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Hunters in Isengard Dev Diary

September 13, 2011

Zombie Columbus released a Dev Diary today with the official changes for the Hunter in Rise of Isengard.

First off, I want to say to the Hunter community: don’t panic. The Hunter is my main, so I tried it in the Beta, and they are actually quite good. The biggest concern is the removal of Strong Draw from the game, but it is hardly missed with the changes. Just keep that in mind.


The first thing ZC wanted to address with the Hunter changes were the traitlines being tied to stances. Mainly, he wanted to have Hunters able to switch stances mid-fight and not feel that they were wasting a trait they had slotted. Traits like Graceful Draw that buffed only one stance were removed from the game and the bonuses were distributed into the stance itself or throughout other traits in a more general way.

  • Strength Stance:  Removed the threat and power use penalties
  • Precision Stance: Removed the penalty to target’s Block/Parry/Evade ratings. This stance now adds 1 Focus every 5 seconds.
  • Endurance Stance: Added Increase Parry chance +5%.

ZC also mentioned that future updates will tweak Endurance Stance, as it seems to be a little lackluster at the moment.

A new skill called Hunter’s Art was introduced that changes based on stance. More on that in a minute.

Graceful Draw and Enduring Precision were both replaced, the former by Spring-loaded Traps, and the latter to Earthborn.

Quality of Life

Dual Wielding and Medium Armour are now available at level 1.

Skill Changes

  • Quick Shot: Increased the detaunt amount while in Endurance Stance and the critical chance while in Precision Stance, and these buffs are explicitly noted on the tooltip for the skill.
  • Scourging Blow: Removed the bonus critical chance of the base skill and increased the damage when the Barbed Arrow bleed is removed.
  • Press Onwards: the induction is reduced to 4 seconds. Induction is no longer canceled by damage but is knocked back normally.
  • Needful Haste: Reduced the duration to 15 seconds and the cooldown to 1m 30s. Animation is removed, and the skill is now instant and usable on the run.
  • Blood Arrow: now useable while moving.

A few polishing changes

  • Beneath Care: Renamed to Improved Beneath Notice to maintain consistency.
  • Set Snare: Bleed will now stack from multiple Hunters.
  • Blindside: Now specifically notes on the skill’s tooltip that it interrupts.

New Skills (Pre-66)

  • Split Shot: Moderate damage, moderate power cost, 1.5 sec induction, 10 sec cooldown, adds 1 Focus. This skill is an AoE, with two targets initially, and is increased by the Huntsman 2-set bonus and the AoE targets legacy.
  • Hunter’s Art: costs 3 Focus. Deals damage to target and applies a Stance-specific buff with a duration longer than the cooldown (i.e. stackable)
    • Strength Stance: +5% Ranged Damage.
    • Precision Stance: increased Finesse.
    • Endurance Stance: increased In-combat Power Regen.

Trait changes

Bowmaster – Traits

  • No changes!

Bowmaster – Traitline

  • 2-set bonus: remains the same (+10% bow critical multiplier)
  • 3-set bonus: removed +3% Strength stance power cost. Changed +3% Strength Stance Damage to +3% Ranged Damage.
  • 4-set bonus:
    • Removed +7% Strength stance power cost and +7% Strength stance Damage.
    • Added +10% Penetrating Shot Critical chance
    • Added +1% Ranged damage for each Bowmaster trait equipped.
    • -60s Heartseeker cooldown

Trapper of Foes

  • Spring Loaded Traps: replaces Graceful Draw, which is removed from the game. Set Trap will increase all damage done to the target for 10 seconds by 5%.
  • Heightened Senses: added -10% power usage.
  • Heart of the Bard: now reduces active cooldown on Heartseeker by -20s with each use of Bard’s Arrow
  • Stealthy Shot: added -10% threat generation
  • Sturdy Traps: added +25% trap damage
  • Strong Intimidations: added -5% chance for Fear skills to be resisted.

Trapper of Foes – Traitline

  • 2-set bonus: Removed in-combat power regen. Added -50% trap skill inductions.
    3-set bonus: Removed -5% ranged damage and -50% Trap inductions ( the latter was moved to 2-set bonus). Added -30s Trap cooldowns.
    4-set bonus: Removed root from Penetrating shot, -10% ranged damage, and -30s trap cooldowns (the latter was moved to 3-set bonus). Added Penetrating shot reduces the targets Block, Parry and Evade ratings, increased as additional Trapper of Foes traits are equipped.


  • Strong Draw: no longer decreases Focus cost of Penetrating Shot and Blood Arrow. Now increases damage of Penetrating Shot and Blood Arrow by +3% (in Beta, it was 3% and was later changed to 10%, so this might be a typo).
  • Swift Recovery: now reduces Needful Haste cooldown by -30 seconds.
  • Earthborn: replaces Enduring Precision, which is removed from the game. Adds +20% to the morale and power restore of Strength of the Earth and will also now generate 1 Focus per second during SotE’s induction.
  • Arrow Storm: now scoring a critical hit with Rain of Arrows will reset the cooldown of Rain of Arrows and Split Shot.
  • Resolute Aim: now works with Press Onward.
  • Capstone (Improved Fleetness) changes: removed the -10% attack speed bonus. Now adds +1 Focus every 5 seconds.

Huntsman – Traitline

  • 2-set bonus: remains the same (+2 seconds before Focus loss from movement)
  • 3-set bonus: Removed Strength of the Earth gives morale regen and increased power, and added +1 Split Shot targets.
  • 4-set bonus: Removed -10% Bow Inductions. Added -30% Penetrating Shot power cost and -2% Bow inductions for each Huntsman trait equipped.

On the Strong Draw trait change:

“The major change that will generate the most discussion is Strong Draw.  With the changes to Focus generation and usage, attempts are being made to make the Hunter have more viable choices when spending Focus, depending on circumstances. With Strong Draw reducing Penetrating Shot’s Focus cost to 2, the skill is too often the single correct way to spend Focus.  By removing the Focus discount from Strong Draw (and Arrow Storm) we were able to give the Hunter a suite of other buffs that should bring a lot of variety to the class.  I am sympathetic to the sadness this will generate, but I know Hunters remain top tier damage and I believe it will make playing the class a more varied experience.

Post-66 skills

  • Level 66: Improved Focus
    Same as Focus, but will now put a 5-second buff on you that increases your critical chance and critical damage.
  • Level 68: Improved Penetrating Shot
    Removed the cooldown.
  • Level 70: Improved Strength of the Earth
    This skill now heals morale over time as well as power. The skill is no longer interruptible on damage.
  • Level 72: Improved Scourging Blow
    On hit from this skill, your next Barbed Arrow has no induction time.
  • Level 74: Improved Quick Shot
    Now has a 30% chance to generate 1 extra Focus. This bonus stacks with the Huntsman bonus, for a total 50% chance.
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  1. September 16, 2011 at 3:02 pm
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