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WoWNov 20, 2015 5:00 pm CT

Locked and Loaded: More Hunter changes for Legion, and your questions answered

hunter changes

Last week was pretty exciting for Hunters. We found out we’re getting the biggest overhaul yet, and I think the reaction to the changes has been mostly positive. We all have questions or concerns about certain details, but most seem to agree that things are headed in a good direction. To address some of those concerns, Blizzard has been active on Twitter and reddit, clarifying some points and dropping new information not seen in the original preview of Hunter changes. We’re going to cover all of that today, but be sure to read last week’s post for all the big changes if you haven’t yet. We’ll round things out with an extra long edition of Hunter Q&A.

Gnome. Hunters.

Amazing or facepalm-worthy news, depending on who you ask. I’m still trying to think of a clever name for mine so I can reserve it. Oh, and the mechanical chicken pet? Possibly not a joke, as a new pet family of “Mechs” has been datamined. Hopefully more on that next time.

Beast Mastery

As I mentioned last week, you should expect talents to change up the gameplay quite a bit in Legion. To give us an example, Blizzard revealed that Chimaera Shot is currently a Beast Mastery-only talent. I’m curious just how a talent like that is meant to fit into our rotation. Will it compete with something like Kill Command, or is it something like an alternative to Barrage? Or maybe it replaces an ability like the new Cobra Shot? There will also be more options for active Focus regeneration available in the talents if you want more than Dire Beast, which was one of the many tidbits provided by Senior Game Designer Andrew Chambers on reddit. There’s also a possibility of Dire Beast getting a talent that modifies its behavior, such as pulling pets directly from your stable instead of the wild. Finally, Blizzard may consider turning Dire Beast into Focus-per-second rather than Focus-per-hit to alleviate concerns about pet pathing.


When asked about the possibility of Scatter Shot returning for Marksmanship, Blizzard revealed that Marksmanship is getting a new CC ability called Bursting Shot. It’s a short range shot that knocks enemies away from you. So if you were worried about staying alive without a pet, you’ll have Bursting Shot, the snare built into Marked Shot, Disengage, and likely others via talents. At the same time, you should know that Marksmanship is meant to be a high risk, high reward style of play. No amount of CC is going to replace a personal pet tank for soloing.

There are currently no plans for Marksmanship to have a slow-cast Focus generator talent, so don’t expect Focusing Shot to make a return. If you were wondering why Chimaera Shot was left out of the preview, that’s because it is slated to become a Beast Mastery-only talent. Marksmanship is also getting a Dark Ranger talent, which we already discussed last week.


There hasn’t been much new information for Survival since the original preview, but Blizzard did clarify some aspects of the gameplay. If you were worried about a decrease in survivability by going melee, they think it won’t be an issue because of the amount of CC and pet mitigation that Survival is equipped with. If it does become an issue, they can look into resolving it with a passive. Harpoon, Disengage, Wing Clip, traps (a Survival exclusive now), and a pet? That’s a lot of CC and defensive options, even without knowing what else could be revealed in the future.

Other tidbits

  • There’s a chance we could be losing Kill Shot as they want execute to be a defining Warrior ability. (source)
  • Aspect of the Pack… GONE! (source)
  • Base Focus regen is now 10/sec, which is more than double the 4/sec we have today. Subject to change. (source)
  • Survival will get a melee-style interrupt. No more “I can’t interrupt, I have a 24 sec cooldown!” excuses. (source)
  • Still no promises for the return of Eyes of the Beast. Still an engineering issue. (source)
  • Volley could make a return as a talent, but no promises. (source)


Hunter Q&A

iqwacp asked:
Bendak, what your take on the weapons for each class?

This is a hot topic right now. There’s quite a few Beast Mastery Hunters upset that their Artifact weapon is a gun and not a bow. I think it would be neat if one of the gun’s alternate appearances was something like a compound bow that still fits with the theme of “powered by a Titan artifact and crafted by engineer Mimiron.” We’ve already seen that one of the Marksmanship bow alternate looks is actually a crossbow. As for me personally, I usually prefer using a gun.

  • Titanstrike (Beast Mastery): Love the idea that our gun is crafted by a master engineer like Mimiron. I hope we do part of the quest in Ulduar. As for the graphics, it leaves a bit to be desired. The base model is not very impressive when compared to other melee weapon Artifacts. I am someone who likes flashy stuff and this is not. Some of the upgraded appearances look promising. My hope is that the gun has some nice visual effects tied to it.
  • Thas’dorah (Marksmanship): This is Alleria Windrunner’s bow, so that’s pretty cool. At least part of her story is only going to be available by gaining this Artifact. The base model has the same problem as the gun, it doesn’t scream “Artifact” to me. The alternates look better, but if I am being honest, the Golden Bow from Sunwell looks more like an impressive Artifact.
  • Talonclaw (Survival): I think it looks great. I love how each variation is based on a different animal. I think the wolf one is my favorite, but honestly I like them all. This weapon is tied into the lore of the moose tauren somehow, so that makes it even better.

SintraEdrien asked:
What are the implications of BM spec losing traps which help in taming exotic old-world/previous expac pets? What might be a conceivable replacement?

In most cases it’s not really necessary to trap anymore, but I agree that Freezing Trap has always been a staple for taming beasts. It would be strange to me if Survival was better at taming beasts. I think they could differentiate the specs a little by making the minor glyph a baseline for Beast Mastery and letting Survival have the full cast time, and we’ll see what other CC options we get.

Hellioning asked:
What cool new pets do you want to get in Legion?

Moose, for starters. More dinosaurs would be nice, like the Pterrordax and Pterrorwing. How about some more boss challenges like what we had with Chimaeron? Mammoths, Gulp Frogs, and some new spirit beasts! See the cat at the beginning of this video before it turns into a mount? That would make a pretty awesome spirit beast. Jeremy Feasel, the developer responsible for all Hunter pet things in Warlords (including the Gara quest), recently asked the same question on Twitter. Go tell him what you want to see!


Future Hunter pets?

Kiotay asked:
What are the chances that will only two specs using pets that the exotic distinction for Beast Masters will go away? I can’t be the only one who loves using Spirit Beast and would love to fight beside them instead of at range.

Part of me says it would take away from Beast Mastery’s flavor if Survival could also tame exotic pets, but the other part of me says it makes a little more sense now that only two specs can even use pets. I guess I am indifferent.

Toofdoctor asked:

Question for the author:

We’ve seen them borrow abilities from Heroes of the Storm for at least two other specs – Lothar’s Might for ret pallies and Sundering for enhancement. What (if any) abilities from Heroes would you like to see them borrow for hunters?

I’m not a big Heroes player, but I always thought Tyrande’s Sentinel ability was cool. What if it was a talent for Marksmanship? It’s not really a combat pet, and having a personal scout like that fits with the ranger theme. It could be used to apply Hunter’s Mark to enemies in its path. At the risk of infringing on Demon Hunter’s Spectral Sight, it could possibly reveal other things too like objectives or stealthed enemies. If you could come up with other purposes for the scouting, it might work for the other specs.

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