Survival Hunter PTR

Ehh just cause you can out dps some people you played with in aoe doesn’t make it a fact. I agree that survival has great aoe but if a survival hunter with the same ilvl as a marks hunter both use their cds and aoe abilities the marks hunter would out dps by a large margin.

However if cds weren’t used and you needed to do some snap aoe yeah bombs/cluster leggo would do more damage than a marks multi shotting into an aimed shot.

Survival has much better sustained aoe but marks has the better burst.

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Jinx! You owe me a coke!


Wouldn’t say it doesn’t, but to me there never was enough identity between the three ranges specs, but now there more design room for Marksman and Beast Mastery since they get to be the Ranged ones and Survival is the Melee. If Survival never went melee I honestly would have never gotten into playing Hunter much at all.

A Melee Hunter and a Rogue and a Warrior are all worlds apart in how they feel and play and what they have access to.

The majority of hunters felt that way before the changes too. My point I suppose is, it feels hypocritical to say one set is different but the other is not even though they were about as similar as an aff lock and a destro lock.

Again, I don’t think it should go away. But the argument that they were too similar is not exactly a convincing one. I’m glad you found a new interest in the class. I want what I already had and played for over a decade returned, and I do not advocate for removing what you got.


My point was they weren’t different enough, now that they’re split with 2 ranges and 1 melee there’s plenty of design room and they all three feel abs play very differently.

And what of that would you like to see? A ranged trap/artillery user? What about Ranged Survival appealed to you over the other two, sincere question.

I’m saying most hunters disagree with that stance. There’s a good reason it’s been a point of contention within the hunter community for over five years now. But, to play devil’s advocate, let’s say they were too similar.

What stopped blizz from changing RSV but keeping it ranged? Why such a drastic change that goes against the fundamental core to the class itself that they knew would be unpopular within the hunter community? Could they not have made changes to it while keeping it ranged?

To me, I liked the fast paced reactionary gameplay between maintaining dots and working with LNL procs. As for thematic, I liked envisioning my character as infusing their shots with magic to wither their enemies away from afar before blowing them to smithereens. MM does not offer that to an extent that I think is acceptable, nor do most old SV hunters seem to think it works there. Some of the old talents being forced into MM have also limited MM player choices (again, because the two were not the same and appealed to two different kinds of players).

For a more detailed answer as to how they could have updated it to focus it more thematically while maintaining the current spec, there are a number of ideas out there.

Minor tweaks should be made to that post but there’s quite a bit there that focuses on how talents, gameplay, etc, can all be fundamentally different from MM while updating it to fit with the modern game.

If you would prefer a different take on it that focuses less on the magic aspects of the various shots, then I would highly recommend this thread.

Edit: Figured it worth adding, beyond just wanting an updated version of the spec I greatly enjoyed returned, there’s a much more pragmatic reason for why I consistently argue for a fourth spec. How current SV was implemented was a massive mistake for a multitude of reasons, but the biggest one that I think has implications that go beyond the hunter class is the precedent it set. Blizz has set the precedent that it is okay to outright delete specs if they want to add something entirely new in its place, regardless of whether it makes sense or not or whether the majority of players will like it.

The same thing that happened to old SV very well can happen to current SV or other specs in the game. Ion might not have plans to remove current SV (again, I don’t want it removed so that’s good), but there’s no guarantee the next lead dev will hold that same view. I think it would be just as wrong to do that to current fans as it was to old fans and the possibility always lingers over the spec. It’s not healthy for the game and only serves to hurt the players. A fourth spec acts as an admission that the way it was implemented was wrong and should not be repeated while giving players more agency with how they wish to play the class.


That’s the thing, Survival had always been the melee capable spec going back to the beginning of the game, this was them deciding to focus on that aspect to give it more identity.

The Hunter Community overall yes, but there’s a split camp between the Ranged old guard and people who liked the melee, and all the new people it brought in, I don’t think the hate for melee Survival is overwhelming, it does exist obviously, but people who enjoy it aren’t absolutely dwarfed.

Absolutely, but they didn’t.

As for the rest of what you wrote nods

I’d be perfectly fine with a 4th spec that deals with what you suggest.

The one thing though, about “deleting specs” is I don’t think that’s as big as a concern since I said up a bit was Survival was always seen as the melee capable Hunter spec, even though that was not all of it. So they decided to focus on that aspect of it.


I would be happy to keep addressing your posts, though to be frank I’m not sure if it should be done in this particular thread, since I don’t want to derail from the OP too much. I’ll just say if you haven’t already, I would check out the hunter forums. This is pretty much a daily conversation over there because of how frustrating the issue is to the community there, both for those who like it and those who don’t.


Yes, exactly. It wasn’t a melee spec. It was a ranged spec that couldn’t use ranged attacks up close, having to use a stopgap melee kit instead. While it had melee-buffing talents, it also had tools to get back to ranged, tools to stay at ranged, and even ranged-preferring talents like Lightning Reflexes and Wyvern Stinng post 1.7.

Modern Survival, which is a melee spec in a class that can otherwise freely attack from 0-40 yards, is a total bastardisation of this concept. It relies on a disastrous misunderstanding of the original Hunter class, the purpose and extent of its spec choices, and Survival’s identity in particular. Survival is meant to be a resourceful opportunist; what part of that speaks “arbitrarily stick to the vastly-more-dangerous melee range with a melee weapon”?

No, they really didn’t. Survival got an expanded, unique toolkit come WotLK so that it could function as an independent DPS spec rather than a tacked-on support role and that was that. It kept that basic design and identity all the way up until Legion. Melee lovers like to paint a picture of a confused and directionless ranged Survival because that’s exactly what the current melee Survival is so it helps them to try to distract from that fact. But that’s all it is: projection.

Legion wasn’t a clean up; it was a mutilation of class design in general. They focused so much on trying to make each spec its own unique micro-class that they ruined class identity and have been playing catch-up ever since. They’ve even admitted as much.

Survival was never meant to be played as a melee spec before Legion so if they were trying to make specs play “how they were meant to play” they completely failed.

And this will literally always be the case unless they buff it to ludicrously unbalanced levels. You’re never going to sell a spec based on what it lacks. If you’re going to try to sell a Hunter without a ranged weapon you might as well also try to sell a Rogue spec without Stealth or a Mage without spells.

Well when I compare our heroic logs I smoke you on AoE fights like Sun King and Huntsman Altimor by over 1k dps. So here’s an MM Hunter out AoEing you.

In all seriousness; you’ve just been playing with subpar MM Hunters which is understandable because you’ve only been doing mostly +14s.

Technically Survival is de-ranged. Get it?

This is predictable because you’re a Warrior main and to you any specs that use bows or guns are probably equivalent and interchangeable. I feel the same way about Arms and Fury but I don’t use that as a platform to campaign for ground-up revisions of Warrior specs because I understand and appreciate Warrior players’ affinity for their existing specs.

This is a meaningless statement because they’ve never utilised this “design room” beyond a couple passover talents for MM. Hell; SV is infringing on BM’s identity more than ever as a direct result of being melee.

Making SV unique through melee is a fundamentally infeasible idea. You’re trying to sell a spec based on what it lacks. Specs are meant to add to a class, not take away from it.

This would be ideal. Stick to your own class, please.

No, it wasn’t. This is just you not understanding the history of a class you’re not familiar with.

In the original game all Hunters had melee abilities because you had a minimum range on shots as a built-in weakness. Survival had a couple passive enhancements to its melee capability (primarily via Savage Strikes; +20% crit chance for Raptor Strike and Mongoose bites) as well as Counterattack (funnily enough an attack intended to help you get back out to ranged). It had a couple more melee things before 1.7 such as Lacerate but even then it wasn’t intended to be played in melee or even to deliberately run into melee because Hunters were built from the foundation to be stronger in ranged. It was just meant to be the PvP spec and in PvP other players would try to get you stuck in melee as long as possible, so it made sense to have some better melee capability. Savage Strikes was actually high enough in the tree to be taken by PvPing MM and BM Hunters so it’s not like Survival had some exclusive melee prowess the others didn’t.

Every single iteration of Survival exclusively added and improved ranged capability, when it finally got its own rotational attacks they were ranged, and eventually it would lose the melee weapon entirely. So, no, it was not a melee spec going back to the start of the game. You’re trying to deny that Legion deleted an existing spec by saying they enhanced an already-existing aspect but even a basic understanding of the class shows that to be false. Like I said in the two expansions preceding Legion it had no melee weapon at all.

It had plenty of “identity” as a ranged spec. Right now its identity is being a crippled Hunter and as such hardly anyone plays it. One would have to be delusional to pretend this were an improvement. Or a Warrior main. But I find those often go hand-in-hand in Survival discussions.

Ah yes, all 10 of them?


Same way that there’s a design struggle right now, with the legion version being massively reworked going into BFA, and being left for dead for over entire expansion ?


facepalm I’ll give you that one…

That is an assumption you are having.

Beast Mastery and Marksmanship as of now play completely different from each other, so that’s a blatant falsehood.

They’ve been utilizing it, Marksmanship and Beast Mastery have completely different play and feels to each other.

Obviously not.

That is a very biased and unflattering reading of how Survival performs.

Tell that to Shadow Priest.

Ah, elitism gatekeeping and idiocy, wonderful combo there. People are only allowed to play one class ever, genius!

It was, all the Melee stuff was in the Survival Tree/Spellbook. Note I said capable, not focused.

The wonderful thing about Hunters originally were that they were switch-hitters.

I didn’t say that, they did however made a change to Survival to give it more of its own identity that benefitted the other two specs as well.

And back to insults cause you can’t have a functioning conversation.

looks at how long melee Survival has been around, the amount of people playing it in-game, and people pushing for it on the forums

Your hyperbole failed you miserably.


What’s your main, then?

All 3 played differently from one another before Legion, in fact.

Try to keep up with your own argument, please. The distinction between BM and MM has nothing to do with SV, so removing ranged SV has not in fact given space they have utilised.

Remind yourself you’re posting in the near-daily “save SV” thread we’ve been seeing since Legion launched. It clearly isn’t working out.

This entire time you’ve been touting how SV has an identity now that it’s melee i.e. lacking a ranged weapon. You’re literally distinguishing and praising Survival because of its unique handicap in the Hunter class. This might work on people like you who are enamoured with melee combat, but the overlap between that crowd and people who play Hunters is extremely small and certainly not deserving of an entire third of the class devoted just to them.

I just levelled Shadow Priest and I certainly didn’t feel like I suddenly and arbitrarily had to abandon a core, identifying part of the class at level 10 just to play the spec.

Playing other classes is one thing; demanding and pushing for parts of your alt class to be like your main class is another.

If it’s not focused then modern Survival has nothing to do with the roots of the spec, so… yeah.

Again with this pretense that it benefited BM and MM. How? MM got a couple easily-replaceable and forgettable talents. BM not only got nothing at all but now SV is borrowing aspects of BM’s identity like Kill Command and Bestial Wrath and it even outright stole Spirit Mend.

As for Survival’s “own identity”: it had an identity as a ranged spec. Now it’s identity is entirely predicated on a tokenistic weakness v.s. the base class. How’s this an improvement, again?

Not only is Survival consistently among the least represented specs in the game (usually, in fact, in last place) but the covenant statistics show that it’s genuinely not more than 5% of the Hunter class playerbase. It really is that unpopular and that much of a failure.


At no point were u suppose to “switch hit”, you had a couple of melee abilities just so you can do something to get out into range.

Compared to literally every other spec in game ? Yea, that number aint it chief.


For Shadowlands that I did the storyline in first and most geared? Survival Hunter.

Debatable, and now, even more so.

This isn’t true.

There’s “buff/Save [spec]” threads for every single spec and class, Survival isn’t Unique in that regard. It is unique in the distinction that it’s a Melee spec competing with 2 Ranged specs.

And my point still stands, you’re biased and targeting Melee.

And hello again elitism. “People who prefer melee” are not some niche non-existent group. You’re pathetic, declaring who deserves to play what.

So Holy Magic isn’t a core part of Priests now?

And this is a word salad full of assumptions and bad faith. You’re ascribing negative motivations to attack the character rather than deal with the argument.

That is false and irrelevant. Survival was the melee capable spec so in the overhaul they decided to make it melee focused.

Because it did, they only have to split ranged ability design space between 2 specs rather than 3.

“I don’t like those abilities so they don’t count” isn’t a good argument.

As for Beast Mastery they got their own identity separate from Survival, most notable with having 2 pets.

And none of those are official so that’s to be taken with a grain of salt. Even then if true, 5% of millions is an obscene amount of numbers.

It isn’t and it’s not. Arcane and Frost aren’t failures because Fire exists. Rogue isn’t a failure because Mage exists.

You not liking something doesn’t make it a failure.

They had melee abilities and could have melee weapons equipped at the same time as ranged. They were switch hitters, you not liking that doesn’t make it not true.

Thousands and thousands are a little bit more than ten.

Rogues had throw and shoot and ranged weapons equiped.
What’s your point ?

Depending on the levels of content you look at.
In some cases # of survival hunters is still less than 10.

And overall it’s objectively known that survival is the least represented spec in all types of content since ± legion launch.


Rogues weren’t switch hitters to the extent that Hunters were, lack of ranged focused abilities, but they had ranged capability as well as you point out.

Hunters were switch hitters, they had ranged and melee abilities, that’s a fact, I’m not claiming they were masters of both melee and ranged.

What like the min-maxing metaslave in World First/Mythic Raiding scene?

I don’t think you know what objectively means.

Hunters were not designed to be switch hitters.
They simply had abilities for both ranges (in large part due to existance of deadzone)

We can also make an argument that rogues had a large number of “tank” like abilities (Riposte, Ghostly strike, etc) and a large number of defensive talents.
Does this mean that rogues were designed as tanks ? They have an awful lot of defensive abilities that rely on getting auto attacked (like a tank).

Or any raiding for that matter, or high level M+ (honestly even in PvP atm it’s suffering, but that’s a far less systematic issue as it’s often good there)
But there is >no< group PvE content where SV has been well represented.

Sorry, FACTUALLY, if you like that word more.
FACTUALLY SV is the least represented spec in all type of GROUPED PVE content, for the last 3 expansions. (Legion, BFA, SL)


Not just for Shadowlands; it means the same to me if you used to main a Warrior (the class you keep posting on) and now main a Survival Hunter.

Hmm, no. I played then and I played all 3. They felt like different choices. The people saying they weren’t different are primarily people who didn’t have much of a clue about the class or any investment in it. Yes, that does count the Legion class developers.

Powerful, in-depth argument right here.

Survival gets way more than most, actually. Something like 20 of the top 30 threads on the Hunter forum are Survival threads. It’s easily the least-represented spec in the entire game and the few people who do it find the spec stigmatised as a meme and excluded from groups. Blizzard has had to answer questions about its status on multiple occasions. Pretending that there’s no problem here and it’s all just noise is hilariously naive yet totally in character for you. You seem blissfully unaware of how bad Survival’s situation really is.

This is a thinly-veiled dodging of the point at hand. Can you explain why you think the point is wrong or do you think I’m automatically wrong because I don’t like melee? Because the latter is not actually a real argument.

Your bad reading comprehension strikes again. I specifically said "the overlap between that crowd (melee lovers) and people who play Hunters. They should not be trying to force a melee option into Hunters because most Hunters don’t want it and most melee players are content with their own specs (after all, they do have 12 others to choose from). Devoting a third of the class to them is nonsense. It’s egregious melee favouritism and preferential treatment. It’s effectively a statement that melee players are special and more valuable and Hunters are expendable.

+1 for the “bad reading comprehension count”.

Priests have baseline holy and shadow stuff shared amongst the whole class. By speccing into Shadow you only get the baseline holy stuff like Power Word: Shield while you get expanded shadow stuff. For more holy stuff you have to spec into Holy.

Hunters in their baseline form have ranged weapons. You have it when you start at level 1. It’s a basic part of the class. However, if you spec Survival at level 10, you’re required to throw away the ranged weapon and use a melee weapon instead. It’s nonsense, it’s jarring, and it comes across as poorly planned and implemented (because it is). The defining characteristic of the spec is losing something you have as a literal level 1 on the starting boat. No other spec is comparable.

Just because you have bad reading comprehension doesn’t mean it’s word salad. If I played a Rogue alt, I wouldn’t start demanding a Rogue spec gets ranged weapons and pets and has stuff like Stealth and melee dual-wielding to be taken away because that’s what my main class is like. For that stuff I can just go back to my main class and it’s not fair to Rogues who enjoy the specs and their identities as they are.

For the same reasoning, Survival should not be compromised in the direction of Rogue and Warrior interests.

You yourself said it wasn’t melee focused back then. So if it’s melee focused now, which it is, it’s not representative of its roots.

You can argue it was a positive change if you want. You’d be wrong, but at least you can argue that. But you can’t pretend melee Survival is something precedented by the original Survival for the simple fact that the original Survival, as part of the Hunter class, used a ranged weapon and the current one doesn’t.

What, so we can’t have 3 specs that use a ranged weapon but we can have a 13th melee weapon user just fine? Listen to yourself.

And stop with this hypothetical. If BM and MM didn’t make any significant gain from SV going melee, which they didn’t, then all this talk of “design space” means absolutely nothing.

Bruh, I’m specced into one of them right now. It’s not about me liking them or not. What is it with you and terrible reading comprehension? I see this a lot with Warrior mains.

The fact of the matter is BM got absolutely nothing at all from SV going melee, and all MM got were a couple talents (originally also Black Arrow) with bear minimal resemblance to their original ranged Survival origins beyond the name and icon. Both of them could be trivially replaced and contribute very little to the design and identity of the spec as a whole (naturally since they are talents and not core parts of the spec).

You seriously need to stop pretending losing ranged SV was a boon to BM and MM. It provably wasn’t, no one is buying it, and you’re just embarrassing yourself at this point.

Having 2 pets is a talent. The baseline BM has one pet.

Even if that weren’t the case, this doesn’t change the fact that SV infringes on BM’s identity and aesthetic worse than any point since pre-Cataclysm when you still didn’t have clear barriers between specs. It has Kill Command in name, aesthetic, and basic mechanical concept. It has Bestial Wrath in aesthetic and basic mechanics, but renamed to Coordinated Assault (no, this doesn’t actually fix the problem). It has Spirit Bond exclusively as its mastery even though this was originally a BM thing. There is a marketing push from SV Hunters to say it’s distinct because it cooperates with its pet, which implies BM doesn’t even though this is what BM has been doing since the beginning.

The whole point of making SV melee in the first place, as ill-advised and poorly thought out as it was, was ostensibly to give it its own identity space separate from other Hunter specs. Let’s ignore the absurdity of making a spec distinguished via weakness for just a moment and consider that reasoning. What else can it be but a total farce if we now have a version of SV that copies so much from BM including its very singature ability?

Hold on just a moment. Are you seriously going to dispute the fact tahat SV is unpopular? The fact backed up by every representation statistic going back to Legion?

WCL parse counts have SV as an unpopular spec. Worldofwargraphs raid participation counting has SV as unpopular. And now we have covenant participation statistics, which don’t depend on raid participation (so “it’s popular with casuals” is proven to be a bad excuse), which have SV as an unpopular spec. You can’t pretend the statistics are wrong at this point. Blizzard themselves have been asked about it. They didn’t respond with “Oh it’s actually really popular, it’s just the player-generated statistics that are wrong”. They said “We knew Survival would be a niche spec because it’s melee and most Hunters want to play ranged”.

As for the “millions of numbers”: it’s actually 5% of 800,000 i.e. the number of level 60 Hunters tracked by The exact numbers as of posting are:

Total 805,388
BM 422,772
MM 344,303
SV 38,313

Survival is accounting for 4.8% of Hunters. For the entire game, with 7.4 million tracked players, it’s actually 0.52%. If 38k sounds impressive to you, consider that it’s by far the lowest in the game and only about half of the 2nd least represented (Demonology Warlock at 73,407). And just look at how badly it’s dwarfed by the other Hunter specs. Remember; as a ranged spec it was not unusual for SV to be more popular and one or both of those other specs. Clearly something went terribly wrong.

Yes because Arcane, Frost, and all the Rogue specs are substantially more played and better established than Survival. Survival’s a failure for many reasons, but most prominently because it fails to appeal to its own class or very many people outside of it, and it replaced a very popular option with an extremely unpopular one.

And you liking it doesn’t make it a success. It’s a good thing I don’t base my arguments on whether or not I like it.

Just out of curiosity; do you get worked up when people say “it’s boiling outside!” and it’s not literally 100 degrees celcius?

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Which means they were switch hitters, they could function in both ranges.

Apples to oranges, but Rogue tanking as a thing that propped up time to time.

Survival is really good in M+ (no AOE Cap and utility) and PVP.

What I like is immaterial, words have meaning, use them correctly.

If we’re going off a numbered tiering there’s always going to be a least played spec no matter what.

Okay, purity weirdo.

And you’re just delusional and dismissive, declaring people you don’t agree with don’t know anything about the class or were invested. Or that you know more than the designers.

Yes, you’re lying and insults to feed your ego is such a more compelling argument.

And that’s the bulk of it, people treat it as a meme. It’s not as horrible as it’s hyped to be.

Never claimed that, thanks for more lies to discredit yourself.

Yay more insults, continue being worthless if it makes you feel better or accomplished.

It could use some buffs, as could all classes and specs… maybe not Fire, but still.

No it’s not, you called Survival a handicap. You hate melee and all of this is influenced by that bias.

I’m not the one who’s lying and starting throwing insults because you have no actual argument over your ego.

You’re trying to declare who “deserves” what to play and what gets made because you hate the fact that one spec is melee and not all 3.

They didn’t force anything, it’s always been there.

Citation needed.

In case you haven’t realized Survival IS a melee spec, has been for 5 years.

This statement is nonsense. How dare melee specs exist. Seriously?

Melee existing is favoritism and preferential treatment? You do realize how deranged you sound now, right?

Okay crazy person, put down the tinfoil persecution complex.

I directly refute your point and you respond with more insults.

And going Shadow Priest you lose your holy abilities with the exception of Shield.

No more than switching from tank spec to a dps and going from sword and board to dual wielding or using a 2hander.

Melee Hunters aren’t something that stepped out of the Nether come Legion, they’ve been in the game since its launch.

Compare tank and DPS specs.

And you insulting people doesn’t make your “points” any more valid.

And yet you gleefully accuse people who disagree with of you of operating on this.

And back to detachments and tinfoil, the Warrior and Rogue mafia aren’t concocting some long spanning scheme to undermine Hunters like you want to believe, stop chewing on the tinfoil.

Melee capable.

False, it’s been melee capable since launch, they decided to focus on that for the revamp. It’s true the roots of the Spec, you just don’t like those roots.

I will.

Your opinion.

The original Survival used melee weapons. They weren’t restricted to Ranged. Their abilities required melee weapons. This “point” immediately blew up in your face.

Not even remotely what I said. The need for more ranged specs/classes is a completely separate argument. Again your bias against melee is showing.

Except they did, they’ve both shined in the patches since.

This is literally what you said, one was your opinion and the second is a lie.

… spec specific talents are a part of the spec. You can’t argue against that.

It was. And I’m not the one having a breakdown and lying.

It’s a BM talent, a core part of specs are their Talent options. Trying to argue they’re not is ridiculous and show some severe fault in your logic right there.

Absolutely no one has claimed or implied that, that’s something you’ve made up in your head. Stop chewing on the tin foil. You’re not a victim.

It wasn’t, and it succeeded.

And there’s your bias and insults again destroying more and more of your credibility.

It has abilities from BM, does not it make it a farce, all specs originally started out as overlapping on the class itself with talent trees before they started moving them into their own niche.

Unpopular as in least played does not mean bad, when you use numbers there’s always gonna be a contender on bottom.

I’m not, there also not complete or 100% accurate since they don’t have access to Blizzard’s actual data.

And Niche does not mean bad.

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There are fish that can survive outside of water for some time. That does not make them “switch hitters”. You were not functioning optimally in melee range as a hunter.
Same as rogue could “function at 30 yds” range via spamming ability, did not make it a switch hit.

Rogue tanking has been more viable than melee hunter, yet I don’t think anyone is going to try and claim that rogues were designed for it.

Which is why best survival hunter in M+ is below both BM and MM ?
There are 13 SV hunters above 2k in, there are 49 BM and 1029 MM.

If we look at 2.3k in PvP and above we see :
191 bm, 94 mm, 39 sv in 3s
232 bm, 61 sv, 21 mm in 2s.
103 mm, 31 bm, 8 sv in RBGs.

So once again, fraction of ranged hunter #s.

And for some reason it’s SV for the last 5(?) years. If we compare SV vs BM and MM, it’s not like it’s close to BM or MM and just “hehe slightly less played”, it’s a fraction of that player base.

Yea, instead we can look at it’s raid dps statistics, where oh wait, it’s also at the bottom.