While reading other suggestion threads on the hunter forums, I’ve been pretty quiet. It’s been very interesting to see other people’s thoughts on the class. I’ve stopped playing my hunter since ROI, since I’m awaiting changes to the class (and discovered I love to heal), but I read the hunter forums every day.
That being said, I wanted to put my ideas out there so that we can have constructive conversation about what can be done for the hunter class. In the “Official Class Suggestion” thread, I suggested core ideas about what hunters need: survivability, top tier dps, a secondary raiding role, and mobility. In order to accommodate these ideas, I focused on two ideas, stances and traitlines.
My idea for the hunter is to place more emphasis on different stances so that each is productive without being tied to a trait line.
When we consider our friend the Burglar, the Burglar has three stances:
Gambler: Increased damage on gambles, +evade, and debuffs resists.
Quiet Knife: Increased damage, decreased threat.
Mischief: Reduces power cost, changes cooldown of mez. Unable to sneak.
“Mischief” allows the Burglar to perma-mez a target and gain access to a couple skills that allow further crowd control. With this in mind, I suggest creating a crowd control stance, the “Trapper.”
When a hunter is not in “Trapper” stance, they can retain access to the basic traps: the trap and the snare, as well as Distracting Shot on a relatively long cooldown. The “Trapper” stance would be useful in situations where CC is required, retain a core element of the class, but would not require sacrificing traited damage in order to be useful.
The Fox, or “Trapper” Stance: “A clever hunter is able to anticipate the movement of its prey.”
- Decreased cooldown and induction for Distracting Shot.
- Access to Rain of Thorns, Bard’s Arrow, and new skills, “Trip-wire,” which begins a CJ on a mob, and “Triple Trap,” with three traps (the consumable would be removed from the game, while other specialty traps should still be crafted.) Bard’s Arrow and RoT would need to be either combined into a single legendary trait, or removed as legendary traits altogether.
- Decreased induction time for traps.
- Traps can be used in combat.
- Increased mitigations, P/E (not so much as “Survivability Stance”, more than “Strength Stance.”)
- Trap types modified into increased damage for snare, and increased holding time for the normal Trap.
-10% inductions. (Reason: While “Trapper” would decrease damage, shorter inductions would allow for more damage while doing CC, such as perma-mezzing.)
Wardens have also received a new ranged stance, in which they are able to execute gambits at range, with a cost to their B/P/E. However, this cost makes sense because they are inherently a melee class. For hunters, a ranged class, a type of kiting stance is justified. Just as it is for a melee class to have range, so also it is useful for a ranged class to be able to retain its range. In its current form, “Fleetness” is a short buff that can be traited to become longer. There are some situations where hunters simply need to be able to retain mobility – the OD wound wing dps race, fighting Draigoch’s paws, PvMP, solo situations – and hunters are one of the few classes (if only class) where mobile fights put them at a significant disadvantage.
The Eagle, or“Fleetness” Stance: “A hunter is able to focus on the move, and clutch its prey when it gets close.”
-Focus no longer decreases with movement. All shots retain their induction times, but are usable on the move. Decreased induction knockback from damage, but can still be interrupted.
-Decreased movement miss chance, can modify with a legacy or trait.
-Base 5% speed increase, could perhaps be modified with a trait or legacy.
-Decreased bow range from 40 meters to 20 meters (could perhaps be increased to 30 from a melee legacy.)
-Increased crit defense.
-Increased melee critical chance, with shorter cooldowns on melee skills.
-Modifies melee skills to increase debuffs or buffs.
Additionally, there are some situations where a hunter will need to range tank, or, when fighting elites and multiple mobs, may wish to simply be able to survive certain situations. As such they must sacrifice damage in order to be able to withstand such situations. Since this would be either a range tank or solo stance, the threat increase is very high in order to deter hunters from using this stance in raids.
The Boar, or “Endurance” Stance: “A seasoned hunter will be able to withstand the most brutal assaults of the wild.”
- Increase to crit defense, ICMR, ICPR, mitigations, slight increase to P/E.
- +20% threat.
And of course we come to the main dps stance, in which I have tried to combine strength and precision for an effective combination. The other stances would, when traited, still give a chance for hunters to try different playstyles without sacrificing massive dps.
The Lynx, or“Precision” Stance: “With a keen eye, hunter is at its most focused when able to target its enemies from afar”
-Increase range to 50m. (Yes, I said it. Wardens get 40 meters, and we’re hunters. Arrows go further than javelins.)
-+15% damage, -10% threat , -5% base induction time (all modified by traits).
- Decreased miss chance.
-If focus conditions are not changed, 1 focus every 5s.
-Increased mitigations (not as much as “Endurance” or “Trapper” stance).
Additionally, like the burglar, with these changes hunters should not be able to change stances in combat. Currently the greatest incentive for changing stances is to drop threat and reduce power consumption during a fight, but with these changes, it would be too OP to be able to change on the fly. I would suggest a skill on a 30 minute cooldown (similar to Ready and Able) that would allow a hunter to change stances mid-combat. But the preparatory nature of the class (being ready for a fight before it happens) should be retained in this fashion.
The three different traitlines would provide bonuses the deeper one traits, and, as they currently do, increase bonuses for traits 5-7 of the same color.
Blue becomes a line focused on speed and focus, with *one* trait for AOE damage. Traiting deeper into blue would provide net decreases in power consumption and induction speed. Because Fleetness has been changed to a stance, the legendary trait would have to be different, perhaps a buff that would decrease power consumption for a while as well as increase damage.
Red is a line for net damage. Traiting deeper into red will buff flat ranged damage, while decreasing threat. The Legendary trait for red line could probably stay the same. I have no current observations about Cool Burn.
Yellow becomes a debuffing line, with perhaps *one* trait that helps CC. Traiting deeper into yellow would buff finesse and critical rating. With the removal of Explosive Arrow, a new legendary trait would need to be implemented, in accordance with the nature of the debuffs. I’d love to see some massive debuff, or the ability to begin a fellowship maneuvere on demand. It might be OP, but you’d have to trait five deep into yellow to get it.
If RoT and Bard’s Arrow were combined into one slot, or removed so that they become skills, this would free up some room for new legendary traits. I, and many hunters, are not entirely pleased with the Press Onward or Bow of the Righteous legendary skills either, as one has a lengthy induction, while the other provides very low power return. I would like to see a survival trait, such as Martial Hands, for Hunters, as well as a powerful emergency skill as a legendary trait.
Hunters, at end-game, should have three different books, with four outputs, like the warden’s carving or RK’s chisel.
The four outputs would consist of one of the following cores: +220 morale, +220 power, +1000 tactical mitigation, or +1000 physical mitigation.
Book 1: Book of the Falcon’s Call. -10% attack duration, -5% attack speed. +7.5% devastate magnitude.
Book 2: Book of the Bear’s Strength. +1000 finesse. +15% critical multiplier.
Book 3: Book of the Hart’s Calm. -10% threat, -10% power costs.
Additionally, hunters have some of the most consumables in the game. As a result, each type should be examined and consolidated so that hunters can save money and still be effective.
Oils: Oils change damage types of a hunter’s bow, as well as provide additional effects. Currently hunters only have light or fire damage types as options.
Fire: Fire damage, plus small bleed.
Light: Light damage, plus miss chance.
Poison: (Categorized as acid) “A hunter knows how to use the herbs of the forest to weaken his foes.” Adds a stackable finesse debuff.
Pure: “A good hunter knows that a straight arrow is the best arrow.” Wipes all tactical effects off the bow for the duration, including AD/Bele/Westernesse. If the target is weakest to common damage, then hunters need to be able to do common damage without carrying an extra bow. IF this were to be added to the game, it should probably be added to other dps classes, champ in particular, since damage type is extremely important to raiding.
Chants: Chants enhance bow skills. Currently there are three types. One reduces armor mitigation, while the others reduce block or parry chances. Bow chants should be consolidated into two types: one for mitigation, the other to increase the hunter’s finesse (effectively reducing the target’s B/P/E). Honestly, I think if we were to get a debuff line, these should be removed from the game entirely.
Focus Potions: Are fine as is.
Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think. I plan to post later regarding new skill suggestions, particularly focusing on a strong debuffing aspect.