The amount of feedback already taken into consideration has been amazing, and I really hope this continues throughout the rest of Alpha and Beta. The significant changes to the Class & Marksmanship trees thus far are steps in the right direction. My feedback for now will focus on these two trees.
I am glad that defensives and raid utility are being acknowledged across the board, since hunters are severely lacking. Our defensive talents focus on Exhilaration & Aspect of the Turtle, which are great abilities, but do not provide any DR (yes, Turtle does, but it is largely used for its immunity, not DR).
If Survival of the Fittest is not buffed (20% DR for 6 seconds on a 3 minute CD is bad), I would love to see some old forms of DR re-introduced for hunters, or even see brand new talents/abilities.
In terms of raid utility, some twist on Aspect of the Fox or raid buffs from pets like in Warlords of Draenor (different pets provide different raid buffs) are some suggestions.
As I mentioned earlier, I love the changes that have been made to the tree thus far. Moving Double Tap, removing Quick Shot, modifying Legacy of the Windrunners & Windrunner’s Guidance, the new choice node - these are all fantastic changes and I hope to see more!
One issue with the new capstone choice node is that I don’t see any scenario in which Explosive Ricochet is not taken over Killer Ricochet. Explosive Ricochet would need to have a massive cooldown because multiple Explosive Shots being applied with every Trick Shots would be too oppressive. Compare this to the other choice, which only provides value during Execute (<20% HP) or if you get a proc from Deathblow (which is now in the 3rd tier on the opposite side of the tree). I really like this choice node, however I think the balance needs to be looked at (nerf Explosive Ricochet, consider removing the Trick Shot requirement for Killer Ricochet - how about a modification to Pouch of Razor Fragments?)
My biggest issue with the Marksmanship tree (and really, with the spec as a whole) is that the gameplay during Trueshot is incredibly clunky and does not feel great to play. This has been an issue ever since the spec re-design following Legion. Also, Trueshot is a massively weak major cooldown when compared to the likes of other 2 minute cooldowns such as Combustion or Vendetta. Trueshot allows you to cast a few more Aimed Shots per use, but at the expense of wasting Precise Shots procs (and these Aimed Shots are not buffed in any way).
The rotation during Trueshot forces you to cap your Aimed Shot charges (bad) or waste Precise Shots charges (bad, but less than the former). There is simply not enough focus/globals to accomplish both. It is currently correct to waste Precise Shots charges, which lowers the value of Calling the Shots, which has been a dead talent for 2 expansions now. Calling the Shots is now a required pre-requisite to the capstone choice node.
I think this could be approached one of two ways.
- “Fix” the gameplay. Reduce the amount of CDR provided during Trueshot, re-introduce the Legion version of Master’s Marksman (Aimed Shot causes next Arcane Shot to be free), or add a brand new talent that simply lets you hold more stacks of Precise Shots such that you can ignore Arcane Shot during Trueshot, but be able to dump Precise Shots procs after it.
- Buff Trueshot and ignore the gameplay component. I like that Unerring Vision is being re-introduced as a capstone talent, but I worry it will not be as powerful as intended due to MM hunters having so many other talents that provide Critical Strike (Bullseye, Keen Eyesight, Hunter’s Knowledge, etc.). I would really like to see Rapid Killing (Legion Artifact Trait that provides Critical Strike Damage during Trueshot) be brought back in some capacity to bolster the power of Trueshot, and it synergizes very well with the aforementioned talents.
Outside of what I mentioned above, I think MM is in a very solid spot. I disagree with the decision on Trick Shots and the 3 target minimum requirement, but I think the spec has other issues that need to be looked at and the 2 target cleave is mostly a non-issue since the spec can talent into Chimaera Shot, Explosive Shot, Volley, etc.
Updates based on 7/19 build:
Bursting Shot should not be a requirement to go into Dead Eye, Legacy of the Windrunners, Windrunner’s Guidance, and Deathblow. I do not think it makes much sense to have Aimed Shot focused talents (Legacy of the Windrunners, Windrunner’s Guidance, and Deathblow) locked underneath a utility spell and Dead Eye (kill shot focused). How about removing the link from Dead Eye to Lone Wolf, and instead linking Double Tap to Legacy of the Windrunners? Or just moving Bursting Shot to a leaf node ala Deathblow.