Melee, Ranged and Petless, Oh My!

Icy-Veins interviewed Tom Chilton and Ion Hazzikostas about Legion. In that interview, it was revealed that all three Hunter specs will have their own unique flavor in the upcoming expansion.

  • Beast Mastery – Ranged and uses pets.
  • Marksmanship – Ranged and does not use a pet.
  • Survival – Melee and uses a pet.

I was alerted to this tidbit from Fel Panda Steve on Twitter.

In my post yesterday I suggested that this is how Blizzard might choose to go in Legion. It seems like the natural progression from Warlords of Draenor.

Lone Wolf was only ever used by Marksmanship and Survival and no one plays Survival right now. Adaptation was only ever used by Beast Mastery and it was always taken by Beast Mastery. If Lone Wolf is going baseline for Marksmanship, then hopefully Adaptation is going baseline for Beast Mastery.

So Marksmanship moves closer to becoming a true ranger specialization with a bow as its artifact weapon. Not just any bow either, but Thas’dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners.

artifact-windrunner-2_860Beast Mastery retains the classic look of a Hunter, think original World of Warcraft cinematic, using a gun and a faithful companion.

Survival, which perhaps should be renamed, will be more of a Rexxar/Beastlord Darmac prototype, using a melee weapon and a faithful companion.

On paper I think this sounds wonderful but the more the specs diverge the more players will fall in love with one over the other. If your favorite spec is underperforming then feeling obligated to play a spec you don’t like could lead to unsatisfaction with the class. It’s a little like this already, but Legion is nudging things in a way that firms up the delineation between the specializations.

I prefer Beast Mastery but when I raid I play Marksmanship with Lone Wolf. It’s not the end of the world, and I enjoy the variety and the challenge of trying to master my whole class.

It’s a brave new world for Hunters.


  1. To me BM makes the most sense as the spec that wants to wade into the fray with their beloved beastial companion. Even now their ranged abilities really come from the other 2 specs. Plus Raptor Strike and Mongoose Bite sound more BMish than Survival.

    SV should be a slippery, stealthy, cunning ranged assassin, Rogue with a bow. Keep the poison and elemental damage, play up movement and stealth and bingo spec variety.

  2. I feel I have to agree here, the whole no pet for MM I sort of saw coming. I mean with the Lone Wolf Talent, MM did more DPS than without it so almost everyone who went MM had no pet anyways.

    In terms of the whole how the specs should go. I think it’s a mistake making SV melee only. The reason is there might be some people who liked SV and now you’re saying that the awesome bow you transmog you can’t use now. I think if anything they should at least allow you to use a bow if you wish.

    Honestly I agree it should be this way. BM should be able to use bows, guns, crossbows, daggers, swords (duel of course) you have a pet, and you can either be melee or range. Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite should be BM not SV.

    They should really make BM a tank spec, you can easily make Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite, etc tank spells to have threat to your pet. We can already pet tank with BM the best so why not just give them that role? I mean I think it’s safe to say when it comes right down too it, Mage and Warlock always seem to pool ahead of the DPS tops anyways, very few times has hunter been the top dps class for more than a few boss fights anyways.

    Making BM a tank spec would give the class new life and make more sense. As you said you fight along side your pet. You and your pet are one as BM which is why you get access to cooler pets.

    I think the way they are taking MM is good and should be without a pet. I think you should be able to still have your pet out if you choose but your pet is smaller and at your side. Maybe giving your pet more a defense effect than doing dps. They could easily make the pets in MM smaller and have cooldowns that protect the hunter, like seeing their are stealth targets, giving some heal and defense and maybe even speed boosts.

    SV should be the spec that you are far away. You can have a pet or not. Having one wont really change much for dps. For example if you have a pet, you do X damage. However if you roll with no pet, you get a buff that gives you the same x damage as you would with the pet.

    I don’t get why SV would be a melee class, the whole idea is to as you said not die as easy. The problem is in a role play fantasy way, BM should do the most raw damage, while MM should do more burst damage fast and SV well.. stays alive. Almost would say SV would work as a healing class. But they have to have balance now and not like in the old days where some classes and specs where just for show and never saw a raid ever. Like only warriors tank and pally just buffed.

    I’m happy with what they are doing, I think because it doesn’t effect me. I’ve always been BM, even when BM was at the bottom of the chart; down right people laugh at you or called you a huntard for being BM back in wrath.

Comments are closed.