Feedback: Hunters

That’s… Been my point from the start though? Saying sting should be moved up a spot to the second tier. We shouldn’t have to choose between a base rotational ability and other stuff :sweat_smile:

I only suggested moving it to the survival tree because nimox said they don’t plan to change its location in the class tree lol.

That’s a hard sell, there’s literally no damage in the 2nd tier, it would be a mandatory pick for all 3 specs, at that point just make it baseline.

I misunderstood and thought you were complaining about it being on the right side.


Let’s be real here, most of our utility is so incredibly niche this isn’t really a concern. You’re not going to take “Scare Beast” or “Tar Trap” over damage 90% of the time if your concern is optimal play.

Sure, Serpent Sting does less damage than Steel Trap in single target…but 1) you don’t need to land Serpent Sting 2) you can use Serpent Sting effectively twice slightly after Steel Trap comes off cooldown 3) Serpent Sting has no cooldown and you can use it on multiple targets in a fight.

Not to mention this is kind of the entire point of the new talent trees. You switch things up depending on the circumstances in the fight(s) you’re doing.

Additionally this whole discussion is kind of irrelevant now since we’re waiting to see the newly laid out tree.


Some important feedback focusing on a PvE perspective:

  1. Hunter lacks unique raid/group utility

Moving into Dragonflight, many classes/specs are getting great raid/party buffs to promote a more collaborative and RPG-esque experience. However, Hunter is unique in the fact that we do not have any sort of buff like this currently. In a recent interview, Ion Hazzikostas made the statement that the goal is to avoid playing tetris to fit in raid buffs, but it does seem a bit odd that Hunter is the one of the only pieces of the proverbial puzzle that’s missing. Everyone else brings a buff to increase output / survivability (Power Word: Fortitude, Battle Shout, Arcane Intellect, Healthstones, etc), or help with group mobility (Blessing of the Bronze, Stampeding Roar, Demonic Gateway, etc), or even increase damage taken/reduce damage dealt (Mystic Touch, Brand of Chaos, Atrophic Poison, etc)

Could there be some sort of insight into this decision or if there are any plans moving forward to address this / add a raid buff (or some sort of unique PvE utility?) Many in the community are a bit scared moving forward in Dragonflight without this utility as it makes Hunters a bit less appealing to bring than other classes.

Here’s a quick spreadsheet detailing the utility that DPS specs can bring to group content. This information is only what we know so far so this may change. Classes without released Dragonflight abilities/talents are notated by a (*) in their name. A (#) indicates it’s a shared group utility, so your battle rezzes and your Bloodlusts.

As you can see, Hunter are unique in the sense that it brings nothing Unique to the table. It would be very refreshing/exciting if we got some sort of group utility.

  1. Hunter lacks any sort of consistent defensives/survivability

Another frequently discussed shortcoming is Hunter’s lack of a proper defensive compared to other DPS classes. Right now, we have access to Aspect of the Turtle, Barbed Shackles (not super great, at all), and Survival of the Fittest (if you have a tenacity pet) ((Again, not really great due to low DR, low duration, and long cooldown)).
Are there any plans to add / revisit defensive utility on the class tree? In BfA we had things like Duck and Cover, in Shadowlands we had Resilience of the Hunter and Marksman’s Advantage. Many in the community think Hunter is particularly squishy compared to other DPS in most environments.

Any sort of information would be much appreciated!


Have you considered using the Pouch of Razor Fragments effect instead of having Kill Shot affected by Trick Shots? Trick shot Kill shot sounds decent in theory but in practice you wont be getting that many off and it will have no use for a large portion of a fight.


I think Deathblow is sticking around? Which will make it more usable? And in M+ Kill Shot Trick Shots will be very strong. Yea, it might be a weaker option in Raid, but that’s totally acceptable.

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In a dungeon, its already really tight to get a Kill Shot off on a sub 20% enemy before it dies. Having to activate trickshots beforehand makes that even harder. Most of the time you’ll be mid Aimed Shot cast while they get below 20% too, so thats another small delay.

Deathblow will definitely help, but having to rely on a low proc chance for this talent to shine doesn’t feel great.

Pouch of Razor Fragments is just massive QoL compared to Trickshot Killshot and although its a bit stronger (60% instead of 55%, Pouch also working on Single Target) they can always tune it to what they want.


Maybe Deathblow could have a x% proc chance on Aimed Shot damage instead of Aimed Shot cast? If that’s how it worked, your chance of getting a proc would be pretty low on ST, but on AOE it would be much higher, which synergizes nicely with the new capstone. Technically, Windrunner’s Guidance procs are also called “Aimed Shot” in the combat log, so you could even count those as Aimed Shot instances towards a Deathblow proc.

Even without the Kill Shot capstone, having Deathblow work this way might give you a way to funnel damage into a single target while AOEing.

I’m definitely not opposed to pouch. I love the ability.

And I agree that some mobs will die too fast sub 20%, but maybe we can get an additional talent that increases the execute range to add to the effect?


There are no plans to change the 3+ target requirement for Trick Shots.


This was updated to be a bit more inline/honest/less ambiguous with the term “group utility” thrown around. The main point(s) of the feedback post still stand—it would be great if Hunter got a bit more less niche group utility and/or a more usable defensive. :+1:


Okay so now that I’ve had some time to look seriously at talents in all trees, I have some notes:

First off, most of these talent ideas are fantastic. I personally think that the blending of hunter specs is a welcomed reversion (pre-legion idealism). Each spec still has its identity while maintaining the overarching hunter theme. I am personally very excited to play all three hunter specs in Dragonflight and all I’ve done so far this test is stare at talents during every free moment I’ve had.

I figure I’d organize this by tree as others have:

Hunter Tree

It maybe wrong to do this, but I’d like to compare this tree to the Evoker class tree. Obviously, these are early iterations of each tree and subject to change, but I feel like the Evoker tree feels like it has less sunk cost for the talents I want. What I mean is—with this design philosophy, it seems like there are too many instances of multi-point talents proceeding other multi-point talents on the hunter tree. On the Evoker tree, you can see that there are somewhere around 36 1-point talents (counting the left-and-right-arrowed talents as 2, 1-point talents) to the 25-ish on the hunter tree. While there should be some difficult choices to make, I feel as though there are too many instances where I’d have to sink 2 or more points in to a “sacrificial talent” to get what I want.
I know that Chimaera is moving, but I’d still like to use it as an example: Let’s say there’s a raid fight with two stacked bosses, so Chimaera shot sounds particularly interesting. In order to get that ability, I’d have to sink 1 point into Intimidation or Hi-Explosive Trap, 2 points into Binding Shackles, and 3 points into Keen Eyesight (yes, I understand that not one of us would consider 6% crit chance a “sink” by any stretch of the imagination, but bear with me). That’s 7 points invested to get the one point I wanted and it’s at the bottom of the tree. Hi-Explosive trap/Intimidation and Binding Shackles likely will have extremely limited use in raids (and that’s fine—not every talent should be useful everywhere), so it feels like I sacrificed a lot to get that one talent. I can’t see a single instance of this on the Evoker tree. I’d argue that it feels as though hunter tree points aren’t as valuable as Evoker points.
If the Evoker tree changes, I’d obviously retract the above.


As I mentioned in a previous post, Trick Shots has been a pain point for many hunters for a few years at this point. I understand that it was once a design philosophy to balance classes in a way to where not everyone was good at everything. It appears with the talent for classes that have been released so far, that this may be slightly less the case. It is very frustrating to look at 2 targets next to each other and know you can’t do anything meaningful to one. It’s also frustrating when you have spread targets and know your Aimed Shots/Rapid Fires will never reach anything other than your target. I’m not going to pretend to know the remedy to this frustration. Maybe relaxing Trick Shots requirements? Maybe bringing Sidewinders back? Allowing Chimaera to give Trick Shots? Maybe it’s a balance issue and another Talent can be balanced in a way to allow higher DoT damage?

Other than that, the changes mentioned near the beginning of the thread in the blue post seem like they’ll go a very long way in resolving any other small gripes I have with the tree.

Beast Mastery

The majority of my issues have to do with cost per benefit and locations of talents.
Wild Call, and One with the Pack and Qa’pla are all 2 points each and if I wanted to avoid Dire Beast for some reason and go for them, that’s a minimum of 5 talent points on top of that. It seems like a ton of investment for Barbed Shot-focused build for not a ton of benefit.
I also think the tree would benefit majorly from some grouping of talents. There are so many Barbed Shot talents spread so far from each other that any dream of maxing out Bloody Frenzy seems impossible.


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%.