likes

Also, less important, but also to note:

Why is Survival called Survival when it has less Survivability than Marksman and Beast Mastery since the revamp in Legion?

I’ve always found it so weird.

Like, yes all 3 specs need more survivability, but surely the spec named Survival should have some sort of upper hand, especially since they’re melee and getting hit by enemy cleaves. Like, some baked in Avoidance would make sense as an example, specifically because of said cleaves lol.

Like, Mending Bandage being made a PvE skill for Survival could be an option, for instance. Most people use that for the DoT removal, and that’s still a survivability thing that could benefit PvE, especially since it can be used on others. Though, I think flavor wise, (and I’ve thought this since MB was added) renaming it to something like “Mending Salve” would be better - as Survival hunters used herbs and such, bandages seems weird.

20 Likes

Personally i found that being behind boss and not getting parried happens to solve most of those issues (very convenient that it also increases your dps)

It can be added, but it will be entirely useless and won’t do anything :

  1. dps loss to use since a channel
  2. very low amount of healing
  3. decently long cd
  4. doesn’t give DR so doesn’t actually prevent you from dying

at best it will have some marginal utility due to dot removal, but very low value

18 Likes

Just here to echo this sentiment. Once you get to the final gate of talents, if you’re looking to maximize your damage, you’re only spending points below that gate. Imagining an MM build that has a pet is fun and all, but it could only ever possibly be viable on pure ST unless Lone Wolf is nerfed into oblivion – MM pets are just too useless on AOE for a non-Lone Wolf build to be viable there. This means that if you’re MM, you’re taking all of the non-pet-related talents after the last gate, and you can afford to take all of them. This means everyone who is looking to get the most damage out of their points in the class tree will be taking Nesingwary’s and Steel Trap, regardless of whether these effects are fun. Personally, I do not find using traps rotationally to be fun, especially not for the reward Nesingwary’s gives.

While I still wouldn’t want to take these talents as BM/SV, it’s less of an issue for them since they love all the same talents MM is taking on the middle/right of the bottom section while still actually getting lots of value out of the 3 talents on the far left.

Obviously this is mainly a PVE issue, since PvP MM hunters usually use pets and using traps in PvP is much different from using them in PvE; in PvP, Nesingwary’s probably just feels like a nice bonus for doing what you were already planning on doing.


Also, on the topic of MM using pets, it’d be super nice if there were some way for MM hunters to provide a group haste buff (i.e. Primal Rage) without using a pet. It sucks that you either have to play with a pet (which is currently a significant DPS loss on ST and even moreso on AOE) or you have to game it by casting Primal Rage right as you’re dismissing your pet, which still requires your Lone Wolf buff to slowly stack up afterwards. On live, I like to play MM in keys because BM’s AOE is mediocre (and because I signed up to play a ranged class and SV is just a weird nightmare I choose to ignore) and I dread joining groups without a shaman/mage.

14 Likes

Imagine a world where Binding Shackles was replaced with “Ferocity/Tenacity” where you could talent into 10% Leech/Primal Rage or %5 HP/ (a buffed) sotf. Not sure how that’d go for BM/SV gamers but it would sure be nice for MM.

10 Likes

Hello Hunters,

There are some notable changes coming to your next alpha build we wanted to share. This won’t be an exhaustive list of changes, but will hit some of the big points.

As far as bugs, we know there are bugs and things that aren’t working right. Things are being worked on.

Baseline Class Changes:

  • Tenacity Pets no longer have Survival of the Fittest.
  • Tenacity Pets have a new ability, Fortitude of the Bear. This grants you and your pet +20% maximum HP for a duration.
    • Command Pet interactions will probably be a bit broken in the next build, as well as Lone Wolf giving access to Survival of the Fittest as opposed to Fortitude of the Bear. These will be resolved in a future build.

Class Tree:

  • Thick Hides removed.
  • Survival of the Fittest is now in the class tree.
  • There is a choice node to modify Survival of the Fittest to have a shorter cooldown, or have higher damage reduction value.
  • Fogged Crystal removed.
  • Improved Tranquilizing Shot lowered to a 1 point node.
  • Born to be Wild now also modifies Survival of the Fittest, and lowered to a 2-point node.
  • There is a new, potentially placeholder, not implemented, not final, not a promise talent added in the core tree. Sentinel Owl.
    • Sentinel Owl grants you unhindered vision of a targeted area, allowing your attacks to ignore line of sight to the area.
  • There is a new, potentially placeholder, not implemented, not final, not a promise choice node attached to the Sentinel Owl node.
    • Choice A: The unhindered vision of your owl now also applies to your party members, allowing them to also ignore line of sight to the target area.
    • Choice B: While the Sentinel Owl is active, your party gains some Leech and Avoidance.

Some thoughts on Sentinel Owl:
Resonating Arrow from the Kyrian covenant is a neat, unique effect Hunters have to break the line of sight rules. It is very powerful in PvP situations, and situationally useful in PvE. We want to keep the ignore line of sight effect, but do not want to keep the personal or group damage amplification from Resonating Arrow. Keeping utility as utility, and not utility as damage, allows it to be a useful tool when the situation calls for it, rather than something you feel compelled to stack with other effects, or use on cooldown.

Marksmanship:

  • A bunch of nodes in the bottom left area have been shuffled around the tree.

Survival:

  • Kill Command (the Survival variant) now has an innate +10% chance to reset its cooldown. Predator’s value has been lowered from 25% to 15%.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

52 Likes

Thanks for the weekly post Nimox! Some initial thoughts…

  • Love the changes to Survival of the Fittest, its new choice node, and the additional of Fortitude of the Bear. This gives hunters of all specs a solid new defensive option.
  • It is nice to see Fogged Crystal & Thick Hides removed. They were both far too situational to be taking up nodes on the tree. Hopefully this frees up the class tree for even more new talents, on top of what has already been added in this post.
  • The idea of Sentinel Owl is interesting, however I am very wary about its choice node. I think everyone is aware that hunters need some form of raid utility, and I really hope this is not the solution. The concern is that this is party-wide, not raid-wide. Your thoughts even called out that Sentinel Owl only has situational use in PvE. I don’t see this swinging the needle much, if at all, in terms of raid utility.
  • Regarding Choice B, the focus on Avoidance is confusing. Avoidance is only beneficial against a handful of abilities. Combine this with the talent not being raid-wide, and you get a talent that is incredibly restrictive and comes nowhere close to the raid utility that other classes/specs are getting. Atrophic Poison, for example, is a permanent 3.6% DR that can be doubled on a single target by Shiv every 25 seconds.
  • If the team is adamant on this being party-wide only, I hope the discussion about raid utility for hunters continues. Personally, I would scrap Choice B, keep Choice A but it obviously no longer as a choice node, and introduce something different as our raid utility.
    There have been a lot of ideas suggested, and I figure I’d bring those up again just to make sure they are fresh in everyone’s minds.
    • WoD-style pet buffs - each pet type could provide one of the raid buffs that are currently exclusive to other classes (warrior, mage, priest, druid). I do not see why adding some redundancy for these buffs would be an issue. Could be an issue for Lone Wolf MM hunters, sure.
    • Aspect of the Fox - this ability was definitely abused on certain raid encounters the last time it existed. That being said, it is not oppressive on every single raid encounter. If the team thought it was, a Sated-type debuff could be added to prevent the concept of stacking hunters to chain-cast this.
    • Raid-wide or party-wide Aspect of the Eagle - we all know a version of this ability was datamined for evokers. If the idea was there, why not give it to the class that has a spec that already has it as an ability? Admittedly, this would be strong, meaning it would be a great candidate to be party-wide only.
39 Likes

heck yeah!! this is great, really love to see this. access to a reliable baseline DR (and customizable) DR is nice to see. should really shore up some weaknesses of the class. <3

I know this is a super hypothetical not implemented and not a promise ability, but it seems like it could potentially be an abrasive choice in the future—hilariously good in arenas/pvp (as you said) but I fear almost too niche in pve.

that said, looking forward to seeing how it works, what the numbers are (cd/duration), and how much leech/avoidance it can give.

great to see!

y-you too

11 Likes

Great changes.

I think those can have some work.
I think choice A is really cool for pvp, however choice B feels weird.
Leech and Avoidance being party is weird as it’s unreliable as defensive cd in raid content, and will likely be perma ignored (unless your running a hunter for each party to benefit from it, which is unlikely)
I don’t know what’s a good alternative option that’s not just pure dmg increase (and i personally greatly dislike buffs being party rather than raid wide), however right now it looks as 2 different pvp choices.

7 Likes

Our Kyrian legendary gave us 10% crit to the party, maybe that’s a decent alternative?

Maybe, but they said they didn’t want to do that, so I’m not sure.

8 Likes

Right you are. Thanks for pointing it out because I completely missed it my first read-through.

2 Likes

I’m probably alone on this thinking, but if you admit that there’s very very niche uses in PvE and it’ll mainly be used in PvP, why is it a PvE talent and not a PvP Talent?

As others said, if this is meant to be the utility hunters bring to the raid, please reconsider, utility should not be massively niche or it defeats the purpose of utility.

I feel like leaning into the Aspects Hunters have could be a nice utility for parties. I just don’t really have any specific suggestions. I mean, at one point you guys were experimenting with a group-wide Aspect of the Eagle for Evokers, if I recall, why not actually just make that Aspect of the Eagle? Letting us turn a melee group into range for X seconds would be great utility. Could just make the Survival talent last longer for the hunter in particular. (or grant it if not talented into the class tree, etc.)

That said, I highly hope you guys keep in mind that Feral and Survival need utility that cannot be used by their ranged counterparts to help justify putting them in a raid. As it stands now, we get left out because we lack no utility MM/BM/Balance don’t also bring. Feral has requested Leader of the Pack many times - bringing back Expose Weakness for Survival could be an option, for example.

I do this way too much. X_X

I literally read one note like 12 times and completely missed a sentence, only for someone else to point it out above haha. The formatting is hard to read sometimes.

14 Likes

There are only 3 available spots for pvp talents. Why can’t pvpers have something cool in the tree as well?

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Everything in the tree is also a pvp talent? It’s not an exclusive PvE talent. PvPers do have an exclusive talent selection. People are concerned because ignoring LoS is immensely powerful in a lot of pvp situations compared to not very many PvE situations.

13 Likes

The real reason people are suggesting it be made a PvP talent is because:

  1. PvE hunters have been asking for some group/raid utility/buff to incentivize bringing a hunter even if hunter isn’t a top-tier DPS.
  2. This talent is being interpreted as Blizzard’s response to those comments, especially because of the leech/avoidance part of it.
  3. The LoS effect is cool, but super niche PvE, and it’ll still probably take up some of the ability’s power budget. So, people are just worried we’ll end up with a “1-2 min CD on the GCD, give your party 10% leech and 10% avoidance for 10 sec” button for two talent points, which is not what they were hoping for.

They’re trying to compromise by saying “We don’t care about the LoS effect, but we can see it’s cool in PvP, so just give that to PvP’ers as a PvP talent”, but like you said, PvP talents are limited. What they’re really trying to say, I think, is that they don’t want this to be our group/raid utility button as described. Nobody would mind if this stayed in the class tree if we got something else in addition to this, or if the avoidance/leech talent was scrapped for something else.

18 Likes

The issue I think is that pvp talents are still kinda designed with the old talent system in mind.

In the long run they should give each class a pvp talent tree with choice nodes and defensive/offensive bonuses etc like the class and spec tree. Maybe that is for next expansion once the new talents have shaken out for awhile.

2 Likes

The positioning of talents in the MM tree looks a bit better, but really hope the team continues to iterate on it:

  1. Killing Blow (Kill Shot crit chance) being the only path to Hunter’s Knowledge (Aimed Shot & Rapid Fire crit chance) makes no sense. A swap with Lone Wolf would be very helpful, and then Killing Blow flows right into Deathblow & Razor Fragments, both of which interact with Kill Shot.

  2. You had mentioned that if Bombardment was going to continue to be a 2-point node, it would also buff the damage of Multi-Shot. Is this still planned or is the node going to be changed to a single point. As it stands, it does not do enough to warrant being a 2-point node.

Regarding the class tree…

  1. Sentinel not having a CD, and its duration being tied to the amount of Focus you spent is really interesting.
  2. Sentinel’s Wisdom seems lackluster. It might be strong in dungeons and PvP, but is practically worthless in raids. I really hope we receive another form of utility.
  3. Hunter’s Agility now provides dodge chance instead of avoidance. Is this an out of season April Fools’ joke? Avoidance is not the best defensive stat, sure, but dodge is completely useless. If the intent is that this is strong in PvP, PvP talents exist (although I’m sure this would still not even be worth taking).
15 Likes

Some initial thoughts after looking at the updated tree a bit this afternoon:

Generic Hunter Tree

  • You can talent into Improved Tranq Shot without taking Tranq Shot

  • The budget is very tight now with SotF (and its choice nodes) as well as Sentinel Owl (and its choice nodes). Feels like we might have to almost always ignore the cool Sentinel Owl so we can afford rotational/damage talents

  • The Avoidance → Dodge change seems a bit odd. Any shot this can be combined with Agile Movement to help with the new budget problems?

  • Improved Traps is a really bummer talent node that deep into the tree. I don’t know many people that are excited about it, especially as a 2 point talent. Perhaps this could be reworked/replaced with something else entirely?

  • Binding Shackles feels more akin to a PvP talent and, much like Improved Traps, not very exciting to take at all that far down in the tree, especially being linked to Beast Master/Keen Eyesight. As a Survival Hunter I feel a bit “forced” to take Tranq Shot/Improved Tranq Shot or Binding Shackles to get access to Beast Master (with the goal of Alpha Predator). This feels a bit claustrophobic in this part of the tree

  • Bouncing off the last point, Improved Kill Command and Beast Master feel a bit redundant or perhaps stuffy with both being 2 point nodes and both having very similar effects. Any chance these can be combined or one brought down to a 1-point node?


Survival Hunter Tree

  • Viper’s Venom is a bit odd at a 2-point node. As stated earlier, 30% is a bit too high as 15% may already provide a significant portion of your SS uptime, so the second point bringing it up to 30% feels wasted especially as haste increases. Can this please be brought down to 1 much like Serpentstalker’s?

  • Spear Focus and Sweeping Spear feel very similar, especially because Sweeping Spear is just Spear Focus but better in every way. Spear Focus is a bit dull to talent into just to get access to Bloody Claws (a new talent) with current tuning. Any chance Spear Focus could be retooled / reworked?

  • Bouncing off the last note, Flanking Strike itself is a little similar to Kill Command, except it is missing a lot of the talent interactions that buff Kill Command, causing Flanking strike to be a fairly plain 30-second cooldown ability, at least for Single Target. It can be much more impactful rotationally with some kind of additional synergy, perhaps building off of the Mongoose Bite node. Since Spear Focus is a bit redundant with Sweeping Spear—perhaps Spear Focus could be retooled into a single-target version of Frenzy Strikes just for Flanking Strike? This would solve the redundancy and give Flanking Strike a cool usage loop in single-target. What does everyone else think?

  • Similar train of thought, the 8-20 point portion of the tree seems a bit too full compared to other areas. Particularly talents like Lunge or Bloody Claws can be hard to justify with other more impactful talents in this area. Lunge can be hard to justify as it doesn’t lead into anything impactful on its own. Much like the suggestion earlier, Spear Focus and Lunge (or Sharp Edges and Lunge) could be combined, for example, to free up both concerns.

  • With the emphasis on Flanker’s Advantage (Kill Command resets) in our Dragonflight Tree and the synergy it provides, many Survival Hunters are concerned that with access to Pheromone Bomb the gameplay loop could swiftly become oppressive when you only focus (pun intended) on the 100% reset chance that Wildfire Infusion offers and that this could remove exciting gameplay by just slamming KC to get what you need, whether it be FotE resets, Quick Shot procs, Spearhead extensions, etc. Any thoughts on avoiding this oppressive (some say mindless KC spamming) gameplay loop?


In summary, myself and others are very grateful to have such an exciting tree and extremely appreciative of the communication and response to feedback so far. There are only a few points of concern left and it’s looking like the Survival Tree is in an incredibly nice spot and many are very optimistic/excited to see where things go.

6 Likes

Sentinel’s Wisdom is very likely being redesigned.
Hunter’s Agility changing from Avoidance to Dodge was mostly so there wasn’t a doubled-up Avoidance node on the tree.

5 Likes