But I Don’t Feel Like You Failed Me, Blizz

So I was browsing MMO-Champion and stumbled upon this blue post:

The only specs we really failed on in LK raiding were Frost mage, Subtlety rogue, BM hunter and Arms warrior.

…and I thought, “BM hunter? Really?”

I mean, I know tons of people see it that way, but I don’t.

Here is a handy list of stuff I raided as a Beast Master hunter:

  • Naxx
  • Obsidian Sanctum
  • Obsidian Sanctum hard modes back when they were still semi-hard
  • Eye of Eternity
  • Ulduar up through about half of Yogg
  • Various Ulduar hard modes (back when they were still hard)
  • VoA
  • Onyxia
  • ToC
  • Various ToC hard modes
  • ICC, the two times I went in there before I quit raiding

I dunno Blizz, I appreciate the concern, really, but I don’t feel like you failed me. I mean, maybe you did for that dark period between 3.0.8 and when you started giving us consolation buffs (although that didn’t stop me from raiding as Beast Master), but now that we’ve reached the end of WotLK, the spreadsheet has proven that a geared BM hunter does just as much DPS as a geared Survival hunter.  Tons of raiding hunters still play Survival, don’t they? Even though Marks has shown to outstrip it?

See, ultimately what bothered me the most about “spec issues” this entire expansion wasn’t the game mechanics so much as it was a good portion of the playerbase. If you had a problem with raiding BM hunters during the Ulduar era or even during the ToC era, then fine– my guild and I operated differently, but I can see where you were coming from.

But then ICC showed up, BM got more buffs, BM became essentially equal in DPS to SV, and yet blogs/forums were still only posting strats for MM and SV while ignoring BM, and various people in game were still picking on BM while gladly accepting SV raiders.

Yeah. I’m not seeing any logic here. (Please let me know if you see it, so I can correct it and put my foot in my mouth.)

Anyways, enough about that. I don’t raid anymore, and I don’t really seriously play my hunters anymore, so ultimately this doesn’t affect me, other than finally allowing me to get something off of my chest that has been bothering me the last few months. I guess I just wanted to say that I just found it odd that Ghostcrawler lumped BM hunters in with, say, sub rogues and frost mages, who, from what I understand, have it FAR worse off than we do. So yeah, don’t worry about it too much, Blizz. All’s good in hunterland. Go work on our frosty and stealthy friends.

Well, that’s all for now on one of my rare excursions into WoWblog-land recently. I have to admit, blogging here feels kind of odd lately. It truly does feel like what Aspect of the Hare used to be left back in February when I went on hiatus, and I don’t think it’s coming back, even if I do keep blogging here. Not to say that’s a bad thing. I just want to overhaul the blog and shift the focus a bit. I think more story posts are in order. You know, like “Once upon a time, there was this PuG…”


25 thoughts on “But I Don’t Feel Like You Failed Me, Blizz”

  1. Well, it may be as you say. I’m not insanely geared. But I can count almost daily on someone saying “why are you still BM, lol noob” or some such in a PUG. It even happened once in a guild run where another guild was present. And it is true that the MM who poked at me the whole run was doing twice the dps… in much higher ilevel gear. I’m not giving up my stompy dinosaur or lava dripping corehound, but I admit it would be nice if we did comparable dps to the MM/SV folks.

  2. I think the problem with BM wasn’t necessarily the damage they did in this expansion as much as the less interesting rotation. The shot weaving for BM is pretty boring (IMO) as compared to MM or SV. I think BM could have used a tree-specific shot personally, but what is done is done. I look forward to seeing what they do in Cata.

    Your comment about guild recruiting is totally spot on. Once people get it into their minds that a certain spec is ‘bad’, it is hard to break out of that.

    BTW, It’s good to see you posting more on the hunter blog again. Totally missed your posts here. 🙂

  3. The logic is that BM requires a very heavy investment of gear to get to that level. It’s an investment of gear that most guilds aren’t willing to make. *shrug*

  4. I think you’re right on this. Back when I still played we (against what we all thought was common sense in my guild..) Pugged a BM hunter at one point, he wasn’t fantastically geared but he pulled great dps being able to keep up perfectly, if not better, then our just as geared (If not better geared) SV hunter we had also pugged, both were great players but it showed us that when played right BM is a fine raid spec. Sub rogues also aren’t bad if played right, or should I say exceptionally. I Met one once who just tore up the dps, doing about 12k+ Single target, it was amazing, same with the very rare and few between exceptional frost mage. With the later 2 though you need a greater amount of skill and gear to be able to pull of what BM can in comparison. 🙂

  5. We actually run with 3 hunters in our 10-man raids. And we usually have one of each spec, and they are consistently our top 3 dps. It was also pretty handy to have different buffs. (No arcane mage or ret pally).

    The differences are there, but they are marginal.

    (Mmm… margarine… er… where was I?)

  6. You can raid as any spec, but some specs just aren’t strong enough to raid hardcore progression. All other things being equal–skill, gear, composition–BM hunters were passed over in favor of MM and SV hunters. That’s where Blizzard failed BM hunters. If you raided successfully and enjoyably as BM, then, in your case, Blizzard did not fail you. But I know other hunters who wanted to raid as BM but couldn’t because losing 1.5k-3k dps resulted in wipes instead of kills.

    (One might say that Blizzard failed MM and SV hunters more in BC than they failed BM hunters in Wrath, but that’s another topic :D)

    @Rilgon: http://worldoflogs.com/rankings/players/Icecrown_Citadel/Festergut/25H/Subtlety_Rogue/
    12k by a sub rogue is possible, but very hard to do.

  7. I agree with you, Pike. I’m not raiding any more either, but I never felt sub-par when I was able to raid as BM. I think people just got really caught up in the “BM is bad” hoopla, and they’ve already forgotten about the glory days of the spec back in BC. Just yesterday I was reading BBB, and he had a bunch of “You might be a bad tank if…” quips up. In the first bunch was one about losing threat to a freshly-dinged 80 BM hunter. I just thought… “Really?” I mean come on, losing threat to any fresh 80 DPS is bad, but did they have to pick on BM hunters? /sigh

  8. Pike! Don’t say “All’s good in Hunterland”! We still want to be able to tame girraffes, kodos and Feralas wasps!

  9. The BM saga through WotLK breaks down to this… When LK went live, BM hunters were consistently lagging behind Marksmanship by almost 30% damage (in high end raiding). At the time, Survival was down about 15% from Marksmanship.

    Through a series of buffs over the last 2 years, they have managed to get Survival down to about 8% or so, and BM down to about 10% or so.

    The prime point to make here is that this is all based on high-end players in high-end gear.

    The difference was / is not as harsh (or obvious) in 5-man dungeons. It is possible that scaling with buffs was a core problem with BM during that stretch. It is truly hard to say.

    It was also perfectly possible during early LK to be a BM hunter that topped charts in raid content… in all likleyhood however, that probably meant that your other dps players were either undergeared or (quite frankly) not very good at dps.

  10. @ Rilgon – I knew it would be you who provided my long-awaited logic. <3 That makes sense, my point remains, however, that BM hunters are much better off than some other specs. (Unless I am severely mistaken)

    @ Carrie and Chawa - To be fair, that one is actually very understandable. A BM hunter is splitting threat with his or her pet. Thus, to lose aggro to a BM hunter is much worse than losing aggro to any other DPS class/spec I can think of... has nothing to do with the BM hunter's skill! 🙂 That's one of the things I like about running as BM, especially in heroics, if I run as MM it seems like I'm grabbing aggro all the freakin' time.

    @ Neutrallo - Well for a good chunk of early WotLK (I'm going to say three to four months?) including much raid content, BM was *THE* only acceptable raiding spec for hunters. Upon its nerf, Survival became *THE* spec. Marksmanship didn't really gain its stride until much later.

  11. I dunno about high end, progression raiding, but I do know that my BM main can more than hold his own in TOC, VOA and ICC PUGs. My gear is mostly badge gear and heroic drops, with one or two crafted and BOE items from the AH. I usually get a few of the “Oh no, not another BM Huntard” messages at the start of raids, but they usually change their tune once they see the damage meters…

  12. Thanks for that clarification Pike. Obviously, I’m over-geared to be BM-defensive. Bad of me!

    And thanks for this post and getting this off your chest. I do like your rare excursions into WoW-bloggings. Your insight is invaluable! <3

  13. the cases of all four semi-viable specs are interesting and different.

    arms is probably the one which has done the best in terms of raiding, where it was pretty competitive (and sometimes superior) up until basically ICC where Fury simply outscales it. the basic design of arms, it’s utility, and so forth, are all pretty solid and it only started to fall apart at the end. it’s actually kind of amazing and a testament to fairly good design that warriors haven’t really changed much in terms of mechanics through wrath.

    subtlety is pretty weird, where it went through spikes of, depending on conditions, being leaps and bounds ahead of other rogue specs, due to the quirky behavior of Honor Among Thieves. the bug-fix which gave all sub rogues a HaT CP any time one sub rogue got a CP from HaT, the removal of pets, and ultimately the 1-second ICD on the talent nerfed it from doing 14k well before ICC (i think it was on the pre-ToC ptr that folks were squeezing that much out of the pre-cooldown HaT), down to a total joke, back up to being about 10% behind other rogue specs in BiS gear (or so Mavanas spreadsheeted at the time of the 3.3.3 buffs – stronger, cheaper hemos, lots of free agility, built-in rupture crits, and free, shorter shadowsteps as a damage boost).

    frost and BM kind of follow a trajectory similar to each other. for most of early-ish wrath, they seemed almost intentionally weaker than other specs, probably due to pvp and leveling/soloing strengths, and the designers probably felt they needed to be a little weaker due to their utility. they slowly built up buffs for them, to the point where they might be a little behind, but not nearly as far behind as people like to think. top-level BM beats SV, from what I read, and seldom does a VoA pug for my frost mage go by where i don’t top the charts on the fire boss, or top the ranged dps on the ice boss. actually, the last time i recall being beaten on toravon dps was by… get this… another frost mage.

  14. I don’t think frost mages are not nearly so bad off as people like to think they are, either. I’ve seen Krizzlybear’s recount screenies (from frost is the new black) and they look pretty good to me. Better than what my arcane mage does in the hands of an underskilled player like me.

  15. @ lonomonkey – Indeed, all my engineers are getting it ASAP. *nod*

    @ Chawa – Aww, thanks for the love! <3

    @ thebitterfig and Rhii - Thanks for the clarifications. As you can probably tell, my knowledge of high-end raiding with non-hunter and non-druid classes is pretty nil. And yeah, as for Krizzlybear, I'm 99% sure he would roflstomp all over me in a DPS contest...

  16. ….you know, having raided as ALL of those specs during WotLK, I don’t feel like BLizz failed them at all. They were all extremely competitive, and guild mates always laughed at my unusual spec choice until I beat their DPS in blues. I think Blizz’s conclusion is based more on the ratio of those specs being played than on the actual performance of the specs, because over all a half-decent player could come very close to similar DPS from other specs using these “failed” specs, and a good to great player could pass other specs and become extremely competitive. I feel there is a lot of strength in the differences of those specs, and people who thought they were weak simply didn’t understand them.

  17. @Kieran – I completely agree with you.

    My guild raids 10-mans with 2-3 hunters, our star mage is also our best shammy healer. Personally I am the least geared of the the three hunters and continuously I am at the top of the list as far as dps and/or damage done (you can have 8k dps but you are no good to guild if you spent half the fight dead on the floor) and I’m also the resident BM hunter. I’ve been a BM hunter since back in vanilla-WoW and I love it. In the early days of WotLK when the word BM was a dirty word, I was tanking dungeons with my gorilladin. I even went as far as tanking lvl 60 Ony and getting the achievement for the whole guild. My motto since then is “Show me a hunter who doesn’t believe in BM and I’ll show you a player that doesn’t know his/her class”

  18. I think BM just scales very poorly with gear at the moment. Your pet only gets AP and Stam from your gear. Other DPS (crit, haste, ArP) stats do not transfer over to your pet so at higher levels of gear as the hunter does more and more DPS, the pet’s DPS increase gets smaller and smaller. I’m not sure how they’re doing pet scaling in Cataclysm but they’re supposed to scale perfectly so that’s extremely good news. I think that will definitely help make BM’s DPS closer to MM but we don’t know for sure. Of course I have no idea which spec will do the most DPS in Cata so I’m basing everything on DPS in Wrath.

    But the new changes to BM and it’s interaction with the pet with a redisigned Focused Fire

  19. (fail… I pushed submit)

    ~is very interesting and will help make BM stand out more. I think it’s very interesting the Kill Command will be the signature BM “shot.” We’ll see though. Can’t wait for Cata to come out!

  20. As a medium geared hunter, (i have stuff from uld 10/25 to toc 25 gear) i pull about 3k in a 25 man. I am BM. one thing i learned. if you go into the next expantion, level like crazy, and fall onto the little conveyor belt through endgame, then you do fine… if you know how to play your class. ive been in icc’s where the top gear mm hunter says can i have that cloth peace. and i over dps him.

    Btw pike… i was on my main in a kara pug… Worgen claw necklace dropped… sorry.

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