Just as the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. In keeping with this belief, I offer you my version of how I’m adapting to the new hunter mechanics in 4.0.1…
Playing a hunter feels a lot more “frenzied” right now, as far as I’m concerned. Without a predictable resource system, we’re having to constantly make split-second decisions on which abilities to use and when. I imagine in time a natural rhythm will start to develop, but until then, we need to re-learn appropriate usage and prioritization of our abilities.
Since I’m a BM hunter at heart, I’ve elected to set out and make it the first spec I’ve decided to conquer. The following image is a demonstration of what I’ve done to help myself adjust to the new BM priority and hunter resource mechanics.
Power Auras to the rescue
While I’m sure there are plenty of ways to assist one in adapting to a new shot priority, I am a huge proponent of Power Auras. Anyone who’s followed this site for any length of time will know this. The reason I like Power Auras so much is because it’s extremely customizable, but more importantly, it puts the important informations right where you need them – where the action is.
What I’ve done is create a set of skill icons, which notify me of certain things. I’ve arranged them just below my character in a manner that makes sense to me. Here is what they tell me…
The icon at top-left is Kill Command. I placed it top-left because it is our highest priority ability as Beast Masters. It displays when KC is available. As soon as I activate it, it then disappears for 6 seconds, reappearing when KC is off cooldown.
To the right of it is Serpent Sting. This icon pops up when Serpent Sting has fallen off my target. It goes away once Serpent Sting has been applied.
The center icon is Arcane Shot, e.g., the hunter focus-dump. As long as KC and SerpS are not lit up, I can spam this as long as it appears. Once it’s gone, I know I’m getting low on focus and it’s time to bust off some Steadies.
Just to the right of Arcane Shot is Bestial Wrath, and to the right of it – Fervor. Both of these icons display once they are available for use, then disappear when they’re on cooldown.
Now this setup is just something quick ‘n’ dirty that I came up with last night. I may alter it or abandon it once I get more comfy with things, but for now, it works smashingly I’ve found. 🙂
The one thing I would like to add is a handy low-focus notification via Power Auras, but I’ve yet to be able to configure that. If someone else has managed this, then I’d love to see your PA string for it. If I come up with one, I’ll be sure to post it.
In the meantime, I’ve gone ahead and brought my unit frames in a bit tighter and increased the size of the resource bar for easier monitoring. You can’t solely rely upon the spell alerts, as monitoring your available focus is still very important, which is why I’ve positioned my unit frames in such a way. Some hunters are swearing by a focus bar addon, which can be positioned anywhere. If someone has experience with this, or can post a link, I’d appreciate it. 🙂
Anyway… this system has helped me out quite a bit in adapting to the new hunter changes in 4.0.1. This example is of course geared for BM hunters, but I’m sure the principle can be applied for MM and SV as well.
Here are the strings if you’d like to try these auras out…
Of course, you’ll need to download and install Power Auras first if you do not have it. Info on importing these strings can be found here, or you can simply follow these steps:
- Open up your Power Auras config menu by typing in /powa.
- Copy the Power Aura string that you wish to import.
- Click on the Import button in the Power Auras config menu.
- Hit ctrl-v to paste them into the import field.
- Click Accept
- Repeat these steps for any and all that you wish to import.
Version:4.4; icon:Ability_Hunter_KillCommand; buffname:Kill Command; x:-70; bufftype:7; alpha:1; owntex:true; isResting:0; exact:true; spec2:false; spec1:false; combat:true; size:0.1; y:-120; texmode:2
Version:4.4; target:true; icon:Ability_Hunter_Quickshot; buffname:Serpent Sting; x:-35; bufftype:2; alpha:1; owntex:true; isResting:0; mine:true; exact:true; spec2:false; spec1:false; combat:true; size:0.1; y:-125; texmode:2; inverse:true
Version:4.4; icon:Ability_ImpalingBolt; buffname:Arcane Shot; bufftype:7; alpha:1; owntex:true; isResting:0; spec2:false; spec1:false; combat:true; size:0.1; y:-130; texmode:2
Version:4.4; icon:Ability_Druid_FerociousBite; buffname:Bestial Wrath; x:35; bufftype:7; alpha:1; owntex:true; isResting:0; spec2:false; spec1:false; combat:true; size:0.1; y:-125; texmode:2
Version:4.4; icon:Ability_Hunter_AspectoftheViper; buffname:Fervor; x:70; bufftype:7; alpha:1; owntex:true; isResting:0; spec2:false; spec1:false; combat:true; size:0.1; y:-120; texmode:2
BM Shot Priority and fight Mechanics in 4.0.1
These findings are subject to change as more testing has yet to be done, in addition to the pending updates and balancing that Blizz will be performing. However, this info may be of some use to those of you who are struggling with Beast Mastery at the moment…
4.0.1 BM Shot Priority:
- Kill Shot
- Kill Command
- Serpent Sting
- Arcane Shot
- Steady Shot
The basic mechanics of a single-mob boss fight are as follows:
- Apply Hunter’s Mark
- Cast Misdirection on Tank
- Serpent Sting
- KC when pet gets to mob
- Arcane Shot when KC is on cooldown
- Steadies to regen focus as needed
I also try to make sure I have an ample supply of focus just before I hit Bestial Wrath. During the enrage, we can spam Arcane Shot pretty much non-stop, replenishing our Focus with Fervor during this time.
For AoE on trash, I’ve been using a combination of launching an Explosive Trap pre-pull, then following up with Multi-Shots, Steadies to replenish, more Multis, etc… Big red, if you have it, can allow for some good multi-target damage during these pulls, as it allows you to cram in double the amount of Mulit-Shots.
BM Focus Fire macro
In the post just prior to this one, I made mention of a new macro I’m using. In case you missed it, here ’tis…
#showtooltip Arcane Shot
/cast !Auto Shot
/cast Focus Fire
/cast Arcane Shot
I’ve been using a macro like this one for: Kill Command, Serpent Sting, Arcane Shot and Steady Shot.
The breakdown of the macro is as follows:
- It ensures that an auto shot is never delayed. Auto Shots are not on the GCD, which means they can be fired at any time. However, the game will always queue an auto-shot if a special ability is activated. This simple line in the macro just makes sure that the auto shot is never delayed. Also, it does not delay the special in case you were wondering.
- Focus Fire is not on the GCD, which means it’s sort of the new version of Kill Command. It becomes active every fifteen seconds, provided your pet has a Frenzy effect. Being that it takes pets approximately 8-12 seconds to attain 5 full stacks of Frenzy, activating this ability every cooldown ensures that we’ll always have a steady +15% hast buff. Rather than micro-manage it, I just decided to macro it in with my shots.
- The fourth line in the macro is where you stick your ability. In this case, the example shows Arcane Shot. You can create multiple instances of this macro, substituting your other shots as I have done. Having Focus Fire tied to multiple shots allows for instant activation of the ability once it’s ready.
- The last line is just there to eliminate interface spam. If you’re mashing the button, your UI will throw back “Spell not ready” errors. This line will prevent that.
As I’d mentioned in my prior post, manual activation of this ability would be ideal, but to me it’s unnecessarily cumbersome at this point. Try the macro and see if it helps your DPS. If so, great. 😀
Well those are just a few bits of advice I can think of right now. I’m still learning the ropes with the rest of you, so I don’t intend to get too authoritative until I’m confident I know exactly what the hell I’m doing.
As always, I hope this information proves useful to some of you. If you have any additional comments or advice, please share… We’re all in this together, so the more heads, the better. 😀