This thread is about the class fantasy and spec themes. So if that's not your thing, you probably won't find this discussion interesting. Let me start off by saying I think the Legion Marksman spec has a clearly defined "Ranger" fantasy and it appears totally solid, especially with the option to flavor it to be more of a Dark Ranger. I just want to focus this discussion on Survival and Beast Mastery. Some of the changes to those two specs in Legion bug me when it comes to "class fantasy".
I'm not sure how best to word this so instead I'm going to bullet my points and hopefully you can follow my logic.
• Beast Mastery I've always looked to Rexxar as the iconic figure. He's melee. I've felt like he was in fact a 'Survivalist', but the true focus was on nature and beasts and pets.
• The new "Tinkers", Goblin and Gnome hunters with Mech pets, would likely want to use ranged guns, so that would force them into Beast Mastery. That doesn't seem to fit. BM has animal and nature flavored abilities, and Goblins and Gnomes don't fit that theme.
• Instead, wouldn't it make sense to leave the "nature/beast" theme with BM but instead craft it into a melee spec?
• Survival then could be named to Tinker or something and just focus on gadgets like Guns, traps and explosives - but be ranged.
• Beast Mastery would be a melee spec that focuses on nature and animals, but also get some of that "Survivalist" flavor. Like an outdoorsman.
• As it stands now I think Beast Mastery and Survival bleed into each other too much theme wise and instead there's an opening to really push that "tinker" stuff they are just sprinkling in right now.
End result of my thoughts above are:
Beast Mastery - True Rexxar outdoorsman and wild nomad spec. Uses melee and pets. Maybe can throw some axes from ranged. This would be a survivalist-based theme.
Marksman - As is. The "Ranger" spec, with the option to be a "Dark Ranger".
Survival renamed to Tinker (or something) - Focuses on guns, explosives, traps and other gadgets.
I feel this further distinguishes the 3 specs and also helps fit certain races into more lore-appropriate specializations.