Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Focus of the Hunter Talent Trees

What are the hunter talent trees supposed to be "all about"? I thought it would be good to revisit this as we approach the unveiling of the Cataclysmic hunter. This is where we are. This is where I think we should be. It will be interesting to learn where Blizzard thinks we should be.
The PvP Question
Blizzard has said that no hunter tree is supposed to be "the PvP tree"... they are all supposed to be on equal footing. That's reasonable to believe given their sprinkling of joy between the trees. Beastmasters get wrath, and intimidation. Wrath used to be the cats pajamas with a long uptime. Marksmen get nice bleeds, good concussion shots and stuns, the silence every non-Marksman yearns for, an interesting disarm, the mortal strike healing debuff, and of course great dps and burst dps with readiness. Survival hunters get a sleep shot, nice DoTs, fun traps, buffy traps, and scatter shot. Of course all the low hanging talents are available for all, but it's clear no talent tree totally owns PvP and no talent tree is "just for PvP".

Beast Mastery - The Hunter and their Pet
To me, it's clear that Beast Mastery is all about the synergy between hunter and pet. Nearly all the talents are currently aligned that way.

Marksmanship - The Hunter and their Gun or Bow
Again - to me - the Marksmanship talent tree seems like it should be all about the hunter and the ranged weapon. The hunter loves the ranged weapon as much as their pet. Okay to be honest, they love their weapon more. Currently, the talents in Marksman are a bit all over the place. They are reliant on DoTs. They have the pet focus increase talent. They have a lot of utility stuff that does fit: hunter's mark and true shot aura. But then they've got various stuns, slows, the silence, healing debuff, etc which all are about restricting and surviving instead of head-shot instaGib'ng. These are the guys that are in a crouched position firing from max range.

Survival - The Hunter and whatever they can do
Once again the refrain - IMHO - the Survival talent tree should be control-oriented like the mage frost talents. They should have the restricting and surviving talents. These are the guys that should be dancing while they fight. I'm all for each talent tree having the ability to crank out dps. But Survival has a lot of talents that seem like they should be in Marksmanship. Indeed a few had been. A survival hunter should be able to run around, fire from melee under a boss's crotch, and disengage all over. Why do Survivalists have Hawk Eye and Sniper Training? Don't those have "Marksmanship" written all over them?

I'm very interested to see what the new interpretation is. The hunter class preview comes out April 9th.

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