Please use this thread to post feedback on the Hunter class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.
Please use this thread to post feedback on the Hunter class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.
We wanted to discuss some plans we had coming in the next few builds and address a few points of feedback.
Class Tree Changes:
This is not a complete list of what will change in the next build, or even the next few builds. As more decisions are made, we’ll try to post here. As always, things are subject to change and what is there now, or in the builds to come, may not be final.
Bug fixing is also an ongoing process.
One other quick note:
Serpent Sting is intentionally low on the class side of the talent tree. If it’s up higher, it starts competing in space we have designated for utility options and starts to feel like a mandatory throughput choice. We want to put most of the actual throughput stuff past the second gate, so you have adequate points to get the utility you feel is important while playing. Moving it up higher means you would likely be getting less utility options.
edit: The note about Serpent Sting is specific to the Hunter class tree layout. Different classes have different tree layouts and where utility and throughput is scattered about.
edit2: note about Rapid Fire Focus generation in the MM tree area.
edit3: Death Chakram note in class tree area.
edit4: Frenzy Strikes note was wrong, you have to take Butchery/Carve, but not Wildfire Bombs.
Current plan: Yes
Same combined effects.
The intent is every ability on the class side of the tree is usable by any spec, regardless of what weapon is equipped. It may not be in that state now, but is is planned. Barrage might be an exception to this, but Barrage is also much less mandatory as a connection point in an upcoming build.
Hunters had years of history with Serpent Sting, and it is available to Marksmanship as a talent. Multi-shot is also something many people would consider a core button, but is now in the spec trees for BM and MM. There is certainly an option where Serpent Sting is put in each tree and available with your first few points.
In general, we like to put as much class-wide stuff that we can, on the class side of the tree. This gets much more difficult when there are very crucial interactions within your spec with these buttons, such as Multi-Shot->Beast Cleave, or Multi-Shot->Trick Shots.
Serpent Sting is a cool button for Hunters. It is a nice thing for all three specs to have access to. Is it important to have before level 52? Maybe. It is early in the alpha testing stages for Dragonflight. We will get a lot of feedback from sources both internally and externally. If we decide it has to change for whatever reasons, we have time to do so.
Friday afternoon thought: This is about 1/3 of World of Warcraft’s retail lifespan.
There are no planned animation changes for Hunters right now.
There are no plans to change the 3+ target requirement for Trick Shots.
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.
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.
This is an interesting point of discussion. Cooldowns that are significant power swings, such as Combustion, often define your style of play. You likely need to combo in as many effects as possible to skyrocket up your damage in a short timeframe. Whether or not you get lucky with procs and whatever else in that window dictates a lot about your performance over the fight as a whole. You also start feeling much less effective outside of these damage windows, as you peak very high, and then go down into a lower state of throughput until the cooldown is available again.
Not every cooldown needs to be a significant swing. If Trueshot is made stronger, your average damage outside of Trueshot will likely go down to compensate. Should Trueshot be a big damage swing cooldown like Combustion? The current thought is no.
The points made about Precise Shots during the Trueshot window are valid feedback and is something we could work on to make better, but at the same time we’re also currently OK if some things like Precise Shot stacks are “wasted” during this window. Trueshot makes your gameplay feel significantly different while it is active, which is great. If the cooldown was changed to +20% critical strike chance, it remains effective and a good burst window, but doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything special other than getting a few more critical hits. That’s not to say that secondary stats or a percent critical strike buff are bad, it’s just different.
The next build to alpha will have some pretty substantial changes for the hunter talent trees. Many talent nodes have had their position shuffled around, as well as connections, so this won’t be an exact list of what specific talent node moved to what new position and what it connects to. Some of this may be redundant information with previous posts:
This is a lot to parse, and things above are not final. Thanks for the discussions so far, we appreciate it.
Before expectations might get out of hand, we don’t have any intention of making a ranged Survival “subspec” of the sorts. The Ranger talent is not intended to divert your gameplay into using Steady Shot instead of Raptor Strike/Mongoose Bite. Hunters as a whole have some ranged attacks, and Survival hunters, while primarily melee, do still shoot things.
The intent of the Ranger talent is to bump your ranged damage up a bit for encounters or PvP or whatever gameplay where that is important, not turn Survival into a full ranged DPS spec. We still intend Survival to be in melee, with a melee weapon, doing melee things. Sometimes they also shoot.
The 7/15% that is on the alpha right now is just a data error on our end, there was not a goal of doubling the value of the talent from Shadowlands to Dragonflight.
Steady Focus also should hopefully feel less mandatory as a path towards Trueshot with the upcoming layout changes.
Hello again, Hunters.
We wanted to discuss some adjustments coming to your talents in a future build, and briefly mention a few thoughts.
The current design intentionally has almost all utility above the second gate, which means you have 11 points that will almost certainly be spent only on throughput choices in PvE situations. We like having a bunch of abilities located past the second gate that were previously locked to individual specs. This has also created a situation where there’s a lot of bloat of extra abilities and cooldowns that feel mandatory because they are available and likely worth pressing. The last 3 rows of the tree have been shuffled around a bit and will continue to be adjusted to try to prevent most hunters from feeling obligated to acquire multiple extra active buttons.
While Rapid Fire is not a required ability, we’re trying to integrate it to the tree where it would make sense. Marksmanship has very limited passive Focus generation, and Rapid Fire should ideally help with that. We want to avoid situations where you drop Steady Shot entirely while doing prolonged combat.
Spearhead and Coordinated Assault are competing for some space in the tree. We’re hoping to identify a set of abilities to that each augments in a way that feels good, and also would prefer a design that doesn’t encourage you to stack both of them at the same time. Some adjustments are being made to these abilities to try to focus on different parts of your ability sets in a manner that lets both Coordinated Assault and Spearhead hopefully feel both distinct from each other, while still feeling powerful on their own.
You can fill out the talent tree without ever selecting Rapid Fire if you choose to. It may not be the best way to play, but you could do it. That’s all the original post was referring to.
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:
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.
Have a nice weekend, everyone.
Sentinel’s Wisdom is very likely being redesigned.
Hunter’s Agility changing from Avoidance to Dodge was mostly so there wasn’t a doubled-up Avoidance node on the tree.
Hello again Hunters,
This won’t be a specific list of everything that has changed, but some notes on changes coming to the next build.
Beast Mastery and Survival have also had some bug fixes, but no notable design changes this week. That doesn’t mean things are final.
edit: To clarify the point about Legacy of the Windrunners gaining bonuses from Aimed Shot, this is any buffs to crit chance or damage to Aimed Shot. Trick Shots will not be sending Wind Arrows all over the place.
This is the goal. It may not be there with current numbers, but these 3 points (yes, they are still 3 total points, Windrunner’s Guidance is 1-point again), is that this should be competitive. Maybe it needs to be from Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire. Maybe Arcane Shot/Chimaera shot can also cause it. There’s danger in lumping too much extra damage to Aimed Shot for PvP reasons - hypothetical numbers, if Aimed Shot normally does 1000 damage, but via procs can sometimes do 2500 damage, the damage swing is super high. A lot of bonuses were pulled out of Aimed Shot in BFA/Shadowlands and just lumped into Aimed Shot damage to try to keep its damage consistently strong.
Bulletstorm’s design is currently a buff that stacks up to 10, but doesn’t refresh duration as you gain stacks. It lets you get some big Multi-Shots in, but in a cyclical fashion.
There’s some potential tree restructure that has to happen if this is the case, because Rapid Fire is technically optional, and having a line of things coming off of rapid fire and not connecting anywhere else limits how you can move your points around the tree. That isn’t to say this isn’t possible, just that it’s more involved than just putting a node somewhere that buffs only Rapid Fire.
There are no plans to redesign any of the Mastery effects for Hunters.
I should clarify my post above a bit more.
PvP is a concern for abilities that sometimes deal big damage or heal lot. This is true for the game as a whole. We have tools available to change things in PvP compared to PvE. While these tools obviously work, it’s not intuitive that Aimed Shot does 1000 damage against a kobold, and 500 damage against a player because of a hidden multiplier.
There are also PvE concerns of your abilities swinging in damage a lot. Partly for tuning reasons, but also for how the game feels. Again using hypothetical numbers, if Aimed Shot does 1000 damage, but sometimes 2500, your damage variance from each boss attempt, or on that difficult M+ pack, or in the Mage Tower challenges, or wherever, is very unstable. Sometimes it’s OK for your damage to be very swingy, some specs inherently have a lot of randomness in how they play and that’s by design. Critical strikes are already a thing that exist that changes your damage a lot, but you don’t often pull a boss and think “oh, my aimed shot didn’t crit, lets reset and try again”. That’s obviously an extreme example, but if there’s so much randomness tied to one ability’s damage, and that ability is a significant part of your total throughput, maybe it’s a problem we should try to address.
If they only buff Aimed Shot, does that make Rapid Fire less desirable because it has fewer modifiers than Aimed Shot?
I did not intend my question to be combative if it came off that way, it was just a question of how things look at a glance. For players who don’t rely on 3rd party sites or high end theorycrafting, if they look at the tree and see 5 things that only buff Aimed Shot, and Rapid Fire off to the side, Rapid Fire probably looks like a much less desirable button. When these 5 things buff both Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire, maybe it’s a good push in the right direction that Rapid Fire is an important button you should get, and these bonuses also work on that ability so you feel like you’re getting full value from them.
Neither direction is objectively correct or incorrect.
From today’s update notes:
Happy Friday, Hunters.
Several changes will be in your next build and we wanted to share what to expect. There are also several bug fixes, and some things that were previously marked NYI are now working.
Thanks for the continued feedback and testing.
And yes, have a nice weekend everyone!
Complete list of Hunter changes in today’s update:
This is likely a bug, the 8-point gate should still be after the 4th row, not after the 3rd row. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Correct, that should be adding 5% increased health threshold per rank, not 15%.
Some quick notes on changes coming in a future build:
Thanks for your continued feedback and testing.
P.S. I hope you all have a nice weekend every week, even if I don’t post that here.
Quick clarification here, the proc chance is actually 25% right now. There’s leftover data on the spell. We will get the tooltip updated and just include the proc chance.
This is not intended. Binding Shackles should only work from something you actually affect with the linked spells.
This is likely an oversight, we will look into this.
Others who posted lists of bugs, thank you, we will get them investigated and worked on.
The change to Binding Shot’s root to break from damage is intentional, and there’s some history with this ability. As many probably remember, it was briefly changed to break from damage in Shadowlands, but that change was reverted.
The launch of an expansion is a good time to change things where necessary, as it’s almost a reboot for many parts of the game. Binding Shot is intended to root targets who move too far away from the center point. Root effects from players in the game such as Druid’s Entangling Roots or Mass Entanglement, or Mage’s Frost Nova, traditionally break after taking some amount of damage. Roots that don’t break from damage are inconsistent, and consistency is important for understanding rules within the game. Binding Shot was an unintended exception to this rule, the root effect not breaking from damage was never intended to be part of its identity.
This does reduce the potential power of Binding Shot, yes. With the amount of change coming in Dragonflight, and options for new control abilities such as Scatter Shot or Hi-Explosive Trap being available, we feel this is an appropriate time to make this change.
Going to make a quick post addressing Binding Shot before making a follow-up post.
We still feel like a root that doesn’t break from damage is not a good thing to have in the game, because it’s not at all clear why it works differently than other roots. That said, Binding Shot is a powerful tool Hunters have to manage some situations where you want to both do high damage to a group of enemy targets, as well as have control over their ability to chase you.
We’re changing Binding Shot from a root that breaks on damage to a 3 second stun.
There are some other minor Hunter changes we wanted to discuss, but wanted to address Binding Shot specifically.
There’s some other minor Hunter changes coming in a future build, and we also wanted to talk about the new Lesser Dragonkin pet family.
As some of you may have noticed, there’s a new pet family you can tame creatures from, the Lesser Dragonkin.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
We wanted to discuss some changes coming in a build next week.
Have a nice weekend!