Feedback: Hunters

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Community Manager
#1 - July 14, 2022, 6:35 p.m.
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Please use this thread to post feedback on the Hunter class, once you’ve tested it in the Dragonflight Alpha.

Thank you!

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Game Designer
#5 - July 15, 2022, 10:49 p.m.
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Hello Hunters,

We wanted to discuss some plans we had coming in the next few builds and address a few points of feedback.

Class Tree Changes:

  • Improved Mend pet reduced to 2 points for +25/50%. Also now has a chance per tick of Mend Pet to also dispel a magic effect from your pet.
  • Scare Beast is no longer on a path that connects to other nodes below it, it’s a one-off thing to the side of the tree.
  • There is potentially a placeholder +Agility node where scare beast was. This will be changed if it shows up in your build to something that isn’t direct throughput.
  • Chimaera Shot removed from the class tree.
  • Master Marksman will likely be changed to also work with melee critical hits.
  • Death Chakram will likely be changed to increase all damage taken, rather than just Physical. This should make it more competitive to Survival Hunters, who do a fair bit of non-physical damage.

Beast Mastery

  • Dire Pack needs to be reworked.

Marksmanship

  • Double Tap is being moved near the middle of the tree.
  • New bottom left talent as a selection node:
    • Kill Shot now works with Trick Shots
    • Some number of targets hit by your Trick Shot ricochets also have Explosive Shot applied to them.
  • Legacy of the Windrunners has moved, and is consolidated down to 3 points instead of 5.
  • Chimaera shot added near the top of the tree. It will once again replace Arcane Shot, and things that modify Arcane Shot will modify Chimaera Shot
  • Quick Shot removed.
  • Rapid Fire’s Focus generation will just be part of the baseline ability and no longer an upgrade.

Survival

  • A bunch of 3-point talents adjusted to fewer points.
  • A dependency problem with Frenzy Strikes needs to be resolved where you can get this talent without either Wildfire Bombs.

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.

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Game Designer
#8 - July 15, 2022, 11:01 p.m.
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Current plan: Yes

Same combined effects.

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Game Designer
#11 - July 15, 2022, 11:49 p.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#13 - July 16, 2022, 12:42 a.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#31 - July 18, 2022, 6:21 p.m.
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There are no plans to change the 3+ target requirement for Trick Shots.

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Game Designer
#34 - July 18, 2022, 8:58 p.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#42 - July 20, 2022, 12:51 a.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#51 - July 20, 2022, 8:11 p.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#63 - July 22, 2022, 8:55 p.m.
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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:

Baseline Changes:

  • Mend Pet has been bumped up from 35% of Pet’s HP over its duration, to 50% of pet’s HP.

Class Tree:

  • The placeholder Agility % node has been replaced with an Avoidance node.
  • Improved Exhilaration (the pet healing) is now part of the baseline Exhilaration ability. This has been replaced with Rejuvenating Winds.
  • Viper’s Venom in the choice node after Serpent Sting has been replaced with Hydra’s Bite.
  • Binding Shackles is planned to work with any combination of Scatter Shot, Explosive Trap, Binding Shot, and Intimidation. This should make sense with the new tree layout.

Beast Mastery

  • Dire Pack has been redesigned. Every X Dire Beasts summoned now resets the cooldown of Kill Command, and reduces the cooldown and Focus Cost of Kill Command for a duration.
  • New talent added that increases the duration and damage of any Dire Beast summon.

Marksmanship:

  • Steady Focus values lowered to 4/8%, rather than 7/15%.
  • Hunter’s Knowledge and Focused Aim now boost Rapid Fire damage and crit chance in addition to Aimed Shot.
  • Salvo has been renamed to Bombardment and redesigned - Arcane Shots increases the damage of your next Multi-Shot by X%, stacking up to 4 times.
  • Explosive Ricochet renamed to Salvo, and design adjusted. Multi-Shot now also shoots Explosive Shot at up to 2 targets hit. This can only occur once every 45 sec.
  • Killer Ricochet renamed and redesigned, is now Razor Fragments - When Trick Shots fades or is consumed, your next Kill Shot does X% more damage, and causes up to 5 targets to bleed for Y% of the damage dealt over 6 sec. This node comes right after Deathblow , which may be in a different position in the tree now.
  • Bursting Shot and Quick Load are no longer a dependency for any talent node on the tree.

Survival

  • Terms of Engagement and Improved Harpoon talents have been combined and now only requires 1 talent point total.
  • Several abilities reduced to 1 or 2 total points, down from 2 or 3 total points.
  • Precision Removed
  • Frenzy Strikes now also applies its cooldown reduction to Flanking Strike.
    • Note: there’s an issue where this talent will incorrectly be able to be obtained by a prior node without the Butchery/Carve node, this connection will be removed in a future update.
  • Wildfire Infusions - Volatile Bomb has been adjusted because Serpent Sting is no longer a baseline, guaranteed to have ability. This bomb will continue to deal bonus damage to a target affected by Serpent Sting, and will also apply Serpent Sting to some number of targets it hits.
  • Viper’s Venom is now in the survival talent tree with a redesign. Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite have a chance to apply Serpent Sting to your target.
  • New Talent - Ranger - Increases the damage of Steady Shot, Kill Shot, Explosive Shot, and Serpent Sting.
  • New Talent - Intense Focus - increases focus generated by Kill Command
  • New Talent - Ruthless Marauder - Fury of the Eagle has a 15% increased critical strike chance against targets below 20% health, and Fury of the Eagle critical strikes reduce the cooldown of Wildfire Bomb and Flanking Strike by 0.5 sec.
    • The critical strike chance and cooldown reduction values go up per rank, the 20% HP threshold does not change.

This is a lot to parse, and things above are not final. Thanks for the discussions so far, we appreciate it.

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Game Designer
#67 - July 22, 2022, 9:30 p.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#75 - July 22, 2022, 9:46 p.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#117 - July 29, 2022, 7:56 p.m.
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Hello again, Hunters.

We wanted to discuss some adjustments coming to your talents in a future build, and briefly mention a few thoughts.

Class Tree
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.

  • Barrage and Explosive Shot are now a choice node.
  • Stampede now replaces Chakram in the choice node vs Death Chakram.
    • Chakram has been removed from the talent tree.
  • Nesingwary’s Trapping Apparatus has been lowered to 2 points.

Beast Mastery

  • Bloodshed and Murder of Crows is now a choice node, and is where Dire Beast previously was.
  • Dire Beast has been moved to where Murder of Crows was.
  • New Talent - Bloody Frenzy - Barbed Shot has a chance to apply a second stack of Frenzy to your pets. This is located in the second gate area.
  • Beast Cleave has been lowered to 2 points, and Beast Cleave’s duration is now 3/6 seconds depending on your rank.

Marksmanship
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.

  • Deathblow has been made a 1-point node. Rapid Fire casts (not damage events) can now also activate this. The chance for activation is different for Aimed Shot vs Rapid Fire.
  • Razor Fragments now also works with Deathblow procs, rather than being tied solely to Trick Shots.
  • Bombardment’s design has changed - Every 6/4 (2-rank node) Arcane or Chimaera Shots causes your next Multi-Shot to grant you Trick Shots, regardless of how many targets it hits.
    • This will likely be changed to a 1-point node, or adjusted to also boost Multi-Shot damage per rank. The location of this also needs to be adjusted as you can currently select this without Multi-Shot.
  • Lone Wolf’s spot in the tree has been moved to above the first gate.
  • More things connect to Lock and Load’s talent node.
  • Some redundant node connections have been removed.
  • Legacy of the Windrunners and Serpentstalker’s Trickery node locations have been swapped.
  • Unerring Vision’s design has slightly changed to also increase critical damage while Trueshot is active.

Survival
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.

  • Mongoose Bite should actually replace Raptor Strike now.
  • Predator returned to 25%, rather than 8%. This was a data error when changing from a 3 point node to a 1 point node.
  • A connection between Lunge and Frenzy Strikes has been removed to prevent a dependency problem.
  • Deadly Duo renamed Quick Shot, and redesigned. When Kill Command’s cooldown is reset, you fire a free Arcane Shot at your target.
  • Coordinated Assault is back to 2 minutes.
  • Coordinated Assault no longer modifies Carve. Instead, your pet’s special attack increases the initial damage of your next Wildfire Bomb.
    • Birds of Prey will likely be adjusted in a future build to more directly work with the design tweaks of Coordinated Assault.
  • Bonded Companion renamed Deadly Duo, and redesigned. While Coordinated Assault is active, Wildfire Bomb’s cooldown is reduced by 25/50%, Wildfire Bombs generate 5/10 Focus when thrown, and Kill Shot can be used on any target regardless of the target’s HP.
  • Coordinated Kill redesigned, and is now 2 points. While Spearhead is active, Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite Focus Cost is reduced by 5/10, and Kill Command resets increase the duration of Spearhead by 1/2 sec.
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Game Designer
#129 - July 30, 2022, 1:05 a.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#159 - Aug. 5, 2022, 7:11 p.m.
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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.

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Game Designer
#173 - Aug. 9, 2022, 11:04 p.m.
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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.