Posts Tagged “hunters”

Sometimes I wear a mask for a while.

There was that warlock that I leveled to 64 or something, and there was the druid who hit 80 and whom I raided with. Then there were all the other druids I promptly rolled. Then there were all those other classes I rolled which never hit 50. I think the closest was a 42(?) rogue.

And you know, it’s fun. And I’d like to think I’m an okay druid.

But then I take off the mask and become a hunter again and I’m in my element, doing something as natural to me as breathing. This is the part of the game that’s in my blood.

Hunters have changed a lot over the last five years. The skill of watching your pet’s aggro when you solo– and your own aggro in a group– is mostly gone. The art of chain trapping is largely gone now that traps last over twice as long as they used to and are rarely used anyway. Ferocious Inspiration, once a Beast Master’s most iconic talent outside of Bestial Wrath, is gone. Steady Shot and Arcane Shot swapped places as the Shot We Liked and then we dumped Steady altogether for Cobra. Shot weaving is gone. Mana is gone.

Blizzard doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing with Aspects. At one point we had a whole bunch of them and it felt like an important part of the class, but now we’re down to “Aspect of the Always Use so It Should Really Just be Baseline”, “Aspect of the Running From the Bank to the Mailbox”, and “Aspect of the PvP Maybe or Something?” and the latter is about to be removed.

Hunters of all specs languish at the bottom of DPS simulations, and Beast Masters are so bursty currently that PvPers are complaining and we’re probably first in line for the traditional x.1 nerfbat.

It’s a tricky business.

So what are people doing? Retiring the hunter until Blizzard figures out what they’re doing with the class? Perhaps. As for me, I couldn’t ever permanently put on another mask. Five and a half years of playing a single class drills instincts and habits into you that you wouldn’t have playing something different, and perhaps it puts a certain mindset into you, as well.

And so I’ll keep doing what hunters have always done. Surviving.

All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies.
And whenever they catch you, they will kill you.
But first, they must catch you. Digger, listener, runner. Prince with a swift warning.
Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

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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?

BUFF. MY. PET.

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

NANO SITE IS UP *poof*

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Just a few hunterrific things you may or may not have noticed with this latest patch…

1.) Bestial Wrath Graphics Change:
This was pointed out to me by a guildie who wanted to know if my Bestial Wrath went “RAWR” anymore, because his didn’t. I tried it and immediately assumed it did, however, this was because my pet was by my side. See, now your pet will still go RAWR, but the hunter will do a Swirly Ball– a la Old Rogue Detect Traps– and make a cleansing noise. This falls in line with Blizzard’s intention of turning The Beast Within into a “defensive ability” in PvP. However, I still firmly consider it to be 100% offensive in PvE, and I sorta miss my personal RAWR! in all its ragey glory.

BWSwirlyBall

At least Swirly Ball is sparkly.

Pike’s Final Grade: B-

2.) Feed Pet Graphics Change

You now visibly toss your pet a snack, and your pet makes a cute noise and jumps up and catches it! It’s the cutest thing ever and I love it to bits. Too bad thanks to Bloodthirsty and the Mend Pet glyph, I hardly ever feed my pet anymore…

NewFeedPet

Pike’s Grade: A+

3.) Pink Elekks are Not Tamable

Self-explanatory.

WoW_PinkElekkBeastLore

Pike’s Final Grade: F. But at least we get the minipet, right?

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