Top 5 Survival Tips For Hunters

He didn't follow the tips.

Hunters have always had a reputation of being the dumbest WoW players, and that’s because a bunch of folk decided it’d be a good idea to play the class where they could shoot things and have their family pet Fuzzy in the game too.

This has bred a stereotype: hunters are casually based, easily aggravated 12 year olds with a serious ego complex; and if there’s anything they can do, surviving a 5 minute fight in a boss is not one of them.

Let’s make sure that we can by following a couple of simple tips.

5. You’re not the tank, and neither is your pet.

You, the hunter, are not a tank. You do not want aggro. You may be wearing mail, which is a step below plate, but here’s a secret.

The only thing that boss cares is if it’s in plate armor. If it isn’t, then it’s wearing cloth.

This is what you're wearing, and nothing else.

Studies have shown that 100% of hunters who let their pet or themselves gain aggro (under normal conditions) are total huntards, and have a much greater tendency to die shortly afterwards. It’s true! I conducted the studies myself.

Not to worry though! If you do manage to get aggro, there are ways to fix this small problem. Such as…

4. Misdirect can save lives.

This baroquely constructed skill is probably also the most uniquely crafted to saving your ass while returning the tank to his rightful place: as your meatshield.

 

So long as they don’t get in the way.

So what exactly are you supposed to do? First, make a macro that looks something like this:

#showtooltip misdirection
/cast [target=focus, help] misdirection; [help] misdirection; [target=pet, exists] misdirection
/target lasttarget

Once that’s done, make your tank your focus, so that the macro doesn’t  doesn’t break rule #5. Then activate the macro, and shoot the things that you need to! Congratulations, you’ve now actively conscripted your tank to take another beating!

Alternatively, you can force the monster to murder someone you don’t like; for instance, I remember fondly the one time I forced a boss to murder the most aggravating healer of all time. I wouldn’t make a habit of it though.

However, what I would make a habit of remembering includes…

3. Play Dead.

When shit hits the fan and even Misdirect can’t save you anymore, there’s only one more answer to saving your not quite so fabulous hide.

Feign Death.

 

Now would be a GOOD time.

Here’s a little song so you can remember how awesome it is.
When you’re the aggro man, and the game’s name is pain?

It’s time to Feign. It’s time to Feign.

Anytime you have aggro, or the area’s aflame?

It’s time to Feign. It’s time to Feign.

Did you like it? I know I did.

2. Eat food

I’m not even kidding. Go make a sandwhich, then come back. I don’t want you on an empty stomach. Eating has been shown to actually, you know, keep you alive. If you’re dead IRL, then you can’t raid/do ANYTHING.

So go make a sandwhich, have a glass of water, take a potty break, and then get back. I’m sure the article won’t go anywhere.

You know what? Take your time. Make a big juicy burger, sizzling with grease and delicious, tasty meat. Add some onions, take some crunchy lettuce, and add some Ketchup. Enjoy your meal with some people, friends, family… and then you can come back.

Or this. Take your pick.

I’ll wait, no worries.

1. Don’t stand in fire/black/voidzone/electricity/(Insert thing here)

There is no real need to explain this. If it looks like this:


This:


Or even this:

AVOID IT. %$#@.

-Klin

How To BM: PvE Talent Spec

At long last, the wait is over: I finally got in the adequate testing, the flourishes, and the blasted, loot be damned spec to go with it.

So sit tight, and gaze upon the core talent any BM hunter should be following in order to PvE like… well, me!

BM Hunter CORE PvE Talent spec.

That’s a lot of info in one little square of pixels, no?

Although one would normally go through a detailed, exhaustive, and altogether boring look into what they took points wise, that would be silly. Why? Because the way talent trees are now make it very, very easy to make a good talent spec, even by accident.

It’s actually a lot quicker and easier to explain why I didn’t take certain talents. Since you need a minimum of 31 points to be able to expand into other trees. Here’s how:

Why Klin didn’t take some talents:
Pathfinding: This is a horrible idea for a talent in a PvE setting, and for a simple reason: it doesn’t help us at all!

Pathfinding simply increases the movement speed increase we get out of Aspect of the Cheetah and of the Pack (a.k.a Aspect of the Dazed. I’ve got stories folks, and they are not pretty) which is not something we care about in a PvE environment. There are enough reasons not to use Aspect of the Dazed in PvE that I could (and probably will) write a whole article on it. Suffice to say it’s been the culprit of countless deaths, guild splits, mass murdering sprees, and even a small house fire that consumed orphans.

Oh, and the increase to mount speed? Whoop dee doo! It’s not like we can fight while mounted on our super awesome Cenarion WAR Hippogryphs, so who cares. This is, in it’s purest form, a leveling talent and nothing more.

/trashbin

Improved Mend Pet: Improved mend pet doen’t seem that bad at first glance, does it? I mean, why the fuss? It gets rid of innumerable afflictions, you know, afflicting your pet; but to the experienced hunter, this is obviously a trap.

See, PvE has become incredibly nice to hunters of the past couple of years: where once our pets got destroyed by AoE spells and curses that normally ran rampant in the PvE universe, our pets can now gleefully shred away at a boss (i.e Squeaky toy) while the strange looking people around it run screaming from the giant clouds of death and destruction.

Why is it always the Orphans?!

What does this mean? Well, it means your pet very rarely (and I mean so rare that it’s not even an issue) receives a debuff in a PvE environment. So why bother putting two points into something you don’t even need, am I right? They’re better placed into Spirit Bond, so that you don’t die from the aforementioned  clouds of death and destruction and so that your healers don’t hate you.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera: Not only does this reference a movie that I found incredibly confusing and strange (I was anywhere between 10 and 12 years old when I saw it, so go figure), but the talent itself serves no purpose in a PvE setting.

Yes, it can reduce the cooldown of your Disengage. Yes, it can reduce the cooldown of your Deterrence; but it comes at a really, really high cost.

One of the key things to being a Hunter, or any ranged DPS class for that matter, is that we don’t get shot/smacked/mauled/torn apart/wrathed/terror’d/fired/____ (<- insert death inducing predicament here)

Suffice to say that we don’t want to get hurt. In order to receive the benefit of this talent, we have to get hurt.

Imagine this: you’re the Hulk. So what’s the only way to save people? To get mad. So you ask someone to punch you in the face so you can be stronger; except instead of  getting stronger, you get dead, and instead of saving people, the people call you a noob and /spit on your corpse. The Hulk doesn’t sound so cool now does he?

So, lesson learned: in a PvE setting, where you can avoid a lot of damage, you avoid it. So if you can avoid being punched in the face by _____(<- insert face smashing bad guy here) you probably should, which renders this talent useless. Take the 2 points and put them someplace else is what I say, and it’s what I did!

So that’s the BM tree
The thing is, with the way the new talents work, just stuff the talent points everywhere else and bam, 31 points. No questions asked, you just completed the tree. It’s really that much easier to make a talent spec by looking at it and asking yourself “what talents in here are worthless” and then filling out the rest.

So, with that out of the way, I now get to explain the outside parts of the spec.

Holy fandango, it’s the MM tree!
That’s right everyone, we’re out of the BM tree and making waves in the Marksmanship and Survival trees; however, before you start pouring your points into Rapid Killing (please don’t waste points there…) I’d like to give you one more section of Core points:

The Core in the MM tree
Believe it or not, some of the talents in this tree feel like they were designed for us BM hunters, and I’m not complaining. Let’s dive right in:

Go for the Throat:
Now that we get autoshots while we move, this talent has gotten infinitely better. So long as you’re facing your opponent, you should be shooting him in the face. Every time one of those shots crits, your pet gets focus. The more focus it has, the more it can abuse Wild Hunt; and like I’ve explained before, Wild Hunt is ridiculous.

My good friend Gradii/Aifel put it this way: you can gear for a lot of things, but focus isn’t one of them. So take talents in it.

I full heartedly support that message.

Efficiency: If there’s one thing I like more than gathering more resources, it’s saving them. Efficiency does exactly that: instead of spending 25 focus on an Arcane Shot, I spend 22. This little difference actually matters: with the way we prioritize attacks and shots, it’s difficult to get more than 1 arcane shot between Kill Commands (actually, I found it difficult to get more than 1 Arcane Shot every 2 Kill Commands!) which is not a good thing. With the 3 ranks in efficiency, I could shoot 1-2 Arcane Shots without any real distress.

Why is this important? Because Arcane Shot is a huge source of damage for us. If we can’t shoot it, then we can’t make use of the damage potential it has, not to mention the other endearing qualities it brings to the table. For instance…

Sic ‘em!: This talent is a direct follow up to Go for the Throat, except instead of autoshot  giving your pet hugs, it’s Arcane shot. And what kind of hugs? The kind that give it a free basic attack when you crit with Arcane shot.

The implications of this are fairly large. While testing this talent, I could only look up to the hunter gods and thanks them for this talent; basically, it allows me to abuse Wild Hunt more, and I love abusing Wild Hunt. Anytime this procs, chances are your pet will either a) use Wild Hunt without expending any of the cost or b) be able to use wild hunt in a few seconds since their last attack cost nothing.

It pretty much is fabulous for everything I want my pet to do, which is damage. I can pretty much guarantee that Sic ‘Em! is a gimme.

Hokay, but I still have 3 talent points left! What do I do?
Well, this is where it gets tricky. See, we’ve already passed our core: the key stuff is taken care of.

However, as the most astute of you (and the people that can read!) have noticed, we still have three points left before our spec is finished.

As I see it, there are three reasonable sounding options, of which two I think are the best. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got:

Careful Aim: This talent is… odd. I mean, sure, our Cobra shots get an amazing chance to crit for the first 20% of a fight. I don’t mean to sound bored with this but… yeah, actually, I do. It’s boring. It’s not even that useful!

Allow me to tell exactly what cobra shot does: it keeps Serpent Sting on the target (which is important, but that’s not the focus of this article) and gives us focus. Otherwise, it does low damage.

Unlike Arcane Shot, Cobra Shot crits don’t do much for me. They do very little, to be frank. So, I think this talent sucks; but if you think it sounds awesome, then you’re entitled to that. I respect that.

Although I certainly do not agree.

Pathing: Ah, haste. A little history: BM hunters used to never need haste. We used to have a talent that automatically gave us 20% haste, and same for our pet. I miss those days.

Suffice to say that we don’t have that anymore, and that Pathing provides a small amount of haste that we can use. Which brings up the question: why do we need it?

In order for BM hunters to use Kill Command on every cooldown, while still using our focus for Arcane shots, we need the focus we get off of 2-3 cobra shots first. Once we have that focus, we’re good to go for another Kill Command and a couple Arcane shots, and the process starts again.

The thing is, Cobra shot has an inordinately long cast time. It’s not Pyroblast/Aimed shot/______(<- stupid mage ability I don’t care about goes here) but it’s still long for us, especially since we have to move around a lot in fights. Happily, haste brings that cast time down, and with some help from other abilities (Focus Fire, Rapid Fire) we can bring the cast time to about 1 second. That’s awesome, but those abilities don’t have a 100% uptime: that’s where pathing helps.

Having 3% increased haste isn’t a big shoveltusk, but it’s big enough that I would consider it if you feel your cobra shots are too clunky.

Improved Serpent Sting: Serpent sting is a powerful shot: unfortunately, not only is the name of this talent about as stale as most pop talent these days, Serpent Sting is not a shot I want to be re-applying all the time. As a result, I wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the first half of the ability (to be fair, no hunter does: Survivalists use Cobra shot to keep it up, and Marksmen use Chimera shot to do the same).

The thing is, the increased crit chance does do a decent amount of damage, and I can guarantee that you will need to re-apply Serpent Sting on occasion:  there have been more than a few times where I’ve used Bestial Wrath, and upon exiting my murderous rampage I noticed that Serpent Sting fell off the boss. Woops!

It does help with DPS, more than I can say Careful Aim ever will. I’d take it.

So that was “precise” Klin. Thanks. Like, I feel all reassured.
Oh, don’t be so cynical. The reason why the last bunch are vague is for one very important reason: they’re to taste. I find I’ve got enough Haste on my gear that I don’t need many points in Pathing, and I don’t really like Careful Aim.  I put my points in like this:

Klin's all purpose, super fabulous PvE Spec!

It’s all purpose and super fabulous!

It’s also what I find works for me. So what does this mean for you? Well, dear reader, it means that you’re actually going to have to respec a bunch to find out what you like best.

Screw you!
Why thank you. Suffice to say, at least the build can be tailored to the player for a small amount of it. So get out there and try things out! Experiment! Learn to know what your hunter feels like.

BUT I WANT COOKIES, AND THAT MEANS A COOKIE CUTTER!!11
Too bad, go get cookies somewhere else. I’m not going to tell you how to copy me; however flattering it is, it’s also kinda creepy, and I’d appreciate it if you made your own style instead being the creepy groupie who just wants to see me naked.

So is that the guide you’ve spent 3 weeks writing?
More or less. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I hope it helps you out.

This shouldn’t have taken three weeks!
Being fabulous has no time limit.

/win

/flourish

Initial Testing

Hello everyone! Just a quick update before the big post sometime this weekend on what I think works.

BM PvE has never been quite this loose before. There was usually just one way of doing things: for once, we now have some choices! I’m just trying to determine what works and when.

I promise the content is coming: all I ask is a little patience while I get the time to write it, the time to sort the data, and the time to really put out something worth reading.

Always Fabulous,
Klinderas

Testing, Testing…

Ever since the post where I put out what I thought was the best spec for BM PvE hunters, I’ve been a little perplexed.

Namely, the fact that someone had a different and, to my immediate knowledge, completely viable spec.  As a result, I needed to test this.  Why not let the elitist jerks do it? Because, frankly, they had about as much idea as I did.

Sadly, this meant less time writing, more time testing.  I’ll post the results of the test A.S.A.P.

/flourish

The Sitch

Tracking time is a lot harder than it looks.

So the idea of posting and redoing all of my awesome guides in a prompt and quick fashion? Totally not happening.

My workload, despite my fabulous ability to do anything, is actually  far too large to leave hanging.  I will NOT be updating as frequently as I would have liked, but that’s just what happens when you’re being fabulous everywhere.

So please don’t expect daily posts, or even 3 times a week.  Maybe 1-2 posts, tops.  And that will do, because otherwise I would die.

So stay tuned, but be prepared for some wait times.

How To BM: A PvE Hunter Guide Part 1

Hello everyone!

I’ve made a few alts, and while I was running lowbie dungeons and the like, I ran into several fledgling hunters.  Aren’t they adorable? Trying out the new pets, the shots… everything they did was new to them.   The thing is, they didn’t know how to spec, gear, or do anything.

I figure that, as a primarily BM hunter site, I should show people How To BM properly.  This is going to take a long time to do, due to classes and such, but with time and great fabulousness I will manage!

So, to whet everyone’s appetite, I will show you what I think is the best possible way to spec your BM hunter for PvE Damage!
Next time, I will go through the first half of the reasoning why I picked these!

Stay tuned.

The Fabulous, All Purpose, Totally Auspiciously Awesome Acronym Lexicon

I have determined, as an avid guide writer and a fabulous person, that there needs to be an Acronym Dictionary for us hunting folk.

There are so many little three letter words that it can be difficult to remember them all.  The first World of Warcraft manual attempted to keep a small dictionary for a number of the terms, but it has been some time since then.

Like all languages, WoW speak has evolved in lots of little ways.  I think it’s about time we started tracking these small evolutions in the way we communicate.

Also, defining what DPS is in every post might get a little crazy, so putting all the definitions here would be a sound, efficient move on my part.  Like so many other things I do, right? RIGHT.

If any are missing or I got it wrong, which is BOUND to happen, it is your duty to tell me, either through my e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook page (found under the Contact Me! page) or in the comments on this post.

THE FABULOUS, ALL PURPOSE, TOTALLY AUSPICIOUSLY AWESOME ACRONYM LEXICON
DPS
– Damage Per Second
Aggro – If you have it, the mob is attacking you.
SS – Steady Shot
ArS – Arcane Shot
KC – Kill Command
BW -Bestial Wrath
ES – Explosive Shot
ChS – Chimera Shot
CC – Crowd Control
AS – Aimed Shot
KS – Kill Shot
CS – Cobra Shot
FF – Focus Fire
LnL -Lock and Load
RF – Rapid Fire
FD – Feign Death
MD – Misdirection
AoE – Area of Effect
MQoSRDPS – Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged Damage Per Second