Here are a couple of reasons why I went back to Beast Mastery this past weekend.
When I first started playing WoW, I was immediately drawn to the Hunter class. After creating my Hunter and then learning about talents and how to apportion them, I was equally drawn to the Beast Mastery aspect of the class.
Apart from the few times I respecced for arena, I have always been a Beast Master Hunter. It’s what I’ve always enjoyed playing, and it’s what I will continue to enjoy.
After chewing through eight bosses in a Naxxramas 10 man PuG as Marksman, it occurred to me that I just wasn’t enjoying the spec as much. My DPS was pretty decent as MM, and surpassed what I had done as BM prior to 3.1. However, it wasn’t as noticeable of an increase as I’d assumed it would be. Most importantly, I missed my big red pet.
I then hit up some BGs as MM and found that to be very enjoyable. The burst that MM provides for PvP is insane, especially with some well timed Readiness thrown in. This concept now threw my previous notions out the window. My plan was to spec MM for raiding and BM for PvP. Now what the hell was I to do?
I then decided since I was going to be respeccing for a more PvP oriented MM flavor, I’d give Survival another go in the meantime. I tried two different SV specs since the patch, and well, I just really don’t care for it. I still haven’t dismissed it completely for PvP, but as a raiding spec I just felt as if I’d be staring at my cooldowns constantly, and not really able to pay attention to much else.
SV has by far the most complicated shot priority with the advent of Black Arrow. I’d probably have to adjust my UI to accomodate this style of play and, well.. I don’t want to do that. I also prefer to watch the fight, and not have to feel like I need to be solely fcused on cooldowns the whole time. For PvP, I may revisit it at some point.
Eventually, I ended up going with a LnL MM spec for PvP and then a BM spec I hadn’t tried yet for PvE. The BM spec I went with is a 52/14/5 raiding spec. It is not an ElitistJerks approved spec, but so far I like it and have found it to be pretty solid. I’ve chosen to neglect the 51 point Beast Mastery talent, because Wild Hunt seems to be broken right now. I had tried putting two points into it, but the buffs didn’t apply to my pet. I’ve read stories about people claiming you need to re-log to have it apply after resummoning a pet, but I just don’t want to deal with it until it’s fixed.
I really need to test drive this new spec in a good 3hr+ Naxx run to see how it performs. I’m hoping to get some raiding time in this week, which will give me a good idea on whether it’s a decent improvement over my pre 3.1 setup.
The shot priority doesn’t get any easier than with this spec. It’s faceroll Huntering at its finest. 😉 Basically, you can open with Multi Shot if there is no CC to worry about, then Arcane Shot followed by Serpent Sting and Steady Shot. After that, just keep Serpent Sting applied, and maintain the shot priority of: Kill Shot (when avail) – Multi – Arcane – Steady. Multi can be left out of the rotation altogether for long fights, especially if mana is a problem. Aside from Kill Shot, Arcane and Steady are the meat and potatoes of this shot priority.
For glyphs, I’ve chosen to use Bestial Wrath, Hawk, and Steady. I’m seeing more and more information pointing to Glyph of the Hawk as being better than Serpent Sting for BM. It makes sense to me, because the bulk of my damage comes from auto-shots.
Now for my other spec… Would you believe I went BM for that one too? Well, I did. It wasn’t my intention at the time, but I sort of blew it during my respecs. I overlooked the fact that my BM raiding spec lacked the Exotic Pet 51 point talent. I was reminded of this when I went back to my stable to abandon one of my exotics in favor of a PvP pet. I’m actually glad this happened, because it saved me from making a hasty decision that I may have regretted.
Needless to say, I decided to spec back to my 53/18/0 BM spec for PvP again to see how it goes. I’ve been using my Chimaera, and so far I’m really optimistic about this setup for BGs and Arena. If I start struggling with this setup, or if another spec lends itself better to a particular arena team, I’ll probably switch to SV or possibly MM again. Until that time, I plan on enjoying PvP as a Beast Master.
It’s always been a great PvP spec for me in the past, but I’m thinking of tweaking and fine-tuning it some more. For instance, moving the 3 points from Thick Hide into IAotM. That change would put me well over 30% dodge in Dragonhawk. 2/2 in GfTT seems like a good idea too since I won’t have as many chances to proc this in arena, but when it does proc, 50 focus would be a definite advantage.
So there ya have it. After hours of research and contemplation, I’ve found myself returning to what I enjoy most. After all, that’s what this game is supposed to be all about. In the big picture, just how important is it to be a cooldown monitoring, theorycrafting, spreadsheet junkie. Is WoW really worth putting all that effort and critical thought into? For some maybe, but I prefer taming Spirit Beasts and stacking stamina and haste to do fun things like this.