Marksmanship's Spec/Class Tree + Overall Discussion

Hello Guys! Will be a long post so nuzzle up and read on!

Been fortunate enough to get access to the beta and have been putting time into everything MM + a bit of Evoker lol. I was ready to write some feedback when I became aware of the upcoming changes next week and it dramatically changed my perspective.

I have been having such a good time with MM in season 4 while simultaneously going with you guys thru the process of making hunters interesting for Dragonflight.

To be clear this post is specifically for MM and I understand that some feel that SV and BM can still benefit from some changes but I cannot speak on that nor do I have an opinion on it. Only interested in MM.

Closely reading what the community wants and also understand what the hunter devs are trying to create and from my understanding BFA MM is the baseline from which shadowlands and soon Dragonflight MM will be designed around. It is also clear that many talents will now be class-wide, making it less restrictive so that each spec has more common similarities. I personally like this for both gameplay and ease of access between specs.

Right now in the Beta, as it stands with next weeks changes in mind, MM will be varied in playstyle, have the most utility it’s ever had at the start of an expansion, a stronger personal defensive, plus an extra dr defensive (customizable) but tied to pets w/ SotF.


  • I am aware that the utility that we have is not particularly useful in a grand way but I’m also aware that they’re trying something new with Sentinal. The upcoming changes gives it a push towards the right direction. They should definitely make it strong enough to make it into an impactful raid/group CD. I personally like Sentinal as it is effective in PvP and I currently like the Kyrian covenant. This ability on it’s own will open up the gates for new comps with its LoS component. Whether it’s OP or not, I’m hoping that the devs continue to monitor it and listen to feedback to tune it accordingly. I hear ya about group wide utility and I agree. What I’m saying is let’s let them flesh out Sentinal some and we continue to help with the process to make it as good as it needs to be w/ feedback. A reminder that It took them this long to finally implement it (because of tree improvements) so now it’s all feedback from here on out. Good and Bad.

Nessingwary’s Trapping Apparatus

  • GONE! Finally! I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical with this one lol Didn’t think they were going to remove it. With this change and how Serrated Shots will take its place and a new 1 point talent, Entrapment means that we will have 1 point left free to put elsewhere which opens up a new possibility depending on your build.


  • Such a great addition to our toolkit baseline. Both in PvE and PvP. Granted, while it’ll serve PvP more effectively, we can’t ignore the fact that Tar Trap is now an AoE slow AND an AoE root. Obviously, to remedy Binding Shot’s Change it is an overall buff as we gained a root AND a stun. And while Binding Shot being a stun may be risky in PVP, it plays a good role in pressure, awareness, and skill from pvp’ers with room for counterplay and it’s not a huge loss since we now have access to Intimidation + a range stun w/ Consecutive Concussive. Entrapment is overall useful in ALL content and I welcome it.

Variety in Gameplay/Builds
Note - To be clear I’m not saying that these playstyles are super fun and ground-breaking, what I’m saying is that from Dragonflight release MM will feel more versatile from day 1 than it ever has. Which makes it by default interesting.

  • At 70 the amount of variety you get for builds including variance within each build has surpassed my expectations. There are several choices when wanting to make an AoE build. For example, you can have an explosive shot themed heavy aoe build, you can have a true shot heavy aoe build with different loadouts, you can have a wailing arrow build for aoe with different loadouts and the same can be said about Legacy of the Windrunner’s.

  • There are also different playstyles for ST but not as varied. But while this is true the choices are interesting in that you can really go deep and tailor your ST like never before and so easy. You can go super deep into pure ST by taking points from multi-shot and trickshots or add some AoE elements without losing much. Serrated Blades/Serpent Sting/Razor Fragments/Latent Poison will play a huge role in bringing MM back to the bleed and poison playstyle it lacked for a long time. Also, there are some elements to Rapid Fire builds which is still powerful on it’s own right.

  • For PVP you can make hybrid builds that will introduce sustain damage on top of our bursty Double-Tap go’s and it plays really smooth with enough buttons, procs and buffs to give it lots of areas of improvement. In other words a higher skill ceiling in our rotation. And the potential utility is nutty.

  • The best part of all of this is that the Class tree now supports ST, AoE and PVP in a less restrictive way. It is by far and large a much better MM than anything previous to it in my opinion. The rotations feel great. ALL the crit/damage modifiers infusing our abilities with impact. Lastly being able to potentially and simultaneously play with 3 covenant abilities fills the rotation with a lot of things to do for all content. There are enough builds in our kit that the graph area of what will be considered “Meta” will be much larger.


  • Maybe a controvercial take but Lonewolf should stay a mandatory point similar to Aimed Shot. It is part of the spec and should always have access to it no matter what I’m doing. Having an extra 1-2 points to use for build variance is also a plus if you do not wish to talent into Hunter’s Knowledge with the revert.

Common misconceptions

  • One thing I see a lot in the forums concerns Multi-Shot and Trick Shots. While I can understand that it feels odd that you have to invest points into them, honestly it’s either that or spending 2 points on the same thing but with different wording. The great thing about Multi-Shot and Trick Shots is that with them being where they’re located and costing 2 points you now have the option of using the same 2 points to adjust for a pure ST build. You gain 2 points if you don’t need them. They are also neither “out of the way” nor “in the way” as you have easy access to them regardless of what build you’re going for and can even go for AoE builds without them. It’s actually pretty impressive.
  • Another is that “we don’t have enough defensives”. I reckon with the new addition of Fortitude of the Bear and potentially Sentinal + SotF (sadly, SotF is tied to pet) that it tips the balance to the other side. Easier/Simultaneous access to Natural Mending and Born to be Wild with Posthaste, it all adds up. In PVP our utility in addition to said defensives is an improvement to personal and group survivability. I may eat my words lol but at the very least it is an objective improvement to what we previously had in the last 2 expansions.

Feedback To The Hunter Devs

  • A full Windrunner’s guidance build with no rapidfire feels really good with TS and can’t wait to try it out when it’s working. So the obvious is having the Trueshot talents working. The WG proc is a bit too random but honestly the need to push out Aimed Shots has such a high priority that there are times when you have no focus and use the last AiS charge and TS procs making the rotation feel really wonky. Maybe adding 15 focus to the proc may help. On a positive note, I love when WG procs TS and it adds to the total time of TS including when using the CD.
  • Arctic Bola breaks Freezing trap. I really hope there isn’t a repeat of season 3 and 4 with the tier sets breaking trap.
  • There is too much friction when wanting to use lust/hero as a Lonewolf Hunter. Please either have our pets instantly come out when using Lust or give lust to LW Hunters baseline. The drawbacks are way too heavy when no other class has any drawbacks when using lust.
  • Pet utility as MM should be practical and effective when it matters in PVE. Give us access to the abilities and when cast the pet instantly appears. Something like Wild Kingdom but for Master’s Call, Roar of Sacrifice, and Lust/Hero (give lust baseline to LW Hunter’s). Allow this interaction to have a CD (maybe LW itself) where you can use it once every 3-5 minutes. Basically effectively removing the GCD to call pet, a few moments of lag, and then casting the needed pet utility.
  • Double Tap should increase the % to proc wind arrows directly not just indirectly.
  • Wailing Arrow’s Cast time, focus cost, or both should increase to buff its initial damage so that it hits harder than an Aimed Shot.
  • Mending Bandage <3
  • And for the love of Sylvannas lol make Sentinal worth it for raids and group content! lol

Obviously the work is nowhere near finished but everyone is during a great job, imo. (for MM at least lol :stuck_out_tongue: )
For everyone who made it this far, Thank you for reading! You a real one.


I just agree with everything about MM struggling with identity due to pets. We have pets that dont interract with the spec at all (unlike BM/Survival) but at the same time they have key utility abilities that we need like lust,stun,freedom,sac. Blizzard needs to make lone wolf baseline balance it so its identical to the damage loss of not having a pet and give us all the utility that a pet would have when using lone wolf.

On top of that because lone wolf hunters dont have a pet we should be a mobility skill due to the fact we dont have a pet for tanking mobs so we should be getting something to make up for it.

All this would mean is people that want to play pet can without losing dps or utility and people that dont want to play pet are not at a disadvantage by losing utility and the tanking pet. I see no reason why there should be any argument against it, its not like pets actually do anything for MM.

I honestly think the reason why blizz are not doing it is because its just too difficult for them. I was hoping so bad that we would get a dark ranger class this xpac IE Magic bow\dagger spec but MM hunter is all we have in terms of Bow spec in the game and i hope they give it what it deserves.


MM having a pet is not a horrible premise. Our class is a pet class. So if you need to tank mobs, bring your pet out. No need to use Lonewolf to kill mobs for example

MM really isn’t going thru an identity crisis either. The biggest issue is not being able to use our pets practically and efficiently. What is causing this? Call Pet.

And I think blizz can def do this. Whatever the philosophy they have going on towards Lonewolf and pets just has to go

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I do not like lone wolf being so much of our damage 10% if not used. Again I do not think our pets do 10% of our damage just using their abilities and auto attack as we did not have any abilities like kill command.

This being said I do like that they moved LW although I would much prefer LW to be as it is now a passive if you use a pet you lose the 10% damage, if you put your pet up you get the LW buff.

I know there are people that love the no pet archer like a ranger is supposed to be. But there are also Rangers that have pet companions so.

I can say my biggest issue with LW is the dps loss if you use a pet.


True, it makes sense. I think it comes down to giving MM options. In Aoe it doesn’t makes sense that our pet being out we lose out on damage.

In pvp for example I tend to keep my pet right next to me as MM for all the utility but it feels off that my kill windows I’m missing out on 10%.

But I do believe that MM shud use a pet. So it’s an awkward place. The real culprit is Lonewolf’s current state. It isn’t strong enough to compete with the utility of a pet and pets don’t bring the damage of LW. On top of that the entire process of utilizing a pet and LW interchangeably has too many downsides. Call Pet GCD, an bit of input lag when the pet comes out, using said ability and then deciding either dismissing it or keeping it out which also feels awful and lastly having LW’s buff stack for 20s for the full benefit. It’s too much

But they do. At least in Single Target. Having a pet is only a dps loss in AoE.

Exactly. LW should be baseline. In it’s place, a talent that gives LW buff the pet utility, and adds AoE cleave to pets. That way you actually have a choice on how you want to play.


Yea i just disagree. Pet does nothing to interact with the MM spec and takes up 5-6 buttons just for pet management. I would prefer 4-5 different ranger abilities than a pet that doesnt interact with the spec.

While hunter is a pet class it doesnt mean all specs need to have a pet. Plenty of pet specs in WOW but there is only one bow spec.

Personally i would prefer them to expand on the lone ranger aspect of MM. Without having a pet it would mean we would need utility for kiting, CC etc. I understand that some people like pets though.


Sure, of course. I would love a lone ranger/dark ranger class in the game lol Like gimme right now type love. It’s literally why I play MM. I’m not against the idea whatsoever and am all for a lone ranger class. And I agree with you that the pet doesn’t synergize with MM, damage-wise.

The fact is, we are months deep into alpha and now beta. I see little chance of them adding 4-5 new abilities, animations, sounds, and synergies this late to completely remove the need for a pet. When I log on to the beta, my MM hunter’s LW and pet are functionally the same as it is in Shadowlands and it sucks. For mad reasons.

That was the intent behind my LW piece in the original post. To make it clear that MM having to use lust through pet when using LW is dated. As well as the rest of the interactions with pets and LW.

I feel the easiest way to help get us closer to Lone Ranger and practical use, for DF is to let MM use Lust w/ LW (no pet). If they want to continue to build off of that, then lets goooooo

BTW I’ve done the full entirety of Torghast without a pet. Just 'cuz I don’t like using a pet lol

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They cant just give us Blood Lust though if it was the character then it would be stealing class fantasy from Shamans. And blizzard has screwed up enough in the name of Class Fantasy. They removed gust of wind from Shamans saying it encroached on mage class fantasy but still gave mages and hunters Lust. I mained a Shaman to know that was one of the key reasons to bring Shamans and then it was made so you could get lust without a shaman. That is still a sore spot for Shamans.

I liked the concept of LW but and this will still upset people Hunters class fantasy is Pets. And as marksman I use my wolf to tank for me when out in the world. It seems blizzard is going anti pet, and what I mean by this is look at frost mage they gave them the ability to not summon the elemental and get a dps gain, They also gave this to warlocks as well. The ability to sac their pet for a dps gain. How soon will it be before this happens to survival and you can be sure they will find a way to do this to beast masters.
Probably make it so Beast masters take on aspects of their pet if they dismiss it or something to this effect.

My pet fetches for me.
Besides that, my pet acts as a huge aggro soak, catching and keeping our targets attention as I kill it.
My pet frees me from having to hide behind a Tank.
My pet hugely increases my survivability.
A MM w/o a pet IS at a disadvantage, the way I see things.
The only attraction I can see in it is that a LW Hunter doesn’t have to fool with a pet. What I cannot see is how anyone can feel justified in asking /demanding the same or better dps and utility potential whether running with or without a pet.
The pet does dps. The pet has utility abilities. If I run the pet, I can take advantage of those abilities, if I don’t, I can’t.
It should be that simple! Butit’snot… LW types want the pet damage and the pet utility w/o actually having to run the pet… because… they would be fools not to want it.
I am aware that MM has no unique pet ability in the MM spell book. So what… A unique ability is NOT required to interact with my pet… So quit that b.s.
MM are not struggling with identity due to pets. Thats the Lone Wolf types struggling with identity issues due to day-dreams about a non-existent “Ranger” spec, or maybe Class. Supposedly, they are Archers with magical projectiles, and no pets. And they’re all Elves. And all Women…
I hope some of it’s true, just to help clear up some of this “confusion”.

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They can and they have?
Shamans, Mages, Hunter’s and now Evokers.

I’m not sure what you’re going on about. Seems like something is bothering yu big time. I’m not blizzard.

Lonely Winter has been in the game for years. Pet sack has been in the game since like, mop?

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Yea Pets do nothing for MM absolutely useless. would rather than 5 other abilities. Most MM hunters i see play lonewolf in all forms of content if they can get away with it. The only exception is leveling as its dirt easy with a pet.

Did you not notice, you had to have noticed, that Hunters come equipped with a pet?
The pet ability buttons are not the pets, they are yours, to use as you see fit, if your pet is useless, it is because you aren’t using your pet.
If you don’t want to use your pet, then why be a Hunter?
I can get by w/o a pet, but I can get by better with one.
Most Hunters, all three specs, rarely play their pets, they just run them on auto-pilot, outside of the unique spec abilities.
Anything more than this is effectively running two Toons at once, a skill-set many Hunters never attain. Why be a Lone Wolf, when you can be two places at once?

Its really difficult to read your posts.

Yes but many want to play a pure range spec and lone wolf provides that but doesnt do a good enough job.

But they require a pet so they are pet buttons.


Why not just… have Lone Wolf increase only damage dealt to the primary target (adjusting Trick Shots as necessary) and raise the baseline AoE, rather than continuing to make the {Lone Wolf / New Talent} node a must-pick for AoE?

Leave Lone Wolf baseline; just fix what it does. Return stuff like Master’s Call to the hunter, instead of the pet. It had no reason to have been pigeon-holed to F/T/C pet types from the start. Lone Wolf would have no higher damage. Using a pet would have only the extra utility of an extra health bar and Growl.


it’s probably very hard to code that. but sure, sounds mechanically simpler.

Still leaves the fact that being petless is a utility loss.

You realize the no-pet ranged weapon users are the original? We didn’t see any pet users until Rexxar in Frozen Throne.

…And what’s with this weird fixation on gender?

WC2 had (male, apart from Alleria) Archers, who upgraded to Rangers.
WC3 had (night elf, female) Archers, (high elf) Rangers [NPC only], (dwarven male) Riflemen, (night elf, female) Huntresses, and the Dark Ranger (Sylvanus).

Focus Fire, Flare, Sentinel, Multi-Shot (original version) / Trick Shot (in terms of functionality), Serpent Sting, Black Arrow, Trueshot Aura, our range upgrades, etc., all hark back to exactly that.

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Which is why design shouldn’t take previously baseline Hunter-based utility and make it dependent on random pet types all to save face on a bad decision like replacing Beast Training with a mere three types of greater pet families?

Primal Rage, meanwhile, should just be replaced with a baseline Hunter-based Lust (Horn of the Hunt, etc.) if that’s supposed to be a sometimes-redeeming utility of Hunter.

You say that but that is history blizzard are reverting back to mop classes.
Gust of wind is back in dragonflight. Evokers also have list now.

Not really just make lone wolf damage only effect single target spells.