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!
The talent changes mentioned earlier in the official patch notes all seem to be active in this beta build. I’ll go over those again, but first there is some news on Gara the Spirit Beast. You can read up on Gara here, but the TL;DR is that it’s a new spirit beast with some kind of quest/event/challenge required in order to tame. According to Muffinus, it has been fully implemented as of this build.
If you want to avoid anything Gara related and discover it for yourself, you’ll want to skip down until the talent changes section.
The picture above shows a group of us hunters searching for clues, trying to find out what the next step was after scratching her behind the ears. We… haven’t made much progress yet. There’s been one new dialogue option with the wolf, but that’s all I’ve discovered so far. When you have a Shadowberry in your inventory it gives you an option, but nothing seems to happen other than another hint. The image below shows the progression in dialogue.
Update on Gara: For the latest info on Gara, see this new post. Most of the speculation below has been ruled out.
A new video from February’s press event has been uncovered, and I am very happy to say it features some new information about the hunter talents in Warlords. They are a little different than they were back at BlizzCon. You can find the video below, but I’ve gone through frame by frame to pick out all of the tooltips and summarize it for you.
- New Level 100 Talent: Flaming Shots – Your auto shots now deal 80% weapon damage as fire damage (Bola Shot has been removed!)
- New Level 100 Talent: Focusing Shot – Deals 100% weapon damage and generates 75 focus. 2.55 sec cast. Replaces Cobra Shot and Steady Shot. Cannot be cast while moving. (This is very similar to Snipe from BlizzCon, but less weapon damage and more focus regen)
- New Level 100 Talent: Versatility (beast mastery only) – Increases your pet’s combat experience to 70% increased damage (a 20% pet damage buff) and grants many specialization-specific abilities regardless of chosen spec. (This is the same as it was at BlizzCon)
- New Level 100 Talent: Lone Wolf (survival and marksmanship) – Increases your damage done when you do not have a pet summoned. Celestalon tweeted that Lone Wolf is still in.
- Stampede is now a talent. It replaces Lynx Rush in the level 75 tier.
- Thrill of the Hunt now affects Aimed Shot in addition to Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot. As I reported earlier, Aimed Shot is now marksmanship’s only focus dump. Marksmanship no longer uses Arcane Shot.
- Aspect of the Iron Hawk renamed to Iron Hawk. Due to hunter aspects being removed, this is now just a 10% damage reduction.