Tag Archives: hunter

Melee Hunters are Officially a Thing, So Let’s Talk About It

Well, it looks like Survival is finally and officially going to be the melee spec.  And I don’t mean the weird sort of hybrid Lacerate spec from Vanilla.  A full on melee spec.

…and that’s all we know so far.  That, and they get a polearm or something for their artifact weapon.

I find myself wondering how they’re going to play out.  Will they play like a warrior?  Like a rogue?  Since we’ve got Focus and that works similarly to Energy, I’d assume it’ll be kind of like a rogue.  But I also think with large weapons like polearms, things’ll feel more like a warrior or paladin with a two-hander.

I also find myself thinking about the role the pet is going to play.  Maybe there will be combo moves where the pet and hunter act together?  Who knows!  There are a lot of possibilities.

ss538lJNj4cj18lAll I know for sure is that, even though every expansion I gripe like an old fogey about “hunters these days”, this is definitely gonna be the biggest change to the class we’ve had since mana was replaced by focus.  How is it all going to turn out?  We’ll just have to wait and see.

What do YOU guys think about Survival going melee?

Real Talk. Beast Mastery in 6.2…

…is basically the same as it was before.  Let’s take a closer look.

hunter notesAspect of the Fox is gone.  I used it on occasion but usually forgot it existed.  So /shrug

Tranquilizing Shot is now on a cooldown, unless you are glyphed.  Whether you prefer to use the glyph or not probably comes down to your own personal preference and the encounter.

And that’s it!  That’s it for Beast Mastery, unless you PvP, in which case you will notice that A Murder of Crows and Barrage now do less damage to player characters.  Not very fun, no, but whatcha gonna do.  We’re hunters, so we’re just gonna keep moseying along.

Now remember, things haven’t changed for us, really, but things may have changed for other classes and specs.  Marksmanship got a buff to Aimed Shot and a lot of the other classes were tweaked, so Beast Masters may not see themselves in the same spot on Recount.  We’ll just have to see how things shuffle out.

AS AN ASIDE, I’m seeing a few theorycrafting places report that Steady Focus is now preferable over Dire Beast.  I may have to test this and then report back.  Either way it should be close, so personally I wouldn’t fault you for using either talent.

**EDIT**: I have been informed in the comments that Focus Fire appears to be bugged.  My own quick testing seems to be confirming that it’s not acting right.  So stay tuned for that and be aware!

Focus Fire and When To Use It: A Beast Master Hunter Guide

Focus Fire.

That little yellow glowy button is one of your biggest boosts to DPS, and learning its nuances is something that you’re going to want to do once you hit max level and start looking into things like raids.  It can be kind of tricky to master, and there are quite a few little variables involved, but hopefully I can help to clarify a bit.  Here, then, is when to use – and when not to use – a Beast Master Hunter’s second best friend (your pet being your best friend, of course):

big focus fire


1. Use it at five stacks, of course.  The button will glow and you won’t miss it.  There is an exception, which I will cover later.

2. Use it with Bestial Wrath.  It doesn’t matter if it’s only one stack.  If you have a build up of it, use it.  It’s also not a bad idea to pop it for other large cooldowns, such as Stampede.

3. Use it when you are about to AoE.  That means Barrage and Multi-shot.  And lastly,

4. Use it if it’s about to expire.  If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, and get no benefit!

Now then, let’s discuss the other side of the coin:


1. If you’re almost, but not quite, ready for Bestial Wrath.  Say you have somewhere between 10-20 seconds left to go before Bestial Wrath is off cooldown, but your yellow glowy button is telling you to click it.  Do you?  Nope.  Because if you do, then it will be expired by the time Bestial Wrath is ready to go!  Instead, wait until your Bestial Wrath is about ready to pop (below ten seconds left on the cooldown.)

2. If a boss is invincible or shielded or otherwise unavailable or something for a short amount of time and your Focus Fire won’t expire by the time you can use it again.  In this case you’ll want to tactically delay it – the same as any other cooldown, really.

…and that’s about the only times you shouldn’t be using it.  Because Focus Fire is just that good.

Okay, that about does it for today’s Hunter Kindergarten Guide!  If you have any questions, comments, or other concerns, feel free to post a comment or bug me on Twitter!


The Proven. Gorram. Assailant.

CElkPDoUgAAyEs1.jpg largeThis is a title that you get by successfully doing 30 rounds of Proving Grounds on Endless.  I.e., the health of the mobs goes up a little on each round.  Forever.

And I’ve been wanting that title bad, so bad.  Mostly because I saw it as a personal challenge to see if I can still hunter all these years later.  So I practiced and memorized the mobs and figured out when to pop my cooldowns and today it happened.  30 rounds of Endless (I actually went on to get to 37) and I snagged my title.


Once you figure out the pattern it’s not terribly difficult, to be honest – well, no, let me rephrase that.  It is difficult.  But I feel like with practice YOU can do it too! Anyone want tips?  I can always write up a Beast Master’s Guide to Proving Grounds if anyone’s interested.  Heck maybe I’ll do it anyway cause why not.

No More Mr. Nice Pike.

I’ve mostly been taking Mists of Pandaria nice and slow, as the pandaren themselves like to say. I’ve been inching my way through dailies and doing a couple of scenarios here and there and doing old content for transmog and unsuccessfully trying to convince myself that I don’t roleplay. *cough* I haven’t really focused on gearing or anything because I can always do that later, right?

Today, though, Mister Adequate and I tossed ourselves into a heroic just for fun. And we wound up with a Grade A Jerkball Healer who enjoyed telling us that we were the “worst DPS this expac” and other things even though there were no wipes or major issues. He also then promptly needed on things that he did not need and which would have been upgrades for Mister Adequate (Jerkball won the rolls, of course). Yes because obviously that’s how you help lower-geared players gear up! Nice logic there, broseph!

Anyways, then it got me wondering. Was I doing anything wrong? I knew my own DPS was low, but I figured it was just my gear. I can still hunter, right? I have been huntering since 2007, after all. Perhaps I had lost my magic touch? Perhaps I should hang up the gun right there and retire from Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged DPS forever?

Suddenly I had to find out.

I rushed off to the nearest training dummy and pounded away on it for about five minutes. I carefully weaved my shots and timed my cooldowns and watched my procs and my DoTs. Then I took careful note of Recount, and rushed off to a place I literally have not been to since I was raiding in early Wrath of the Lich King: FemaleDwarf.com, the Hunter DPS analyzer.

I loaded in my Armory, set my shots the way I was doing them, and hit “Update DPS”

Well, what do you know.

My recount is within ten DPS of what FemaleDwarf was telling me was my theoretical high.


So I can still hunter.

Something clicked inside me. I need to show all these jerkball PuGs exactly what the Worst DPS This Expac can do.

So I ran to the auction house. I spent about 5000g on every available MoP hunter enchant. I enchanted blues and greens; I didn’t care. Everything got enchanted. Then I bought a bunch of flasks. Then I went back to the training dummies.

My DPS has gone through the roof.

It’s time.

No More Mister Nice Pike.

Tomorrow everything gets reforged. It’s going to be beautiful.

Pet Cast Time Latency

I’m assuming most of you who read this blog also read OutDPS, however, if you are one of the three or four people who doesn’t, I’m going to take a quick minute to bring a post there to your attention:

It appears that simply letting your pet auto-cast its attacks lags a bit and results in a DPS loss. You can find the details (and advice on how to fix it) right here.

Also note that this effects all pets, including warlock and mage ones.

Just a heads-up from your Friendly Neighborhood Pike!

Musings of the BM Kind

It’s been a few weeks since I seriously sat down and played one of my hunters. But I’ve seen a few Beast Mastery related topics sort of floating around the blogosphere/Twittersphere/MMOChampion-sphere so I figured I’d toss a couple of my thoughts out there.

“Beast Mastery is as competitive as Marksmanship and Survival” … really it depends on what you mean by this, since “competitive” can be used in several different ways. What seems to be at odds here is this idea vs. “A good Beast Master can beat a bad MM/SV, but a good Beast Master cannot beat a good MM/SV.”

In this case, I tend to fall more toward the latter camp, based on both math and experience, but I’m pretty lenient with it.

In fact, I’d probably tend to say “A great Beast Master can beat a bad MM/SV and can also beat a good MM/SV.”

A lot of very good Beast Masters say that they beat MM/SV hunters all the time. I think that this is because most of the MM/SV players you will meet in an average PuG or maybe even some of the ones in their guild are so-so, or maybe good, but not great. But were an equally-skilled and equally-geared BM and MM/SV hunter to meet I’d probably put odds on the MM/SV.

Of course, there are a lot of factors at play here, for example: is the fight pet-friendly? Does the fight involve a lot of running around on the hunter’s part while the pet can just sit there and nom the boss? Or does the fight toss around buffs that benefit the hunter and not the pet? (Twin Valks, I’m lookin’ at you.) All of these things will make a difference. DPS doesn’t exist in a vacuum except maybe on Patchwerk.

Now, a question like “is BM raid viable”, though, depends on your guild and on your personal expectations. For my guild, BM is raid viable. For yours, maybe it’s not. It all depends!

Why hasn’t Blizzard buffed Beast Mastery yet? I see this question a lot. I do have a theory. Over the months there have been a lot of blue posts that seem to insinuate that Beast Mastery is still very popular. Now, I’ve no doubt that this is because a lot of hunters run with one BM build for solo’ing/dailies/playing with exotics/what have you. But Blizzard also seems to have insinuated that Beast Mastery is still a popular raid build, contrary to what many people expect, and that it is only getting more popular as time goes on.

Now combine this with blog comments I’ve seen or even PuGs I’ve encountered in game, where you’ll see four or five hunters at a pop all collectively pining for the days of Beast Mastery, and my own personal theory is that Blizzard is sort of afraid of Beast Mastery’s longstanding popularity. In other words, if they really stick it up there on equal footing with MM/SV, they worry that the pendulum will still swing heavily towards BM, just because it’s that popular.

Now, I don’t have the numbers on this, only Blizzard does. And I don’t know the thoughts of all the millions of hunters that play this game. It’s my theory, though.

Should I use Kill Command and Bestial Wrath at the same time?: I do. It’s one of the big reasons why I’m keeping the Bestial Wrath glyph, even if the Hawk glyph is better.

Should I gem for AP as a Beast Master?: The DPS increase between gemming for AP and gemming for Agi is minimal enough that I gem for Agi, myself. But neither is a bad choice as BM.

Should I use Aspect of the Beast during Bestial Wrath?: I’ve played with this before. The overall consensus from my own testing and from the spreadsheet says that it’s a small DPS increase. Small enough that it won’t kill you if you choose not to do it. But if it’s a relatively easy fight and there’s not much going on and you want more to do… sure, have at it! Just remember to switch back to Hawk when you’re done.

Should I use Multishot in my Beast Mastery rotation?: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

But what about Multishot breaking CC and…: I miss the days of CC as much as the next person but the truth is that in today’s WoW, it’s really not something you have to worry about anymore. I can count the number of times I’ve caused a problem with Multishot on one finger. And that finger goes to those pain-in-the-butt pulls in Ulduar leading up to Iron Council/Kologarn. Something was sheeped and I shot it. After that I simply banned Multishot from my rotation in that hallway, but continued to use it elsewhere.

Just use your common sense (don’t use it if you do see something being CC’d,) and you’ll be fine. ^_^

/ramble-mode off

“Are you asking for a CHALLENGE?”

Vegeta, what does the scouter say about his power level?

…okay, that doesn’t have anything to do with the post. CONFESSION TIME THOUGH: I watched DragonBall Z obsessively back in the day. Absolutely obsessively. Of course, Cartoon Network would do that thing where they would get to the end of the Frieza saga and then because they didn’t have the rights to the rest of the show or something, they’d restart from the beginning. Somebody recently told me that they still do that. Hrm. Just as well, it spurred me to go play “Ocarina of Time” instead, which was much more worth it.

Right, right, sorry!

This blog post is about a CHALLLEEEEEENGE which was issued to me by the incomparable Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs, a blog that you probably should be reading if you aren’t already. His challenge to me was as follows:

“What are the moments that have made you think “yes, this right here is why I play a hunter” and what are the moments that have shaken your faith?”

I really had to think about this one for a while. First of all, it’s kind of a tall order sort of question. Secondly, I have to admit I’ve really been cheating on hunters a lot lately. There’s my pigtailed-lock and her blueberry, who make me sputter things about “THIS IS THE FUNNEST THING EVER” anytime I play them, and then there’s my Forest o’ Trees and lately there’s Dynamite Bear. Oh, I haven’t mentioned Dynamite Bear yet? Basically it dawned on me that I have two resto druids and both of them are dual-spec’d Balance and I’ve never played a Feral Druid before, so I did what every blue-blooded Pike would do and I rolled an all-new character.

He (I’ve been rolling a lot of male toons lately… change of scenery I guess) is an engineer specifically so he can hurl dynamite at people. In bear form. Seriously, guys. If you saw a bear running after you and then it stopped and chucked a bomb at you, what would you do? Yeah. See my point? I <3 Dynamite Bear. So I was pondering this question about hunters and I decided I'd sleep on it and that night I had a dream that I randomly had a pet tiger and when this solicitor showed up at my door, I grabbed a gun that I had nearby and started kiting the guy down the hallway. ...I'm not making this up, I totally had this dream. I had Arcane Shot and Serpent Sting in my dream, too. This is why hunters are The Class. When I first started playing WoW, one of the things that sold me on hunters was that they were all about throwing themselves into situations that no one else would dare attempt and then pulling everything out of their bag of tricks just to survive. One of my best memories of hunteriness was when Lunapike was level… 67 or so and I solo’d this level 70 group quest chain. I killed a level 70 elite by kitting him into a trap right when my pet was about to die so I could bandage my pet back up and then I repeated this for several cycles: pulling, kiting, trapping. This was back in Burning Crusade so it was before things like Tenacity pets or the Glyph of Mending. And did I mention this was all in a tiny space indoors? This was hard. And it felt awesome to pull it off. That, to me, is what Huntering is all about.

Oh, and pets that you can name? (or waste money on Certificates of Ownership on before finding out that the name you wanted to rename your pet is “reserved”?) Yep, just hunters.

Have there been frustrations? Oh yeah. Frustrations about my spec pop up occasionally, as do frustrations about endgame-raiding expectations and that sort of thing. I must admit, though, the frustrations have been few and far between, and unlike other horror stories I’ve heard of Beast Masters getting made fun of or kicked out of groups, I have never ever been mocked for my spec. And this is coming from someone who did a million PuG raids and heroics as Beast Mastery right after The Great Nerf of ’09. <3 my servers, I guess! So, I suppose that would be my answer, as rambly as it may be. WELL! I ding’d 26 IRL today, which means I was able to wrangle the day off from work, so I’m off to do exciting things like edit my novel, listen to Men Without Hats, and dink around on alts. Blizzard seems to have decided to forgo Server Maintenance today in honor of my birthday, which I’m cool with, so Dynamite Bear and I have places to go and people to see.

Preview: Hunters and Patch 3.3

Word on the street is that patch 3.3 is hitting next week. In honor of said rumor, here’s the Hunter-related 3.3 patch notes thus far:

* Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
* Deterrence: Now also increases the chance for ranged attacks to miss the hunter by 100% while under its effect.
* Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
* Talents
o Beast Mastery
+ Intimidation: If the hunter’s pet is in melee range of its target, the stun from Intimidation will now be applied immediately instead of on the pet’s next swing or attack.

* Pets
o Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
o Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet’s movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20.
o Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). Culling the Herd increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack.
o Demoralizing Screech: The attack power reduction from this ability has been increased by 40%, equaling the maximum possible attack power reduction from the abilities of other classes.
o Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
o Pet Leveling: Hunter pets now need only 5% of the experience a player needs to level, down from 10%.
o Venom Web Spray: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
o Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
o Wolverine Bite: This talent is now enabled when the pet lands a critical strike rather than from the target dodging the pet’s attacks. In addition, this talent no longer has a prerequisite.

And all that is in addition to various minor changes (tooltip changes, etc.) as well as fun new items and the like.

Pike’s thoughts:
– I didn’t see the Call Stabled Pet change as being super vital, but I like it nonetheless. That is also basically my thoughts on the Intimidation change.

– I like the Misdirect change

– Culling the Herd is huge and is gonna give all hunters everywhere a DPS boost of a few hundred or so. Which is awesome. It also means it will help Beast Masters edge up a bit against other classes (but not so much against other specs of hunters who will also get the same DPS boost).

– Pet Leveling: There’s something truly wonky about pet leveling where depending on how/what you’re doing to level, your pet either already levels stupidly fast, or somehow falls way behind. The new change is going to minimize the latter but make the former even more silly. Mostly I think this was in response to hunters leveling with heirloom stuff and more than one pet and/or Recruit a Friend. I approve of the change overall though I think it’s just a matter of time before Blizz dumps pet leveling entirely, whether you’re for or against that idea.

– The other stuff I think I have to see an action before passing judgment (like the Cower change, though I like it on paper).

– I am sad to see that there seems to be no sign of the promised “pet stat scaling!!” that Blizz was hyping up a while ago and that Beast Masters were clinging to as their last shred of hope regarding catching up to the other specs before Cataclysm. But… meh. I did see a promising Blue post the other day (regarding rogues actually) where Blizzard stated that making all specs of “pure” DPS classes do roughly equal DPS was still a goal, just a long-term one. We just need to have patience!

BEAST MASTER HUNTERS: THE PURPLE LINK. WE CAN RAGE IF WE WANT TO! (Look, he even uses The Beast Within on panel four!)

Speaking of DeviantArt, I have one now. I’ve been on a creative binge lately and in addition to writing, I’ve been drawing and sketching a lot– or at least, attempting to do so– so if you wanna follow along I’m right here.