Tag Archives: beast mastery

At Least When Real Life Sucks, Blizzard Still Loves Me

This morning has kind of sucked.  I’m going to avoid details for now but suffice to say now I get to do the fun adult game called Spending A Bunch of Money On Grown Up Stuff That Isn’t Video Games.

disgustFortunately, Blizzard Video Game Fun Company Ltd. Inc. has decided that they love me.  That Bestial Wrath buff I spoke up yesterday?  Guess what: it’s LIVE!

15 secondsIt’s live, and it’s glorious.  I’ve heard some people say the min/maxing isn’t a big improvement.  I don’t care.  It’s big, it’s red, it’s BACK, baby.

(I do so love how this was announced and then given to me all in one day.  I swear they did this specifically for yours truly.)

Also I can make carriers in my shipyard now.  And the dicerolls are giving me carriers with A++ names.  Like Rommath’s Fire.  It matches well with Lor’themar’s Arrow, and with Halduron’s Stupid Sexy Hair (okay, I don’t have that boat yet) (but I will)

So yeah.  Real life may not be my friend, but at least video games still are!


BMBestial Wrath now lasts 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds).


Do you guys remember back in the day when this sucker lasted 18 seconds?  Do you?  DO YOU?


everybody-stay-calm1Okay.  So let’s relax.  Everybody stay calm.  Couple deep breaths.  This is still “in testing” so it may not go live.  And if it does, who knows when it will actually hit.

But… but… guys…

CKcrOfSUwAAnk-s.jpg large


Bad News: Beast Mastery is Broken. Good News: It’s Getting Fixed.

So as I mentioned in my last post, a bug went live with the patch meaning that Focus Fire quit working completely.  Oops.  Pretty bad for us Beast Masters, especially seeing as Focus Fire optimization is kind of a major chunk of our DPS.

The good news is that Blizzard is aware of this and a hotfix is in testing.  Granted, I have no idea when that’s actually going to go live in the game… but… official word is nice, yes?

In the meantime you may want to respec if you have to do some serious raiding (Marksmanship seems to be looking good), or, if you’re stubborn like me, just stick with it.



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!

Beast Masters, have I got a WeakAuras script for you

Focus Fire is a very finicky and situational buff that Beast Master hunters have to be juggling a lot in order to maintain our top DPS.

WeakAuras is an addon that lets you import scripts that can tell you when and where to push buttons and things.

You can see where this is going.

Yes, there is a WeakAuras script that will display little bouncing icons telling you when to use Focus Fire and when to wait.  I put off installing this script for a while, because as I’m sure all three of you long-time readers that are still here recall, I was always proud of eschewing macros and scripts and things for, well, doing things the hard way.

Obligatory old-school raiding screenshot to break up the text.
Obligatory old-school raiding screenshot to break up the text.

But this script is great and, honestly, probably necessary because of just how much micromanagement you’ve gotta do with Focus Fire in order to get the most out of it.

Basically, install WeakAuras and then copy paste this entire script in.  Next, head to the nearest training dummy or proving grounds and watch in amazement as you’re suddenly doing more DPS because you’re timing Focus Fire correctly thanks to the WeakAuras alerts and warnings.  (With thanks to Summonstone for the tip-off).

Alrighty, that’s your guide for today.  Next time on How To BM Hunter: Ten Trillion Cooldowns, Juggling, and YOU!

Beast Mastery Stuff 4.0

Okay I’ve played around with Beast Mastery a bit in heroics and stuff and I have some tips for it. Note that this is not a comprehensive guide and I haven’t done any rooting around EJ or any real math or anything.


Beast Mastery is now providing a very different playstyle than it has in the past. See, we used to be all about burst. Now, we’re all about ramping up. Your AoE damage is gonna suck now that we’ve lost Volley and MultiShot is expensive, focus-wise. Your DPS is probably gonna suck if your group is full of warlocks doing 10k on bosses (did I mention that I’m back to leveling my warlock? >.>) and thus the bosses die within ten seconds. Where your DPS is going to shine is on longer fights that allow you to use Focus Fire, get some of those tasty Kill Command crit procs (can’t think of the name right now), and take advantage of the new Glyph of Kill Shot which is ridiculous and awesome.

In addition we have a lot of fun procs and a lot of fun buttons to press and while I still dislike the mechanic of Focus (until I get used to it anyway) I’m liking all the new stuff-to-do. I’ve spent some quality time with all three specs and I can honestly say that I find the new Beast Mastery to be the most fun– and I’d like to think that I’m not being biased when I say that, seeing that I really fell in love with Survival a couple months back.


Basically on a single-boss fight you are spamming Arcane and using Kill Command when it’s up. Use Bestial Wrath when it’s up. View Steady Shot as a “Mini-Viper” of sorts (that made the transition to using Focus easier for me). I.E., when your gas tank is starting to run dry, pop a couple of Steadies to get it back up to speed. Use Focus Fire when you see the icon light up. I had a comment ask if they had to be watching their pet’s Frenzy stacks now– no, you don’t, as far as I’m aware, because Blizzard is nice and made it so you get a big shiny glowy effect on your Focus Fire button when you can use it. (Note: you also get the big shiny glowy effect when your Kill Command “Killing Streak” thing procs.)

Just like I view Steady Shot as a new Mini-Viper, I also view Fervor as a Mini-Readiness of sorts, because it restores Focus to you and gives you a few extra seconds of Fun Stuff To Do. That is, I’ll pop it a few moments into a Boss Fight, as follows:


The Beast Within ->
Rapid Fire/Any Trinkets ->
Serpent Sting ->
Spam Arcane and use Kill Command when it’s up ->
Once Beast Within fades, pop Fervor… this will give you a little more juice now that you’re not getting the Focus cost reduction from TBW anymore. ->
Right around here Focus Fire is gonna light up, so use that. ->
Go back to Arcane/Kill Command and Steady as necessary. Serpent Sting again if you’ve got a ways to go on the boss. ->
Optional: Check Recount and feel special.

Pretty straightforward; scoop up the talents that give you DPS increases. Really the only choice you’ll be making is Spirit Bond vs. Improved Mend Pet. As usual I’m addicted to the latter but I imagine most people will pick the former, or perhaps put one point in each.

I had five non-Beast Master points left over, which I dumped into Go for the Throat and Efficiency.

Right now for Prime Glyphs I’m using Kill Shot, Steady Shot, and Arcane Shot. They’re sexy.

I’m using this. Use at your own risk because I sort of just made it up as I went along.

Corehounds are the current New Hotness because they get Bloodlust/Heroism. A lot of pets get a lot of great stuff though, check out this chart for details (I didn’t make it):

…of course, really the chart should have a line that says something to the effect of “Are you Pike -> Yes -> Use Whichever Pet is Prettiest” because you guys have to remember that I’m that person who refused to use a wolf throughout the entire duration of WotLK because I thought dinosaurs were much more awesome, so…

…yeah. *coughs*

I’m not sure if it’s bugged or what but Kill Command sure likes to tell me I’m “out of range” and the like when I try to use it. DISREGARD THAT, just wait to use Kill Command until your pet is actually attacking something.

Also my pets seem to be dying a lot.

Dunno, I’ll get back to you on those.

Okay, I think that’s about it. Questions/comments/rants/raves/rambles? Lemme know! *points to commenting link*

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…”


Beast Mastery Q&A June 2010

I haven’t raided since February. But I’ve done some heroics and testing/spreadsheeting.

Best Pet?: Elitist Jerks says Raptors (yay!) at very high gear levels. Wolves & Devilsaurs are testing out to be slightly higher for me in my ToC duds. By “slightly higher” I mean “about 20 DPS fully raid buffed”, whether or not that’s worth it for you is up to you.

Shot Rotation? Again, going by very high gear levels, Elitist Jerks says you can drop Arcane Shot. Spreadsheet tells me I can’t yet. Praise the light, I hate dropping shots, it makes me bored out of my mind.

Spec? I am still 53/11/7. I tried playing around with dropping Survival Instincts in favor of more points in Mortal Shots but the difference is minuscule (less than 10 DPS, fully raidbuffed). It might be worth a shot if you are better geared, however.

Is BM “viable” yet? Ah yes, that word with the nebulous definitions that people love to toss around. Ultimately this one comes down to you, what you are doing, and what your personal standards/opinions are, but I can tell you two things for sure:

One, Elitist Jerks says that at high gear levels the difference between BM and SV is now very minimal. Both lag noticeably behind MM, however.

Two, if I can pull this off on a single-target boss fight in a heroic as BM in oldschool ToC gear & freaking blue ammo:

…then anyone who makes fun of you for being BM in a heroic is, quite honestly, out of their looney little mind. And yes, you can tell them I said so.

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

A Sad Day for Bestial Wrath Addicts Everywhere

I was messing around with the spreadsheet the other day and learned something outright depressing.

See, for a long time, the Holy Trinity of Beast Master glyphs has been Glyph of Steady Shot, Glyph of Serpent Sting, and Glyph of Freakin’ 1.17 Second Cooldown Bestial Wrath.

But guys… we now remove our hats and bow our heads…

Because Glyph of the Hawk is apparently a significant DPS increase over Glyph of Bestial Wrath. (By “significant” I mean “close to 100 DPS”, though whether or not that is truly “significant” is up to you.)

*Taps plays somewhere in the distance*

Needless to say I fell into a state of denial and began playing around and swapping out the Serpent Sting and Steady Shot glyphs for the Hawk glyph to see if I could keep my beloved Bestial Wrath glyph, but to no avail. Everything else was a DPS loss. But turning Bestial Wrath into Hawk was a gain. Peh.

Will it effect me? Probably not. Because am I keeping the Bestial Wrath glyph(s, since I have three hunters that use one currently)? Probably yes. Guys. I’m raiding as the spec that does the lowest theoretical DPS of all of them and I’m not even using an optimal pet. When you’re already missing out on a thousand-ish DPS, by choice, 100 DPS doesn’t seem like a huge deal anymore, ya know?

On the other hand I’m gripped with the desire to do as much DPS as possible as a Beast Master, to make up for all the inherent shortcomings, but to be fair if we really need the DPS I’ll just switch to Marksmanship anyway. (Not like I do much more DPS as a Marksman than I do as a Beast Master, but ya know.)

Before my account expired, I did a couple heroics on Tawyn. I have a screenshot of 5.5k DPS in Halls of Lightning as a Beast Master. I’m happy. Whether you are happy is up to you, thus, the decision on whether to reglyph is also up to you! I just wanted to be sure I’m always here bringin’ you the news.

“Whoa whoa whoa, wait, Pike, your account expired? OMGWTFBBQ!!!1!!one!”

Yeah, my WoW account expired yesterday and I have not yet resubscribed. There are a couple reasons for this:

a.) both my birthday and Christmas are next week and people have been hinting around that I’ll be getting WoW game time cards as gifts, so I don’t really feel like restarting a credit card subscription cycle if I’m just going to be getting said cards next week anyway, and…

b.) some issues have come up in my personal/family life which have the potential to flip my life upside down, Prince of Bel-Air style, so I sort of don’t want to resubscribe before I know what’s going on with that. (Don’t worry, I’m not dying).

Ironically I have a lot of WoW-related blog post ideas floating around in my head at the moment, and my second account– home to one level 60 resto druid and one level 12 hunter– is still active for another couple of weeks if I need a fix, so! No worries.

I am seriously considering starting a second blog, however, specifically for non-WoW-related stuff, so in case the hiatus turns out longer than planned I will still have somewhere to jabber at. (I know I’ve pimped my Livejournal before in the past but frankly I don’t think LJ works very well as a public blogging medium– it’s more of a social networking thing– so I’d rather just make a subdomain here and start fresh. I’ll letcha know when I’ve got that set up.)

Wow, so, that blog post didn’t stay on topic, now did it…?