Proposed WotLK hunter talents

August 16, 2007 at 2:02 pm (Game Design, Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

TKAsomething has a thread going on new hunter talents. Here’s my proposal.

[UPDATE: I created a second set of talents starting here.]

First of all the rules: There will be a 2-3 point talent at 35, two 3 point talents at 40, a 5 point talent at 45 and a single 1 point talent at 50. I wanted to make sure every tree had at least one new button to push as well, instead of everything being passive, and a new aspect for each tree that scaled since the only scaling aspect we have right now is AotV.

I also had three secondary goals. First, to make every talent at least somewhat useful while soloing, 5 man groups, raiding, and PvP. Second, to rediffentiate the trees. It seems to me BM, MM, and SV play almost the exact same way with the only difference being where the damage is coming from. I want to make sure there’s very different feel to each tree. Last, I wanted to add OMG thats awesome, back to the talents. The BC talents were good and helpful, but come on, no one went “I can’t wait to hit 50 so I can get silencing shot or readiness.”

I’ll discuss the 3 new aspects as 51 point talents in the end.

Enough prep. On to the talents:

<Beast Master>

3/3 Improved Growl – Reduces the cool down on growl by 3 seconds.

1/1 Play Dead – Your successful Feign Death also causes your pet to Feign Death.

1/1 Guardian – Causes target to be marked with the Ward buff for 2 minutes, and the pet to be marked as the Guardian. If the ward receives damage, the pet will target that enemy. Each time the ward receives damage, the guardian’s critical strike improves by 1%. Upon critical strike this effect is reset.

3/3 Slash – Your pets next attack will strike an additional target and increase damage by 20%.

5/5 Metered Steady Shot – Increases casting time of steady shot by .3-1.5 seconds and increases damage and mana cost by 20-100%.

5/5 Steady Stance Improves Steady shot damage by 5%

1/1 Aspect of the Worgen – The hunter takes on the aspects of the worgen, granting 10% chance to resist fear and horror effects, and granting all normal attacks by the hunter and pet inflict half their damage as shadow damage.


Improved Growl is strictly solo improvement. No one will probably need 3/3, but if you’re losing agro you have the choice of how much you need. I actually had a different 3/3 that reduced the focus of all abilities by 3/6/10, but I didn’t think BM needed more focus.

Play Dead is basically the opposite of Improved Growl. With pets increasing threat, having a pet agro the mob is a danger. This is your pets agro wipe. It will help out with that one mob that resists your FD, as your pet will go right for it. Lastly, I hate feigning only to watch my pet get pummeled to death…

Guardian is something I’m very happy with. PvP you can put it on yourself and you pet is a crit machine, solo it helps for those adds, group it keeps the priest alive, and in raids you can put it on the tank and get a nice DPS boost. Now that I look at it 2 min is too long, 30 seconds with a 2 min. cooldown is a better option.

Slash is a straight forward DPS boost based off of cleave that also helps when you get adds soloing or crowds in PvP. Just don’t use it near that sheep…

Metered Steady Shot and Steady Stance are meant to be trade offs which is why there’s two 5 point talents. First of all, because of Serpent’s Swiftness, BM hunters really only use Steady Shot in their shot rotations, because any extra shots would delay auto shots eventually. MSS does not improve the DPS of steady shot at all. What it does is fill in the unused time in between auto shots. In fact no one should ever take 5/5 MSS because that’s the same thing as doing 2 steady shots, but with one button push. What this does is make sure that even if the speed of an upgrade is slower, the hunter can put a point or 2 in MSS and see improved DPS. But I meant this to reduce the number of points in Steady Stance as a trade off, which is why it only gives a 5% improvement. Just sleeping on it made me realized that MSS trade off is more likely Lethal Shots, so I’d actually change Stance to 2-10%.

Whats that? There’s another talent there I didn’t mention?… Hmmm.


3/3 Dependence – Pet becomes passive and returns to the hunter. Each second the hunter is granted 100-300 mana and the pets health is reduced by 300-500 and happiness by 50. Effect is broken if the pet attacks.

3/3 Precision – While rapid fire is active, your critical strike chance is increased by 30%

3/3 Zen Marksmanship – Improves the effect of your mana per 5 seconds by 30%

5/5 Wound – Your critical hits wound the target causing 15% of your ranged weapon’s average damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.

1/1 Aspect of the Tigon – The hunter takes on the aspects of the Tigon, granting a 20% chance to have an extra attack on the same target after dealing damage with your ranged weapon (I didn’t put it, but it’s meant to be auto shot only).


When I picture a MM, its all about efficiency which is the theme of these talents. Where a SV sees its pet as a companion and a BM’s pet is an extension of himself, the MM’s pet is strictly a tool to be used. This is where I got Dependency. If the hunter also keeps his pet healed, it’s pretty much infinite mana.

Precision gives a short bonus to rapid fire, and is meant to help in both raiding and PvP as the equivalent of The Beast Within.

Zen Marksmanship was the leaked name of Careful Aim before the BC talents were released. I had to use it, I just love the name. The additional mp5 is just so they can stop freaking putting so much on hunter gear and focus on stats I actually want, while keeping the raiders happy.

I came up with Wound to expand the useful weapon speeds. While BM will want weapon speeds up to ~2 seconds, this talent goes with the slower the better. And since MM already want slow to fit more shots between auto shots, it already fits with their mentality of long fights with healthy damage. Fully stacked its the equivalent of an extra shot every 4 seconds.


3/3 Improved Misdirection – Increases the number of attacks misdirected to 4-6 and extends duration by 5-15 seconds.

3/3 Improved Master Tactician – Your successful ranged attacks have a 12/18/25% chance to increase your critical strike chance with all attacks by 10% for 8 sec.

3/3 Camouflage – The hunter and pet become transparent (not invisible) reducing agro radius of enemies by 10 yards. Only auto attacks may be used while active. The effect will break upon damage, interacting with objects, or using a spell. Adds 50/100% chance first non-auto attack will crit.

5/5 Nature’s Wrath – Your regular attacks have a 5-25% chance of inflicting an additional 50% of weapon damage as nature damage.

1/1 Aspect of the Dryad – The hunter takes on the aspects of a Dryad, granting 20% of auto shots threat to the target’s current target, and allowing auto shots to continue while moving.

5/5 Weathered Skin – Reduces all damage taken by 6-30% when under any movement impairing effects and by 10-50% when under any effects which cause loss of control of your character.


Survival is all about tricks. So I decided to add some more. Improved Misdirection is strictly a raid talent, but it’s there because MM and BM will definitely be more desirable for raids DPS wise. No more waiting for sunders at all. Some Distracting shots and Aimed Shots and your tank will never lose agro.

Hopefully those that don’t raid will instead be happy with Improved Master Tactician. I can’t believe 6%. That’s just so sad to see in a freaking 5 point talent at the 35 point tier. What say we boost that to 25% for only 3 more points M’Kay?

I don’t know about you, but I was always a little jealous of Shadow Priests with their cool purply glow. I wanted the same mark of spec for the few, the proud, the survivalist. I’m really proud of Camoflage. First of all think, of Shaman’s wolf form for the transparency. It’s not that you don’t see them, you just don’t see them right away. I picture someone guarding a flag in AV with a lone survivalist sneaking up, opening with a few auto-shots and then, the big, guaranteed aimed crit. Those nice opening crits would also be useful for misdirections don’t you think? And since the pet gets them too, there’s some nice initial agro. The casting time is basically so that it’s not used during combat. Who heard of someone trying to hide while the enemy is looking right at them?

Camouflage plays right into Nature’s Wrath as well. I think I’ll discuss this with the aspects since it really fits there better.

Lastly, there’s Weathered Skin is a talent I’d love to have, but didn’t know where to put. I absolutely hate getting jumped in world PvP, and it’s even worse when I just sit there and watch my character wander helplessly while being damaged only to regain control and still not be able to fight because the enemy is too close for ranged attacks. Guess what Mr. Fear-DoT-and-Run-Warlock? Your days are numbered.

<New Aspects> (+ Nature’s Wrath)

All of these are meant to make the player go “why would I ever make a hybrid.” Also, one of the problems hunters have is that our DPS is dependent on the speed of the weapon because of steady shot. To fix this dependence we can either fix steady shot OR we can make Auto Shot the main focus of damage. I’m sure someone will bring up that Worgen, Tigon, and Dryads are not beasts, and that’s part of why I chose them. They are all ‘beast men/women’ which means they are both feral and in control. In other words, they know they’re feral and know how to use it. That’s what makes these so devastating.

Aspect of the Worgen – the anti-fear/horror component is really just because I hate being out of control of my character. It helps a bit in both PvP and raiding. And it fits. The damage component is to boost auto shot DPS as stated above while giving a bit of flavor and nod to Lupos. I’d balance it to an over all effect of 20% increased damage against well armored targets which I’m not sure I’ve done. Notice it doesn’t give much improvement over squishies, but that’s what the pet is for. No mana required.

Aspect of the Tigon came from the idea of shooting two arrows at once. I don’t think that’s doable in the code, but extra attacks definitely are. Here again we get 20% damage increase without mana. To contrast with AotW it gives a better return against casters than well armored targets.

These two are meant to be balanced against Nature’s Wrath. NW is inbetween AotW and AotT with more physical damage than the former, and more magic damage than the latter. The over all effect here I expect to be about 15%. Why not 20%? That’s because of…

Aspect of the Dryad (once called Butt Pew Pew on TKAsomething) reclaims SV’s dominance as the PvP tree, and as the ultimate kiters. The other 5% improvement missing from NW is that it can be done while moving. This is also useful in raids events which require more movement and less standing pushing buttons. The 20% threat also helps the tanks maintain agro.

Auto Shot still requires that the target be in front of the hunter, so you won’t actually be shooting arrows out your butt (sorry to those that wanted BPP), and there’s still a dead zone. It also doesn’t allow any new special shots to be used while moving. Given those 3 things, I don’t think it’s OP. Other physical damage classes don’t have to worry about losing DPS just because they’re moving, I don’t think a single spec 51 points deep will actually break anything (tho there will be QQ’ers. Oh yes, there will be).

With these talents, I’m hoping that each tree maintains their viability in all aspects of the game. As soloist BM have more tricks for their pet, MM will have very little down time, and survival will have compete control of their pet’s threat. In PvP, BM and MM maintain their focus on pet and personal damage, while the SV can now rely on movement for survivability as well. In groups, all 3 gain not only damage but utility, and while MM will shine in raids, there are solid reasons to bring other specs.

So there you go Blizzard. Get to work!



  1. Goeben said,

    Very cool ideas! I especially like the idea of new aspects and camouflage. Camo/stealth/semi-stealth or something similar would instantly make Surv a very interesting PvP spec.

  2. Eric said,

    For Survival, I’d suggest Improved Readiness (or w/e it’s called that clear cooldowns) and make it return 80% of the mana cost of each cooldown restored when activated. So you hit Readiness (w/e) and it cleared the cooldown on FD, ice trap, and multi-shot. You gain 80% of the mana back that it cost to cast each of those. So lets say 100 for each. so 80% is 80 mana so 80×3 abilities is 240 mana restored.

  3. Anonymous said,

    this is like sex

  4. Anon said,

    Marksman: The Sniper’s Breadth- 8% of base Mana. The Hunter increases in celerity and precision, allowing him to further permeate his target’s defenses, gaining 50% critical strike damage, 15% haste, and 50% armor ignore for 45 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

    Survival: Persistence- 5% of base Mana. The Hunter gains a 100% chance to avoid all damage from any blow that might otherwise kill him and all damage taken for the following 3 seconds is reduced by 90%. Furthermore, while under the effects of Persistence, whenever the hunter is the victim of a critical strike, lands a critical strike, or is denied a critical strike due to resilience he gains 30% more agility; this effect stacks up to 3 times. Lasts 20 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. (Persistence’s “cheat death” would be on a charge basis, allowing it to trigger only once during each use of the ability.)

    Beast Mastery: Aspect of the Wroth- 240 Mana. For as long as the Hunter’s pet is active, he and his pet shall gain 30% resilience rating, 15% HP, and 300 attack power. Furthermore, Kill Command, Intimidate, Beastial Wrath, and The Beast Within increase in potency.(150% damage from Kill Command, 1 extra second of stun from Intimidate, 65% pet damage and 25% Hunter damage with 40% mana cost.) Mana, focus, and health regeneration are decreased by 10%. Lasts until cancelled.

    I came up with this before I was referred to your list, maybe it will spark something new, or just make you think that I’m an idiot, either way, it’s worth a shot posting.

  5. Anonymous said,

    ^Anon, those are rediculously (seriously, rediculously) overpowered. all three of them.

  6. Bishop said,

    I was thinking before about a survival talent that put you into a near stealth or lesser stealth as long as you were standing still, or possibly if you are in a bush in AB or something. Is anyone reminded of Rambo or when Arnold was in Predator?

  7. Znodis said,

  8. Anonymous said,

    aspect of the dryad is a nice idea but having auto attacks to continue while moving is OP imo… even me being the hunter =D

    i LOVE the new aspects per tree though, something to keep us switching builds constantly

  9. wewtmaster said,

    i still prefer the ideas of 2 pets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! orgasmic ^^

  10. Wopumenita said,

    Interesting, the new aspect trees are really nice. This is a great change to the game and I think will continue to keep hunters interesting for a while…

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