Outwit. Outplay. Outspec.

I’m playing a game with myself. It’s called, “Pike is actually going to learn to play the other two hunter specs”.

Yes that’s right. Don’t panic. See, I’m sure we all know by now that I’ve been primarily a Beast Master hunter up until this point. This is so largely for two reasons; firstly, it really is my favorite hunter spec (don’t get me wrong), and secondly, well… this seems to have unofficially become a BM hunter site and I figured you guys would appreciate it. /blush

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the other specs or secretly long to learn to play them well. I mean, seriously, anytime I’ve ever spec’d SV or MM recently has resulted in a DPS loss, which simply isn’t logical and means I am playing them incorrectly. So I figured… now’s as good a time as any to figure them out!

WoW_RespecExperiment

The Rules:
1.) Must play one spec for one week. No temporary respecs or spec-swapping allowed.
2.) With said spec, must do at some dailies, a few heroics, and at least one raid (preferably a Naxx clear, but something like OS or VoA will work if necessary) and report back to the blog.
3.) Must not talk about Fight Club
4.) No matter how much he begs, never, ever feed your pet after midnight.

Okay, so the last two rules are a joke, but ya know.

Anyways, with said rules in place, I swapped over to Survival (figured I’d start with it since it’s my dual spec so I’m already glyphed for it) and headed off to the Argent Tournament.

The first thing I noticed was that I pulled aggro on Chillmaw within about half a second and Feign Death failed to work so I wound up Deterrence tanking him. 1200 dps on that fight. Oh yeah, off to a dandy start. /cough (Oh, and how the two Death Knights in the group failed to grab aggro from me throughout the entire fight… I will never know.)

The second thing I noticed was that when fighting the Scourge mobs for that one “kill 15 Scourge” daily, it was impossible for my pet to hold aggro beyond more than a second.

The third thing I noticed was that Misdirection extended one second of pet aggro to about two seconds of pet aggro.

The fourth thing I noticed was that Growl was off and Cower was on. Derp. Swapped those around.

The fifth thing I noticed was that with Growl safely on, my pet still couldn’t hold aggro more than a second or two without Misdirection.

The sixth thing I noticed was that mana issues while solo’ing were pretty much gone.

The seventh thing I noticed was that my traps were always on cooldown when I wanted to use them (Black Arrow’s fault).

The eighth thing I noticed was that it was near-impossible to do a proper Survival rotation on random level 79 non-elite mobs, because they were all dead after an Explosive and a Steady or two. Eventually I just abandoned using Serpent Sting and Black Arrow entirely because I didn’t need ’em. And lastly,

The ninth thing I noticed was how empty I felt when I realized that suddenly, I was just another Survival hunter with a wolf in a sea of Survival hunters with wolves. Now you’re probably thinking “Pike, you dork, you were totally a BM hunter with a cat and then a BM hunter with a windserpent in Burning Crusade.” And it’s true… I was. But somehow it feels different now and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I differentiated myself back then by refusing to use the Steady Shot macro so I still felt fundamentally unique. Back then, I got my kicks from out-DPSing macro-using hunters with my manual rotation in the same way that today I get my kicks from out-DPSing cookie-cutter specs. Or, perhaps it’s because I was naive back then and automatically assumed that everyone was having as much fun with Beast Mastery as I was. I dunno exactly, but whatever the reason, being like everyone else bugs me now in a way it didn’t before.

Anyways, I am now bound into using Survival until next Sunday evening, though, so we’ll see how things go. I am actually very excited for this project and looking forward to getting a nice glimpse into other worlds of hunteryness! ^_^

40 thoughts on “Outwit. Outplay. Outspec.”

  1. But Pike! Your not like everyone else! I mean sure, you have a cookie cutter spec (I think), but why did you spec like that. For curiousities sake, or for max dps’ sake? Since you already know you can get better dps as BM personally, I don’t think it is dps’ sake. So there, your not like every other hunter, your doing it for an entirely different reason (I think). I’m a cookie cutter spec too, and sure, I get great dps in raids, but I am still survival because I like the feeling of it, not primarly because it’s best. You can believe that or not, but just becuase you have somthing in common with someone else des not mean your non-unique. If that where the case then you still would be non-unique b/c there are still other people out there that is BM with a cat or raptor.
    And stating things like that tend to make those of us who are survivial for whatever reason feel like crap. Just saying. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Interesting. Looking forward to this in a glad it’s not me way – lol!

    But then again I love BM, don’t raid and can’t seem to find any interest in wanting to. So topping some DPS chart with a pet I don’t want – no thanks! I will enjoy hearing how Surv and MM work for you.

    I do have lvl 20-40 hunters with those specs, but prefer BM! In my weirdly quirky way, each hunter has ‘picked’ their companions/pets and I like it that way!

    Good for you, stretching yourself this way. I can’t imagine you being cookie-cutter though … it seems so wrong!

  3. Honestly things don’t live long enough to bother pet tanking them unless they’re an elite. As a personal philosophy my trap cooldown is very precious to me, even with a 22 second CD i still prefer to not use black arrow unless I’m in a raid that doesn’t have me kiting chow on gluth. I wanted “Hooked net” (snare and a bleed that gave the 6% bonus damage) instead of black arrow but nooooooo.

  4. MM and SV do indeed rather suck (or to put it more nicely, “do not have the same elegant synergy”) for soloing. You have to be a bit more aware of how your pet is building aggro and you can’t let loose in the same way… which is a bit annoying when you just want to get a daily over and done with asap.

    I tend to send my pet ahead as early as possible to start building aggro on the next mob (ie. when I’m drinking, looting, or moving), then send it to attack another mob after a growl or two. Meanwhile, I’ll cast Misdirection and run about gathering up 1-3 other mobs, usually getting my pet to attack one of those as they run over. By this stage, my pet should usually have a bit of aggro on most of them, allowing me to “lightly pewpew” my pet’s target and do a bit of Multi-Shot and Volley.

    Tenacity pets are probably a “must have” for the most convenient MM and SV farming, come to think of it. I really need to level my warp stalker ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. If you’re feeling really uncomfortable being cookie cutter, maybe you could tame a new random level 80 pet to play with? There’s only cats and raptors for ferocity and a 79 boar for tenacity, but there’s a few cunning options. It would hurt your DPS a bit, but hey, if it makes it more fun…?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The flip side of your pet not being able to hold aggro off you as SV is, depending on your gear, you can kill the mob before it gets to you. My solo grinding rotation is pretty much “Explosive, Aimed, loot.” >_>

    Anyway, I think the key to SV DPS in raids, though, is knowing the priorities of your shots and having a good way to track the cooldowns of your shots. (I use a combination of TellMeWhen and a click-through-hide-out-of-combat bartender bar right above my character with OmniCC to watch my cooldowns. {With OmniCC edited to be able to show tenths of a second, too})
    There are actually a couple of relatively new addons that can help with your rotation, too, specifically Faceshooter and EventHorizon.
    Don’t be too put off by a drop in DPS at first; the SV rotation can take some getting used to since it never seems to fall into a real rhythm also the randomness of LnL procs and how LnL completely changes your rotation for it’s duration.

    I felt a bit bad when I first switched to SV back when BM was over-nerfed because it felt a bit too much like I was just jumping on the bandwagon, I suppose. But I think the important thing to remember is what your reasons for speccing how you do are. I had wanted to try out SV since I heard about Explosive Shot back in the Wrath Beta but I didn’t because I was too used to BM and thought I’d miss it. When I finally got the ‘excuse’ to spec SV I fell totally in love with it. (I love Explosive Shot, I love the increased mobility, I love the huge agi numbers on my character sheet >_> )
    There’s theorycrafting lately that suggests that MM is pulling ahead of SV in DPS in Ulduar gear, despite this I really, really don’t want to spec MM. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the tree, it’s just that the couple times I’ve tried it out I just haven’t ‘gotten’ it. I just can’t get the rotation down for some reason. (And I haven’t been BM for so long now that I’m sure I would be terrible at it. At least in the shot-rotation end of things.)

    You are definitely not ‘just another survival hunter with a wolf’ in the midst of all the other SV hunters with wolves, because you didn’t just jump on the bandwagon without thinking about the different specs yourself.

  7. On my old hunter, I played through a lot of lag (up to 2k ms) so I had a great excuse to stay BM – it really was a dps upgrade for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sure, it didn’t let me keep raiding, but I will always be BM at heart so I didn’t mind too much. The one time I switched to Survival, I found I didn’t care if my pet died, and that really bothered me. I’ve always been proud of my pets since I take a ton of time taming and naming them.

    That said, Survival is a fun off spec to mess around with every so often. Black Arrow is annoying, but the L&L proc Explosives more than make up for it.

  8. I have been a MM since the beginning but I have tried BM on my other hunter. I’m not really a huge fan of BM (probably because of my play style). I am trying to learn the ins and outs of it though ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am excited to hear your take on the other trees since BM is so very different compared to the other options. I have a feeling you will find MM is a lot simpler to solo with than SV since shot priority is much more consistent as a MM.

    Both MM and SV specs should allow you to kill the npc before they get to you. My recommendation is get a Bear if your having issues with aggro (until you learn the spec). If you want your pet ‘tanking’ its best if you stand at max range and send your pet in first. The npc will head to you at some point but it should be a shot or 2 from death by then. I think the biggest thing you will have to get used to is that anything that isnt an elite, your pet is really only used to start the fight at max range. As you start learning more you’ll probably find yourself shooting first then sending your pet in to meet the npc about half way. Most kills the npc will die about the time your pet gets to them.

    Another thing to think about is your gear. I haven’t checked out your armory page, but there are, as I suspect you know, large differences in what to stack depending on the tree your using. Rilgon has a nice guide for gear as a MM.

    Good luck! I look forward to your comments on the other trees ๐Ÿ™‚

    Myte

  9. Good luck with your experiment Pike. I tried SV for about a month straight and I found that I cannot stand the spec. It’s too clunky and it relies on Lock and Load heavily for the high dps numbers that’s seen.

  10. @ Voldenmist – my intention was most certainly not to make SV hunters “feel like crap”; I don’t mind what other people spec. And I am sincerely happy to all hunters of any spec that enjoy their spec. I was speaking about my own personal experience though. =P

    @ Everyone suggesting a tenacity pet – my stable slots are full… >.>

  11. Speaking as a fellow BM hunter who specced Survival (mostly for raiding purposes), I understand how you feel. And, as a BM hunter at heart I believe every SV or MM hunter out there should spec BM now and then, because it’s such a different play style that you have to re-evaluate pretty much everything in the way you go about your business, be it soloing, doing dailies, raiding or anything else.

    Managing aggro with a survival hunter is something that needs some getting used to. It involves playing with Misdirection to keep the mob gravitating between you and your pet and kiting adequately. Ideally, though, survival hunters are at their best when they are at a party, because it’s more difficult for them to manage aggro and healing. Also, as you do instances and raids with a survival hunter you realize how easy it is for a beast master to keep his pet alive – a lot of encounters (i.e. Heigan) tend to puliverize a survivalists’ pet if he’s not careful. That involves a lot of pet management, even if your pet does not deal that much damage any longer – even as a survival hunter, you pet is going to be responsible for 10-15% of your damage output (at least mine is). Losing it is not a good idea by the way, even if you don’t care that much to DPS.

    About Black Arrow: this shot is not to be used lightly, no wonder it shares a cooldown with the traps. It’s simply not worth using in short encounters – even with some elites, because these encounters do not last long enough so it can perform its full damage potential. My advice would be ignore it most of the time unless on a boss or otherwise extended fight with a single target, and keep it on cooldown in those occasions. An exception would be PvP – a lot of people that encountered me has thought they had escaped running off only to die several yards away from damage caused by my Black Arrow. But I’m not an experienced PvPer, so those guys are certainly more able to give you advice on this respect.

    About the pet: a lot has been said about the wolf being the new commonplace pet for survival hunters, mostly because of Furious Howl, but quite frankly I still haven’t gotten aroung to trying it out. For two reasons: 1) I’m waaaay too used to Sasha, a lovely and beautiful Snow Leopard I tamed in Dun Morogh a long, long time ago and that has been with me ever since, and 2) this may sound a bit strange, but I’m not as obsessed with DPS as hunters are known for. Also, I don’t like its skin =P

    One of the best things that could have happened to the game was dual-speccing. Those were probably the best 1000g I have ever invested (not spent ;-]) because that enables me to switch to BM whenever I want to – which is almost every time I get the chance. I do almost everything – short of raiding – with my preferred spec. Hell, this game is about having fun, and for me BM just makes sense. Don’t get me wrong, I think every hunter – and every other class for that matter – should experiment with every spec available to them.

  12. @ Everyone suggesting a tenacity pet โ€“ my stable slots are fullโ€ฆ >.>

    So are mine. That’s why I’m starting another hunter… *_*

  13. You’ll find that in Naxx, SV feels much more natural. I have actually given up doing dailies because SV is sort of clunky at it, but if you can stand and shoot with the right rotation as survival, you’ll knock the socks off everyone else on recount ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I’ve actually been resisting respeccing to SV for pretty much the same reason–I like being BM and feeling different for that reason, in a sea of SV Hunters. Although, recently my guild Hunters have gone on a little trend of all respeccing to MM because one of our Hunters did it, so at this point the guild would probably fall over thanking me for some Replenishment, because man are we starved. Anyway, looking forward to reading more of your experiment. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Pike I understand the feeling. I felt it back before 3.0.8 (i think that’s the one) when I was raiding as BM. It just didn’t feel right. I think with time I could have gotten used to it, but it just wasn’t me. While all three specs are made for DPS they really do seem worlds apart when you actually play a hunter.

  16. I can understand the feeling of loss of uniqueness. Previously I felt like my pet choice was the only way to personalise my hunter as I was leveling, being that BM was & remains the best spec for that IMO. But once 3.0.8 provided the impetus to switch to another spec I decided I would try MM since the SV rotation didn’t appeal. Of course most switched to SV as the top DPS spec. After a while I began to relish my apparent uniqueness as a MM hunter. It became a source of pride. Being an avid reader of Rilgon’s blog also helped to reinforce my loyalty in my newfound spec. I now consider myself a dyed in the wool MM hunter & I hope that we don’t get buffed too much more. I’d hate for all the top-DPS chasers to suddenly switch to MM & take away this feeling of standing out amongst the crowd.

  17. I’ve been MM since I started too and I’m excited for this project because I’ve thought about doing something similar since dual speccing came out, and then I made a PVP MM spec and wimped out.

    As far as your pet holding aggro, if the stable’s full do you have any cunning pets?

    Since I’ve always been MM I’m used to the MD shoot shoot FD shoot shoot style of soloing, but with Disengage you should be able to get range long enough to kill if you haven’t by the first time the mob gets to you. And I solo with a ravager or moth or wolf, or lately a spider that I’m trying to level, Web ftw!

  18. Aggro, Mana, and long DoTs….you pretty much hit on the main SV issues/differences.

    Aggro: You are now the biggest, baddest aggro whore in the game. Keep in mind that with your raid gear, you are now an “elite” compared to mobs, and while pet scaling has improved, even a Tenacity pet isn’t going to hold aggro without MD and toning down your initial dps.

    My standard testing of new 80 tanks and their aggro generation is to run a heroic with them w/o MDing them at first (I’m usually twice the dps of any other dpsers in there). Once they realize that threat is more important than dps, I start MDing them. You’d be surprised how many tanks don’t realize the effect of MD.

    MDing the tank is almost automatic with me, whether in Heroics or Raids. If I don’t and start a raid shot priority right off, I get aggro. Every time. So, get used to MD, it’s your best friend.

    Mana: Soloing, things go down so fast, mana’s not really an issue. In 25s, multiple Replenishment sources mean it’s not a problem. In 5s and 10s, though, it can be, especially if *you* are the only source. A pally’s JoW is worth sweet-talking him/her…

    In 5s and 10s, and 25s even, I find after combat that I’ve popped AotV without even thinking. Keep in mind on longer boss fights how AotV and Viper sting work: AotV returns a set mana amount per shot now (not a % of shot damage like it used to), even on autoshots (used to be only mana shots). So going AotV and continuing your shot priority means you will be mana-starved as you are using as much or more mana than you gain. Pop AotV and autoshot and Steady Shot(SS uses less mana than it gains – the only mana shot that does – while keeping some semblance of dps) until mana is at 75%. If the boss uses mana, pop a Viper Sting for 3x (8% of your mana pool – Arcane Brilliance ftw…) and with AotV, it takes about 6 secs to get mana back. Keep in mind, you don’t want to hit Black Arrow during this (save for damage when you get mana back).

    Serpent and BA: Long DoTs, so soloing and on heroic/raid trash don’t bother, save the mana, unless your group’s dps is low enough the mobs last a while. Use traps instead, to either proc a LnL or a frost trap to give +3% crit to group (make sure to claim that extra 3% dps as your own..:P). Remember, let the mages top dps on trash, your job is the boss!

  19. Soloing as SV is pretty boring because as you’ve noted, everythign dies so quickly. If I’m going to send my pet, I’ll make a point of MDing 3 other mobs to it, then work through each mob. AOE won’t work unless you have a tenacity pet. If I’m single target killing, I use the old triple shot burst and don’t even bother sending my pet. I just select a mob, hit steady shot – ES- Aimed. A normal shot goes off right behind the steady shot, Global CD is over when steady goes off meaning you can fire the ES immediately, giving three immediate shots. Then with another autoshot followed by Aimed shot, and the mob will never get to me even if none of the shots crit.

    Even in 5-mans, I never really settle into the SV rotation anymore. My guild is working on Yogg, so we’re heavily geared, and even bosses in heroics don’t last longer then 2 minutes. Nowadays, I end up going to the target dummies just to get some practice time in with the rotation to keep the rust off between off days.

    Rules #3 and #4 in the list – pure win. Love that joke.

  20. Probably screamingly obvious, but you did talent up your pet after switching specs, right? I’ve made that mistake more often than I’d like to admit. It’s a little easier with the gorilla because he’ll stop thunderstomping, which is hard to miss, but my other pets? Not so much.

  21. Chillmaw can be kited – she has a rather small hit box, so even though it appears that she is on your butt, you can still shoot her in the face. I’ve done that more times than I can count.

  22. I’ve soloed Chillmaw before, but it really wasnt easy. Kiting is something I still need a LOT of practice with… maybe using a chimera has made me worse?

  23. ok, so I was lazy and instead of reading through all the comments – scrolled down to post mine ๐Ÿ˜› forgive me if I’m repeating someone.

    1 – you don’t have to run with a wolf if you don’t want to. my drae huntress runs with the cat she tamed back at level ten, in Teldrassil, no matter what spec and my belf huntress runs with either white winterspring cat or wailing caverns raptor. those are the pets I love and I refuse to taim a random wolf just because someone said its supposed to be better (my drae huntress is usually bm btw and I routinely outdps cookie cutter flash of the month survival hunters – doesn’t work as well when it comes to hunters who actually know what they are doing ๐Ÿ˜› )

    2. it is my firm belief that explosive shot has a taunt built into it. or something. because even with MD on every cooldown and with very capable tanks – I still come close to pulling aggro with it on a regular basis.

    3. survival soloing is as I’ve found out and you are finding out – an exercise in kiting and CC if you decide to go for more then one mob at a time :). your pet, even with growl is just another way to distract a mob for a moment (or 2) while you break distance. I use wyvern sting, traps, concussive shot a lot ๐Ÿ™‚ I most often keep growl turn off so that I can manually use it exactly when I need to. in its own way – its a lot of fun, but I have found that I cannot solo elites with it. too squishy – even with a tenacity pet (who only holds aggro for 3 seconds as opposed to 2 – gather up the mobs and volley them down does NOT work as a survival for me O_O)

  24. Funny.. I usually end up pet-tanking Chillmaw as survival. And yeah, I have pretty good gear.

    If I don’t have a group for Chillmaw, I’ll flip to my BM secondary and solo her without kiting.

    WRT pulling off your pet in a shot or two, if you’re really having issues with it and normal mobs, just send your pet in first and then hit it. Make sure you really have your pet’s Cower off and Growl on. You might also check that when you swapped to your dual spec that your pet has talents.

  25. Wow, glad you’re doing this. This is will help me look more at the noticeable differences between MM/Surv versus BM, when I decide to pick my dual-spec. c:

    Thank you for doing this. ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. Well that’s why your pet was having issues with aggro, it was a Wolf! ๐Ÿ˜›

    If you’d had a handy, dandy… *waits* …turtle!, you would’ve been just fine. ๐Ÿ˜›

  27. @Pike: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come off offensive, it’s just I get alot of stuff like that ingame as well. if i am survival, I’m always being told how unoriginal I am and that I am nothing but a copier. Though if I switch specs, then i cannot find myself getting into raids because, and I quote “SV is the best spec for dps, and if your not SV, then your dps will suck” I’ve heard that or a variation of that more than a handful of times. And I do like SV as well, it has a very complex, but at the same time, smooth “rotation.”
    And to top that off, ever since the release of wow I have had the Ramparts wolf…and was more or less the only one I had ever seen on my server who had and used one…until 3.1 was released, now everyone and there mother’s has a ramps wolf…and I get called unoriginal there too. So I think I am just going to stop trying to be original and just face that I there is no way out of it and just try my best to get into raids b/c that’s what I love doing.

    Sorry again and good luck in your spec adventures…I look forward to reading them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Pike,

    I am not going to try and give you advise on how to play a SV Hunter (My spec BTW) you have to figure that out yourself.
    I spec’ed a guildmate with the same spec as mine we both hit the training dummys and 30 min later she had quit and gone back to her old spec. cursing me saying that I was holding something back LOL.
    Then a week or two later I did a run with her and low and behold she was using my spec and her DPS was even better than mine.
    You see it takes time to unlearn play styles, you have to get in the head of a SV or MM hunter and really think about what you are doing. You control your DPS not your pet.

    Darkwood

  29. Psh turtles…Warp Stalkers are where it’s at. I love their teleport and if nothing else, will annoy the crap out of anyone else around with their sounds ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. I specced SV when they nerfed BM and they had LnL on SS procs. Those were the glory days of SV huntering. LnL proc’d so often it wasn’t even funny. Then they nerfed LnL. Now it almost never procs for me thus I don’t play SV anymore. Black Arrow is a very good shot but it has such a long cooldown AND shares your trap’s cooldown. LnL does proc off of it but it rarely does for me. SV is actually my “primary spec” and BM is my “off spec” but I’m always in BM now. I’m thinking about changing my SV spec to MM just to check it out, but currently I’m poor and have been trying to power level JC.

    Every Hunter I’ve seen running heroics or raids with me has always at some point whispered to me “why BM?” They then explain that SV does more DPS than BM blah, blah. I’ve always replied “because I love my spirit beast.” Yesterday I joined a Naxx10 group and they were up to Sapphiron. This was the first time I’ve ever done Sapphiron. The other Hunter, a SV Hunter, was much better geared than me, in mostly Valorous and ilvl 213 gear. I’m in mostly Hero’s and badge rewards gear, 2 crafted epics, and 3 pieces of Deadly Gladiator pvp gear. I out DPSed him and was second in DPS in my raid (everyone had better gear than me actually), only getting edged out by a DPS warrior. He /w me, “lol you’re making me look bad.” Makes me feel happy inside.

  31. @ Voldenmist – derp, I must apologize, I fear my original comment may have come off more harsh than I meant it to. =X Much <3

    @ the people asking if I spec'd my pet - yes, I did! I've swapped specs too many times in Naxx to forget by now. *nod*

  32. Like pretty much everybody says, as SV and MM (well, I won’t know about SV. My SV hunter is level 30 – what can I say? I’m utterly in love with my main – looks like I struck gold when I made my very first toon; a female Tauren MM hunter with a wolf XD), you could kill mobs before they come to you. I finally got LK a month ago and have been merrily running around Northrend, killing mobs in (I kid you not!) four hits. (Granted, I was geared quite nicely; I ran a lot of heroic instances.) I would just send in Howler, wait for him to pop off a growl, then get started with Serpent Sting, an Arcane shot, and a Concussive shot if situation calls for it, and then I end things with a Chimera Sting (an Aimed shot if necessary or a Kill shot. I’m not used to Kill shot yet).

    I doubt you should have too much issues soloing (I have no idea what Mazil was talking about. I leveled as a MM – which was since 2005, mind you – and compared to her, my BM, but especially my SV, hunters struggle with keeping the aggro on my pets!) as long as you’re patient enough to let your pet get a growl off and keep all the heavy-hitting shots for when the mobs reach about 50% health.

    That being said, what a great idea! It’s not too different from what I’m doing. I’m slightly OCD about not changing my characters’ specs… ever (though I did got dual spec for Watermist; the second is BM because I don’t expect to run any instances until 80 and I”m not going to raid. That being said, in BC I had many awesome adventures where as a newly minted level 70, I would successfully solo level 67 elites. Lot of fin) so hence my level 30 BM and 30 SV hunters (haven’t played them in a while; I’m busy with Watermist and my 70 Fire mage).

    What I’m really trying to say? Have fun! I bet you’ll learn a lot and maybe even enjoy the different challenges those specs give you! (What am I saying? It’s obvious you already are enjoying yourself! Lol. :D)

  33. Bored of the Tree already, Pike? (Should’ve gone with the Horde Bear…)

    Actually, I think when you get the knack of the other hunter specs, and are rewarded with big, fat crit numbers, the like of which you rarely ever saw as a BM, you’ll get a charge out of it like when you tried 53/11/7 for the first time, and found it Good. Your Tree could start to feel neglected.

    That’s been my experience for the last two weeks. I’m seeing 6K Chimera crits, 12K Kill crits, and I’ve even had a couple Kill Shots crit for 18K. That’s just sick.

    I think those of us BM Hunters who’ve stubbornly kept to the spec while we progressed through WotLK raids have gotten very, very good at getting maximum damage out of our spec. There are a lot of “average” Survival hunters out there, and I don’t find it difficult to beat them by hundreds of DPS on Patchwerk, even when I’m comparatively undergeared. (I love giving the impression to non-Hunters that BM is OP.)

    But take that skill, and put it into Marks or Survival, and I think you’re going to see a whole new level of performance. For me, MM was the way to go because I didn’t feel like restacking my gear for Agility. And it turns out the MM shot rotation (or priority) isn’t as difficult as I’d feared.

    I’m afraid my BM raiding days will be limited until Bliz fixes the pet scaling issues. In the meantime, maybe my Devilsaur and your Tree could arrange a play date…

  34. @ Chris – I am definitely still playing The Tree, (although for some reason people always want her as a Boomkin right now o.O), however, I want to keep the blog primarily hunter-focused so I am doing stuff on my hunter alongside The Tree.

    The Tree is making good progress, she’s gone from early-level-73 to over halfway through 74 in a couple of days.

  35. I look forward to the Week Of Marksmanship!

    I have tried to get into Survival but I just can’t do it. It doesn’t at all feel Huntery and it’s a spec that should totally feel Huntery – Like I’m out there living by the skin of my tusks, scavenging and eking out a living by fighting tricky and with guerilla tactics. Instead, it’s like a Warlock managing DoTs and procs.

    Of course Marksman feels like a clunky Mage but it’s at least got the whole gun-and-run thing going on which is handy. Not very Marksman-like though (odd that Survivalists get Sniper Training and Marksmen get Readiness but what can you do. I believe this is the same logic that gives my cat and wolf Spider’s Bite and my spider Roar Of Recovery).

    BM really is the spec that most feels like a Hunter and it’s the one I’m the absolute worst at playing.

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