Survival isn’t in the best shape for PvP as it stands. Its damage is based around sustained DPS — which is already a downside for PvP — and its only source of burst damage (Lock and Load) can be negated entirely with a simple dispel of Black Arrow. No Black Arrow = no Lock and Load procs. This would be remedied somewhat if Ice Trap was still able to proc Lock and Load as a fallback, but it doesn’t anymore.
It seems like at one point in time they were aware of the problem because the original WoD 4pc survival PvP bonus used to give Black Arrow the ability to trigger Lock and Load instantly (and presumably removed the subsequent proc chances as a tradeoff). This was later changed once they added the Multistrike behavior to LnL.
Here are some potential solutions I hope the devs will take into consideration. Consider all these numbers as just examples to illustrate a point. I don’t presume to know how to balance them.
- Bring back the old Noxious Stings as a survival passive, but make it work with Black Arrow instead.
Noxious Stings: When Black Arrow is dispelled, the dispeller is afflicted with Serpent Sting and Black Arrow for 50% of its remaining duration.
Having both DoTs will make the dispeller think twice about dispelling it, otherwise it’s a no brainer. This was an idea I originally saw posted by Jademcian, who previously wrote a guest post here on Eyes of the Beast you should check out.
- Lingering Shadow: When Black Arrow is dispelled, Lingering Shadow is applied to the target equal to the remainder of Black Arrow’s duration. Lingering Shadow deals 99% reduced damage but Multistrikes will trigger Lock and Load. Lingering Shadow is immune to dispels.
- Shadowy Venom: When Black Arrow is dispelled, instantly generate 3 stacks of Lock and Load and reduce the cooldown of your next Black Arrow by up to 10 seconds.
- Deadly Consequences: When Black Arrow is dispelled, it will jump to another enemy target within 30 yards for 50% of its remaining duration. If no other targets are in range, Black Arrow is reapplied.
- Recovery: When Black Arrow is dispelled, the cooldown is instantly reset (or reduced by xx sec, whatever)
- Glyph of Black Arrow: Black Arrow deals 50% less damage but is immune to dispels.
Survival hunters simply rely on Lock and Load too much to have it so casually dismissed in PvP combat. It needs some form of dispel protection in my opinion. This might be making too much out of a problem that isn’t there (my PvP experience has been limited on the beta) but it’s a concern I see hunters bringing up regularly.
All this being said, Improved Camouflage really is a nice PvP perk (removed) for the spec (as are the trap perks). But you know what they say about the best defense…
If you have any similar feedback, I urge you to post it on the beta forums, tweet the devs, or leave in-game feedback with the suggestion feature under Help -> Suggestion in the game menu if you are in the beta. Remember to always be calm, cool, and constructive.