I’m a little saddened by this because these higher Steady Focus values were making the gameplay feel better (who knew more haste is more fun) but also was more of an incentive to properly maintain uptime. At this point on live it’s heavily disfavored by most of the population, even high end players, due to the slim margins with its competition of Streamline and less thinking required to use. Obviously its place in the tree makes that point invalid since it’s not directly competing with Streamline anymore and is basically baseline if you expect to reach Trueshot unless you’re crossing over from a cleave build, but I still think the spec could use a stronger Steady Focus to help as a form of skill expression and improve how fluid it plays.
I feel like compromising another talent point to get back to the higher value wouldn’t be terrible if we had to take that hit. 3 point nodes haven’t won much favor from people but in this one case I think it’d be the most appropriate use of it. If you look at our spec overall Steady Focus is pretty much the only mechanic we still have that isn’t just one of the common generic mechanics found in any class optimized purely by pressing a button on cooldown, using the button that’s lighting up for free/more dmg, or refreshing a dot, so loading value into it while requiring more of the talent budget seems ok to me. Giving it more of a reward when optimized would make if feel like much less of a “chore” which is what it suffers from today for most people.
I think it goes without saying, but the amount of communication you have given all of us hunters is better than any class has had in years, so thank you for that!
There’s a lot to dig into here, and I have a few questions about some of the changes:
Will the new Avoidance node still be locked behind Improved Mend Pet only? It would be nice to have a link from Rejuvenating Winds.
Improved Exhilaration being baseline is a huge QoL change. I do not want to complain about additional defensive talents, but an additional HoT to Exhilaration does not fix what hunters are lacking defensively. I hope we see some damage reduction talents in the future (unless Binding Shackles works even if the target immunes the ability, i.e. you still get the DR when you use Intimidation on a raid boss).
Hunter’s Knowledge and Focused Aim now boosting Rapid Fire is nice, but this even further exacerbates the issue that almost all of the talents in the top 1/3rd of the tree are mandatory.
I am very confused on what the intended use of Bombardment is. Obviously Multi-Shot is not an ability that is pressed in any single target scenario and we would not spend a talent point on it - is this % buff intended to be enough where we use it on a single target? If that is the case, it is going to need to do significantly more than a single Arcane Shot to make this worth it. I think this talent would be much more interesting if it also gave Trick Shots. It would then have synergy with Razor Fragments, allowing you to get benefit on single target encounters.
Moving Deathblow is a great idea since it synergizes with Razor Fragments. I really think the team needs to look at the balance of Deathblow - as it stands, at 10% it will provide a fraction of the amount of extra Kill Shots compared to Flayed Shot. Since Aimed Shot charges are capped, this value is likely going to need to be a lot higher to make Deathblow and Razor Fragments worth the pick.
The changes to Razor Fragments and Explosive Ricochet are perfect. You brought down the power of Explosive Ricochet while buffing Razor Fragments.
The Bursting Shot & Quick Load changes by themselves made by day.
Have not been able to digest all of the Survival changes, but I love Ruthless Marauder.
Thanks a bunch for the information! Super exciting times.
At any rate, do you know if the intention is that Binding Shackles needs a successful CC to apply the Damage Reduction or does it work if the target(s) is immune to CC? Could you Intimidate a boss to receive the damage reduction?
Otherwise, looking forward to see how this pans out! It’d be great to have a more flexible/usable defensive.
Salvo has been renamed to Bombardment and redesigned - Arcane Shots increases the damage of your next Multi-Shot by X%, stacking up to 4 times.
Thoughts: I would rather have Arcane Shots stack up a buff to make our Rapid Fire or Aimed Shot do more % dmg instead of our next Multi-Shot. Multi-shot is more-or-less just a mandatory filler MM uses to trigger Trick Shots. I get more excited about the idea of building up for a more powerful Aimed Shot or a more powerful Rapid Fire.
Any plans to change the layout of the bottom half of the BM Tree? No matter how good the Dire Pack node is, it feels like we’re forced to go on the right side of the tree due to how good the Aspect of the Wild + Barbed Wrath nodes are in comparison to Bloodshed+Stomp.
I would really like to see Stomp take the place of the Sharp Barbs talent due to how lackluster it is (perhaps the new talent could be placed where stomp currently is?) and the layout of the bottom tree change so that anyone can take Barbed Wrath (even without Aspect of the Wild)
This seems like a confusing but interesting combination of talents and seems to be intended for use when there are waves of adds coming in to give us a damage boost. Is this correct, or is the intention to be used in other target counts?
Similar questions to Podh about these changes, but also want to suggest a possible node for the Resilience of the Hunter conduit that would decrease our damage taken briefly upon use of Feign Death.
I’m glad you listened to the feedback that replacing the Kill Shot AoE talent with Pouch would be good. Curious to try it out when it’s out.
I know some cough people hated me for pressing this subject, but thank you. I definitely am excited to test these changes. It’s not as good as having Sting early in the Survival Tree, but assuming the proc chance is decent, it means it’s still part of our damage, which is the important part.
The point pruning also means we can likely grab Wildfire Bomb in our single target situations now and not miss out on important single target skills on the right/middle side of the tree - effectively giving us a 3rd (or 4th if we use Flanking Strike) skill for ST.
I really wish you guys would give us a way to generate focus that doesn’t involve a pet. From what I’ve seen pretty much everywhere I’ve gone, one of the biggest Survival gripes is our focus generation is entirely reliant on pet AI. If your pet decides to run off or gets killed, your damage essentially halts completely. Even Beast Mastery, the pet spec, can still do damage without their pet, (albeit not nearly as much), because their focus gen is Barbed Shot. Ours is directly tied to our pet.
I’m not sure exactly what you could do, but just food for thought. Having our focus regen tied entirely to a pet is bad feeling.
Even something like “Lone Hunter - When your pet is dead, dismissed, or not within 10/20 yards, you generate X focus per second.” or something.
I actually posted about this a couple weeks ago in I think General Discussion? Re-adding Flayed Shot for Survival, but named Lacerate, would fit the class, and bring back one of the original Survival skills for us.
And it would fill the weird gap the first tier of right side of the survival tree has - in that unlike most specs, that side only gives us harpoon bonuses, no damage stuff. (Like how MM gets Rapid Fire on the left side and Chimaera on the right, or BM gets Cobra Shot on the right and Animal Companion/1 more barbed charge on the left)
I love melee Survival - I’ve been very open about that. However, I can’t help but wonder that in a system you guys designed all about player choice and customizing how you play your character, why can’t we opt into a ranged build if we want? Like, is there an actual answer you guys have as to why you don’t want that?
All that said - if it’s staying a strictly melee spec, can we get an option in the barber shop/transmog menu to customize the ranged weapon we pull out to shoot ranged attacks? Pulling out a tiny MoP-style Crossbow is weird.
Even glyphs that alter it to have different themes of existing models would be appreciated. Hell, even having it be racially themed would be better than a random MoP crossbow. Lol.
Also, this. You guys brought back 2h Frost, 2h Windwalker, DW Brewmaster, and SMF Warrior in Shadowlands.
Why did you guys not bring back Dual Wield hunters? We still retain the ability to dual wield.
Hey, I saw someone else post this earlier but I wanted to emphasize that hunters are going to be really squishy going into Dragonflight if they don’t get something to make up for losing marksman’s advantage and resilience of the hunter - these two conduits were very OP and hunter was already considered squishy even with them when compared to other classes in M+ (rogue/monk/mage/warlock/etc). A few points of avoidance will most likely not be enough to save this.
Also wanted to point out what I perceive to be a flaw in the hunter left side talent tree. There are two nodes that give DPS (crit chance and agility) that are gated behind situational utility tools (binding shackles and improved mend pet). Since these two nodes only compete with options that don’t give DPS throughput, it’s virtually guaranteed that they will be selected - I don’t have a problem with that, but it seems awkward that mend pet and binding shackles in particular are piggybacked in. My suggestion would be to pay special attention to nodes (especially on the overall class tree) that give DPS throughput and not have any of them be gated behind a specific utility choice - they should be easy to access no matter what path you take.
This is my concern as well. Covenants and legendaries largely made up for the definiciencies hunters have in regards to survivability. Most classes nowadays have multiple ways of healing themselves, and even rogues have their crimson vial heal. Hunters have a cool ability already, mending bandages, but it’s locked as a survival only pvp talent. Maybe it can also get the scatter shot treatment and have a place on the hunter tree?
For me cooldown reduction talents for exhilaration aren’t too exciting and thematically I’m not even sure what exhilaration is or means. I like the role play and nostalgia aspect of using a bandage for a large heal.
Over time mending bandages would heal for more given both of their cds. I’m not saying they should get rid of exhilaration though.
I just think its a cool ability and would like it as a talent, or atleast open to BM and MM. IDK if the rationale is still the same for limiting it only to survival but I feel like it wouldnt break the game. Plenty of pure dps have access to reliable short cd heals now and I like the idea of a self sufficient mm/ranger hunter.