Changing the Changes

We’re very early in the testing phase of Warlords of Draenor. There are many positive changes to the Hunter class, and some that haven’t been that well received. We have a tendency to view changes as if they were final, but history tells us that isn’t the case, and the final picture of Hunters in Warlords may look very different that what we see now.

I’ve touched on this before, but it’s worth doing again. Take a look at the Hunter talents from an early version of Mists of Pandaria. They’re barely recognizable to what we have today.


Talents weren’t all that changed during that beta. Black Arrow was modified such that it had no cooldown and could affect multiple targets similar to how Glaive Toss works. It didn’t work out and was reverted.

As Warlords of Draenor begins to evolve I can’t help but wonder what changes will be altered before WoD goes live. Here are five things that I believe will change during beta.

Distracting Shot’s Triumphant Return

If there’s one ability that Hunters hated to see go, it’s Distracting Shot. It doesn’t impact rotations or contribute to button bloat. It’s utility and purpose were clear. Although it isn’t used often, it’s benefit is powerful when called upon. I think this will be added back before all is said and done.

Flaming Shots, We Hardly Knew You

This is one of the more lackluster talents in the game, nevermind for Hunters. It fits well with Survival, but it’s just plain boring, and will go largely unnoticed when playing.

Bola Shot, which did fire AoE and replaced Arcane Shot was a much better talent than this. I suspect that Bola Shot was cut when they decided to removed Arcane Shot from Marksmanship, thus making this talent unavailable to that spec.

Whether Bola Shot makes a return, I don’t know, but I think Flaming Shots has to go.

Glyph of Hunter’s Mark

The bouncing red arrow was one of the most iconic Hunter symbols in the game, and it was there from day one of WoW. Now it’s gone, and players aren’t too happy. Most people agree with the removal of the combat effect, but the visual is just too cool.

I think we’ll see this come back as a cosmetic minor glyph.

Stampede, What to Do…

Players seem on the fence about this one. On the one hand it’s a good source of burst DPS that is sorely lacking for Hunters. There’s a risk that it could become a mandatory talent, although BM may prefer Blink Strikes.

Having it as a talent helps reduce button bloat, so there is something to be said for keeping it as it is. Then there is the fact that when used in a raid, its visual is unnoticeable by everyone except the tanks and melee.

I’m fond of it for personal reasons, but it needs more pizazz. I have no idea what could be done with this one, but I don’t think it will remain like it is.

Improved Camouflage

Improved Camouflage is the Survival perk that makes Camouflage awesome for them. Perhaps too awesome? This is a wait and see. I hope it remains as is, because I think this is one of the better perks that gives Survival some real survivabilty.

Keep an eye on this one, because if it sounds too good, it will probably be nerfed.

I’m sure they’ll be other changes. Those are mine, what are yours?


  1. My guess is that improved camoflage will change to not break on taking damage, but still break on _doing_ damage – it’s too ridiculous to be healed that much while stealthed and still being able to pour out full damage for 30 seconds.

    1. If they did that it’s not really worth having the perk and I’d rather they replace it. The main point of it is to keep DPSing during camo. Also the longest you could possibly DPS in camo is 6 seconds.

      1. Just to echo Bendak, in combat Camo’s duration is 6sec. So best case it’s 30% heal for SV while they get to keep doing DPS.

  2. I don’t think improved camo is too good to be true when factoring in the 6 second combat duration. The duration also gets reduced to 6 sec if you precast it before combat (once you enter combat), so you can’t get around it that way either.

    It IS strong, especially in PvP, but survival does lack the burst damage of the other specs which helps balance it out a little. If they deem it too powerful in testing, hopefully they’ll replace it with something that keeps that “survivalist” flavor for the spec.

    1. I really like improved Camo. Based on twitter conversations, this one probably has a solid footing. It definitely add to SV’s flavor.

      1. They could always give BM spiritbond, MM chimera shot and SV Imp Camo and remove the healing tier of talents (exhilaration and ironhawk). Somehow having Imp Camo + Exhilaration + Deterrence sounds too good for PvP.

  3. A Sonnet to Distracting Shot

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My arrows can reach, though my pet line-of-sights,
    For you, distracting shot, are ideal style of play.

    I love thee in a dungeon when tanks do fail
    to keep ads at bay, giving healers a fright.
    I love thee freely, as draenei love the light.
    I love thee purely, as pirates love the bloodsail.

    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In peeling off mobs ’till there is not one left.
    I love thee with a love more than talents that I lose
    With my lost buttons, I love thee most to press,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if the old gods choose,
    I shall but love thee better after blizzard puts you to death.

  4. I hope you are right about Distracting Shot. It surprising to see how many people reacted negative to its removal (incl. top raiders like roger brown) on forums, twitter and blogs. However, based on Celestalon’s tweets I get the feeling the reason for its removal is not button bloat but something else…I wonder if they just want to remove our taunt.

    Hunter’s Mark could easily become a glyph, but they also want to reduce visual clutter so I still fear it might go the way of eyes of the beast.

    I hope we’ll see some changes to the level 90 and 100 talents. They are not really intersting choices atm. Focusing Shot looks interesting for MM but not SV/BM. The only good thing about Flaming Shots is that its a choice which does not change your rotation, but it seems better for SV than MM/BM which is weird. Barrage is not always useable unless you want to pull everything around you.

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