Feedback: Hunters

I should clarify my post above a bit more.

PvP is a concern for abilities that sometimes deal big damage or heal lot. This is true for the game as a whole. We have tools available to change things in PvP compared to PvE. While these tools obviously work, it’s not intuitive that Aimed Shot does 1000 damage against a kobold, and 500 damage against a player because of a hidden multiplier.

There are also PvE concerns of your abilities swinging in damage a lot. Partly for tuning reasons, but also for how the game feels. Again using hypothetical numbers, if Aimed Shot does 1000 damage, but sometimes 2500, your damage variance from each boss attempt, or on that difficult M+ pack, or in the Mage Tower challenges, or wherever, is very unstable. Sometimes it’s OK for your damage to be very swingy, some specs inherently have a lot of randomness in how they play and that’s by design. Critical strikes are already a thing that exist that changes your damage a lot, but you don’t often pull a boss and think “oh, my aimed shot didn’t crit, lets reset and try again”. That’s obviously an extreme example, but if there’s so much randomness tied to one ability’s damage, and that ability is a significant part of your total throughput, maybe it’s a problem we should try to address.

13 Likes

Totally understood. My tree would have had Rapid Fire as a more “mandatory” ability but the current structure of this tree does not allow for that. Not that I think Rapid Fire needs to be mandatory, but somehow incorporating more power into the spell would make it more enticing overall. Agree that trying to incorporate a capstone tied to Rapid Fire would pretty much require an overhaul, which may cause more problems than it would solve.

The problem with this is that it essentially makes Rapid Fire mandatory, whereas you want it to be “technically” optional. Similarly with Hunter’s Knowledge, Focused Aim, and Deathblow - if I take those talents, why would I also not take Rapid Fire? I think making talents affect both abilities limits the overall build variety as those talents tend to become too powerful.

2 Likes

If they only buff Aimed Shot, does that make Rapid Fire less desirable because it has fewer modifiers than Aimed Shot?

4 Likes

Hence my suggestion for more talents that buff Rapid Fire specifically (In The Rhythm, 1 extra focus per hit, etc.). I would guess one or the other would suffice, but I believe talents that buff both would lead to less build variety. Maybe that’s a poor assumption though.

4 Likes

I just want to point out Druids had a buff exactly for this for their Arcanic Pulsar legendary, I begged for something similar during ptr for our 4-set while doing an obscene amount of testing to make just such a tracker and find the obscure behaviors of it. I think with just the slightest dev attention the mechanic could be much more enjoyable, since the biggest “problem” with it right now is its interaction with Unblinking Vigil, which won’t be a thing anymore.

The talent just feels too niche to be used as described right now. It seems like being able to save specifically for add spawns is a null point when we’d be taking Volley and saving it for that anyway for burst cleave, rendering that useless unless it’s an extended add spawn, in which case the automatic cleave should be perfectly suitable and also wouldn’t require us to also talent into Multi-Shot for a 2-target situation where we’d ideally already be taking Chimaera shot.

8 Likes

I did not intend my question to be combative if it came off that way, it was just a question of how things look at a glance. For players who don’t rely on 3rd party sites or high end theorycrafting, if they look at the tree and see 5 things that only buff Aimed Shot, and Rapid Fire off to the side, Rapid Fire probably looks like a much less desirable button. When these 5 things buff both Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire, maybe it’s a good push in the right direction that Rapid Fire is an important button you should get, and these bonuses also work on that ability so you feel like you’re getting full value from them.

Neither direction is objectively correct or incorrect.

22 Likes

Nimox, What I see Podh saying here - and Podh please correct me if I am wrong - is that there are so many talents right now that affect aimed shot, and even the current Shadowlands damage profile reflects this, that Aimed shot is the heavy majority of our damage, and rapid fire is used to reduce the cast time of aimed shot, not necessarily to be a big source of damage. EDIT: I think adding Rapid Fire to some of the aimed shot talents has helped this, but just adding damage doesn’t always feel right, if more utility to amplify the rest of our kit is also an option

Perhaps what Podh is asking about is providing talents (Under rapid fire) that give hunters another reason to want to use the button, if they have chosen to spec into it, and to that, I would completely agree.

3 Likes

I agree it helps incentivize getting rapid fire, but in the specific case of Focused Aim, it is on the complete opposite side of the tree from Rapid Fire, so if Rapid Fire isn’t chosen, taking this talent would make it feel like we’re only getting half of the supposed value out of it.

2 Likes

Oh no worries at all, my extra periods weren’t intentional either. Stuck in the wage cage, so I very much look forward to your posts on Friday and am obviously passionate about hunter design.

This makes sense to me, as long as the talents that are not directly affecting Aimed Shot/Raid Fire (fortunately, there are not a ton, but think Wailing Arrow/Killing Blow/Salvo) are powerful enough or have a niche such that we will still select them in certain situations.

16 Likes

Thanks for the communication. I’m excited for the next build and to finally use the new talents.

5 Likes

Is there any way for barrage to get looked at? I don’t think many people will keep using this spell if it stays like this. Maybe have its range limited by your target? Like a cross between rapid fire and multishot?

14 Likes

I don’t think that improves it, that’s the appeal of Barrage, this was just pure mis-use of it. The spread and range of Barrage would be the appeal, if it ever had a use-case, to be taken over Explosive anyway. If that’s taken away it’s just a pure throughput choice and there will be one winner always with nothing to validate the other, which would be a very boring node.

6 Likes

I’m okay with not redesigning it as I’m sure y’all are busy with 13 classes, but can I please request that if you aren’t going to redesign Survival’s mastery - could you perhaps tune it better in Dragonflight?

Right now, Mastery is practically a dps loss to grab, as it is just so undertuned. Even Wowhead’s guide writer emphasizes this with:

I got a 291 neck from the weekly on live, however, that’s my Unity Slot, so I simmed every single slot I have a 252ish piece in with a 291 unity and the neck, and the closest “upgrade” was still a 300 dps loss, because the neck I got is almost all mastery. (Noble’s Birthstone Pendant)

Mastery is so bad that upgrading another slot of armor 40 ilvls isn’t an upgrade. (And these are slots that have agility, to give you an idea)

EDIT: To give you an idea, doing the same sim as Marksman, it found a 400-500 dps upgrade for me by switching Unity to Waist and equipping the necklace. Which is what I would expect from upgrading an item 40 ilvls. Not a 300 dps loss. :stuck_out_tongue:

Very few classes have an issue that a stat is so bad you avoid it even if it means putting on a lower piece. (I THINK Havoc has the same issue with Mastery, but it’s been a while since I looked?)

23 Likes

Hello Everyone,

I am still worried about the top section of the Marksman Hunter Spec tree and did a little thought experiment that I wanted to share.

The problems with the top section of the Marksman Tree, in my opinion, are:

  • It is very bloated, many builds right now feel like you are spending a very large number of points at the top of the tree.
  • Rapid Fire is so far out of the way that it eats up a bunch of points to get something so core to our gameplay
  • Lone Wolf currently locks us out of the entire left hand side of the class tree, is out of the way, and is always the correct choice which makes it not really a choice.

I drew up a very quick rough draft of some of the things I’ve seen in other talent trees that inspired me related to how our talent tree could look. I understand that this likely won’t happen and that’s ok.

There are some problems here:

  • There are much less talent points in total at the top and takes some nodes out of sections further down the tree that would need to be replaced
  • This pulls a lot of power up higher up into the tree which could be problematic from a leveling standpoint as it would mess with power gains as you level

Thank you for reading.

20 Likes

Hope everyone here had a smooth weekend! Here are some quick fire feedbacks I hope is looked at in the next few builds. I hope everyone reading this weighs in what you think as well. This is from the PoV of a Survival main.

General Hunter Tree

  • Improved Traps is not very exciting at all. Investing two whole points to get 5 seconds of CD on traps is a bit of a bummer especially that deep into the tree.
  • Binding Shackles is also a bit of a dull-talent that I feel obligated to take to to get access to Beast Master → Apex Predator. It feels like a bit of an odd link right there to me personally.
  • There seems to be a lack of passive damage modifiers on the tree for the Lone Wolf MM players out there. SV/BM has access to things like Beast Master and Improved Kill Command. Many players are concerned about the abundance of active damage abilities (your Steel Traps, Stampede/Death Chakram, Explosive Shot/Barrage) and lack of passive-yet-exciting talents (Apex Predator/Killer Instinct)
  • Leading off that last point, Lone Wolf MM players are almost definitely going to be forced to play with NtA and Steel Trap. Is it too late for these to be replaced? Many don’t really like this playstyle and personally after playing with it in previous expansions it gets very old very fast.

Survival Hunter Tree

  • Viper’s Venom, as a 2 point talent, gives 30% to proc a Serpent Sting. This is going to be more than enough to maintain SS easily. Much like Marksmanship’s Serpentstalker’s Trickery, this would make more sense to be brought to 1 point (currently 15%) and perhaps slightly buffed.
  • Spear Focus (increase Mongoose Bite by 5/10%) is extremely similar to Sweeping Spear (increase Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite and Carve/Butchery damage by 5/10%). Perhaps the former could be reworked into something more unique/exciting to talent into
20 Likes

I’m going to leave any extensive MM Hunter feedback until we can test the talents out with all the bug fixes upcoming, but I wanted to reiterate that I think Precise Shots, Improved Arcane Shot, Streamline, and Hunter’s Knowledge should be 1 point talents. This would allow further passive rotation manipulating options to be added lower in the tree.

If this isn’t an option, I want to ask if it’s intended to be able to build without Precise Shots? Or does the team consider Precise Shots to be completely core to the way MM plays?

6 Likes

I’ve been reading through the thoughtful feedback on here, and I really appreciate all the responses from Blizzard — it’s very helpful to know what the devs are thinking, and what they’re looking at.

And now, I would like to share my own feedback, along with a few notes that I’ve read on the Hunter forum. There are many excellent feedback threads on that forum; I will be referring to a few through my post, although I will be paraphrasing them.

Before I start, I want to lay out my premises, my intentions, and my approach. I am taking the devs at their word; when Dragonflight (DF) was first announced, a series of video interviews were shared with us. In one such interview, the devs emphasized that they are focusing on the class identity over the spec identity. This is the main premise I am operating from, and it is my intention to analyze the trees (including the class tree) in order to determine whether the class identity — and to a lesser extent, spec identity — is clear and easily seen, or not. Lastly, I am the sort of person who “looks at the big picture” — some people might would feel that I am missing the tree for the forest, but this is how I see things.

I will talk about a few things in my analysis of the trees: The nodes, the pathing, the themes, and lastly, I will compare and contrast the Hunter trees to other class trees. I will also cite other feedback threads, as I mentioned earlier.


Compare and Contrast: Hunter Talent Trees and the other Classes

I will start with the compare and contrast; I have complied numbers on all the talent trees currently available in Alpha and put them into collapsible sections; I will post this in the following post. A note before I begin, though — I counted the nodes on one half the week of August 2-8, and the other half the week of August 9-15. I acknowledge that by August 16, some of the numbers may be a little different, but the overall picture remains largely the same.

What I did was I counted the number of nodes in each tree — the general class tree, and the spec trees for each class. I counted how many nodes are in each tree, and I counted the multiple-point nodes (2-point and 3-point). The reason I did this was due to seeing quite a number of Hunters — on both the Alpha forum and the Hunter forum — expressing concern over “bloat” (the number of multiple-point nodes). I wanted to see if there was a legitimate cause behind their concern… and the numbers I found was quite interesting. There definitely are a few outliers. I will now share the numbers before addressing my own thoughts.

In this post, I will be sharing the end result of the numbers that I collected; if you want a more thorough break-down, please see my next post, which will be solely dedicated to sharing the numbers that I collected from counting each of the available tree (sans Monk and Demon Hunter, which did not yet have their Alpha trees at the time of this posting). Specifically, what I am sharing right now is the percentage of nodes that are multiple-point.

Death Knight Trees
Class tree — 9%
Frost tree — 29%
Blood tree — 31%
Unholy tree — 29%

Druid Trees
Class tree — 20%
Balance tree — 35%
Feral tree — 30%
Restoration tree — 33%
Guardian tree — 24%

Evoker Trees
Class tree — 20%
Preservation tree — 23%
Devastation tree — 28%

Hunter Trees
Class tree — 37%
Beast Mastery — 51%
Survival — 44%
Marksmanship — 35%

Mage Trees
Class tree — 38%
Frost tree — 29%
Arcane tree — 15%
Fire tree — 27%

Paladin Trees
Class tree — 20%
Retribution tree — 16%
Holy tree — 15%
Protection tree — 28%

Priest Trees
Class tree — 29%
Shadow tree — 24%
Discipline tree — 23%
Holy tree — 19%

Rogue Trees
Class tree — 24%
Subtlety tree — 14%
Assassination tree — 29%
Outlaw tree — 19%

Shaman Trees
Class tree —22%
Elemental tree — 25%
Enhancement tree — 21%
Restoration tree — 23%

Warlock Trees
Class tree — 33%
Affliction tree — 38%
Demonology tree — 30%
Destruction tree — 41%

Warrior Trees
Class tree — 9%
Protection tree — 11%
Fury tree — 13%
Arms tree — 10%

Several things immediately came to me when I first looked at the numbers I wrote down — there appears to be three different brackets of bloat (or, to use another term, “cost”). For the sake of clarity, I am labeling these three brackets as “Cheap,” “Middle,” and “Expensive.”

The trees which consists of 19% or less multiple-point nodes are “cheap.” The trees which consists of between 20% to 29% multiple-point nodes are “middle” (I have seen people refer to this as the ‘sweet spot’). Lastly, the trees which consists of 30% or more multiple-point nodes are “expensive.”

There are 11 specs which meet the “cheap” criteria:

  1. Warrior Class + DK Class trees — 9%
  2. Warrior Arms tree — 10%
  3. Warrior Prot tree — 11%
  4. Warrior Fury tree — 13%
  5. Rogue Sub tree — 14%
  6. Mage Arcane + Pally Holy trees — 15%
  7. Pally Ret tree — 16%
  8. Rogue Outlaw + Priest Holy trees — 19%

There are 20 specs which meet the “middle” (sweet spot) criteria:

  1. Druid Class/Evoker Class/Pally Class trees - 20%
  2. Shammy Enh tree — 21%
  3. Shammy Class tree — 22%
  4. Evoker Pres/Priest Disc/Shammy Resto trees — 23%
  5. Druid Guardian + Priest Shadow trees — 24%
  6. Shammy Ele tree — 25%
  7. Mage Fire tree — 27%
  8. Pally Prot + Evoker Dev trees — 28%
  9. Rogue Sin/Mage Frost/Priest Class/DK Frost/DK Unh trees — 29%

Lastly, there are 13 specs which meet the “expensive” criteria:

  1. Hunter BM tree — 51%
  2. Hunter SV tree — 44%
  3. Lock Destro tree — 41%
  4. Lock Aff + Mage Class trees — 38%
  5. Hunter Class tree — 37%
  6. Hunter MM + Druid Balance trees — 35%
  7. Druid Resto + Lock Class trees — 33%
  8. DK Blood tree — 31%
  9. Druid Feral + Lock Demo trees — 30%

I will now discuss my thoughts about these numbers.

The first thing which leapt out to me is the sheer difference between all four Warrior trees (which ranges from 9% to 13% for multiple-point nodes) and all four Hunter trees (which ranges from 35% to 51% for multiple-point nodes). The reason this is significant, because with a lower percentage of multiple-point nodes, the wider a player can cast their net — or in other words, the player can spec into more nodes in the tree; naturally, with a higher percentage of multiple-point nodes, the player is stuck with speccing into less nodes.

Another thing that struck me as unusual is that there are several clear outliers when we look at the big picture: Hunter, Warlock, and Warrior. Hunter and Warlock are the only classes in which all four of their talent trees are “expensive,” whereas Warrior is the only class in which all four of their trees are “cheap.” Druid, Rogue, and Paladin also stand out; with Druid, 3 out of 5 trees are “expensive,” whereas with Rogue and Paladin, 2 out of 4 trees are “cheap.”

(Death Knight and Mage are the only classes with trees in all three brackets. The rest are mostly in the “middle” brackets with one or two trees in either the “cheap” or “expensive” brackets, aside from the outliers that I mentioned.)

Lastly, I noticed that there are several trees in which half or more of their first tier is taken up by multiple-point nodes:

  1. Sin Rogue tree — the first tier has 9 nodes, and 5 nodes are multiple-point: 56%
  2. MM Hunter tree — the first tier has 11 nodes, and 6 nodes are multiple-point: 55%
  3. BM Hunter tree — the first tier has 12 nodes, and 6 nodes are multiple-point: 50%
  4. Feral Druid tree — the first tier has 9 nodes, and 4 nodes are multiple-point: 45%. The reason Feral get a mention is because 2 of the 4 nodes are three-point nodes.

As I have mentioned before, the higher number of multiple-point nodes in a tree means a player cannot talent into as many nodes. The first tier is important, since it gives a player the first impressions of a tree. When a player specs into a Fury Warrior, they are able to choose 8 out the 10 nodes in the first tier before unlocking the second tier. In comparison, a BM Hunter can only choose 5 to 6 nodes out of the 12 nodes in the first tier before unlocking the second tier. This can lead to a more frustrating experience for the player, especially if they have already seen the “cheap” trees.

Or, to look at this in another perspective: In order to reach the second tier, a Fury Warrior must choose which 2 nodes they are not taking, whereas a BM Hunter must choose which 6 to 7 nodes they are not taking. The penalty is much larger in trees with a higher prevalence of multiple-point nodes. The reason I used the specific word of “penalty” is because Blizzard has talked about the new talent trees as important for players “making meaningful choices.” However, it can be argued that the choices are not as meaningful for some class trees — as has been mentioned, with “cheap” trees, the players can snatch up many more nodes, whereas with the “expensive” trees, the players must choose which nodes would hurt the least to lose. The experience is quite different between the three brackets.

I understand that the trees cannot be perfectly equalized. However, I think that Blizzard could (and should) aspire for a better balance; with the three outliers (Hunter, Warlock, Warrior), they should aim to get at least 3 trees — ideally all four trees — into the “middle” bracket (between 20% to 29% for multiple-point nodes) — especially Hunter, with SV being at 44% and BM at 51%!


Thoughts on the Class Tree

While looking over the Hunter trees, I noticed several oddities; some of the posters have mentioned them, but I still wanted to put them all together into one post.

Firstly, when looking at the Hunter class tree, I noticed that there are several nodes that affects an ability that a player could take without taking the said ability.

For example, there is Tranquilizing Shot; a player could spec into Improved Tranq Shot without taking Tranq Shot — this is because a player could take unlock Improved Tranq Shot by pathing through Rejuvenating Wind.

Likewise, players could spec into Binding Shackles (which improves onto Binding Shot and Intimidation) without taking Binding Shot or Intimidation — this is possible by a player choosing Scatter Shot over Binding Shot, or Hi-Explosive Trap over Intimidation.

The location of some of the nodes seemed to be rather inconsistent; the trap nodes are a little scattered — Hi-Explosive Trap shares a choice node with Intimidation, despite sharing two very different roles (one is a knockback that does damage, while another is a stun). The node for reducing the cooldown of traps (Improved Traps) requires that a player spec into either Camouflage (stealth) or a choice node for two different versions of Survival of the Fittest (damage reduction). This node — Improved Traps — is on the other side of the tree when compared to Hi-Explosive Trap.

The next talents that directly impact traps are at the bottom — Nesingwary’s Trapping Apparatus and Steel Trap. Now, a player could technically path into those two nodes through Hi-Explosive Trap or Improved Traps — and they could just as easily path into those two third-tier trap nodes without the two trap nodes in the second tier. The reason I found this odd is because when I looked at the other class trees, I noticed that Blizzard has a tendency to lump nodes of the same category together. So I found it unusual that the trap nodes are so scattered throughout the Hunter class tree.

(The one trap-related node in which I thought the placement is decent is the Tar Trap; Tar Trap is required to reach the Hi-Explosive Trap node, which seemed appropriate to me. However, a player could reach the other trap nodes without taking Tar Trap.)

Another choice which seemed odd to me is the placement of Tranq Shot in the “pet side” (or pet path) of the tree. In order to take Tranq Shot, a player has two options: Spec into Tar Trap or Improved Pet Mend. The Tar Trap requirement makes sense, since Tar Trap and Tranq Shot are both utility-based. However, Improved Pet Mend is related to pet management and survival. Next, the only way a player could reach the node Beast Master (which increases the pet’s damage) by taking either Improved Tranq Shot or Binding Shackles —and yet once again, I find it odd that for a player to reach more pet-related nodes, they can only reach it through taking utility-related nodes.

When I looked at the other side of the class tree, I noticed that the rightmost path seemed to go back and forth between shot-based damage and survival nodes. This path starts with Kill Shot and Improved Kill Shot, but then it switches to Natural Mending (shortens the cooldown on Exhilaration), Camouflage, and Survival of the Fittest? The next node a player could take on this path is Born to be Wild (shortens the cooldown of speed and damage reduction talents)… then finally a player could start speccing into damage-boosting nodes once again with Master Marksman, which is required for Explosive Shot/Barrage and Serpent Sting.

I find it an odd choice to place survival nodes in the same path as damage nodes, especially when I compare it to the other class trees — for example, on the Druid class tree, there are very clear, separate paths for healing spells, damage spells, beast attacks (cat and bear), utility nodes, and PvP-based nodes.

The middle of the Hunter class tree is also odd to me — for example, in order to reach the Keen Eyesight node (which increases crit by 2%/4%), a player must take either Binding Shackles (utility) or Agile Movement (increased running speed). In order to take these nodes, a player must spec into either trap nodes or utility nodes (those specific utilities are commonly used in PvP). Why would a player be required to spec into PvP abilities in order to get to a node that benefits players in both PvP and PvE setting?

Now, I always believe in giving credit where credit is due: For the most part, I find the themes in the Hunter class tree to be pretty solid! There’s the pet nodes, there’s the utility nodes (including the trap nodes), and there’s the “special shot” nodes. The tree is pretty strong when it comes to establishing the Hunter identity — it’s just the placements that doesn’t really make sense, and the pathing can be rather odd.

Of course, there’s the whole thing where a player could take Improved Tranq Shot without taking Tranq Shot, or take Binding Shackles without taking Binding Shot or Intimidation. That needs to get fixed. :slight_smile:

Now, let’s go to the spec trees! (Edit: Originally, I was going to talk about all three specs, but then I decided to only do MM in this post, since it’s already a… long… post. I will discuss BM and SV another day.)


Thoughts on the MM Tree

I noticed that in the MM tree, a player could take Razor Fragments, which affects Trick Shots, without taking Trick Shots. Yes, Razor Fragments also works with Deathblow (which is a requirement for unlocking Razor Fragments), but it is still a little odd to be able to reach Razor Fragments before reaching Trick Shots.

Likewise, a player could take five nodes affecting Rapid Fire without taking Rapid Fire itself — in part because these nodes are located on the middle or the right side of the tree whereas Rapid Fire is on the left side:

  • Focused Aim (increases Rapid Fire damage by 5%/10%)
  • Hunter’s Knowledge (increases crit chance of Rapid Fire by 5%10%)
  • Deathblow (Rapid Fire have a 10% chance to grant Kill Shot)
  • Double Tap (which essentially doubles Rapid Fire during the duration)
  • Trueshot Aura (reduces cooldown of Rapid Fire during the duration)

I also identified seven nodes which affects Multi-Shot — and a player could take six without ever taking Multi-Shot. They are:

  • Precise Shots (Aimed Shot boosting the damage of Multi-Shot by 35%/70%)

  • True Aim (increases damage of Multi-Shot by 25%)

  • Lethal Shots (Multi-Shot have a 30% chance of reducing Rapid Fire cooldown)

  • Calling the Shots (Multi-Shot reduces the cooldown of Trueshot Aura by 1.5/3 seconds)

  • Bombardment (Every 6/3 Arcane Shot/Chimera Shot grants Multi-Shot the ability to trigger Trick Shots regardless of number of targets)

  • Salvo (every 45 seconds, Multi-Shot will also cast Explosive Shot)

Now, I will grant that most of those Rapid Fire-affecting and Multi-Shot-affecting nodes also affect Aimed Shot or Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot — for the most part. But two of these nodes cannot function without Multi-Shot: Bombardment and Salvo. Those two nodes are utterly pointless if a player doesn’t have access to Multi-Shot. Players can reach these nodes by pathing through Deathblow, Razor Fragments, and Volley — thereby bypassing Multi-Shot. (Which also results in a player missing out on Trick Shots, since Multi-Shot unlocks Trick Shots.)

A player could easily miss Multi-Shot, since Multi-Shot is erroneously placed in a circle-shaped node, as opposed to a square-shaped node. A player who isn’t paying attention could easily miss out on Multi-Shot, and path all the way down to Salvo… without ever taking Multi-Shot.

I think the issues with Rapid Fire and Multi-Shot could be easily solved by Blizzard moving those two up to the first tier — right below Aimed Shot. When one looks at the other classes’ spec trees, one would notice that many of those trees have abilities right up in the beginning, so those abilities are the first thing that a player grabs before getting nodes which improves on the said ability. By putting Rapid Fire and Multi-Shot right under Aimed Shot, Blizzard could ensure that a player grabs Rapid Fire and Multi-Shot before they unlock all the nodes which improves those two abilities.

If Rapid Fire and Multi-Shot are left in their current location, then the pathing doesn’t make sense — the nodes which affect Rapid Fire are scatted all over the tree, and likewise with Multi-Shot. This is how a player could take five nodes affecting Rapid Fire without taking Rapid Fire, or six nodes affecting Multi-Shot without taking Multi-Shot.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom — despite the odd placement of some nodes, and pathing issues, I find the themes to be pretty clear and solid in the MM tree. It’s obviously the tree for “fancy shooting” and “sniping.” The nodes are pretty distinct and does fit the MM flavor quite nicely.


Closing Thoughts and Concerns

As you can see, the Hunter trees do indeed suffer from “bloat” — they are expensive with their high number of multiple-point nodes, and they have some unusual node placements which enables a player to spec into numerous nodes affecting an ability… without ever taking the said ability. Also, some paths can be a little confusing; for example, one path starts out as a damage path, then abruptly switches over to a survival/utility path, before reverting back to damage. Or there’s the pet path which suddenly changes into a trap/utility path, and then changes back into a pet path near the end. There are several examples of this throughout all the trees.

There are a few more things I want to discuss, but this post is already super long as it is! So I’ll stop for now, and continue tomorrow or on Wednesday. :slight_smile:

Up next will be my thoughts about the BM and SV trees — but in the meanwhile, there are some really excellent feedback threads on these specs over in the Hunter forum. I’ll share them so you can take a look until I post about BM and SV.

BM Feedback thread: [Feedback - Build 44999] Hunter Class Talents + Beast Mastery

SV Feedback thread: [DF] Hunter Class and Survival Talent Tree Feedback

SV Feedback thread: Alpha Survival Hunter Questions for the Developers

63 Likes

The Nitty Gritty: Class and Spec Trees

In this post, you will see the numbers for the following:

Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Total
Percentage of multiple-point nodes in each tree

I have included the numbers for “choice” nodes and multiple-point nodes (I separately counted the two-point nodes and the three-point nodes). Feel free to open each section of your own choosing.

Warrior trees

Warrior Class Tree
Tier 1: 18 nodes, with 3 choices
Tier 2: 12 nodes, with 5 choices
Tier 3: 15 nodes, with 3 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 45 nodes, with 11 choices and 4 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 9%

Protection Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes
Tier 2: 17 nodes, with 6 choices and 1 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 1 choice and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 38 nodes, with 7 choices and 4 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 11%

Fury Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 1 choice
Tier 2: 20 nodes, with 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 15 nodes, with 1 choice and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 45 nodes, with 2 choices and 6 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 13%

Arms Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes
Tier 2: 11 nodes, with 2 choices and 1 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 21 nodes, with 3 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 42 nodes, with 5 choices and 4 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 10%

Rogue trees

Rogue Class Tree
Tier 1: 13 nodes
Tier 2: 19 nodes, with 6 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 3 two-point nodes and 2 three-point nodes
Total: 45 nodes, with 11 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 24%

Subtlety Tree
Tier 1: 13 nodes
Tier 2: 20 nodes, with 3 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 3 two-point nodes
Total: 44 nodes, with 6 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 14%

Assassination Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes, with 5 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 16 nodes, with 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 1 choice, 1 two-point node and 3 three-point nodes
Total: 38 nodes with 1 choice and 11 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 29%

Outlaw Tree
Tier 1: 12 nodes
Tier 2: 20 nodes, with 3 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 2 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 43 nodes, with 2 choices and 6 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 19%

Mage trees

Mage Class Tree
Tier 1: 14 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 4 choices, 5 two-point nodes and 2 three-point nodes
Tier 3: 9 nodes, with 1 choice and 3 three-point nodes
Total: 37 nodes, with 5 choices and 15 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 38%

Frost Tree
Tier 1: 11 nodes
Tier 2: 13 nodes, with 3 choices, 4 two-point nodes and 2 three-point nodes
Tier 3: 14 nodes, with 1 choice and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 38 nodes, with 4 choices and 11 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 29%

Arcane Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes, with 2 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 16 nodes
Tier 3: 14 nodes, with 2 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 41 nodes, with 2 choices and 6 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 15%

Fire Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 1 choice
Tier 2: 15 nodes, with 3 choices and 6 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 1 choice and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 37 nodes, with 5 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 27%

Druid trees

Druid Class Tree
Tier 1: 18 nodes, with 2 three-point nodes
Tier 2: 16 nodes, with 1 choice and 4 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 2 choices, 2 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Total: 46 nodes, with 3 choices and 9 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 20%

Balance Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes, with 3 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 11 nodes, with 5 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 14 nodes, with 7 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 34 nodes, with 7 choices and 12 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 35%

Feral Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes, with 1 choice, 2 two-point nodes and 2 three-point nodes
Tier 2: 11 nodes, with 2 three-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 3 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 33 nodes, with 4 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 30%

Restoration Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 10 nodes, with 1 choice, 4 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Tier 3: 16 nodes, with 5 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 36 nodes, with 6 choices and 12 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 33%

Guardian Tree
Tier 1: 12 nodes, with 1 choice and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 5 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 5 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 38 nodes, with 6 choices and 9 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 24%

Evoker trees

Evoker Class Tree
Tier 1: 16 nodes, with 1 choice and 2 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 15 nodes, with 6 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 15 nodes, with 1 choice and 1 two-point node
Total: 46 nodes, with 2 choices and 9 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 20%

Preservation Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes
Tier 2: 15 nodes, with 3 choices, 5 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 1 choice and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 39 nodes, with 4 choices and 9 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 23%

Devastation Tree
Tier 1: 11 nodes, with 1 choice and 3 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 13 nodes, with 2 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 2 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 36 nodes, with 5 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 28%

Warlock trees

Warlock Class Tree
Tier 1: 17 nodes, with 1 choice and 5 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 3 choices and 5 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Total: 42 nodes, with 4 choices and 14 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 33%

Affliction Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 11 nodes, with 2 choices and 5 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 16 nodes, with 5 two-point nodes
Total: 37 nodes, with 2 choices and 14 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 38%

Demonology Tree
Tier 1: 13 nodes, with 2 choices
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 7 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 1 choice and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 40 nodes, with 3 choices and 12 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: *30%
Special note: PIT LORD!?

Destruction Tree
Tier 1: 13 nodes, with 5 choices and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 9 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 1 choice and 6 two-point nodes
Total: 39 nodes, with 6 choices and 16 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 41%

Priest trees

Priest Class Tree
Tier 1: 20 nodes, with 1 choice and 6 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 16 nodes, with 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 6 two-point nodes
Total: 48 nodes, with 1 choice and 14 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 29%

Shadow Tree
Tier 1: 14 nodes, with 2 choices and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 16 nodes, with 1 choice and 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 2 choices, 5 two-point nodes and 2 three-point nodes
Total: 42 nodes, with 5 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 24%
Special note: Mirror Image!?

Discipline Tree
Tier 1: 11 nodes, with 1 choice and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 5 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 15 nodes, with 2 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Total: 40 nodes, with 3 choices and 9 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 23%

Holy Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes
Tier 2: 13 nodes, with 2 choices and 1 two-point node
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 1 choice and 6 two-point nodes
Total: 36 nodes, with 3 choices and 7 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 19%

Death Knight trees

Death Knight Class Tree
Tier 1: 20 nodes, with 1 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 12 nodes, with 2 choices
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 3 three-point nodes
Total: 44 nodes, with 2 choices and 4 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 9%

Frost Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes, with 2 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 4 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 10 nodes, with 1 choice and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 35 nodes, with 5 choices and 8 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 29%

Blood Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 1 two-point node and 2 three-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 3 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Total: 36 nodes, with 3 choices and 11 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 31%
Special note: BOOOOONESTOOOOOORM!

Unholy Tree
Tier 1: 9 nodes, with 2 three-point nodes
Tier 2: 15 nodes, with 2 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 10 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Total: 34 nodes, with 2 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 29%

Paladin trees

Paladin Class Tree
Tier 1: 12 nodes, with 1 choice and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 16 nodes, with 2 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 3 choices and 4 three-point nodes
Total: 41 nodes, with 6 choices and 8 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 20%

Retribution Tree
Tier 1: 11 nodes
Tier 2: 20 nodes, with 7 choices and 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 1 choice and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 43 nodes, with 8 choices and 7 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 16%

Holy
Tier 1: 9 nodes with 1 choice and 2 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 15 nodes with 1 choice, 3 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Tier 3: 15 nodes, with 2 choices
Total: 39 nodes, with 5 choices and 6 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 15%

Protection Tree
Tier 1: 11 nodes, with 2 choices
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 1 choice and 6 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 3 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 36 nodes, with 6 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 28%

Shaman trees

Shaman Class Tree
Tier 1: 22 nodes, with 4 choices and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 4 choices and 6 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 3 choices and 4 two-point nodes
Total: 49 nodes, with 11 choices and 11 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 22%

Elemental Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 4 choices
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 2 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 16 nodes, with 5 choices and 7 two-point nodes
Total: 40 nodes, with 11 choices and 10 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 25%

Enhancement Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 1 choice and 1 two-point node
Tier 2: 17 nodes, with 3 choices and 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 1 choice and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 38 nodes, with 5 choices and 8 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 21%

Restoration Tree
Tier 1: 14 nodes, with 2 choices and 3 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 13 nodes, with 5 choices and 1 two-point node
Tier 3: 13 nodes, with 3 choices and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 40 nodes, with 10 choices and 9 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 23%

Hunter trees

Hunter Class Tree
Tier 1: 12 nodes, with 4 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 3 choices and 5 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 5 choices and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 38 nodes, with 8 choices and 14 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 37%

Beast Mastery
Tier 1: 12 nodes, with 6 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 12 nodes, with 1 choice, 5 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Tier 3: 11 nodes, with 2 choices, 5 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Total: 35 nodes, with 3 choices and 18 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 51%

Survival Tree
Tier 1: 10 nodes, with 2 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 1 choice and 8 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 5 two-point nodes and 1 three-point node
Total: 36 nodes, with 1 choice and 16 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point: 44%

Marksmanship Tree
Tier 1: 11 nodes, with 6 two-point nodes
Tier 2: 14 nodes, with 1 choice and 2 two-point nodes
Tier 3: 12 nodes, with 2 choices and 5 two-point nodes
Total: 37 nodes, with 3 choices and 13 multiple-point nodes
Percentage of nodes that are multiple-point nodes: 35%

…yes, my hand hurt quite a bit jotting down all of this…

48 Likes

Mastery is fine for BM & MM, however the team should really consider tweaking Survival’s Mastery effect. It would be a shame to go another expansion with a secondary stat that is practically useless. I understand the attempt to prevent the Mastery from being a strictly better/worse Versatility by having it affect all damaging abilities, but tying it to Focus spending abilities is not impactful enough, especially when you keep adding abilities that do not cost Focus (why is Fury of the Eagle free??).

Thinking about Survival’s core rotational abilities in Dragonflight, you have Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite, Wildfire Bomb, Kill Command, and Kill Shot. While these are not all “mandatory”, they are as close to mandatory as it gets. Of these, only Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite and Kill Shot are affected by Mastery. There are some additional abilities in the Class tree, some affected by Mastery and others not, but I will mostly ignore those since they are such a small part of Survival’s damage profile.

In the Survival tree, players can also talent into Carve/Butchery, Flanking Strike, and Fury of the Eagle. Carve/Butchery are affected by Mastery, but historically Carve has been a vehicle for using more Wildfire Bombs and its damage is negligible. If Butchery were to make a triumphant return, this would make Mastery slightly better. However, Flanking Strike and Fury of the Eagle both do not cost Focus and thus are not affected by Mastery. Flanking Strike is understandable, since its mainly used to generate focus. Fury of the Eagle makes no sense not being affected by Mastery.

Mastery is clearly useless for Survival hunters in retail right now due to the tier set and how much of our damage profile is Wildfire Bomb/Kill Command. Going into Dragonflight, it will continue to be bad on multi-target scenarios due to how much of our damage comes from Wildfire Bomb, in addition to Fury of the Eagle looking like an AoE-centric ability that is also not affected by Mastery. Mastery is so bad for AoE that it would probably be a buff to add a Focus cost to Wildfire Bomb and Fury of the Eagle. Think about how backwards that sounds - it would be a buff to add a resource cost to an ability.

The only time where Survival Mastery is worth considering is for strictly single target scenarios where we are leaning into Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite as our primary source of damage. This has happened in the past, but Mastery was still never our best stat and for some reason it was nerfed going from BfA to Shadowlands.

26 Likes

While I don’t agree with everything in this link, it did bring up an extremely good point that I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned much at all.

" 1.) Would there be any possible way to reimburse the talent point spent on Raptor Strike that we forfeit in gaining Mongoose Bite? Can we make it a Class Ability?

I cannot find another spec that is forced to pay for their main (only) spender and then pay again to replace that mandatory point. Which means SV has a tree that only gets 29 talent points in reality… For example. Retribution Paladins don’t even have to pay for their 3 core rotational abilities, Crusaders Strike, Judgement, Templars Verdict. Or their Execute."

Could Raptor Strike be moved to a baseline class ability much like Arcane or Steady Shot? I recall the rational for those being added baseline is “because you don’t forget how to shoot a bow” but it’s not like smacking things with a spear takes much skill either.

Perhaps Tip of the Spear could be moved up to the level 10 spot. I do realize that you aren’t “forced” to buy Mongoose Bite and thus effectively lose an extra point but after a quick peruse of other spec trees I didn’t see any other ability that upgraded a previous talent point and thus removed the talent point you spent earlier.

What does everyone else think about this? I hope it’s not too late in development to look at this.

12 Likes