The most recent changes to huntsman talents just make him terrible to play.
Any ranged weapon with any kind of cleaving will remove stacks of Sure Shot if secondary targets didn’t head shot.
Huntsman ranged weapon often comes with a slight delay when aiming (Bow full charge, handgun aim accuracy delay) so under pressure it’s very difficult to make accurate headshot to eliminate high threat target, and having to shoot through a horde isn’t helping.
If the intention of the change is to reward headshot, then it isn’t rewarding when the users already have good headshot skill.
Most of his talent tree isn’t streamlining huntsman usage. If he is meant for ranged combat then somehow it seems that all these nerfs are targeting his ranged potential. If he’s meant for a mix of melee/ranged combat then the melee side is very underwhelming, with the saving graces being the damage reduction (somehow turn him into a tankier Ranger Veteran if anything, but susceptible to chip damage like arrows, stray bullets and gas since they remove stacks)
Quick analysis for general huntsman talent tree:
- Standard ranged career stuff.
- Sure Shot currently is unusable if the ranged weapon has any kind of cleave.
- Doesn’t work well under pressure and doesn’t reward good headshot skill.
- Prowl still consume ammo to shoot unlike BH. It just doesn’t consume ammo to reload.
lv 5 talents:
- Lacks of cleaving THP make him slightly weaker as a melee combatant.
lv 10 talents:
- Make 'Em Bleed requires critical hits and doesn’t stacks with similar effect being a downgrade over BH talents which guarantee critical hits
- Free Shot is nice because it doesn’t consume ammunition, but most of huntsman ranged weapon are just slow to take advantage of this and in any “huntsman OP show case video” often requires him to take a potion. This should not be treated as unbalance because for the longest time Shade players take potion before doing ult backstab and I don’t see people complaining about Shade being broken.
- One in the eye used to work great with previous Sure Shot, it isn’t now when you cannot utilize it when you need it most.
lv 20 talents:
- While most talents appear good to use, they are just underwhelming as lv 20 talents.
- Body Count would be in a better place if it can offer higher Sure Shot maximum stacks instead.
lv 25 talents
- Longshanks feels great
- the rest of the talents didn’t feel like they should be there as there are little reason to take them as lv 25 talents.
- Maybe if Make it look easy affect the Aura instead then it can be considered for party play.
- Increase ranged cleave works as well instead of shotcrafter, offering a different playstyle for Huntsman to deal with horde using ranged weapon while limiting option for infinite sustain.
Lv 30 talents
- Concealed Strike being a clear winner since it guarantees safety when under pressure.
- Head down and hidden is stupid because huntsman can’t even use that whole 10 seconds if everything turns to him after his first shot. Also staying invisible for a long time will dump all aggro to the next person nearby which will increase his chance of dying while the horde continue to stack up in size.
- Reset CDR nerf was not needed after max Sure Shot stacks was reduced more than half, and the users have higher risk of dying if he tries to use all that stacks to deal damage at once during prowl.
I am not sure what’s the main direction for Huntsman as a career, but whatever it is, currently Huntsman are being punished for being bad and it’s not rewarding for good play either. He’s currently a selfish tanky ranger veteran that lacks team support, slow range damage with many talents front loaded for range weapon. If anything he feels like the worst career to play among ranged characters.