Feedback: Hunters

I would still like to see Call of the Wild to get merged into aspect of the wild (to remove the cd button bloat)

Additionally, if it does not, Barbed Wrath should affect it’s CD in addition to aspect’s, since otherwise it would have the same desync issues as unholy does.

7 Likes

I can’t help but think that the Hunter (and Mage to an extent, but I leave that to their experts) class tree is in dire need of help. The hunter class tree has 36 nodes. Besides mage, which I have heard no shortage of criticism for, no other class has less than 40. Shamans have 49, Priests 48, Warriors 47, and it goes on and on. On top of that, those classes have impactful talents that cost ONE point, whereas the vast majority of hunter talents cost two or more and are DRAMATICALLY worse versions of the same type of talent.

I understand that comparing across classes is not always constructive feedback, but some of the trees other classes have are night and day better than the hunter tree. A lot of this comes down to the lack of options since hunters, on average, have 10 LESS NODES than the other classes (excluding mage/hunter, the average is 45.375).

You would think that since Hunters only have 36 nodes, they would have some incredibly fun and useful talents. I wish that was the case, but that is flat out wrong. Let’s first take a look at some talents that are mostly useful, but suffer from needless cost inflation (seemingly to artificially increase the cost of the tree since we have so few nodes):

  1. Posthaste - 2 points for one of our most used talents for movement. Compare this to Fleetfooted for Rogue. How many points for 15% movement speed? 1.

  2. Natural Mending - Another 2 points for one of our talents that marginally reduces the cooldown of Exhilaration. Meanwhile Rogues get Iron Stomach for 1 point and Warriors get Second Wind for 1 point.

  3. Rejuvenating Wind - 2 points for our worst defensive conduit from Shadowlands. Meanwhile Warriors get one of their best defensive conduits (which affects the entire raid mind you) in Inspiring Presence for 1 point.

  4. Born to be Wild - 3 POINTS for this situational talent that reduces the cooldown of our aspects by 25%. Shamans get a choice node to reduce the cooldown of Astral Shift by 25% and increase its duration by 4 seconds, OR increase the damage reduction by an additional 15%. Friendly reminder that choice nodes cost 1 point.

  5. Trailblazer - 2 points to get back an incredibly situational movement/utility talent. This talent is nice to have and has had some uses in dungeons/raids, but why on earth does it cost 2 points? This would without a doubt cost 1 point in the Warrior or Shaman trees. This would be the equivalent of making Spirit Wolf a 2 point talent.

Those are all of the utility/defensive talents which I would consider to be somewhat useful, although they are still a far cry from what other classes are getting. Now let’s talk about the talents that are utterly useless in 99% of scenarios. I do not mean to offend any players that only do solo content, but 1/3 of the hunter tree SHOULD NOT be devoted to such. If we really need to have talents specifically for this player base, at the very least make them somewhat useful for other forms of content.

  1. Thick Hides - 2 points for 10% pet health is ridiculous. Given that hunters have such a huge gap when it comes to defensives, why couldn’t this also apply to the hunter’s health?? Demonic Fortitude has been datamined for Demonology Warlocks, which gives Stamina to both the warlock and their primary pet. Considering this also gives them a damage boost due to how their spec works, it’s insane that Thick Hides costs 2 points and only buffs the pet.

  2. Improved Tranquilizing Shot - 2 points for something that was previously baseline (given to hunters as they level up). This is such a miniscule benefit, I have absolutely no clue why this wouldn’t remain baseline on the ability. It better give me 100 focus if it’s going to cost 2 points. Death Knights get Anticipation, which does the same thing as Imp Tranq Shot (instead returning Runic Power) and reduces the cooldown of Mind Freeze. So this also costs 2 points right? No, 1.

  3. Fogged Crystal - I hope that I am right about this talent and it is broken on some form of content in this expansion, but it is far too situational right now to cost 2 points. If it was re-worked to work on allies, then we’re talking.

  4. Improved Traps - Same issue as Imp Tranq Shot. This is a passive currently given to hunters as they level up. Reverting traps to 30 second cooldowns and making this cost 2 points makes me sad. Tar Trap already lasts 30 seconds and Freezing Trap 1 minute (outside of PvP, you got me), so what is the point of this anyways?

  5. Binding Shackles - It would be naive to think that Blizzard does not have some statistics or reporting on how often existing talents are taken compared to others on the same row. I am not sure how that information and this talent can simultaneously exist. It doesn’t do anything in 99.99% of raids. If you are using this as a personal DR on trash packs in dungeons, you are wasting some of your best utility for a pitiful DR, which hunters do not have a lot of in the first place so it probably shouldn’t be wasted. If we are going to argue this is good in PvP, let’s just refer back to our talent statistics and stop there.

  6. Improved Mend Pet - Another talent clearly designed for open world solo players and potentially PvPers. If the 5 talents above did not exist, this would probably be a fine talent for that demographic. Well, except for the fact that it needlessly costs 2 points.

Apologies if this feedback comes across as negative, but it hurts to see the Hunter class tree look like this now that we have started to see more and more class trees. As the team has now famously mentioned, there is 17 years of hunter history to build out this tree. This tree makes it look like Shadowlands was the first expansion in World of Warcraft, which is clearly not the case when you take a look at some of the awesome talents that are returning from prior expansions for other classes.

Hunter and mage are clearly outliers when it comes to the number of nodes within the class tree. If this was the case because every single talent was unique, impactful, and FUN, this would not be a problem. However, Hunters have the least number of nodes, and as laid out in this post, a lot of them are truly bad/useless in the majority of this game’s content and needlessly cost more than 1 point to artificially increase the cost of the overall tree.

TLDR: Please give us more nodes. Please stop artificially increasing the cost of the tree by unnecessarily making already bad talents cost more than 1 point.

90 Likes

On the topic of defensives, let’s do a little comparison to what hunters have in their class tree versus what DPS warriors have in their class tree. We’ll also include the baseline defensive abilities each of these two classes have, else hunters would be down even worse.

Hunter

  1. Exhilaration - 30% heal on a 2 minute CD
  2. Aspect of the Turtle - Partial Immunity and 30% DR for 8 seconds on a 3 minute CD
  3. Survival of the Fittest - 20% DR for 6 seconds on a 3 minute CD
  4. Natural Mending - CDR on Exhilaration on Focus spent. Let’s say an average of 30s CDR.
  5. Rejuvenating Winds - Exhilaration also heals for 20% of max HP over 8 seconds.
  6. Born To Be Wild - 25% Aspect of the Turtle CDR.
  7. Hunter’s Avoidance - 4% Avoidance
  8. Binding Shackles - lol
  9. Endurance Training/Predator’s Thirst (requires a pet) - 5% max HP/10% leech
  10. Aspect of the Beast (requires a pet & BM only) - 50% increase to Endurance Training/Predator’s Thirst

Warrior

  1. Defensive Stance - Permanent 20% DR, however reduces damage dealt by 10% and means you are not in Berserker or Battle, which provides additional damage
  2. Rallying Cry - 15% temporary HP for the Warrior and the entire raid for 10 seconds
  3. Second Wind - 6% HP restored every second when you have not taken damage for 5 seconds
  4. Inspiring Presence - Rallying Cry duration and HP increased by 25%
  5. Siphoning Strikes - 5% leech
  6. Spell Reflection - 20% magical DR for 5 seconds. Also reflects the first spell cast on you.
  7. Impeding Victory - 40% max HP heal on a 25 second CD. Cooldown is rest when killing an enemy.
  8. Pain and Gain - 4.5% max HP heal when you take damage on a 10 second CD
  9. Reinforced Plates - Increases armor by 60% of Strength
  10. Endurance Training - 10% Stamina
  11. One-Handed Weapon Specialization - 10% Leech
  12. Dauntless Duelist - 1.5% permanent DR against 1 target
  13. Die by the Sword - 100% parry and 30% DR for 8 seconds on a 2 minute CD
  14. Bitter Immunity - 20% HP heal and removes all diseases, poisons, curses, and bleeds on a 3 minute CD
  15. Enraged Regeneration (Fury only) - 30% DR & Bloodthirst heals for 20% more for 8 seconds on a 2 minute CD
  16. Invigorating Fury (Fury only) - Enraged Regeneration lasts 25% longer and instantly heals for 20%
  17. Warpaint (Fury only) - 10% DR while Enrage is active
  18. Bloodthirst (Fury only) - Rotational ability that restores 3% of HP. 4.5 second CD that is reduced by haste.
  19. Fueled by Violence (Arms only) - 30% leech on damage dealt by Deep Wounds
  20. Valor in Victory (Fury and Arms) - 4% Versatility

These are purely defensives. Obviously not all of these talents may be viable to take together, but at least Warriors have a plethora of choices. Hunters have Turtle, Exhilaration, more Exhilaration, some Turtle CDR, some extra HP if you have a pet (sorry MM hunters), and the laughingstock that Survival of the Fittest is.

76 Likes

Yea, looking over at the paladin tree got me jealous. Most of their stuff only costs 1 point each :smile:

I feel like I’m scrambling to recover what I already have as MM in shadowlands, not branching out to make a cool hybrid. I might feel better about the tree if the dang spells actually worked though.

13 Likes

Was just testing Warrior and Mage and I have a similar feeling to Podh. It’s as if we have too few impactful choices and instead are forced to take 2 pointers in things that really aren’t of much benefit outside of solo-play. While solo-play is important, the class side of the trees provides very little for raiding focused party or group support (especially for Lone Wolf MM Hunters since we lose Lust) or personal survivability (when compared to other classes).

In addition to this, I think the MM tree is lacking in some variety and some of the talents are really lackluster:

  1. Improved Steady Shot is understandable WHY it needs to be a talent (so BM and SV don’t have to use it for focus gen) but it is really frustrating to have to spend a point in it at all for MM when it’s our main source of ANY focus generation.

  2. Improved Arcane Shot feels like a 1 pointer because it’s improving a baseline ability, and that point feels off on the power scale of what a talent point should be worth.

  3. Precise Shots feels like a 1 point talent for such a core part of our spec.

  4. Serpentstalker’s Trickery and Steady Focus are also candidates for 1 point status imo. They are already single power “node” investments (one talent point, one legendary slot) in Shadowlands and should remain as such for Dragonflight.

  5. In order to give more options in the tree, I think there could be many additional points added in the bottom portion of the tree - Flayed Shot, Windburst, Resonating Arrow, Sidewinders, Aspect of the Dragonhawk (a group dps increase version), Old Explosive Shot (I know but I had to suggest it), MKII Gyroscopic Stabilizer. The point is, I think there are plenty of historically cool abilities to pull from that would create choices in how we spend our talent points.

39 Likes

Yeah I had been coming at it from the Marks pov. Marks is paper mache and really needs some defensive choices. I keep looking at other caster tool kits and hunter feels like it is really lacking.

9 Likes

I have a few pieces of feedback for Marksmanship hunters:

1- The Marksmanship Hunter Spec Tree feels very top heavy, this made me feel as a player that getting to the next tiers of the spec tree were not a fun “unlock” moment because I still had so many options that felt core to my experience “above” the line. Providing either less overall points at the top or more choice within those options would feel a lot better for me. Personally I love choice nodes as a solution here.

2- Careful Aim and Bullseye seem like they could be a very interesting option for a choice node. Personally I really enjoy Choice Nodes, I feel like they offer the player a meaningful choice where there normally would not be one. Bullseye and Careful Aim really feel like a strong candidate for this. It adds some more hard options for the player to choose from and I think that’s fun.

3- Lonewolf has been the identity of Marksmanship for so long that many of us will likely just pick this talent option without thinking about it even if it isn’t the best personal dps option. While this paradigm was interesting for the class overall, with the inclusion of the class tree there is a lot “feels bads” looking at that and then looking at lonewolf. By forgoing all pet related talents and builds that could have a pet involved feels very limiting for Marksmanship Hunters in the class tree.
I am curious if this node could be made more interesting by adding a choice node here, something incentivizing pet play. Adding that element to the tree would also open up the possibility of a deep left Class Tree, an element that doesn’t really exist in the current iteration of Marksman Hunter and because of that side of the class tree not working for us, we have a very static class tree selection path.

As some ideas for what it could be, maybe:
	Kill command increases the damage of your next rapid fire by X%, stacking.
	Arcane/Chimera shots empowered by Precise Shots have a chance to reset the cooldown on Kill Command and increase its damage by X%.

The reason why as a player I would prefer this approach rather than just a tuning nob would be that we can be excited about picking between 2 builds.

4- I’m personally not very happy to see Serpent Stalker’s Trickery back because I think it’s boring and removes gameplay from the Hunter, especially with Latent Poison Injectors talent in our class tree. With its position in the tree right now gating wailing arrow and bullseye, both of which are super cool options, feels really bad. As a player, I personally hate having to pick this node to get to a single target all-star talent like Bullseye.

The one thing I would say in defense of Serpent Stalkers however, is how it interacts in AOE situations. Managing multiple serpent stings across multiple targets applied by aimed-shot was fun with our legendary, but I worry that with us receiving serpent sting baseline that bit of gameplay will be nullified.

5- In regards to hunter survivability, we are still very fragile in a raid environment. For me, weak survivability as a choice when selecting hunter feels very unfun for the player. Some classes give up mobility, some give up on utility, but giving up on survivability is different than those other sacrifices or choices because the reality of this sacrifice in many instances is just a pass/fail. And the fail means “sorry you don’t get to play anymore” as you lie on the ground for 5 minutes, potentially costing your group a kill on a really tough boss.
To further add to this issue, we unfortunately don’t really have many options to increase our survivability in the tree itself. If survivability is an interactive choice for us about what type of survivability options you get in the class tree itself at least we gain some of that agency that many of the other classes seem to have in spades.
These options could be potentially tied to some of the pet solo talents on the left side of the tree. Seeing some survivability choices there would allow us to at least make the choice and make the Pet vs. Lonewolf argument have some upsides outside of DPS.

Thank you for interacting with this thread so much, seeing some of the great ideas here making their way into the talent tree has filled me with confidence in this game and the class I love so much, and the class it self more fun on alpha to play right now for me than on live.

18 Likes

Also, less important, but also to note:

Why is Survival called Survival when it has less Survivability than Marksman and Beast Mastery since the revamp in Legion?

I’ve always found it so weird.

Like, yes all 3 specs need more survivability, but surely the spec named Survival should have some sort of upper hand, especially since they’re melee and getting hit by enemy cleaves. Like, some baked in Avoidance would make sense as an example, specifically because of said cleaves lol.

Like, Mending Bandage being made a PvE skill for Survival could be an option, for instance. Most people use that for the DoT removal, and that’s still a survivability thing that could benefit PvE, especially since it can be used on others. Though, I think flavor wise, (and I’ve thought this since MB was added) renaming it to something like “Mending Salve” would be better - as Survival hunters used herbs and such, bandages seems weird.

20 Likes

Personally i found that being behind boss and not getting parried happens to solve most of those issues (very convenient that it also increases your dps)

It can be added, but it will be entirely useless and won’t do anything :

  1. dps loss to use since a channel
  2. very low amount of healing
  3. decently long cd
  4. doesn’t give DR so doesn’t actually prevent you from dying

at best it will have some marginal utility due to dot removal, but very low value

19 Likes

Just here to echo this sentiment. Once you get to the final gate of talents, if you’re looking to maximize your damage, you’re only spending points below that gate. Imagining an MM build that has a pet is fun and all, but it could only ever possibly be viable on pure ST unless Lone Wolf is nerfed into oblivion – MM pets are just too useless on AOE for a non-Lone Wolf build to be viable there. This means that if you’re MM, you’re taking all of the non-pet-related talents after the last gate, and you can afford to take all of them. This means everyone who is looking to get the most damage out of their points in the class tree will be taking Nesingwary’s and Steel Trap, regardless of whether these effects are fun. Personally, I do not find using traps rotationally to be fun, especially not for the reward Nesingwary’s gives.

While I still wouldn’t want to take these talents as BM/SV, it’s less of an issue for them since they love all the same talents MM is taking on the middle/right of the bottom section while still actually getting lots of value out of the 3 talents on the far left.

Obviously this is mainly a PVE issue, since PvP MM hunters usually use pets and using traps in PvP is much different from using them in PvE; in PvP, Nesingwary’s probably just feels like a nice bonus for doing what you were already planning on doing.


Also, on the topic of MM using pets, it’d be super nice if there were some way for MM hunters to provide a group haste buff (i.e. Primal Rage) without using a pet. It sucks that you either have to play with a pet (which is currently a significant DPS loss on ST and even moreso on AOE) or you have to game it by casting Primal Rage right as you’re dismissing your pet, which still requires your Lone Wolf buff to slowly stack up afterwards. On live, I like to play MM in keys because BM’s AOE is mediocre (and because I signed up to play a ranged class and SV is just a weird nightmare I choose to ignore) and I dread joining groups without a shaman/mage.

14 Likes

Imagine a world where Binding Shackles was replaced with “Ferocity/Tenacity” where you could talent into 10% Leech/Primal Rage or %5 HP/ (a buffed) sotf. Not sure how that’d go for BM/SV gamers but it would sure be nice for MM.

10 Likes

Hello Hunters,

There are some notable changes coming to your next alpha build we wanted to share. This won’t be an exhaustive list of changes, but will hit some of the big points.

As far as bugs, we know there are bugs and things that aren’t working right. Things are being worked on.

Baseline Class Changes:

  • Tenacity Pets no longer have Survival of the Fittest.
  • Tenacity Pets have a new ability, Fortitude of the Bear. This grants you and your pet +20% maximum HP for a duration.
    • Command Pet interactions will probably be a bit broken in the next build, as well as Lone Wolf giving access to Survival of the Fittest as opposed to Fortitude of the Bear. These will be resolved in a future build.

Class Tree:

  • Thick Hides removed.
  • Survival of the Fittest is now in the class tree.
  • There is a choice node to modify Survival of the Fittest to have a shorter cooldown, or have higher damage reduction value.
  • Fogged Crystal removed.
  • Improved Tranquilizing Shot lowered to a 1 point node.
  • Born to be Wild now also modifies Survival of the Fittest, and lowered to a 2-point node.
  • There is a new, potentially placeholder, not implemented, not final, not a promise talent added in the core tree. Sentinel Owl.
    • Sentinel Owl grants you unhindered vision of a targeted area, allowing your attacks to ignore line of sight to the area.
  • There is a new, potentially placeholder, not implemented, not final, not a promise choice node attached to the Sentinel Owl node.
    • Choice A: The unhindered vision of your owl now also applies to your party members, allowing them to also ignore line of sight to the target area.
    • Choice B: While the Sentinel Owl is active, your party gains some Leech and Avoidance.

Some thoughts on Sentinel Owl:
Resonating Arrow from the Kyrian covenant is a neat, unique effect Hunters have to break the line of sight rules. It is very powerful in PvP situations, and situationally useful in PvE. We want to keep the ignore line of sight effect, but do not want to keep the personal or group damage amplification from Resonating Arrow. Keeping utility as utility, and not utility as damage, allows it to be a useful tool when the situation calls for it, rather than something you feel compelled to stack with other effects, or use on cooldown.

Marksmanship:

  • A bunch of nodes in the bottom left area have been shuffled around the tree.

Survival:

  • Kill Command (the Survival variant) now has an innate +10% chance to reset its cooldown. Predator’s value has been lowered from 25% to 15%.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

53 Likes

Thanks for the weekly post Nimox! Some initial thoughts…

  • Love the changes to Survival of the Fittest, its new choice node, and the additional of Fortitude of the Bear. This gives hunters of all specs a solid new defensive option.
  • It is nice to see Fogged Crystal & Thick Hides removed. They were both far too situational to be taking up nodes on the tree. Hopefully this frees up the class tree for even more new talents, on top of what has already been added in this post.
  • The idea of Sentinel Owl is interesting, however I am very wary about its choice node. I think everyone is aware that hunters need some form of raid utility, and I really hope this is not the solution. The concern is that this is party-wide, not raid-wide. Your thoughts even called out that Sentinel Owl only has situational use in PvE. I don’t see this swinging the needle much, if at all, in terms of raid utility.
  • Regarding Choice B, the focus on Avoidance is confusing. Avoidance is only beneficial against a handful of abilities. Combine this with the talent not being raid-wide, and you get a talent that is incredibly restrictive and comes nowhere close to the raid utility that other classes/specs are getting. Atrophic Poison, for example, is a permanent 3.6% DR that can be doubled on a single target by Shiv every 25 seconds.
  • If the team is adamant on this being party-wide only, I hope the discussion about raid utility for hunters continues. Personally, I would scrap Choice B, keep Choice A but it obviously no longer as a choice node, and introduce something different as our raid utility.
    There have been a lot of ideas suggested, and I figure I’d bring those up again just to make sure they are fresh in everyone’s minds.
    • WoD-style pet buffs - each pet type could provide one of the raid buffs that are currently exclusive to other classes (warrior, mage, priest, druid). I do not see why adding some redundancy for these buffs would be an issue. Could be an issue for Lone Wolf MM hunters, sure.
    • Aspect of the Fox - this ability was definitely abused on certain raid encounters the last time it existed. That being said, it is not oppressive on every single raid encounter. If the team thought it was, a Sated-type debuff could be added to prevent the concept of stacking hunters to chain-cast this.
    • Raid-wide or party-wide Aspect of the Eagle - we all know a version of this ability was datamined for evokers. If the idea was there, why not give it to the class that has a spec that already has it as an ability? Admittedly, this would be strong, meaning it would be a great candidate to be party-wide only.
39 Likes

heck yeah!! this is great, really love to see this. access to a reliable baseline DR (and customizable) DR is nice to see. should really shore up some weaknesses of the class. <3

I know this is a super hypothetical not implemented and not a promise ability, but it seems like it could potentially be an abrasive choice in the future—hilariously good in arenas/pvp (as you said) but I fear almost too niche in pve.

that said, looking forward to seeing how it works, what the numbers are (cd/duration), and how much leech/avoidance it can give.

great to see!

y-you too

11 Likes

Great changes.

I think those can have some work.
I think choice A is really cool for pvp, however choice B feels weird.
Leech and Avoidance being party is weird as it’s unreliable as defensive cd in raid content, and will likely be perma ignored (unless your running a hunter for each party to benefit from it, which is unlikely)
I don’t know what’s a good alternative option that’s not just pure dmg increase (and i personally greatly dislike buffs being party rather than raid wide), however right now it looks as 2 different pvp choices.

7 Likes

Our Kyrian legendary gave us 10% crit to the party, maybe that’s a decent alternative?

Maybe, but they said they didn’t want to do that, so I’m not sure.

8 Likes

Right you are. Thanks for pointing it out because I completely missed it my first read-through.

2 Likes

I’m probably alone on this thinking, but if you admit that there’s very very niche uses in PvE and it’ll mainly be used in PvP, why is it a PvE talent and not a PvP Talent?

As others said, if this is meant to be the utility hunters bring to the raid, please reconsider, utility should not be massively niche or it defeats the purpose of utility.

I feel like leaning into the Aspects Hunters have could be a nice utility for parties. I just don’t really have any specific suggestions. I mean, at one point you guys were experimenting with a group-wide Aspect of the Eagle for Evokers, if I recall, why not actually just make that Aspect of the Eagle? Letting us turn a melee group into range for X seconds would be great utility. Could just make the Survival talent last longer for the hunter in particular. (or grant it if not talented into the class tree, etc.)

That said, I highly hope you guys keep in mind that Feral and Survival need utility that cannot be used by their ranged counterparts to help justify putting them in a raid. As it stands now, we get left out because we lack no utility MM/BM/Balance don’t also bring. Feral has requested Leader of the Pack many times - bringing back Expose Weakness for Survival could be an option, for example.

I do this way too much. X_X

I literally read one note like 12 times and completely missed a sentence, only for someone else to point it out above haha. The formatting is hard to read sometimes.

14 Likes

There are only 3 available spots for pvp talents. Why can’t pvpers have something cool in the tree as well?

15 Likes