There’s been a lot of hunter discussion and debate the last couple a weeks – ever since the bright and shiny patch of 3.0.8
Survival appears to be the new raid DPS king. The virtual proof is in the linkage:
- Elitist Jerks cookie cutter survival spec
- Seeing Big Red Kitty respec
- Pikes dilemma and its resolution
- Reading creative storywriting over on Mirshalak’s Lair
…and well, theres plenty more out there if ya looking.
NB: If you are thinking of giving survival a whirl now that it’s all the rage Lienna has a nice post that will help you understand each step of the survival tree. And the Hunting Lodge has posted a big survival guide. Oh yeah theres also a nice FAQ on the WoW forums for a change.
MarksMan remains respectable in the way that only ‘a spec that the non-hunter community doesn’t really get’ can be:
/QUOTE “oh he’s a Marksman I guess that’s okay, I hear survivals better? At least he’s not a BM… cough” /UNQUOTE
And Beast Master is our current smelly child spec… but they still have the big red and the shiniest pet options. However before all us rats jump ship keep in mind that rumor has it the BM spec is probably going to get a buff in some future patch (no surprise really.)
[Frankly I think that the way blizzard keeps me playing is by constantly changing my class mechanics… its kinda like a research rubrics cube every time a new patch turns my hunter world on its head.]
Spec(ters) of the past:
Personally I’ve been a Beast Master in many toon incarnations, including my current existence as a casual orc type on Twisting Nether. I was a happy Marksman come Burning Crusade (with a slight addiction to my crits and silences and scatter face-shot.) I couldn’t resist at least trying a few exotic coloured pets come Wrath what with all the extra stable slots and it was back to Beast Master. And way, way, way back in the day I was actually a tiny weeny survivalist who had just discovered PVP and had grand ideas of being a High Warlord in the 20’s WSG bracket (cough… what a sweet fanatical noob.)
My personal play-style: Is kinda slap happy.
Oh it’s not bad… but it is all over the place. I’m not really a dedicated raider or PVP twink or in any kind of guild that has huge time and roleplay commitments. I kinda do a little casual everything and enjoy the WoW world. I love alts, I particularly love low level alts.
Mind you while I’m no raider, I have a few group-play values. I believe in communication, preparation and heck just being polite to other players.
I mean if you ever get me in a PUG I can sure as hell listen to voice, watch the raid channel and follow directions. I’m one of those hunters that can actually stop shooting on command, like when Naj’entus casts a tidal shield, even when no one has a Boss Mod announcing or heck if I am going to reminisce, then I’m one of the toons didn’t try to drag old Vanndar Stormpike out of his bunker after the patch that caused this action to start a fight reset.
I don’t go bounce in the front of some boss mob like a loony when the rest of the group is still drinking and buffing up
(NB: err well I can follow directions if they are clear directions… I’ve been in some crazy arsed PUGed raids – I mean there was this one group just this week that had 5 raid assists and at least 3 were talking completely in raid warning, while every five minutes there was a ready check to answer various “r u heals” type queries @_@, after twenty minutes of this I felt like feigning death and /whispering to guildies: “heeelp meeee”.)
Heh and I come complete with a full ammo pouch and a box of spare bullets, my own food, bandages and potions… this independent preparation is all a spillover from being a PVP enthusiast really – you got no one looking out for you in a battleground, no guarantee that anyone will heal you, no sure free meal table, heck you’re in the luck if anyone actually even tosses a buff your way.
On the other hand since I don’t have a big guild with scheduled runs you won’t find me toting the very best consumables… I tend to waste my time questing and bumming around the WoW world rather than farming up the weekly quota of flask ingredients.
I have a whole heap of hunter play-values. I believe in good pet management, which includes keeping fluffy alive, keeping fluffy feed, making sure he doesn’t humiliate (or irritate) my tank by pulling aggro, and making sure he is not making friends with unwanted mobs over in the corner.
My hunter play values include weird things like getting to share excessive amounts of ‘incoming’ style information with PVP pugs (woot for track things), keeping a flare on any flag buddies I have so they don’t get sapped in BGs, trapping mobs that attack my guild’s Tree in instances when he’s healing, buffing fleeing PUGs with Aspect-of-the-Run-Fast-Everybody as we all run towards an instance portal after some truly screwy F%$#@-up (for the third time in a row). I mean the list goes on. I never leave the capital without arrows and repairs … and I like to bandage rogues and warriors because, hey, hunters can do anything … even heal.
I’m totally into hunters (50% more likely to drag around some baby hunter noob than any other type should I come across them.)
I’m totally into pets, even if I always end up with a wolf in the end.
But I don’t have any particular spec loyalty.
So I’m survival now:
Ha, no surprise there – so is a good portion of the hunter community at the moment. So of course I have to get in and see what all the fuss is about, I couldn’t resist the exotic pets either. I’ve been meaning to try survival for a time now – as soon as I managed to get an agility stat of around 500+ (which really isn’t too hard these days what with all the nice crafted Wrath gear floating around.)
I was originally planning to drop BeastMaster for Marksman in any case, as despite having a nice 51 points in the BM talent tree… I wasn’t using any exotic pets at all – yep just your regular wolf & bear with a wasp & spider on the way up in the stable… nothing special about my pet lineup.
But with the big stir-up about survival I remembered that I haven’t played it since oh way, way, way back like I said earlier – and if the spec is equally viable for group DPS, solo work and PVP it might be the best option to try next (it doesn’t hurt that I get to hide amongst the masses :p). However mainly the change is because I damn well need a play style change or the hunter toon is going to get benched out of boredom for a level 25 druid… no joke.
[Frankly I am suffering a little hunter burnout … you know the way it goes, I’m kinda tried of being DPS… I wanna be a tank type or a healer type for a change… sigh. I have a couple of druid babies in the works at the moment and my enhancement shaman will probably end up as a resto shammy]
In anycase my thoughts on survival so far:
I feel like I am doing more damage even compared to my old BM DPS because now I get to watch crits flash up in the combat text (ahh there my crit urge is satisfied.)
You really don’t want anyone to even touch you in PVP. Have a trap down (fire actually, for extra damage) and a flare up, get a mod to help you stand at maximum range. The zerg situations found in wintergrasp and strand of the ancients actually help achieve this “touch-me-not” goal… makes it easier to fly under the radar, and makes sure you have a fair bit of raid assistance around you.
Wyvern Sting is your PVP friend… it’s about your only PVP friend unless you spent valuable dps points on pvp talents… like improved wing clip and raptor strike etc (I didn’t 😦 )
I had to create a shot rotation macro and bind it to my mouse wheel because it is just too complicated to try and fire ordered SV rotation shots while legging it, I included aimed shot in my rotation because I PVP on the fly so much… and anything seems to be better than steady at the moment. The sting is still an independent shot.
Warriors, DK’s and rogues are actually slightly easier to dps down at the moment – so long as they don’t come gunning for me. (Thinking of trading the wolf over for a wasp now that armoured types are my new fav target.)
My only concern is that we were using my hunter pet to tank for the guilds 3-4 man outings lately (Pally is back to being a Shammy = no tank), and I am not sure the doggie or even Frank the Tank will be able to handle the heat without all the little buffs BM gives them.