Feedback: Hunters

While I don’t want to comment for every single tree directly, comparing a class that has been around for 17+ years to a brand new class is very difficult. Evokers don’t have years of precedent and mechanics to build off of. It is a very different experience to design a talent tree for a totally new class with basically zero core ideas that players are accustomed to, compared to designing talents for a class that has years of expectations and styles of play around it.

I’m not saying don’t look at the Evoker tree or whatever other class and see cool ideas and try to relate it to your class or spec or express frustrations where you feel them. That’s always a fun experiment and something we often do with our internal peer reviews. I’m just trying to say, Evokers are very new, and currently have these core interactions created for them within the tree.


Totally fair. It’s just the only other class I’ve spent time looking at on the Alpha. My only intention with this idea is to convey that it feels like our talents are maybe more expensive than they should be-- and that the more exciting talents at the bottom of the tree have too few ways of getting to them. (I know that’s intentional to some extent.)


I think having someting like Sidewinders would be better, potentially even bumping up # of targets hit to 4, but increasing the ranged that multi-shot covers and the range of ricochet / damage (ideally as an opt in option in place of Salvo talent)


Looking at the “new” Astral Shift (and its options) and then looking at Survival of the Fittest is kind of a bummer. It seems that Hunter could use a bit more of a modern defensive ability.

Hopefully this build includes the SV re-budgeting as well—looks like the Enhancement Shaman tree doesn’t include any 3-pt talents compared to SV’s nine different 3 point talents.


For the Hunter Class tree I have three points of feedback:

  1. We are lacking in much useful in-combat durability after losing conduits in Shadowlands. Fogged Crystal’s slot would be a great place to add personal durability. Binding Shackles is a really finnicky form of personal durability that mostly applies in PvP. Improved Traps leaves a little to be desired in that for two talent points, we only lose 5 seconds CD on two traps. These three nodes seem like the perfect place for iteration on hunter durability or raid utility.

  2. The class tree is lacking in raid utility similar to what other classes are receiving this go-around (Rogues gaining group poisons). Would love to see something unique that Hunters can bring in one of the slots mentioned above.

  3. Several talents (Serpent Sting, Kill Shot) are flagged as “Ranged Weapon Required” and that makes Survival hard to test. Also, Intimidation is unfortunately difficult to use if we end up picking Lone Wolf in the MM tree.

Will have more feedback once I’m able to get on and test :slight_smile:


Everything in the class tree, except maybe Barrage, will be usable with ranged or melee weapons.

Also I’m not trying to dodge the other questions, we’re just having discussions about defensives and group utility and want to get that more resolved before adjustments are made one way or the other. Do not take this post as any promises for more or less of anything on this class or others.


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.

Class Tree

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.

Marksmanship Tree

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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.


Regarding the BM tree, I think it is almost perfect and the team has done an amazing job. My only concerns are as follows:

  • Dire Pack - the talent is incredibly weak, but thankfully the team has already acknowledged this and is looking at buffing/re-designing it.
  • Beast Cleave - I do not have any particular problem with this being a 3-point talent, however I was really hoping that each point would also increase the duration by X seconds. Having to press Multi Shot every 2-3 globals to maintain Beast Cleave feels terrible, especially considering that we will now want to use Kill Command in AoE scenarios with the additions of Kill Cleave and Alpha Predator. Six additional seconds (like the 9.2 4pc tier set bonus provides) might be too much, but something greater than the existing 4 second buff duration would drastically improve AoE gameplay.
  • One With The Pack - Is it intended that this 2-point talent is a nerfed version of what we have on live? One With The Pack provides a 20% increase (and has been numerically worse than Scent of Blood), but the Alpha version is 5%/10%.

Overall I like the tree. I just wish I had more points to get what I’m used to. Feels like I don’t have enough points to get all the spells I have on my shadowlands marksman hunter.

There is one branch I feel needs to be looked at. I really dislike having to get binding shackles in order to get keen eyesight. I’d much rather it also have a link with improved traps. Binding shackles only lasts 8 seconds and if I’m doing my job right kiting I will barely see any use out of those 2 points.


Totally agree, I think that adding the same effect to the kill shot ricochet’s (chance to apply razor fragments) would be more in line with explosive ricochet. Because I do agree that Explosive is MUCH better than Killer.

You took the words right off my keyboard.


Volatile Bomb needs to be changed since Serpent Sting is now optional. If you don’t talent into it, this bomb has literally no effect.


I mean, it still does damage. It just doesn’t proc a volatile reaction or refresh the SS dot. It’s just the same on live/if talented if you don’t have the DoT up.

Deadly Duo doesn’t function at all if you don’t take the Predator talent in that same vein and those talents are both in Survival’s tree.

think a stated intention of this new system is the “freedom” to make builds that some could consider suboptimal or lack synergy or conversely find synergy in the class tree to match your spec tree.

Yes, please do this. I would be fine with never having Bursting Shot or its upgrade on my bars, it feels like a waste to point into.


I would disagree on Bursting Shot being a waste. I use it all the time for Sanguine weeks in M+.

I do agree that I’d prefer it swap places with another talent.

In the Marksmanship tree, I think above the 8 point threshold we have a few too many 2 point talents. It would open up build diversity to have two or three of Improved Arcane Shot, Precise Shots, Careful Aim, Bullseye, and Hunter’s Knowledge dropped down to 1 point selections.


This is an interesting point of discussion. Cooldowns that are significant power swings, such as Combustion, often define your style of play. You likely need to combo in as many effects as possible to skyrocket up your damage in a short timeframe. Whether or not you get lucky with procs and whatever else in that window dictates a lot about your performance over the fight as a whole. You also start feeling much less effective outside of these damage windows, as you peak very high, and then go down into a lower state of throughput until the cooldown is available again.

Not every cooldown needs to be a significant swing. If Trueshot is made stronger, your average damage outside of Trueshot will likely go down to compensate. Should Trueshot be a big damage swing cooldown like Combustion? The current thought is no.

The points made about Precise Shots during the Trueshot window are valid feedback and is something we could work on to make better, but at the same time we’re also currently OK if some things like Precise Shot stacks are “wasted” during this window. Trueshot makes your gameplay feel significantly different while it is active, which is great. If the cooldown was changed to +20% critical strike chance, it remains effective and a good burst window, but doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything special other than getting a few more critical hits. That’s not to say that secondary stats or a percent critical strike buff are bad, it’s just different.


Speaking of cooldown and design intention, any chance you could clarify is Coordinated Assault is staying the 20% damage amp with 25% increased Flanker’s Advantage chance?

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I agree that Trueshot does not need to be as impactful as other major cooldowns assuming damage outside of that window is higher to compensate. I somewhat agree that it changes your playstyle - you are pressing Aimed Shot & Rapid Fire more as opposed to casting Precise Shots buffed Arcane Shots. However, you still have to cast Steady Shot and that is a huge buzzkill during your major cooldown.

If Trueshot is supposed to drastically alter your gameplay, why not make Rapid Fire actually restore a significant amount of Focus? There have been multiple patches where Rapid Fire has been partly ignored or de-prioritized in the rotation, largely because its combination of damage + focus generation is too little. It could do practically zero damage, but if it filled your focus bar all the way up, it would “feel” better to press and be a larger source of focus generation for the spec (currently, something absurd like 70% of MMs focus generation is passive).

If Rapid Fire is left alone, perhaps bring back the old Master Marksman (Aimed Shot reduces the cost of next Arcane Shot or Multi Shot by 100%). You might still “waste” Precise Shots procs, but you would be able to cast more Arcane Shots during your Trueshot as opposed to having to cast multiple Steady Shots to regain focus.

“Wasting” Precise Shots procs is fine as well, but it leads to an anti-synergy with Calling the Shots, which is required to take the capstone choice node underneath (the only capstone that MM has with any meaningful affect on a single target). To exacerbate that problem, Calling the Shots has been an undesirable talent for 2 entire expansions now because there’s no reason to spend talent points on reducing the cooldown of Trueshot if it does not provide a significant gain. Edit Calling the Shots would not have this problem if it just reduced the cooldown of Trueshot based on overall focus spent (similar to the MM 2pc set bonus from Nighthold)

I fear these Trueshot focused talents will be altogether ignored, and a proper single target MM build will not choose any Capstone talent. I truly believe re-introducing Rapid Killing would be a positive for the spec, instead of either Unerring Vision (do we really need another talent that gives critical strike chance?) or Eagletalon’s True Focus. It could be nerfed from the 50% crit damage it was in Legion and still be a powerful talent. It has great synergy with Bullseye, and allows Trueshot to be a major cooldown that provides extra oomph sub-20%.


Most people are uneasy about this sentiment due to how much of our recent competitive success depended on specific damage profiles provided by Wild Spirits. Without raid utility, strong defensives, high sustained damage or capability for spread target cleave, Hunter competitiveness in raids across all of Shadowlands has hinged on high burst dmg, particularly tightly clumped aoe and especially 1-4 target count cleave after the introduction of Antlers. Losing what we’ve relied on for most of the expansion puts us back in a rut where our competitive appeal lives or dies by class utility which we don’t have or raw damage tuning numbers which is never a guarantee unless you’re a Warlock.

Understandably this could be solved in different ways, notably encounter design or improving our utility and defensive kit as mentioned already, so I don’t think Trueshot power level is the only avenue to address what we worry about, and I doubt any of us want to fall to the other extreme of current Balance Druid damage profiles either. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with how a weaker Trushot itself would feel either, current Venthyr MM feels pretty enjoyable when encounters allow for it.

Regardless we are still looking for that something to make us feel safer in terms of being brought to encounters considering what we are losing.


Also on the subject of extremely important feedback, could there be a Glyph to turn Survival’s little crossbow used for SS/KS into a little pistol a la Outlaw Rogue? :relieved:


Improved Arcane Shot doesn’t do anything if you pick the Chimera Shot talent.
Chimera Shot is 20 base focus cost and the focus cost reduction from Improved Arcane Shot doesn’t apply to Chimera Shot.

Trueshot is now locked behind Steady Focus or Salvo, both of which are useless for PvP but Trueshot is mandatory for PvP.

Marksmanship’s Legacy of the Windrunner’s proc rate is abysmally low, making it an extremely underwhelming talent along with Windrunner’s Guidance.