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Do These Talents Belong in the Wrong Tree?

Thanks to WoW Insider‘s recent breakfast topic looking back on the talent tree reboot, some players are now revisiting their new talent trees with further scrutiny. Hunter talent trees probably received some of the most effective tree redesigns in Cataclysm. However, a few talents still stand out as odd balls in their current locations.

In the Beast Mastery tree, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera is still regarded by many as a puzzling talent which does not fit the nature of the tree. Comparatively, Marksmanship hunters wonder why Resistance is Futile is so deep in their talent tree. And while Survival has the most logical talent structure of the three trees, sometimes I wonder why Sniper Training is where it is.

Because these three talents are located so far deep into their respective trees, they are inaccessible to from other specializations because of the 31-talent specialization lockout that was implemented in Cataclysm.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera

When fully talented, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera (Rank 2) provides the following benefit:

Whenever you are hit by a melee attack, the cooldown of your Disengage is instantly reduced by 4 sec. Whenever you are hit by a ranged attack or spell, the cooldown of your Deterrence is instantly reduced by 8 sec. These effects have a 2 sec cooldown.

What the developers thought: When Beast Mastery hunters are hit by a melee attack, their pets will need time to grab the attention of the attacker from the hunter, so let’s provide some protection for them!

What the reality is: When Beast Mastery hunters are hit by a melee attack, they can probably just as effectively Feign Death and cast Bestial Wrath.

What makes it wrong: Although Disengage and Deterrence have their PvE functions, this Beast Mastery talent mostly screams “Survival!” to me because the original roots of the Survival tree revolved around boosting the capabilities of our close combat spells. This talent is not only useful to Beast Mastery hunters; it is useful to everyone. If it were in a lower Survival tier, the talent would be more accessible to all hunters, especially for those who would like more utility for PvP or any other occasion.

Resistance is Futile

When fully talented, Resistance is Futile (Rank 2) provides the following benefit:

When your marked target attempts to run, flee or move, you have a 8% chance to cause your next Kill Command on the marked target within 8 sec to refund the focus cost.

What the developers thought: When Marksmanship hunters’ marked target attempts to run, flee or move, let’s give them the chance to kill it faster with more abilities!

What the reality is: When Marksmanship hunters’ marked target attempts to run, flee or move, they can easily switch into Aspect of the Fox and gain the same benefit from chasing it.

What makes it wrong: It is currently uneconomical to use Kill Command in a Marksmanship hunter rotation. Because this talent revolves around Kill Command, it loudly screams “Beast Mastery!” In reality, this talent is also very useful in PvE situations because its benefit should be attainable whenever a tank move a boss or a trash mob is being kited, for example. If this talent were moved to a lower tier in the Beast Mastery tree, it would probably see more use from Beast Mastery and Survival hunters.

Sniper Training

When fully talented, Sniper Training (Rank 3) provides the following benefit:

Increases the critical strike chance of your Kill Shot ability by 15%, and after remaining stationary for 6 sec, your Steady Shot and Cobra Shot deal 6% more damage for 15 sec.

What the developers thought: After Survival hunters remain stationary for 6 seconds, they should be able to kill things faster because they’re always on the move!

What the reality is: Hunters are always on the move, especially Survival hunters.

What makes it wrong: Survival hunters don’t use Steady Shot in their rotation. This makes a portion of Sniper Training’s benefit unfulfilled. An alternate location such as the lower tier of the Marksmanship tree (where the name would match the nature of the tree) would make this accessible to Beast Mastery and Survival hunters, fulfilling the benefit of both Steady Shot and Cobra Shot as well as providing an equal buff to all Kill Shots. Speculatively speaking, it is possible that if Sniper Training were in another tree, Into the Wilderness would not have to be nerfed.


4 responses

  1. What makes it wrong: Survival hunters don’t use Steady Shot in their rotation.

    Survival Hunters between level 59 (the first level you could have a point in Sniper Training) and 81 absolutely use Steady Shot, given that they don’t have Cobra Shot. That clause of Sniper Training is so that the talent is not useless to sub-81s.

    16 May 2011 at 08:36

  2. I’ve felt the same way about these talents since the first draft of the new trees poked out. They haven’t caught much flak about them because 2/3 of them are pvp, and SV has had that mis-talent-tree’d talent for a while now — pre-Cata.

    17 May 2011 at 14:50

  3. Very interesting post, but when talking about talents that just don’t seem to belong… where’s the mention of Counterattack? ;)


    19 May 2011 at 02:13

  4. Mitgrim

    It should be more pointed out that the lack of High End gun is clearly a nerf for Dwarf Hunters, as there is no chance we can benefit of the 1% crit racial (in comparison to the same “native” racial for worgen).

    26 May 2011 at 05:39

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