Let's Talk: Hunter Feedback

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Hey guys!

Trying to round up some class feedback to throw back over to the development team. If anyone has made collated lists on the state of the various specs, with examples of the skills and abilities players are having issue with that would be awesome to see!

Otherwise, please use this thread to help me collate information from the greater Hunter community and explain why certain changes have impacted your engagement and desire to play the class.

One of the primary issues I see being mentioned is the current state of Beast Mastery revolving around "only three buttons" when following guides from sites like Icy-Veins, so know that I've noted that in my feedback already.

I am interested to hear why less buttons impacts your engagement and enjoyment of the class overall, and what you see as the problem with any of those skills.

*Excuse any ignorance I may have with the Hunter class here.
survivals lack of defensive cooldowns, raptor strike being a bit undertuned especially considering how our artifact self heal and other talents are tied to it. And survival has still ranged talents in our defensive talents both normal and honor
Half of our pets don't do anything. The new robots look great, but with no PvP ability and no PvE ability, they're just going to be used to afk in town.

Considering how cool it is to use a robot chicken, that's just a shame.

With regards to BM in particular, I don't think having less buttons is the issue. The problem is there is no interaction between our skills. Fire mages react to a buff to force a proc, Uh DKs build stacks and discharge them, BM just hits three buttons when they light up and hits a fourth to avoid focus capping.

The part that feels bad is there is nothing to differentiate a good and bad hunter if gear is the same; we're all going to hit the light up buttons the same way.
Okay here's a list for you. Also, thank you.
- Survivability was destroyed. Spirit bond is *SORELY* missed. A fun alternative would be to make Mend pet also heal the master for the amount it heals the pet. (Could have a .7 to .8 multipier in PvP to keep the numbers roughly similar to old 2%/2sec passive.) We need some healing back, we simply get out-utilized and out-sustained at almost any given time at range, and we can't keep melee off of us for long.
- We miss Aspect of the Cheetah's old glyphed* form... Make it something else for Survival, but give it back to the other specs.
- Unusually overwhelming weakness to stuns. Perhaps turtle could be used while stunned, or other options.
- Cooldown on turtle is unreasonably high.

- Some have abilities, others don't. We'd rather them all to have abilities than to lose them.
- Pets are too squishy. They could be a bit stronger naturally, but also, a stronger mend pet would be wonderful. I enjoy having their survivability in my hands a bit more than totally passive.
(Note: If Mend Pet were to be buffed to, say 40%, a 50% of healing done to pet Spirit Bond would be ideal numerically, which may also not require a pvp coefficient.)
- Pets need blink strike in PvP or a better means of anti-CC because they get left behind too much in PvP.
- There are pathing issues.
- We miss glyphed Misdirect for soloing. (No cooldown when used on our pet.)

Beast Master:
- Slightly simplistic. Chimera Shot would be an ideal base-line spell.
- No baseline CC anymore and it feels awful. Most want traps back, but I could settle with them bringing back pet-specific CCs as a unique passive to beast master.
- Survivability (as in General)
- Hati NEEDS to follow all commands as if it were a second pet.
- Dire Beast could use 2 charges because of the RNG nature of gaining charges/resets. This would make the spec feel more fluid/less clunky.
- Animations severely need work and to work better together. Whistling is fine, do it with one hand and don't put away the weapon. Or something more interesting, but something other than a two-handed whistle and an air-punch. A glyph to change Cobra Shot to something a bit nicer looking would be a plus too, but it's not a top priority.

- Complaints that it is too RNG "fishing" to feel like a true marksman.
- Lone Wolf leaves a lack of MS effect and Roar of Sacrifice in PvP.
- Unneeded healing nerfs in PvP.
- Bursting shot needs a range indicator, a longer effective range and further knock back.

- Doesn't have much survivability.
- Aspect of the turtle is an awkward defense for a melee character.
- Harpoon animation is long and interacts poorly when CCed mid-animation. Needs an ability lock/error message when used while immobilized and Posthaste isn't being used.
- Took all the fun unique aspects of hunter with it.

That should get us started. :)

Feel free to fill in Survival/MM others. My first love is BM, I realize some of the problems are shared, hence the general and pet section.

Edit: Updated some important notes I've gathered from other Hunters.
I am so ready for this! Also about 98% of my testing was focused on survival, so I've got nothing for the other specs.

If you cast harpoon at a target and then turn away before the dash starts, you do not move. Harpoon can be cast while rooted, but will not move you. Harpoon can be cast while there is no path available to the target, and you will not move. In both of these situations, the checks "is there a path available" and "can the hunter move" need to happen before the skill goes on cooldown and roots a target. Added note: disengage cannot be cast while rooted, and does not go on cooldown if you try.

Harpoon can be cast on targets using invulnerability cooldowns (ice block, pally bubble, Blessing of Protection, and aspect of the turtle). However, it will not move the hunter to his target when cast. (charge, shadowstep, and all other targeted gap closers still move you to your target if the target is invulnerable).

Ranger's Net should still try to slow the target if they are immune to the root; they might be immune to the slow too, such as because of hand of freedom. In that case two "immune" messages pop up, and life moves on. But right now, Ranger's Net does not apply its slow if diminishing returns have made the target immune to roots.

Dragonsfire grenade does not dot your target if you do not have line of sight when the skill lands.

Dragonsfire grenade's DoT portion is removed by the pvp trinket. Or shapeshifting. Or any other effect which removes slows. (similar combination dot/slow abilities don't work this way, trinket/shapeshift only remove the slow, not the damage).

Caltrops do not spawn if you move out of line of sight of the targeted area after casting, but before the skill lands. (flare used to suffer from this bug, can't remember when it was fixed)

Caltrops stop applying their dot and slow if the casting hunter is crowd controlled. (instances of the dot already on people keep ticking, but the aoe field is suppressed until the cc ends).

Caltrops have 5% crit, and do not benefit from the hunter's crit.

When dropping explosive trap to hit a moving target, occasionally the trap will despawn rather than exploding and doing damage; the trap just disappears rather than creating a spiky ball, or playing the explosion animation. Almost like they outran the explosion.

If the hunter is silenced, explosive traps already on the ground will fizzle instead of detonating when someone walks over them.

The frost nova from Expert Trapper - Freezing Trap triggers around the hunter, rather than the person who was trapped.

Throwing axes, despite being instant cast, does not always throw three axes; if the target moves out of range during the throws, the hunter stops throwing; if the hunter turns away, the axes stop. If throwing axes is supposed to be instant cast, as stated in the tooltip, casting it should always throw three axes.
Hey, great to hear from you guys! In general, here are my feelings and I think a lot of people share them:

It feels like the only spec (certainly energy based class) that has a single resource, with relatively little interaction with that resource. Rogues, for example, have energy *and* combo points. Monks have energy and Chi. SV has focus and Mongoose Bite. As long as you're kill Commanding on cooldown, responding to Dire Beast procs, and not capping focus you're set. Generating focus is hardly compelling, as it's gone from something we do every 2 seconds to something we do every 10.

We used to have complexity coming from interactions between Focus Fire and Bestial Wrath. Now, Bestial Wrath is on short enough a cooldown that there's less gameplay around holding it for other cooldowns. Focus Fire is gone entirely, and managing that made BM my favorite spec in BRF. There were intricacies with using it at below max stacks based on Bestial Wrath, Kill Command, Trinkets, and number of targets and their time to die. It also helped us interact with our pet, which was awesome. It feels like we don't have anything similar to that. Stampede and Aspect of the Wild are static cooldowns, and while Wild buffs our pet, it doesn't make it feel like the pet did something special.

Personally, I love Sidewinders+Patient Sniper. The issue, however, is that those talents are too dominant. The highest dps talent setup without Sidewinders is 13% behind, and the highest without Patient Sniper is 15% behind. Taking neither is more than 20% behind the best spec.

Individually, I think that getting significant cleave without sacrificing single target is poor design, and it forces progression raiders to go MM. There's so much synergy between Sidewinders, Patient Sniper, and Marked Shot that even if the talents were individually poor, it's hard to imagine the spec ever not taking both talents.

This is further exacerbated by MM's strength during execute (which simply doesn't exist for the other specs). Barrage is also at fault here: it's interaction with Bullseye makes it the best choice even when it's technically tied with the alternatives outside of execute, which it isn't. Having some cleave is good, but when everything but auto shot and Aimed Shot hits everything in a 45 yard cone, the spec is automatically defined as the cleave spec and nothing that does comparable single target will be able to compete, talent-wise.

The RNG behind Marking Targets is sometimes frustrating. I've played around with sims and it's a negligible dps loss (and a gain in AoE) to simply never use SIdewinders without Marking Targets. That feels unintuitive, but it also feels really bad to use Sidewinders and get Marking Targets right after. Fire is a proc based spec, but it at least does things when it doesn't have Heating Up. Procs should enhance a rotation, not stall it.

To go into some more depth on Marking Targets, I'm not happy with the vulnerable mechanic as a whole. Without Patient Sniper, we're a Marksman that needs to spend 20 seconds hitting something before dealing full damage. Isn't the contrary to the class fantasy of a sniper, who ideally does everything immediately? It's not necessarily a bad mechanic (other classes have ramp up), but we've heard the term class fantasy so much it feels strange.

Overall I love the spec. However, it's melee and therefore feels automatically inferior to Marks in raids unless it brings something really special. I guess it's fine for a spec to just not be a progression spec, but I can't help but feel like I used to have 3 specs and now I have 2.

SV Mastery also shouldn't proc on anything other than Basic Attacks. It's silly that Growl and Mortal Strike are dps increases, and I'm sure tanks in heroics don't want to be told that my optimal dps build involves Growling mobs.
Not sure if this applies to what you are looking for, but losing traps for MM & BM has made the class less interesting for me. They were iconic abilities that brought utility and fun to the table (slows, cc, knock-backs).

Also in terms of talents why is camouflage on the same tier as our CC for marksman and survival?
The BM rotation is simple but I enjoy it. The frequent use of Bestial Wrath and deciding whether to use now or save to use with Titanstrike and AoW is fun and adds nuance to the playstyle. I also like pooling but not capping focus and maximizing ability uses during BW without missing any KCs.

The level 90 talents offer interesting single target and AoE rotational abilities. Volley is pretty uninteresting though.

The level 100 talents offer AoE burst, Single Target burst and Single Target sustain options.

Perhaps the problem is that "optimal" builds prefer passive talents and that active talents should be more rewarding.
when theres less buttons especially ones where 2 cost a little bit too much focus when you barely have 1 functional focus giving ability and 2/3 of these moves have a CD as long as they do, you just end up sitting there for a bit just waiting to play CD whack-a-mole... in nearly every previous expansion BM was fun, solid, and pretty engaging... now its boring, squishy, and aggros my ADD
my 2 cents on it

08/24/2016 04:32 PMPosted by Ornyx
One of the primary issues I see being mentioned is the current state of Beast Mastery revolving around "only three buttons" when following guides from sites like Icy-Veins, so know that I've noted that in my feedback already.

I am interested to hear why less buttons impacts your engagement and enjoyment of the class overall, and what you see as the problem with any of those skills.

*Excuse any ignorance I may have with the Hunter class here.
Thank you for reaching out to the community, I think I can speak for many of us and say that it really means a lot to the hunter community at large.
Bring back misdirection without CD on the pet (unless in a pvp instance if you must) or have a way to make sure aggro is easily taken by our pet especially as a BM, transferring threat to the pet is so important for a solo player (large pulls that aren't a struggle). I seriously miss having my pet tank efficiently, as a solo player/wanderer of the world, it is the one change that made me regret buying legion. Everything else i can get used to and/or enjoy but having to struggle to keep aggro on my pet as a BM is horrible and completely against class fantasy
Survival has the same tier two pvp talents as all the ranged specs (but is melee).

On that, Survival's defenses are still very much designed around being ranged and kiting, rather than being melee.

Aspect of the cheetah has an incredibly long cooldown for what it does (3 minute cooldown sprint, 90% speed boost for 3 seconds and then 30% for 9 more).

Survival has a very odd stat priority for pve; Versatility is stronger than haste, crit, and mastery.

The survival hunter mastery can proc from thunderstomp, growl, bloody screech, and other pet abilities, but not from pet autoattacks; this makes tenacity a stronger dps spec for our pets than ferocity.

Bird of Prey is an artifact trait which heals us for 10% of the damage dealt by raptor strike; raptor strike is an incredibly low damage skill, for comparison this would be like saying "fire mages heal for 10% of the damage dealt by scorch".

Talon strike is incredibly weak as an artifact trait as well; we have a chance on only autoattacks, to proc extra autoattack damage. It's a gold dragon trait, and it's the last artifact trait we try to get because of how weak it is.

Survival's main defensive tool is aspect of the turtle. We can't attack during it, when even Blessing of Protection no longer pacifies its target. Additionally, Turtle heals Marksman and BM for 30% of max health over its duration. Survival has to put itself in worse positions (because we're melee now) but doesn't have the extra defensive capability to allow the spec to stay there.
BM on live is just...awful. I have never seen a more striking "going from a spec I quite enjoyed to...what is this? IDEK" feeling. I don't main hunter, it's probably my 4th alt or so but after playing it in old raids for a few hours as BM I felt sorry for everyone who is a hunter and quickly switched to MM. Feel-wise, BM feels even less than 3 buttons because they're constantly on cd. It feels like 1 button that just alternates position on your keyboard. Ouch!
Ok, my feedback - first background -
1. Playing hunter since the start. Mostly BM, but occasional survival as needed.
2. Played every beta since BC and recently the alpha.
3. I'm a pet collector, rarer the better.

First I understand to "bring back" or give spec identity and the fantasy thing. For the most part, I think you accomplished that. However, some things were taken too far.

Traps -- so the survival hunter should have the most traps; however, the other two specs do not even have a trap. We should have at least the freezing trap; otherwise, our CC ability is non-existent. CC, IMO, is still very relevant. Either make Wyvern Sting = Freezing Trap as an option for us non-Survivalist to at least have an decent, optional CC from talents. Current state of Wyvern Sting is poor.

Camouflage -- we all had it. Removal from the BM spec doesn't make since. I'll give up Intimidation for it in a heartbeat. Make camouflage baseline instead IMO.

Yes, the three button rotation is not good. We are the basic spec for the beginner. We shouldn't be considered the kindergarten spec. As stated soo many times, make chimera shot baseline. Put an optional attack or other in its place for a talent. Maybe reduce the "focus gain" from the normal shot and buff it with a talent instead in order to make chimera shot baseline. Or maybe give us glaives like we had in the previous expansions. Glaives were cool IMO.

Eyes of the Beast - it was our version of Eye of Kilrogg for warlocks. Didn't make sense to remove it WAY back in the day. Return it to us.

Distracting Shot - its use made perfect sense. Mob attacking healer and not taking - sure misdirect may help, so not unless you have your macro set right or focus correct, misdirect will not function properly. Distract Shot has saved many a tank from verbal abuse or a dead healer with distracting shot. Also we use to be able to couple misdirect with distracting shot at one time. Very valuable in the day.

Exotic pets - make sure an exotic pet has something special about them. The upcoming manasaber is not suppose to be a spirit beast. So give it something worth while - maybe a teleport, maybe a spell interrupt, something more.

A lot of pets now do not have anything special, besides a look. Too much purging back for PVP reasons. Well we still have pets with PVP utility - slows mostly. Bring back some of the special in pets.

I'm sure other hunters will give you an ear full. They should. IMO, bliz did more harm with the over pruning this time as compared to other past expansions.
Survival Thoughts:
Raptor Strike feels like an ability that, if it existed in WoD, would have been pruned. I'm not saying I necessarily even want it to be useful, I'm just not sure I want it at all. (Flanking Strike is a much more interesting button press anyway). Looking forward, at the artifact abilities, there's an artifact trait that heals you for 10% of Raptor Strike's damage - Raptor Strike's damage is so low I just can't see a situation where that's useful. Something like Flanking Strike (more damage, but has a cooldown), would at least be noticeable, even if it's still not a lot.

The talent Animal Instincts (Row 1 far left) has 2 damage increasing effects, and 1 that increases movement speed, chosen randomly. The movement speed probably isn't going to proc when it matters. It would be nice to be able to control it. My thought would be base it on the last ability used, prior to flanking strike. If Raptor Strike, give the "Instincts of the Raptor" Buff. If Wing Clip, give the "Instincts of the Cheetah", and if Mongoose Bite, give "Instincts of the Mongoose". This does in some ways completely go against my previous thought, but they are to solve different problems.
Marksmanship feels broken without patient sniper/sidewinders but that setup is incompatible with a lot of the other talents. There's also awkward situations where you don't have a hunter's mark proc and you just sit there waiting for auto shots.

Also BM and MM have almost nothing new for animations besides different color arrow trails. The swirling snakes have got to go.

To add more:

Marksman almost feels backwards in how it should function compared to the class preview. A "sniper in hiding" shouldn't need so much build up time to do damage. We should open hard then follow that up instead.

Felt much more like a sniper during HFC tier with baseline Careful Aim, instant Aimed Shots, and Kill Shot.

Also, why isn't Camo baseline for MM?
I've played this character since vanilla, and most of the time as a beast mastery hunter. I am enjoying this current iteration less than at any other time in the game's history.

The spec has about the same amount of buttons that it did in WoD. In my opinion, the core issue isn't that it has too few buttons to press, but rather no engaging gameplay. The rotation consists of simply pressing whatever isn't off cooldown, if you can-- and that's it. There is no resource management involved. And, since there is nothing for me to manage, there is nothing for me to do. I'm just playing wack-a-mole with abilities.

I really believe that the easiest solution to fixing BM is to give us something to cast again. Give us a builder to manage in-between shots so it feels like we are actually doing something. Have our spenders hit harder but be harder to use. Arcane mage is a great example of this ( though they too use few buttons), you are always watching other things (charges, mana, cooldowns) which makes for engaging gameplay.
I play Beast Mastery so I don't know much about the other specs but I'd just like to put two notes in I've experienced.

I feel like my pet gets stuck on the smallest of rocks quite a bit more than before. It's a bit annoying when I aggro something and I need to spend the time dismissing my pet to engage in combat. (He's also quite a bit squishier than I recall, but I can manage that for now)

When I do enter combat I do kill command, dire beast and a cobra shot. The problem I encounter is afterwards I feel like I'm waiting to hear my gun fire to do cobra shot again while command and beast are on CD. (For me at 99 it works that I can wait for a gun fire to cobra to prevent focus capping). I dunno how to express it...it feels like during those seconds I'm just idling until (x) is off CD or (y) my gun fires. It may be different to what others experience at 100-110 though, since I'm missing my 100 talents, gear and I've no experience with the artifact. Just my two cents.

(Also, I miss you freezing trap + launcher)
(Another also, is that cheetah talent useless for anyone else or just me?)

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