Blizzard is doing a bit of a shakeup for the World of Warcraft Dragonflight Hunter talents. This is all part of the developer’s desire to give you more control over how your chosen class grows and plays in the next MMO game expansion, and the biggest change is that hunters get skills this time around. exclusive to previously rare items in their toy box.
In previous expansions, skills such as Wailing Arrow and Fury of the Eagle are tied to rare weapons, usually those with fairly high item levels. In Dragonflight, Blizzard says these and similar skills will appear permanently in specialization trees. Other specialization-specific skills carry over into the core tree, like what Dragonflight does with Priest talents, so you don’t have to miss key abilities just because you’ve chosen a different path.
Much like the Priest, the Hunter now has five sets of abilities – their base skills shared by all, class talents unlocked through the base tree, and a separate tree for each of the Hunter’s three specializations.
The class talent tree includes a variety of key skills, from Kill Command, where your pet mauls an enemy, to Tar Trap and other trap-enhancing skills, and, at higher nodes, skills that allow you to inflict Nature damage.
Beast mastery is a bit hit or miss until row three, where you actually have several beast-related skills to choose from. Barbed Shot is the base skill, the one that inflicts bleeding and sends your pet into a frenzy. Some skills increase focus for you and your pet, Beast Cleave allows them to attack multiple times, and Murder of Crows summons crows to commit murder.
Marksmanship probably seems obvious, but it starts to branch out once you hit row five. In addition to the usual critical strike and multi-hit skills, you get explosive arrows, talents that could end skill cooldowns, and some that grant active buffs based on how you use them, like Steady Focus, which gives you a haste booster after using it twice.
Finally, the Survival specialization, a more aggressive version of the Beast Mastery tree. This one has some pet-boosting skills, but it also has brutal talents like Harpoon, where you spear (surprise!) an enemy, pin them, and close in on them. Fury of the Eagle is built into this tree at row 10, while other moves such as Carve give you strong AoE attacks early on.
Hunters aren’t the only aspect being overhauled in Dragonflight. Blizzard is introducing several features to help revamp crafting, and there might even be a new Murloc mount on the way.