I haven’t been able to do a whole heck of a lot, but here’s what’s gone on…
As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve decided to focus on Beast Mastery at the moment; wrapping my head around it, then focusing on MM & SV once I feel comfortable with BM.
The PvP spec I’m going to try looks like this: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#cfhfckGdRRoZh
I’m not saying this is a recommended BM PvP spec, but it’s what made sense to me – for BM anyway. As for glyphs, I haven’t gotten that far yet.
The PvE spec I went with looks like this: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#cfhfckGzRRobZc:zsVcVsMz0
The only talent I’m on the fence about is Pathing. With Focus Fire up, I’ve got an already well-hasted 1.5 second Steady Shot cast time. Toss in the occasional proc from Needle Encrusted Scorpion (1.27 sec w/ buff), Potion of Speed, Ancient Hysteria or Rapid Fire (1.1 sec w/ buff), and I’m fast approaching a 1 second cast time – self buffed. Add a Windfury Totem to that and/or some stacking haste procs, and I’ll be reaching below the 1 sec global cooldown threshold.
This is also after reforging all of my haste in favor of Mastery. The image at right gives some examples of my Steady Shot cast times at my haste level, while self-buffed, and using no stacking haste or attack speed buffs. Even without Serpent’s Swiftness, BM hunters are still hasty. 😉
As you can see, I’m already pretty well hasted, so I’m thinking I may steal some points from Pathing and dump them into Improved Serpent Sting. I’m also not seeing focus regen being a problem as a Beast Master. We are well hasted by default, plus we have a plethora of talents to help prevent us from becoming focus-starved.
But isn’t haste the bees knees..? Doesn’t it help us regenerate focus at a faster rate..?
Yes, but it’s still only slightly better than it was pre-4.0.1. I’ll talk about stat weights in a moment…
As far as the glyphs I went with… they are a combination of ones I’d already known, and ones that weren’t requiring me to take out a loan to purchase them from the auction house. Scribes are making a killing right now, I’m sure.
I may swap out one or two in due time – we’ll see.
Hunter Stats in 4.0.1
Hit Rating is still the number one stat we must concern ourselves with. However, once we hit the hit rating cap of 8% (i.e., 246 hit rating w/out buffs of any sort), we can move on to the fun stuff…
Right now agility reigns supreme over all other DPS stats. Agility is now giving us 2 attack power per point of agility instead of 1 AP, as well as some crit.
After agility, Mastery is the next stat to focus on. Since Reforging is the only way to obtain Mastery at the moment, it is recommended that you reforge your secondary stats like haste and crit, in favor of more Mastery.
Crit is still a good stat, but it doesn’t shine as brightly as Mastery – especially as far as Beast Masters are concerned. We have far fewer crit-based talents, which in turn leaves crits looking somewhat less lustrous these days. A double damage attack is still nice, but crits are not as synergistic as before. A flat percentage-based increase to pet damage is better than crit, so don’t hesitate to trade some crit for Mastery.
Haste is slightly more desirable than it was pre-4.0.1, but it’s still at the bottom of the heap in terms of importance. Haste only affects two of our shots (auto and steady), and it still suffers from diminishing returns. Once the 1 sec Steady Shot cast time has been met (i.e., haste soft cap), the only benefits beyond that are more frequent auto shots and an ever-so-slightly increased focus regen rate.
Haste is a good stat, but it’s not as good as Mastery and not quite as good as crit. Beast Masters especially, should not worry about haste too much, since we already have a nice near-passive 15% haste buff with Focus Fire. I think it’s safe to say that you should reforge any haste on your gear, and shift those stats towards Mastery. BM hunters have a lot of talents to boost pet damage, which makes a percentage-based pet damage modifier quite attractive.
BM Shot Priority in 4.0.1
Obviously, one of the things I’ve been working on is the new shot priority for Beast Masters. I’ve not had a great deal of time to practice it yet, but from what I can tell….
Kill Command is our number one damage dealer, and top-priority attack, apart from Kill Shot. After KC, it’s Arcane Shot, then Steady Shot – all the while making sure that Serpent Sting is active.
- Hit Kill Command as soon as it’s off cooldown
- Apply Serpent Sting when it falls off
- Arcane Shot when KC is on cooldown
- Steady Shot to regen focus
While under the effect of TBW, we can pretty much spam Arcane Shot like nobody’s business, weaving in Kill Command when it’s ready. This is also seems like a good time to use Fervor, as it allows for maximum Arcane spammage while under TBW. You shouldn’t need to use Steady Shot at all while in big red.
Focus Fire is the new Kill Command
…for beast Masters anyway. Although I’m sure it could benefit from micro-management, the easiest way to go about things right now seems to be having Focus Fire macro’d in with all shots, much as KC was pre-4.0.1.
I have Arcane, Steady, KC and Serpent Sting set up like this:
#showtooltip Arcane Shot
/cast !Auto Shot
/cast Focus Fire
/cast Arcane Shot
Since Focus Fire is not on the GCD, this macro enables it to fire off every time it’s available, ensuring that I’m always properly hasted. Manual activation of FF would probably be ideal, but c’mon… getting used to the new shot priority and resource system is enough of a chore.
Anyway, try the macro and see if you like it. 🙂
Alright, so those are a few of my early impressions, thoughts, tips, etc… This info is subject to change in the weeks ahead, considering Blizz will no doubt be tweaking things, as well as me doing more work out in the field. I still have yet to enter a BG or complete a heroic. I tried to run a heroic last night, but DC’d just after entering. Maybe tonight I’ll have better luck.
I’ll try my best to stay on top of things and keep all youse updated with new findings and revelations…
Now for the important news!
I added some beasties to the collection… 😀
Only 17 more to go. 😀
Are all of you having as much fun as I am in the Pre-Cataclysm era..?