Survival Hunter AOE

#1 - May 1, 2018, 5:51 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Right now when you look at every DPS they all have good AOE options except one spec. Survival has only one AOE baseline attack on a 15 second cooldown, being Wildfire Bomb (WFB). Due to the way the cone mechanics work and AI for enemy movement, getting good results for AOE damage from WFB is tedius at best and near impossible at worst. No other DPS has to deal with this complicated positioning, potentially even putting them in a bosses cleave or other bad spots during play. Wildfire Bomb needs to be simplified to just do damage to any enemy within 8 yards of the primary target. Otherwise it may not even be considered true AOE.

Now to fill out Survival’s AOE abilities we have to select a talent on the level 30 row. None of the choices really fill out a decent AOE arsenal.

Guerrilla Tactics offers almost nothing in terms of AOE. First it suffers from the terrible cone AOE mentioned above. It could increase the damage of WFB. It could change the cone to a radius (but that should be baseline as described above). An extra charge alone is worthless with the current WFB design.

Hydra’s Bite has potential, but without some smart targeting to spread DOTs it is heavily RNG reliant. It should just hit every target within a radius of the primary. It also is largely a waste of focus to reapply a Serpent Sting DOT before you get in pandemic range.

Butchery is really the only AOE talent that offers damage in control of the player. The downside is with a 15 second cooldown that leaves a lot of time between AOE attacks to be stuck in a single rotation.

I think it would be very good for the spec to get Carve back. Survival will need a spammable AOE attack that does low to moderate damage to fill the gaps in rotation left by the talents above. Otherwise it will be a lower demand spec for content that requires constant AOE like mythic +.
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Class Designer
#43 - June 6, 2018, 11:38 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Greetings, travelers!

In the next beta build you’re going to see a familiar ability in your spellbook: Carve! The ability is in a pretty raw state at the moment and we’re going to continue to iterate on it if this version doesn’t feel right. We’d love to hear about your experiences on Beta after playing with it.

• 30 Focus cost. 6 second cooldown (reduced by Haste).
• A sweeping attack that strikes all enemies in front of you for Physical damage. Reduces the remaining cooldown on Wildfire Bomb by 1.0 sec for each target hit,
up to 5.

Please be aware that Carve doesn’t yet have full talent support. In a future build, things such as Birds of Prey, or Shrapnel Bomb from Wildfire Infusion, will interact with Carve. Butchery will likely be a Carve replacement, and get tuned accordingly.

We want to give Survival a clear path to take when there are many enemies, whether that’s a group of raptor hatchlings, or a double-pull of trolls in Atal’dazar. Serpent Sting and Wildfire Bomb don’t quite fill that space -- applying Serpent Sting to more than ~3 enemies (without Hydra’s Bite) is often more frustrating than it is fun, and Wildfire Bomb’s cooldown prevents it from being “the AoE button”.

Survival has a variety of AoE tools through talents, and Carve should add a better foundation for those talents to build around. By reducing Wildfire Bomb’s cooldown it gives you enough to do that spreading Serpent Stings to numerous targets is far less necessary. It also interacts strongly with the Guerilla Tactics talent, so all of the level 30 talents have a similar level of impact on how you AoE. The short cooldown is there so that your AOE rotation becomes weaving in your other buttons – Serpent Sting, Kill Command, Wildfire Bomb, etc – in between Carves, instead of just pushing it repeatedly.

Separately, we have a quality-of-life change for Hydra’s Bite that will arrive in an upcoming build. With Hydra’s Bite talented, Serpent Sting will prefer to select additional nearby targets that are not already affected by Serpent Sting. This should make it far less frustrating to try to apply Serpent Sting to a whole pack of mobs.

Again, we’re still iterating on the specifics of Carve, and we greatly appreciate your feedback on how this version plays. Thank you!