Okay, now that I have talked about my “emotional” investment into Beast Mastery in my last post, let us talk about another awesome component of the spec: Dee Pee Ess. Most people know that the Holy Church of Fortyone Twenty was the way to Hunter DPS Heaven in Burning Crusade; but by the looks of things the Reformation is happening in Wrath of the Lich King and we will see a lot more specs running around in raids. This strikes me as a Very Good Thing because I don’t like to see people spec something that they do not like. That was sort of one of the points I was trying to make (and I think I didn’t do a very good job at it, so sorry <3 ) in my last post. I want people to spec the way they enjoy the most. But I know there are at least a few of you crazy nutcases out there who love BM for its playstyle, like I do, who are maybe curious about new shot rotations in the like. Never fear, Pike is here!
Tawyn has spent probably close to a hundred gold on respecs since the patch hit; she started with a very deep BM build and slowly has been drifting to a lighter one, moving to 51/10/0 and now sitting at 48/13/0. The reason for the talent shakeup was threefold: firstly, I wanted to pick up Animal Handler now that it’s going to be useful again in the next patch (I am so down for extra pet expertise). Secondly, Deep BM at 70 was feeling very… top-heavy, for lack of a better term. Too much in BM, too fast. And Invigoration and Cobra Strikes are both kinda “iffy” to me right now in terms of the proc rate and “worth it” value– which saddens me, cause I love their synthesis concept, but sometimes the truth hurts. Thirdly, I have come to the conclusion that Go for the Throat is a Super Vital Talent™ and it is worth it to sacrifice the Exotic Pet and four extra pet talent points to pick it up. You can always go back and pick up the Exotic Pet talent later on once you get closer to 80.
Lunapike is still 46/15/0, which is very similar, but a little different. Points in Focused Aim, for example, because she is not hit-capped, and she is testing Invigoration at the moment whereas Tawyn is testing Cobra Strikes, so those talents are switched.
ANYWAYS, I was getting really curious about the performance of these specs so I downloaded Recount, spent approximately four seconds deciding that I liked it better than SW Stats, and headed off to visit our friends the Training Dummies.
With some 1900 AP and 25.29% crit and unbuffed (Except for stuff like Aspect of the Hawk/Ferocious Inspiration), and having popped all her cooldowns and trinkets over the duration of the test, which lasted until I was out of mana, Tawyn hit about 1180 DPS at her peak and consistently maintained 1050+ DPS using Steady Shot and keeping Serpent Sting refreshed (because Serpent Sting is supposed to be viable now =P). Not too shabby. I’m satisfied. I’d like to make a comparison to pre-patch DPS but I honestly never paid attention to anything beyond where I sat on the chart (does that make me a good or bad hunter?)
This is not an entirely 100% accurate breakdown because I took this screenshot after a Viper cycle to replenish my mana. Still, it can give you a general idea of what the DPS will look like after one full round of DPS and the full round of Viper, and it also gives you an idea of what Locke is doing in terms of damage. And looking back, I’m thinking I was a little slow on the uptake with Serpent Sting once or twice. Derp.
My testing was not finished though, oh no!
Now Lunapike is obviously at a disadvantage here and I wasn’t out to make a real comparison exactly for this reason. She only has roughly 1450 AP (with Aspect of the Hawk) and 22.35% crit. However, I mostly wanted to see the wasp stats, and also see if Invigoration was going to be making a big difference. The verdict? …it procs often enough, but… I dunno, it lets me do what, get maybe three more Steadys in before I switch to Viper? Dunno if it’s worth it for the two points or not. More testing will have to be done.
This screenshot was actually taken right before switching to Aspect of the Viper so I wound up with 884 DPS as an unbuffed hunter in semi-enchanted blues. Again, I am satisfied. Now, let’s discuss the pets; Serenity the wasp and Locke the Kitty are almost identical in terms of the stat breakdown (Roughly 60% regular melee, 30% focus dump, and 10% DoT/special ability.) The big difference I see is that Serenity brings a big whoppin’ armor debuff with him whereas Locke doesn’t. I think that this is gonna be one of the things that makes a difference when it comes to which pets you will see more often in raids. And of course, things will get all the more interesting when we throw Exotic Pets into the picture, with their intended upcoming buff and their extra talent points.
And the moral of the story is: Beast Masters, Steady Shot and Serpent Sting is looking like your rotation for the time being, unless I totally botched up somewhere (in which case, please tell me ^_^). Although I would still call Serpent Sting situational; depending on if Scorpid Sting might be preferred or if there might be emergency trapping in the forseeable future.
The second moral of the story is… next time, remind me to do my testing on Beta where respecs only cost 1 copper. Cause next up I think I wanna do the Go for the Throat vs. Exotic Pet/extra points Showdown. But I’m not willing to throw more gold into it. I’m just a poor Pike from a poor family.