Hunter Hero Talents - Why so narrow?

Packmaster - the default for every BM player that won’t be used by MM players.
Dark Ranger - Edgy spec that only aesthetically/thematically works for specific race or class themes

So as an MM player, I’m a Sentinel, forever and always? I don’t know what’s part of this hero talent tree, but the fact I can tell it’s the only hero talent tree that fits my character thematically and aesthetically is a huge, massive flavor loss. My NE Hunter would never, ever, in a million years, be a Dark Ranger, right?

I’m going to ask a question I feel like I’ve been asking for since the dawn of time. We have had arcane shot for almost 20 years: Why is Arcane Archer not an option? Why are we limited to three narrow design directions to begin with? I’m enjoying the direction from the team, but as a Hunter main, I feel like I’ve “lost” when it comes to flexibility and choices with the trees because it almost sounds like each Hunter spec got one hero talent designed for them and the others don’t fit.

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What makes you think Packmaster would be BM & MM, not BM & SV?
Unless you’re saying it wont even be an option for MM? I mean that isn’t really a big deal.

Sounds kind of lame? You want to build an entire spec around a filler spell that isn’t even always used?

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Packmaster - BM, SV
Dark Ranger - MM, SV
Sentinel - BM, MM
100%

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BM has wailing arrow right now though

pretty sure BM is dark ranger/pack leader

I’m just tired of hunters being the defacto elf/night elf bow and arrow nonsense class.

This would be a perfect time to introduce something that uses traps and explosives, the gun wielding hunters that still exist in the game.

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Sounds kind of lame? You want to build an entire spec around a filler spell that isn’t even always used?

Where did I say that? I’m asking for Arcane Archer because it’s an easy thematic win that can be applied to any and all Hunters and already has logic in the game for every Hunter being capable of doing it. Doesn’t have to be Arcane Archer though. More importantly, not every single MM Hunter wants to be a “Dark Ranger”. My Night Elf being a “Dark Ranger” makes absolutely no sense in the lore and is thematically and aesthetically a giant mismatch. Pack Leader is probably not going to be an option for MM, so I am assuredly going to be stuck with Sentinel, because as cool as Dark Ranger is, it’s extremely niche and doesn’t fit many races the same way it fits races like BE or Undead:

NE, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Draenai all do not make sense being Dark Rangers

Many are pretty much forced onto Sentinel unless we feel like contradicting lore immensely or feel like shoe-horning ourselves into a very specific character theme. As a NE MM Hunter main, I don’t feel like I was offered options for my hero talents. I feel like I was told I am getting Sentinel and an option I will never choose because it’s extraordinarily niche and a giant flavor loss for my character. Again, my NE would never, ever choose to be a Dark Ranger.

What makes you think Packmaster would be BM & MM, not BM & SV?

It is SV, but the SV playerbase is tiny comparatively and is basically it’s own class. I’m sure the few dozen SV players are happy with whatever choice they take here, but I will not presume to speak for them. I know players who play both BM and MM, but everyone I know who plays SV only plays Hunter for SV and vice versa. I don’t want to take Dark Ranger on my NE MM Hunter, though. I don’t think Pack Leader will even be an option for MM.

More importantly, it feels like every BM player is going to want Pack Leader. Obviously I haven’t seen the trees, but you have a spec that heavily leans into pets and a few hero trees where one clearly leans into pets… I feel like the choice is clear. Similarly to the way it is for MM Hunters.

I don’t feel like there’s a choice here in most situations unless someone is hard min-maxing (which is another issue for another thread). I feel like BM Hunters will universally take Pack Leader. MM Hunters are forced into Sentinel unless they want to be a Dark Ranger, which only fits aesthetically/thematically for specific race and spec combos, meaning races like BE, Worgen or Undead get two options but races like NE or Tauren are left out to dry and forced onto Sentinel.

I like that they are switching things up and trying new stuff, especially with hero talents, but I look at the hero talents for other classes and go “they won and I lost” because I see options for, say, my Mage, and go “wow, all three of these would be super cool options on my Mage, which do I choose?!” - but for my MM Hunter, it’s just “yep… guess I’m a Sentinel…?”

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I think BM and Surv get packmaster since they have a pet focus.

I think dark ranger will be BM MM allowing for undead pet taming and also a focus on magic arrows.

And survival and MM will be sentinel allowing for similar theme MM has now and there are melee sentiels amongs the Night Elfs

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this has been the whole class since legion tbh

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The fact that Survival is designed to deviate from the class theme rather than build on it makes it very difficult to come up with a set of hero talents that makes sense for SV as well as the other specs.

This is why we’re careening towards the ridiculousness of having Sentinel, something defined as “elite archers”, being one of the hero talent selections for SV.

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Totally agree with you. SV is cool, but it should have been it’s own class. Old Survival was cool too.

This is why we’re careening towards the ridiculousness of having Sentinel, something defined as “elite archers”, being one of the hero talent selections for SV.

Good point, but worth pointing out, it could suck as a selection for MM as well. Could basically be like “you were an elite archer before, but now you’re… an even more elite archer!” As someone else pointed out, this is hopefully going to lean into the Chakram skill, which could admittedly be pretty cool. But then this is the reverse scenario where I feel like this doesn’t fit for BE or Undead the same way it does for NE, so now they feel like they should be Dark Rangers. I feel like both Dark Ranger and Sentinel is a flavor mismatch for a race like Tauren so now they are getting pushed towards Beast Mastery and Pack Leader. And the poor Dwarf Hunter mains man. When was the last time they gave any love towards the gun loving Nessingwary impersonators?

I really feel like the choices are all too narrow from a thematic approach. They’re lore friendly and pretty cool, but they are definitely very niche, which also would be fine if there were more than three options. But three is all we got. Montaro further up brings up the giant lack of traps/explosives/guns focus that Hunters have received recently and he’s right, this would have been a good idea for Hero Talents. Munitions Mastery (explosive shot, traps, etc.), Arcane Archer/Survivor (fancier shots/swings for each class), Pack Leader(pet focus). Instead we got hyper specific themes like Dark Ranger and Sentinel.

This is all thematic direction discussion, by the way. Meta and min maxing is not relevant to this discussion, sorry to those who have read this far and are confused, I should have elaborated more in the OP

I’m with you - as BM i don’t want to be a zookeeper, that’s what demo lock & its thousands of tiny imps is for - i want a strong bond with one (or two) pets. and as a draenei main i’m also not super invested in the dark ranger class fantasy. sentinel i can sort of work with as i guess i can hc my char learning from her allies… idk. i guess i’ll wait to see the trees since the only one out rn is a rough draft balance druid options.

i also don’t think dark ranger necessarily needs to be capped at mm/sv. there’ve been dark ranger npcs patrolling the ruins of southshore with spider pets since cata, so i can see a sitch where blizz awkwardly tries to fit all 3 specs to all 3 hero trees - maybe allowing melee bm through packmaster talents, mm with pets through sentinel and ranged survival through dark ranger. how well they’d pull that off is another thing entirely given the absolute lack of attention they’re displaying with hunters rn on the 10.2 ptr.

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That’s like calling Tyrande a ‘filler NPC’. She’s kind of got a whole style going for her.

pack leader makes perfect sense what are you yapping about? you’re somehow pretending that MM and BM don’t directly conflict as well?

edit: pretty funny to me personally that SV fits fine with all 3 presented hero talent names

I think Blizzard needs to define the Survival playstyle for the upcoming future. Are going back to range, in case we are still melee can we be tanky? What about weapons, I personally want to dual wield. Once these things are more clear the hero talents will make more sense for this Spec.

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sv is 100% staying melee as they said in an interview that there are no big gameplay changes planned for specs/classes

Sentinels are just night elf warriors, you can’t blame SV this time, the whole hero talents make no sense for most races currently.
Pack leader is okayish I guess.

Sadly I don’t think they can make hero talents that would fit all races unless they give them very unspecific names like you know, “hunter”, but these are no more ‘hero talents’ at that point.
Actually replacing ‘dark ranger’ with just ‘ranger’ could be a start.

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Im fine with melee but god pls no more bombs. I wan to dual glaive something like that.

remember: hero talents are not big spec impacting gameplay changes talents. we saw examples today. they are things like “you leech inside of lunar beam. your lunar beam has a shorter cooldown. your treants increase your damage”

Sadly I don’t think they can make hero talents that would fit all races unless

See this is where I disagree. Arcane Archer is something MM players have been head canon-ing since Vanilla since it’s already implied in the game by the use of Arcane Shot, and every single race in the game can use it and it fits as every race uses magic to some extent in 2023 WoW, even NE. Pack Leader applies to all Hunters in every race because pet taming is something every race does. A Hero tree focusing on traps/explosives would also apply to every race since engineers in WoW can be seen coming from every race as well. Some of these suggestions apply to some races better than others, and I think that kind of thing is fine, but they’re much more open to interpretation than ‘Sentinel’ or ‘Dark Ranger’ which are positions held in the game by specific races in the lore already and have very specific gameplay implications, i.e. shadowy Undead shots or chakram wielding are my options as an MM Hunter, I can’t be any other kind of Hunter.

So while I do think it’s tough to make Hero Trees that apply equally to all races, I do think what they’ve given us is really unnecessarily specific and niche and applies very unevenly to races thematically, across the board, while very clear alternatives that are interesting and make sense for way more race/spec combinations were not chosen.

Blizzard needs to step up their hunter game

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