In preparation for the upcoming "Echoes of the Dead" update (or
Update 2 as it's called in the Dev Diaries), Dev Diary Number 3 has arrived, detailing upcoming
changes to the Hunter class. Game developer Brian "Zombie Columbus"
Aloisio indicated that, while the Hunter class was very
straightforward, the dev team and many players felt that it needed a
little bit more customization for more advanced players:

So, this brings us to the Hunter updates for Update 2. As
most updates, I like to start with the high level goals and then focus
on how we are attempting to achieve them in various areas.

Our high level goals are as follows:

  • Keep the Hunter a straightforward class, but add more
    places for advanced players to excel
  • Ensure all three trait lines are attractive and reduce
    number of “filler” traits
  • Enhance underused skills instead of adding new skills
  • General maintenance (bugfixes, tooltip enhancements, new
    class items etc.)

In general, new players will find the updated Hunter class
even more accessible (some would say "easy-mode") than before. Major
revisions to the Bowmaster trait line - the one designed for higher DPS
- result in a slightly lowered maximum DPS potential, but without all
that pesky Hunter-aggro and with reduced power costs. This is a
plus-minus sort of thing; advanced players know how to use that extra
threat to good advantage, and taking it away from the class may hamper
their ability to pull aggro when needed. On the other hand, groups can
wipe when Hunters pull too much aggro, so for the less-advanced player
who routinely does this, the change will come as a blessing.

The Heart Seeker skill is seeing a big revision. Rather than
simply boosting the damage of the skill to merit the long cooldown and
agnonizing induction, which would have made it useful in more
situations than its current iteration, the devs went a different
direction. Heart Seeker damage actually takes a hit, but the cooldown
is reduced to 2 minutes and the induction is reduced to 3 seconds.
Additionally, it has been given an effect similar to Scourging Blow -
when the recipient is under the bleed effect of a Barbed Arrow, the
Heart Seeker will do additional damage.

Burn Hot has also been made new-player-friendly. The new
version (which should probably be renamed to something else to better
fit what it actually does) reduces the power cost of bow skills while
the buff is active, rather than drastically increasing the cost.
Furthermore, when the buff expires, the Hunter is no longer zeroed-out
on power. The damage buff is significantly lower (+20% instead of
 +100%). The legendary trait Cool Burn takes these buffs a
step further - power cost is reduced by 80%, and the damage increases
to +40%. Players will no longer be drawing on all their reserves to
unleash a hellish barrage of arrowy death in a last-ditch kamikaze move
(i.e. not "burning hot" as the name still implies).

On a much more positive note, several skills and traits have
been very seriously reworked and made significantly better. The
much-reviled Fleet Stance, for instance, has been stricken from the
ranks of stances and repurposed as a buff and renamed Fleetness. All
the benefits of the skill apply, but it no longer bumps the Hunter out
of his preferred stance and adds a great deal of mobility. And to make
this even more desirable, Penetrating Shot is now usable while moving.

And those level 40 Tomes of the Wind-rider that you've been
carrying around for 25 levels? Toss 'em! Level-appropriate class item
are on the way.

Community reactions to these changes are mixed. Some players
are simply beside themselves in glee, others are rather more
pessimistic. On the one hand, the class will be easier for new players
to pick up and learn since some of the skills that have questionable
uses are made more accessible. On the other hand the class will be
easier for new players to pick up and not learn,
since some of the aspects of the class that required careful planning
and attention have been "dumbed down" to be made more accessible.

There are many other juicy tidbits which you can read in the href="">Hunter
Dev Diary.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016