A Circle of Dee Pee Ess

Note: I wrote this yesterday, then wasn’t entirely happy about it so I saved it in drafts and went to bed. Now it seems to be jumping around the blogosphere without me, which makes me late to the bandwagon simply because I waited a few hours x_x, so I did some quick editing, and here ya go:

Anyone who has been lurking around the blogosphere lately has likely seen a “Healing Questionnaire” floating around. This was eventually turned into a Tanking Questionnaire. However, I didn’t see hair nor hide of a DPS version. Never fear, Google to the rescue! A DPS version appears to have been spawned over at a DPS Death Knight blog, Death Goddess.

So, because I felt awkward posting my healing responses here (I should really get over that one o’ these days) and because Pike has no tank, and because the NaNoWriMo site is down which means the word count updatey-thingy (my biggest writing motivator) is down… here ya go!

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary DPS?

Tawyn, dual-spec’d PvE Raid Beast Mastery / PvE Raid Marksmanship Hunter would be my main, although she’s certainly not my only level 80 hunter!

What is your primary DPSing environment? (i.e. raids, PvP, 5 mans)

At the moment I am in raids the most, both 10 and 25man though probably skewing more towards 25man. I do at least one 25man a week (ToC), and occasionally Ulduar or Ony and a coupla 10mans as well.

What is your favorite DPS spell/ability for your class and why?

Feign Death doesn’t count, does it? >_> Umm, hmm. Bestial Wrath is always fun. I really like Silencing Shot when I’m spec’d Marksmanship. Nommy silence.

What DPS spell do you use least for your class and why?

Tranq Shot but you use it a surprising amount of times in ToC. Let’s see. Jaraxxus? Check. Faction Champions? Check. Anub’arak? Check. Now that I think about it, though, I’m not sure if that counts as a “DPS ability”. Hmm. This is a tougher survey to fill out for DPS than it was for heals! D= Does Rapid Fire count? Only cause of the long cooldown.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your DPS class and why?

Well solo’ing and questing and the like is obviously pretty easy but in a PvE raid-ish situation, I’d say the very fact that we are ranged but not magic-based is a strength. On my (very rare) ventures into the Moonkin Suit, I’m always surprised by these weird boss mechanics where you’ll be silenced or locked out of a class of spell. I remember mentioning to my boyfriend the warlock how irritating I thought this all was, and he was like “SEE?? FINALLY YOU UNDERSTAND!” So getting to bypass all of that is nice.

As a Beast Master in particular, I like the fact that I can be doing a ridiculous amount of DPS but I rarely have aggro problems because my aggro is split– about half of it is my pet’s threat, and half of it is “mine”. Having to Feign Death is delightfully rare as a Beast Master, so you pretty much never have to stop DPS!

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your DPS class and why?

The fact that we become screwed at melee range. This can be avoided in most PvE situations, but it sucks in PvP when you’re up against someone who knows what they’re doing. Fortunately I avoid most PvP beyond level 60 or so.

I also think that Blizzard did a somewhat haphazard job of incorporating pets into things. Those fights where you get a gigantic buff? Your pet probably doesn’t. Although this is annoying in raids or instances, the most glaringly painful example of this, to me, actually isn’t in a raid or instance, but in Battle for the Undercity. Guess who gets a giant, massive-stamina-and-constantly-getting-health-restored buff? You. Guess who doesn’t? Your pet. Guess who can’t survive more than two seconds in the AoE heavy Battle for the Undercity? Yeah. That entire quest, instead of being amazing and awe-inspiring, was nothing but me Volley spamming and not having my beloved pet beside me, and being frustrated overall. It was much better when I did it later as a Moonkin.

I also wish there was a way for you to “give” a zonewide buff to your pet instead of you. If I’m out grinding or questing, the last thing I want is some super massive damage buff on me making me pull aggro from my pet. Put it on my pet instead of me, please. Pleeeeeeeeeease.

Similarly, all those quests where you get to pick a reward item of either “gain back health on physical attack!” or “gain back mana on spellcast!” … can there be one for “gain back mana on physical attack”? Please? /puppy dog eyes

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best DPS assignment for you?

Single target, stand-still, pet-friendly, pewpewfest. Patchwerk, in other words. (I’m sure most DPS would say that…)

For Beast Master in particular, we excel at fights where there is a lot of loss of character control or where you’re running around a lot, and your pet doesn’t have to. That’s 45% of your DPS right there merrily DPSing away while you run around like a freak.

What DPS class do you enjoy DPSing with most and why?

There are multiple ways to interpret this question, I’m going to interpret the “with” as “alongside”. In which case, probably something like a feral druid for Leader of the Pack or a bunch of paladins for the buffs.

Or clothies, cause they won’t roll on my stuff. I’M GREEDY OKAY. >_>

What DPS class do you enjoy DPSing with least and why?

Other hunters, which makes me feel kinda horrible, but… I get crazily, madly competitive around other hunters and I just end up constantly checking my position on Recount as compared to theirs. I’d much rather be in a group of all other classes where there is no real comparison between my DPS and theirs, because I know nothing about their classes. Then I’ll usually just forget about Recount entirely and focus on having fun and doing my job.

Really, I love people who play hunters, I just… have a hard time playing with them. =(

In the end though, I’m not hugely picky about who I group with =P

What is your worst habit as a DPS?

Now that I’ve started playing my druid a lot I find myself inadvertently watching healthbars. =X

I also do this thing where I get trigger-happy and overwrite my Serpent Sting before I need to. Gotta work on that.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while DPSing?


Can I make it blinky and in a scrolling marquee? Cause I totally will. Just watch me. Juuuuust watch me.

(In all fairness, I get super irritated when I’m on my druid and hunters don’t rez their pet in a timely fashion. By which I mean, buffs are going out and the hunter knows his pet is dead cause it’s laying in the middle of the floor, and isn’t doing anything about it. In that case, you’ve missed out, bucko. Huh… I’m turning into one o’ them fabled Snarky Healers, aren’t I?)

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other DPS?

The Beast Mastery spec lags behind the others but not nearly as much in practice as I think people tend to assume it does. Both of the facts in said sentence (that it does lag, and that people overestimate the lag), irritate me to some degree.

As for hunters as a whole, I dunno, all the Recount screenshots I’ve seen of superendgame guilds show hunters as really lagging behind, but that must just be a superendgame thing because hunters destroy the meters in my guild. Like, you’ll have that one crazygood mage, that one crazygood rogue, and that one crazygood feral druid, but everyone else toppin’ the meters? Hunters, hunters, and more hunters. So, I dunno.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a DPS?

Recount is the obvious one though I have a love/hate relationship with it. Hunters are just so dependent on buffs, group makeup, fight mechanics, and everything else that it’s silly to use Recount as a be-all and end-all for it. One day I’ll have 6k DPS on a fight and then the next day I’ll struggle to hit 4.5k on the same thing.

Honestly I think it’s mostly an “impression” thing. If I’m getting invites to the Hard Mode Stuff, which I know the raid leaders are selective about in terms of invites, then I know I’m doing good. [Ed. note: apparently I got an invite to a Hard Mode Thing via Twitter in the middle of writing this, so my point is proven! Huzzah!]

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

That hunter is about /send pet and /afk auto shot. See, I have a theory about where this misconception came from. A hunter’s “special attack” doesn’t really look like anything. Okay, so the arrow or bullet might be a little shinier. That’s it. Melee classes spin around and do fancy footwork, casters make all sorts of different things come out of their hands, but hunters are all the same. Pew. Pew. Pew. It literally doesn’t look like you’re doing anything but Auto Shot, and that wiggles into other peoples’ subconscious.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new DPSers of your class to learn?

Pet management and keeping an eye on your pet. For me, it’s so ingrained from playing so many hunters, that a.) Wash is often the last pet standing in a tricky fight, b.) I spaz out when my treants die when I’m playing a moonkin, and c.) I’ve been known to instinctively pound my Mend Pet keybind when I see the main tank low on damage. All of the above are Trufax.

Beyond that, I think that there are little nuances that people don’t expect to have to look into that make a large difference in hunter gameplay– glyph choices, intuitive cooldown uses, etc.

What DPS class do you feel you understand least?

Pretty much anything that isn’t a hunter, although I have a rudimentary understanding of boomkin (seeing as it’s my druid’s “solo’ing spec”) and to a lesser extent warlock, since my boyfriend played one for so long. Lemme put it this way: I could probably play a boomkin for something and not entirely fail, and I’d probably fail slightly more as a warlock but still have a decent idea of what I’m doing. Everything else, I’d be completely and utterly lost.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in DPS?

Omen though I don’t need it very often these days; threat is pretty much a non-issue for Beast Mastery and when I’m Marksman a Feign or two will fix it right up. Scrolling Combat Text and Scrolling Combat Text Damage to see procs and see a sort of visual representation of what I hit for and how often I crit. OmniCC for cooldowns. Quartz for the cast bars and the DoT/HoT timers, though honestly I find that one to be waaaaaaaay more handy for my druid than for my hunter. (Cast bars for the moonkin, and HoT timers for the tree.)

[Your class’s preferred basic stat] over other stats or balanced stat allocation, and why?

Depends on whether or not you’re hit-capped. =P

Beyond that, this one really seems to go into an area of being a moot point once you enter endgame stuff. Install RatingBuster (which is much better than the Blizz default stat thingy.) Compare your gear. ???? Profit! If you’re really hardcore you can even use a spreadsheet or something.

Well, that’s the end of the survey. I tag any of you fine DPS folks who want to fill it out! =D


22 thoughts on “A Circle of Dee Pee Ess”

  1. I’m so with you about disliking DPSing with other people in my same class! I play a ret pally and I GET SO COMPETITIVE with them. Though only one consistently topped me with any frequency, ugh, grouping makes me so bothered.

  2. Pshaw the dps version of this has been circling the blogocube for days now!

    The pet buffing thing isn’t ever going to get better until Blizz makes it more convenient. Warlocks want their imp buffed but oh darn, it was phase shifted when kings went out. Mages and shaman bug for buffs for their temporary pets, Death Knights want might, no they want kings, no wait my ghoul needs AI!

    Its a big huge extremely annoying mess.

  3. The fact that improved paladin buffs on pets also override the warrior buffs is terrible.

    My least used ability is probably Scorpid Sting. I don’t even have it on my bars — though I think I probably should for my Marks offspec if I ever used it on fights like Gormok (for the disarm).

    Outside of ToC, Tranq shot was much less used (by me), but now that we’re doing ToC, I feel like I’m using it constantly. (The other one you didn’t mention is normal-Icehowl, to turn “AUGH RUN YOU GET A SPEED BUFF *splat*” into “Tranq shot tranq sh… thanks Tetron.”)

  4. DPS is still something I’m working on but I have found myself getting quite emotional in situations where my pet dies. Kinda like “how dare you!!!” and revive and pewpew twice as hard if I can – Revenge will be mine!!

  5. Similarly, all those quests where you get to pick a reward item of either “gain back health on physical attack!” or “gain back mana on spellcast!” … can there be one for “gain back mana on physical attack”? Please? /puppy dog eyes
    That bugs me too! I just remembered there was talk of hunters getting focus in Cataclysm… I wonder if that will make the situation better or worse? There might be a new suite of “gains focus on physical attack” items. Ooh. Maybe it will apply to hunters and pets! *gleeful speculating*

  6. “That hunter is about /send pet and /afk auto shot. ” I actually teamed with a hunter that did only that for an Ony last night. It was a mainly guild run that we had to pug a few spots for. I was in total disbelief and shock when I saw that.

  7. I’m bm/surv and I am #1 in my guild’s raids regardless of the spec (well to be honest if there is another high dps I get competitive and pull out my surv spec and Dave my wolf), but as it stands I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in a 10 man raid outdps my hunter by any substantial amount at all. Oh and yes my pet is a refernce to a scifi movie “what are you doing Dave?”

  8. I was going to say distracting shot, but I actually do use it once in a while, mostly when I’m emergency taunting something angry of a squishy caster (I’ve been tanking recently on my pally it stays with you >_> )

    scorpid sting, I actually kinda forgot it existed o_o

    hunters are killing the meters in my guild as well. we have this one amazing mage and this one amazing rogue and occasional DK shoots ahead (when they show up for the raids that is) but then its out 3 hunters. and half the time, one of them outdpses the mage too O_o

  9. Thanks for taking the time, Pike!
    I’ve really enjoyed reading all of these!
    I’ll add a linkie for you and Shagrat on my follow up post. 🙂

    I definitely agree with the ‘buff fights our pets get no love’ thing. I’ve raided as lock and DK now (usually with my perma-ghoul) and our pets need help! It’s looking somewhat promising for 3.3 btw. Our pets do need to scale with the fight.

    Good luck with your word count!

  10. My wife the resto druid also hates it when I don’t immediately and instanteously rez my pet upon zoning in. “Where’s Howlsalot?” “Dead. I’m–” “REZ HIM NAO!” “–rezzing him. 10 second cast ftl.”

    People get too caught up with WMO and the like. So some mage got lucky and crit 25 times in a row. So a rogue in full BiS gear got tricked and also hit a lucky streak. Who cares? If you’re good, you’ll top the meters.

  11. I am a reletively new hunter (formely pally Tank) I use the tern new loosley cause I have a 46 hunter (marksman spec) I must be or used to be one of the few pally tanks that buff hunter pets all the time. I figure if I buff them it makes my job a little easier. Now that i am almost a full time hunter I have yet to exp. a dungeon with my hunter and have never seen someone randomly go by and buff me and then my Pet. I love random buffs while leveling. Pets need to get more love. As far as the other DPS stuff I learned some from this particular post. keep up the work Pike (just found your blog about 2 weeks ago) wish I found it a lot sooner I would have done things differently on my Dwarf hunter

  12. I don’t like playing with ppl with my own spec mostly because my feral Druid an 80 for almost a year sucks with 1k dps so I’m giving up on her for a while and going to try to lvl a hunter past lvl 46 so good thing your marksman now cuz I think that’s her spec but idk havn’t played her for 2-3 years btw love your blog only hunter one I read

  13. People get too caught up with WMO and the like.

    When the same classes (which aren’t Hunters) are routinely topping WORLD RECORD SCOREBOARDS, it infers that there is an issue, especially if they are not pure classes.

  14. My pet peeve is generally with pallies buffing. All the guilds I’ve been in have a high number of pallies on the runs. but hunters are lucky to get 2 buffs, hopefully those two are kings and might, but there are 5 or 6 pallies.

    I think the solution of the pet buffing would be that pet and owner share buffs. Sadly I don’t think it bliz will implement it. But how I think it should works is any buff that is in affect on the pet owner should also be working for the pet, that way if a pet dies and gets brought back it still gets buffs, also the temp pets (trees, water elem, ghoul) would get buffs too!

    Syland: Sv Hunter, and every other class.

  15. i am with u all the way about newbes in the hunters class learning about pet management. I am also noticeing a differance between my hunter and a rouge, blizz really needs to do something 2 even the playing field

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