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Huge Hunter Rework in War Within Beta Build 55087

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Blizzard talked in more detail about the big Hunter revamp that went live in this week's War Within Beta build.

The Hunter core tree and all 3 spec trees have been updated to improve secondary stat scaling, condense existing damage effects, expand Hunter's utility, and solidify rotational gameplay and fantasy for each specialization.

For more details, check out the latest Beta Development Notes.

Blizzard Logo(Source)

Hello Hunters! We’re very excited to unveil the class and spec tree updates for Hunter today!

We had a few goals going into this update, and we wanted to communicate those so the Hunter community will have some more direction when giving feedback in the coming weeks.

Across the Hunter core tree and all spec trees, we had these goals:

  • Improve secondary stat scaling across all Hunter specializations
  • Condense existing damage effects
  • Conservatively expand on the range of Hunter utility
  • Solidify rotational gameplay and fantasy of each spec

Core Tree

The Hunter core tree had a substantial amount of throughput relative to other core trees, which all had to be generic given how differently each spec can utilize the Hunter class tools and spells. This led to a lot of passive damage instances and didn’t do a ton to expand on each spec’s gameplay.

We’ve culled a lot of passive damage procs in the core tree, added some more situational utility, expanded on Hunter defensives, and made sure that each Hunter spec can meaningfully utilize the spells available to them in their core tree.

Beast Mastery

Beast Mastery’s gameplay has remained solid through Dragonflight, and we weren’t interested in rocking the boat too violently with this update.

Beast Mastery and the Hunter class in general have had a host of passive damage over time effects across many abilities. To help add some more cohesion to all these disparate damage over time effects, we added some bonuses like Basilisk Collar to help push the damage over time gameplay in a very Beast Mastery direction.

Beast Mastery is not a damage over time spec, and we are aiming to keep it that way. Your pets will always be the primary source of your damage and the DoTs you apply will more often than not be completely passive or passive procs-- but we felt the sheer number of DoT effects Beast Mastery has merited some deeper support.

Lastly, we were interested in pushing on the boundaries of Beast Mastery’s fantasy by adding talents like Huntmaster’s Call. We feel that it is important for Beast Mastery to be primarily about your tamed and summonable pets, but we’re also interested in more deeply expressing the “Wildcaller” part of Beast Mastery’s fantasy. We hope that calling upon beasts of legend and summoning swarms of crows should help to make you feel like the flavor of Hunter that can call upon the wilds to aid you in battle.

Marksmanship

At the beginning of the update process, we were feeling mostly pleased with the individual effects found across the Marksmanship tree. However, we had more of an issue with how these effects all worked in concert.

Precise Shots is a meaningful and expressive part of Marksmanship gameplay, but currently Aimed Shots has a hard time sharing the spotlight with all the other various effects found across the Marksmanship tree—especially during Trueshot. We are aiming to “unclog” the Marksmanship Trueshot rotation with a redesigned Eagletalon’s True Focus. With Eagletalon’s True Focus talented, firing an Arcane Shot or Multi-Shot will immediately fire another Arcane Shot or Multi-Shot that will benefit from and consume Precise Shots. This should help you to continue to get value out of Precise Shots in your Trueshot rotation, and you can focus on the more exciting parts of Trueshot, which are Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire.

The Wind Arrow suite of talents have been an exciting visual and gameplay component of Marksmanship for quite some time, but their effects and bonuses have gotten more complex over time. With this update, we wanted to dramatically simplify the effects of Legacy of the Windrunners and add some more exciting payoffs via a now-passive Wailing Arrow and an update to the Readiness capstone that should add some more skill expression and further increase the excitement of Trueshot.

Lastly, we wanted to ensure Marksmanship was owning its niche of burst AoE. Talents like Kill Zone and Rapid Fire Barrage are intended to not only be fantasy-forward and exciting talents in their own right, but encourage groups to try out a Marksmanship hunter if they want some sizeable burst every 60 seconds.

Survival

Survival has had a few different iterations over the course of WoW’s history, and with the addition of the Dragonflight talent tree, we saw a collision of many effects both old and new. With this talent tree update, we wanted to take a swing at making Survival’s kit more cohesive and taming some of the more complicated effects across the tree.

The more impactful core change to Survival is going to be Tip of the Spear’s new design. We really liked the story that this talent told and the gameplay behind it-- the Survival Hunter and their pet working in concert to deal more damage. As such, we’re expanding its effects on the talent itself and also opening it up to be augmented across the talent tree in various ways. We hope that this new core rotational concept will help to create satisfying gameplay and help to sell the Survival fantasy a bit more.

Many of Survival’s spells were either very simple (Flanking Strike) or incredibly complex (Coordinated Assault + Supporting Talents). We wanted to take some steps to smooth out the average complexity of Survival’s talents while also honing in on the core rotational gameplay and how that might be more cleanly augmented by supporting talents. More complicated talents like Deadly Duo and Wildfire Infusion have been replaced with effects that are simpler, stronger, and have more moment-to-moment implications for your gameplay.

Explosions are a core part of the Survival experience, and alongside the core rotational changes we made, we also proliferated access to Wildfire Bomb and Explosive Shot. Grenade Juggler and the new Bombardier are working in concert to make Explosive Shot a more appealing and excitement-driving rotational spell, and we hope you enjoy blowing things up in the War Within!

Lastly, we are aware that Wildfire Infusion’s previous iteration provided a great splash of color to the Survival experience that is now lost. We are interested in exploring ways we can amp up the visual excitement of Survival in the future, but we do not have anything to share at this time.

Phew, that’s a lot of changes! We are really excited to read everyone’s feedback regarding these updates and can’t wait for you to get your hands on them!

Thank you for reading!

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Precise Shots is a meaningful and expressive part of Marksmanship gameplay, but currently Aimed Shots has a hard time sharing the spotlight with all the other various effects found across the Marksmanship tree

Honestly i like that we could possibly skip it. With the dark ranger talent i could almost replicate a survival spec as it was before legion.
I mean the first goal of the talent trees are to give the ability to be creative.  Sure the next bonus set is around precise shot but it could be nice to have more flexibilty. 

Edited by Cyana

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The class tree is looking pretty good, just Roar of sacrifice and Scatter shot being out of place (should be close together since both are PvP only - being opposite side of the tree is too expensive).

Binding shot shouldn't be one of the 3 center nodes.

The BM spec tree however desperately needs 4 more talent points freed up - For Raid and PvP bestial wrath is too expensive to get to with a weak 2 point talent either side.

Both BM hero specs require Call of the Wild which is deep in the tree as well - this makes it impossible to run 2 capstones without literally sacrificing ALL the new cool stuff like serpent sting and extended dire beast etc..

Since CotW is required for both hero specs getting 4 more points freed up from BM tree would at least let us choose ONE of the other capstone talents - currently we have no option to play anything but CotW without giving up essentials.

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