Tag Archives: spec testing

NOW We're Gettin' Somewhere


So that’s basically about, oh, 50-100 DPS more than I do as BM on 10man Patchwerk. I probably should’ve just snapshotted the Current Fight (I think it was on Overall) but hey, it was a nice number. And much more than I’ve normally been doing as Survival so far this week. (Even if the whole Twilight Torment thing from my pet kinda skewed the numbers. I had decent numbers on the other fights too, so it’s justified. /cough)

Mostly I’m surprised because I don’t feel like I changed my playstyle at all. I did wind up sucking it up and installing Quartz this morning, but I don’t think it had much of an effect, since overall my latency is pretty low and my FPS is pretty high. Very helpful for my moonkin, though. >.> 1900 DPS at level 75? Yes please. Aaaanyways, perhaps I just got the right mix of buffs, finally.

I feel like I am finally starting to get into the Survival groove. Maybe. At least, this was the first time I saw a bunch of mobs and thought “Oh! I should use Frost Trap for Lock and Load!” only to find out it was on cooldown because of Black Arrow. I’ll uh… remember next time. >.>

…Frost Trap is the one, right? <.<

In Which Pike Needs To Learn to Play

So I am both pleased and somewhat befuddled to report that any Beast Master worth their salt could destroy me in DPS right now. Seriously, today, spec’d cookie-cutter Survival and using a cookie-cutter wolf, in both a 10man and a 25man VoA… I wound up a good 300-400 DPS short of what I’d do as Beast Master.

…heck, I do more DPS as a Beast Master in 10man Naxx than I did as a Survivalist in 25man VoA today. And I had a kitty druid and a bazillion other yummy things in VoA that I normally don’t have in Naxx.

Before you ask, yes I’ve read the Elitist Jerks threads, yes I’m using a glyph/spec/rotation setup I got from them, and yes, I am being very careful not to overwrite my Explosive Shot DoTs when Lock n’ Load procs.

My only theories are a.) the massive slowdown my computer likes to throw at me in 25mans (though that still doesn’t explain the performance I wasn’t exactly proud of in the 10man today), b.) my AP gems are coming back to haunt me (Edit: Now that I think about it, I think I have mostly +hit gems… so never mind >.>), c.) it takes more than a few days to figure out the nuances of this spec, or d.) I hacked the gibson and bent the rules of the game to my will so BM simply does more DPS when I play it.

*shifty eyes*

I’m glad I’ve set the rule on myself that I must stay my test specs for a full week though, or I woulda given up and respec’d by now. I will figure out these Survivalist Shenanigans if it’s the last thing I do.

In druid news, I healed ZA. Well, part of it. Eagle Boss can go die. x_x

(P.S. Just to clarify, you don’t have to worry about me turning into a superhardcore min/max style hunter. I am going pure cookie-cutter right now merely out of curiosity to see if I can figure out what the hype is about, so to speak. Once my curiosity is sated I can go back to things like, well, using my raptor <3)

Survival SPECulation: Day Two

So my second day of full Survival was not particularly exciting, although I was pleased to wake up and find all sorts of helpful hints and the like left in comments on my blog (and really has me wanting to make a “What hunter spec are you?” poll, just for curiosity’s sake, since it seems a good deal of you actually are not BM!)

I did enough dailies to learn that my pet can hold aggro just fine if I let him chew on the mob for five seconds or so before I open up. I’m just so used to BM where I can basically start shooting the second I send my pet in. (Now to be fair, I do usually have to be in Aspect of the Beast even as BM or else I’ll pull, but hey.) Once I figured this out, solo’ing became much better than it was yesterday especially because I never dipped below about 80% mana. Ever. My inner mana-starved Beast Master kinda wanted to cry about it, I’ll admit.

I got into a quick Heroic Azjol’Nerub, and then a Heroic Violet Hold later on. I kept Recount open and set to “Show Current Fight” for each. My reaction to the resulting numbers was extremely variable, bouncing anywhere between “Gosh, this isn’t nearly as good as my BM numbers” to “Why am I getting Patchwerk numbers in a five-man?” The vast majority of my reactions were firmly in the middle, though– the “I am doing about the same amount of DPS” camp. All it took, though, was a good solid string of crits to push me back closer to 10man Patchwerk territory.

I have discovered that where Beast Master is all about mobility with things like Kindred Spirits, Survival and Sniper Training lean much more towards stillness. It’s sort of a new style of playing that I’m still trying to get used to. See, I love running around while fighting. It’s especially bad on my druid because all I ever cast are HoTs so I’ll run circles around the boss, jumping frantically up and down and twirling around while I toss Lifeblooms and Wild Growths around. While I’m not quite to that point with my hunter (thanks to the whole you-gotta-stand-still-to-shoot-anyway thing), I still enjoy mobility and I strafe around a lot, so learning to suppress that has been kinda difficult.

The day ended with pounding away on training dummies. Again, the numbers I wound up with were extremely varied. At best, I was getting about 400 DPS more than I do as BM, and at worst, about 100 less. The majority of my experiments placed me about 150ish DPS more than BM with no outside buffs. Honestly I don’t know if that’s good or not; I have no idea how much this Fabled Big Survival DPS Increase is supposed to be. ANYWAYS, as far as I am aware, I am using the correct glyphs, spec, and shot priority– juggling my two DoTs (Black Arrow and Serpent Sting) and then Kill Shot -> Explosive Shot -> Aimed Shot -> Steady Shot, as well as having to shake things up with the occasional Lock & Load procs. The Survival rotation is rather complex, but I’m pretty sure I had it down. It really does feel like a Boomkin on Speed (I am allowed to say this because nobody wants Trees in Violet Hold, they all want Priests for some reason which I’ve yet to ascertain. So I’ve spent a lot of time in the chicken suit lately when I play my druid.)

Honestly the biggest thing I noticed from my tests was that I can do 180,000 damage before running out of mana as Beast Master, and 260,000 before running out of mana as Survival. Similar DPS, but huge difference in overall net damage done.

Regardless, I am only two days into the Grand Experiment, so we’ll see how things continue to go…

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!


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! ^_^