Today, I’m going to highlight a real, honest hunter that I saw out in the wild in game. While I took pictures, I cannot share them here in order to protect the, er, fascinating species in its natural habitat. Instead, I shall review its behaviours and attempt to educate other players to stay far, far away from this dangerous beast.
At first glance: The first thing I notice about this spec is that it lacks direction. The player seems to have gone towards all the damage utility talents while passing up the, well, damage.
While this hunter is probably fine on mana, it’s a bit much for a 25-man raiding situation with near-constant replenishment going. His pet is focus-starved, having forsaken both focus-generating abilities in order to maximize his own damage.
Upon further inspection: He maxed out two talents that buff Black Arrow/Explosive Shot without going far enough to have either of those two abilities. While Survival spec is not my specialty, even I could tell that he wasn’t dropping traps during the raid, leading those points to be effectively wasted.
The hunter also skipped over Aimed Shot, while having the Glyph of Trueshot Aura active – which gives him extra damage on his Aimed Shot. Also, the effectiveness of Hawk Eye is debatable – some love it, some don’t. I don’t.
Taking a look at him on the Armory reveals a bit more. Half of his socketable gear is without gems. His +hit is as 210, with three points in Focused Aim. This puts him at almost 50 points over hit cap. He could definitely knock off at least one point from Focused Aim and put it somewhere – perhaps, maybe Aimed Shot?
To avoid extinction: Our poor hunter is a bit confused. He thinks he’s gotten the best talents for hunter-only damage, but has skipped over some crucial bits. I am all for specs that go against the grain, but the spec needs to have a bit more focus in its direction to get somewhere viable. Have a goal in mind – either SV dps, or MM.
For SV: You don’t have to grab Explosive Shot, but going for Black Arrow won’t be a bad idea. You can take a point from Focused Aim, a few from Efficiency, and three points from Hawk Eye to get there. Thrill of the Hunt will help your mana regen, but remember that you have Aspect of the Viper! Tossing that on at the same time as Rapid Fire brings your mana back on a silver platter.
For MM: This will take a little bit more tweaking. Once you get more out of the SV tree, some of the support talents become less useful. Take a look at some people who know what they’re talking about, like Nassira of Diaries of a Marksman Hunter. Still, the MM method of operation is to maximize solo dps above all else – the glass canon syndrome. You’ll hit big, and get hit for big.
Personal Advice: Understand your difficulties and don’t be ashamed of confronting them head-on. Don’t be afraid to try something new, as long as it’s a playstyle you’ll enjoy. However, dissing the spec that is currently out-damaging you in the raid is generally frowned upon. Saying BM is useless in raids is pretty silly, especially when you just did less damage than the tanks on Patchwerk.