I’ve been playing around with hunter talents lately to see how things are shaping up for each spec. Before I get started, keep in mind that this information is only up to date as of today. Number tuning is still in progress, but this will give you a good idea of how things are shaping up so far.
These are my personal opinions on the “best” talents for each spec. I’m not claiming them to be perfect choices, but I came to these conclusions through my own testing. I also played around quite a bit with Esoth’s Hunter Tools and the Simulation Craft beta. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. Remember that even if you’re not in beta, you can test most of this (sans the 100 talents) on the 6.0 PTR!
Today we’re taking a closer look at the newest of the level 100 hunter talents in Warlords of Draenor, Exotic Munitions. This is a passive talent that modifies your Auto Shots in 3 different ways. Only one of these munition types can be active at a time.
- Incendiary Ammo – Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 1 hour. Each autoshot deals 20% additional weapon damage as Fire to all enemies within 8 yards of the initial target.
- To be used primarily in AoE raid encounters, dungeons, or just farming large numbers of mobs out in the world.
- Poisoned Ammo – Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 1 hour. Each autoshot deals (200% of Attack power) additional Nature damage over 16 sec. When this effect is refreshed, the remaining damage will be added to the new effect.
- To be used primarily for extended single-target fights.
- Frozen Ammo – Arms your ranged weapon with exotic ammunition that lasts for 1 hour. Each autoshot deals 40% additional weapon damage as Frost and reduces the target’s movement speed by 50% for 8 sec.
- To be used primarily for PvP, or for when you’re fighting one target at a time that won’t live long enough to fully benefit from Poisoned Ammo. If we had this talent today, I’d probably be using it to aid in my 2 or 3-shotting of Gulp Frogs.
What follows isn’t going to written like one of my normal blog posts. It’s a copy/paste of a feedback post I made in the Warlords beta forums intended for the developers. I thought some of you may be interested in reading it anyway. I’ve added a few pictures to help with the “wall of text crits you for 9000” factor.
Lone Wolf is a new level 100 talent for survival and marksmanship hunters. It’s kind of a big deal. It lets you play a pet class without a pet. Whoa. It’s pretty simple: Dismiss your pet and get a 30% damage buff. Lone Wolf is undoubtedly the result of player demand. Demand from all of the players who want to play an archer class without having to maintain a roster of pets. Even more demand from raiders who were sick of their pet doing silly things like getting stuck in random places and not doing any DPS.
I’m not currently in the alpha, so most of what follows is just speculation. I’m just going by what I can see on paper and the limited amount of info I’ve been able to gleam from the handful of hunter streamers in alpha.
The following talents and abilities will simply not function if you spec into Lone Wolf:
Spirit Bond is something I’d have trouble living without, though the new self-heals from Kill Shot and Survivalist will help somewhat. The loss of Master’s Call is probably a deal breaker for a lot of PvP hunters.
Leave it to Blizzard to release some new info mere minutes after I make a post about abilities I’m going to miss (one of them being Rapid Fire).
- Rapid Fire returning as marksmanship only is great. It makes the most sense for a spec that will be hardcasting most of their shots. Lots of hunters were suggesting this and it seems like Blizzard listened. It didn’t feel good to have a spec with zero active cooldown abilities.
- Bear Trap was first seen in the Wrath of the Lich King beta but it never made it to live servers. It rooted the target and caused a bleed. Not sure if it will be the same here or something completely new. Here is an old video from the beta showing it. One of its secondary effects better be the ability to trap feral druids! Seriously though, let’s hope it’s a survival-only cooldown. With the CC reductions, I have trouble believing they plan on adding another CC spell, even if it is only for one spec. It would also be pretty redundant with Entrapment.
- Flaming Shots was boring for a level 100 talent, and only seemed suited to one spec, so this is good news.
Can’t wait to hear about Bear Trap and the Flaming Shots replacement. HUNTER NEWS! So exciting. I’ll be updating all the relevant WoD posts with this info.