Embracing the Whole Hunter

One thing I have wanted to do for a long time is embrace all of the hunter specs and learn about them. That’s because while Beast Mastery is my favorite tree, one thing that is important to me more than the love of a certain talent tree, is my love for the class as a whole. So since “respec” seems to be on a lot of peoples’ minds lately, I went to Darnassus (less traffic!) and put some serious practice into a couple of specs.

The first was the much touted Survival spec that is all the rage now; I can’t remember exactly what I put for talent placement but it was essentially very close to the one that a lot of people are using now. I pounded on those training dummies as Survival for a very long time. The first thing I noticed was that the rotation has a similar overall feel to the new Beast Master one, except it’s Steady/Explosive Shot instead of Steady/Arcane. The second thing I noticed is that when Lock and Load procs you have to switch to another rotation. The third thing I noticed was that I personally did not like this playstyle, and the fourth thing I noticed is that I am horrific at this Survival thing because I was consistently winding up a couple of hundred DPS below what I do as post-nerf Beast Master on the same training dummy.

Okay. So clearly I’m either doing something super wrong, or the new magic Survival spec involves gear scaling or buff scaling. Fair enough. I could have sat down and figured out what I was doing to mess up but I really didn’t like the weird spur-of-the-moment rotation and I wanted to get out of the spec as soon as possible. (I 100% swear, no offense to you Survival types. I have a lot of respect for you guys.)

So then I respec’d again. To 11/53/7 Marksmanship.

I’m pretty sure the first word out of my mouth was something along the lines of “ZOMGWHENDIDCHIMERAGETTHISFUNOMG”

A rough transcript, anyway.

It also resulted in a slight DPS increase over what I was getting as BM but to be honest at that point I couldn’t have cared less if I was doing less DPS than a squirrel, this Marksman thing is really frackin’ fun. The shot rotation is based off of priority so my eyes were basically glued to my action bars, but regardless! Fun.

I was invited to a Heroic Gundrak and I took my new spec along. Wound up performing very well. My main gripe was that I missed the hunter/pet synergy from BM so much. I couldn’t even look Locke in the eyes without feeling bad. =( But if there’s one thing I love almost as much as pets, it’s shot rotations, and on that count, MM delivers. We’ll have to see where things go from here!

I’m glad I have so many hunters. At this rate, I can always have one hunter for each spec that I like! =D

(P.S. Don’t worry, BM is still my favorite.)

25 thoughts on “Embracing the Whole Hunter”

  1. LOL….nice. I also have to admit that I respec’d. (but I miss BM and my pets!) I tend to be a little more raid heavy in my gaming and we could not keep enough SPriests and Retadins, so I became a……Survival spec……*gasp*. I actually have had more fun with it then I thought I would….but! I miss my favorite spec! I miss my pets! I miss BW! I miss…..oh, you get the idea! Thanks for the posts, Pike. When raid leaders throw new hunters my way, your’s is one of two blogs I suggest they start with (BRK is the other….go figure). Keep those posts coming!
    Gunsnbutter Excelsior/Uther

  2. -gives Pike a look with daggers in it-

    Where shall the last bastion of BM be, I wonder?

    First BRK, now you, Pike!


    What are all our beloved BM bloggers doing?!

    Ok, serious time.

    I have a lowbie survival hunter who I really enjoy, but I suppose that’s because he’s level 30 and the idea of a shot rotation is non existant. Lock and Load for me is just something that lets me cackle whilst I fire off three arcane shots in quick succession.

    I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it at 80 if I wasn’t such a cheapskate when it came to respecs, and I don’t want to switch, as I still enjoy BM, or rather, enjoy it more now that I’m getting to see what all this shot weaving business is!

    MM doesn’t actually interest me, though I’m sure it is good fun too, I sort of shy away from it since I feel it’s more the standard “Ranger” type thing I’ve done a billion times before.

    Ok, like three times. That’s not the point. (Ehhh, long comment is long? babblebabblebabble.)

  3. Hey Pike, How do you feel about explaining the prioritization of your MM rotations?
    I too am a fan of them (albeit less skilled) and relish each and every Patchwerk fight as I can just sit back and try to time everything just so. I’m sure there are other places that explain it well but you just do so in a easy to read, light, and sincere manner that I quite enjoy.

    Vulp & Claude et al.

  4. I have to agree with you completely Pike. I spent a week as each spec right after 3.0.2 dropped and I totally loved MM. I still ended up leveling 70-80 as BM, but shortly after dinging 80, I switched right back to MM (I spent all of BC as BM). When the “nerfs” were announced, it made my decision to go MM all that much easier. The thing I miss most about BM though has to be my abilities to easily solo group quest. Joe (my gorilla) just isn’t the same anymore.

  5. I was lookin at your character on the armory today and I was like wtf! lol.
    But what shot rotation are you using for MM???

  6. Oddly enough I decided to do just about the same thing, and with the same results.

    I did go to Exodar instead of Darnassus though =P

    I also found Survival a bit to complecated for my tastes, although it looked fun. I ended up taking my new 11/53/7 Marksman build out for a few heroics and was really impressed. One thing I did notice was the difficulty keeping aggro on my pet later on while doing my dailys.

    I think I will be keeping MM for instancing and finish leveling one of my other hunters for solo work as BM. I would miss it too much otherwise.

    “Mammoth Cutters, for when you care enough to send the very best.”

  7. I may not be a hunter, but I know where you’re coming from. I recently respecced Arcane myself, just to see what all the hubbub is about.


    Nothing screams awesomeness like popping icy veins and arcane power with your heroism, and spamming stacked arcane blasts for consecutive crits of 10k and up, proccing missile barrage at the end, then using a hasted evocation to get 60% of your mana back. MY GOD I’M ADDICTED.

  8. @ Faulsey – It’s not really that I’m leaving BM. More like taking a vacation, or more accurately, a field trip. I don’t consider myself to be finished trying out Survival, either.

    I fully intend on returning to BM in the future at some point. Especially because honestly the DPS differences for me between BM and MM are pretty small for whatever crazy reason, so even if it was mostly a DPS thing… it wouldn’t be a huge difference =P

  9. Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed MM (even though obviously BM is your favorite) – that’s what I like in a hunter, the ability to enjoy the class as whole, which is why I have three hunters, one each spec. XD

  10. I went SV myself, at least I will be for a while.

    I tried doing a raid as BM and I felt like I was being carried along. I could not edge above 6th place at absolute most and was more often 8th to 10th on DPS and this is not lack of skill or lack of adapting. I was doing my best and I felt like I just could not bring competitive DPS to the raid. The next night I went SV and was actually competing for top of the charts again, as well as being a good 1k to 1.5k DPS above where I was the previous night as BM.

    That is the most disheartening thing to me, I think. When I’m with my 25 man group I feel that it’s my job to do the best DPS I can and my favorite spec can’t seem to keep up anymore. :/

    That all said, I do enjoy SV. I’ve been wanting to fiddle with it for a long time. Even back in TBC I’d built up a SV off-set for if our raid ever needed me to go SV for the raid buff. A while before 3.0.8 hit I went SV for a bit just for a change and to learn the shot rotations. I have to admit that while I miss BM dearly I am liking the challenge of the changing shot rotations that SV provides. (It’s like I’m homesick while on an awesome holiday. Sure I’m enjoying the sites and the exotic foods, but sometimes I just want to be back in *my* bed again.)

  11. Hee, hee, all you ex-BM hunters moving to MM… get used to a few things, and do so quickly before MM becomes a bad experience that hurts your reputation:

    1. Your pet is now a wimp. No more “red and growly” mode. Henceforth, your pet’s main job is to be cute, and anything vicious is an afterthought.

    2. Learn to Misdirect to your pet, and when you’re solo-killing Elites, do so often. In groups, misdirect to the tank whenever Misdirection is off cooldown.

    3. Your personal DPS has sky-rocketed and your pet’s has plummeted drastically. DPS is no longer a 60/40 split between you, but more likely 80/20 or even 90/10.

    4. As a result of point 3, you will find your threat meter displaying all kinds of unbelievable things about how much the bosses hate you – learn to anticipate this, because the combined threat created by you and your pet is no longer an almost equal split.

    5. Feign Death is your friend. Use it a lot, because you’re going to need it. A lot.

    Happy huntering as MM hunters! It is a lovely and engrossing spec without the weirdness of Survival’s on-proc rotation shifting, and one I love returning to every once in a while.

  12. I’m scared that if I try MM or SV then i’ll want to give up my Spirit Beast. I know it’s only a pet and there are plenty of other pets out there.
    I guess I’m materialistic 🙁
    <3 my beasty!

  13. I love doing the FSPR, although sometimes I fall into the trap of watching my cooldowns instead of the enviroment, which is almost gotten me killed a few times. Marks is fun though, I must admit but my spirit beast is sitting my stables, waiting for the dual-specs and the rebuff to the BM tree that it really needs.

  14. I FINALLY got around to getting a devilsaur last weekend to up my damage output, and now everyone’s re-speccing!? So, with SV or MM does it even matter which type of pet we have? I’m actually kind of glad, the pounding footsteps were making me nuts…

  15. Word on the grapevine is that cats are STILL the top for damage if that’s what you’re looking for. But personally, I like raiding with a wasp. It gives a nice debuff (unless you have a druid overwriting it) and being a ferocity pet, does some good damage to boot.

  16. I’m not letting go of BM until dual specs in which I’ll switch to Survival if Replenishment is needed. Maybe I’m not playing against the right geared people but I’ve still found myself on top of dps charts in Heroics and 10 man Naxx runs. Besides once the mass of raiders go to Surv it means they’ll look at BM again and maybe undo some of those nerfs to balance out the damage. I agree though that Surv with that Lock and Load proc is weird. Especially with it’s low proc rate on serpent sting since traps on boss fights isn’t going to work well.

    Though out of all the nerfs I really feel the scorpid one was the most deserved as a “tanking” type pet shouldn’t be dishing out as much damage as a pure “dps” pet is.

    I disagree with the first point. The pet does much more than be pretty. It’s just that since the pet is bringing less damage you look more for just a pet that brings some good utility which opens up a lot of those Cunning pets PvE wise.

  17. “-gives Pike a look with daggers in it-

    Where shall the last bastion of BM be, I wonder?

    First BRK, now you, Pike!



    Be happy she’s still playing a Hunter instead of a Druid…

  18. Welcome to Marksman Country! Chimera Shot has always been a hoot — even if the Viper effect doesn’t work right at the moment.

    I definitely second what was said about Misdirect. I found a nice macro (I think at EJ, but make at WoWWiki) that smartly sends the MD to the appropriate tank, depending on whether you’re solo or grouped.

    That said, I’ve been Marksman since level 11 back in 2004 and have not bowed to the Flavor of the Month thing. If you really do prefer BM, I say stick with it. At the current raiding tier, it’s not that big of a deal if you’re a bit behind other hunters. (Obviously, things may be very different by the time we’re kicking down the front door of Icecrown Citadel.)

    Of course, when dual specs come along, I’ll either have a Survival secondary spec, or a min/maxed PvP one (or maybe a compromise between the two), so I can see the value in taking another spec for a trial run.

  19. Looks like you already spec’d back to BM. I actually level’d as MM, but the guild I use to be in had me spec BM. I am now in a different guild and I am contemplating on returning to MM. Unfortunately I can’t dip into SV & pick up trapping like I used to be able to… Darn.. Hmmm

Comments are closed.