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

 

The Great Klinderas Nerfing of 2011

In other news, I’d like to share a story.

I’m spending time with a friend of mine, just being my fabulous self when I look at my twitter.  Someone from the guild, namely @CutDownTheTree, told me fantastic news:

Ghostcrawler had been spotted.

I raced my way  over to Vash’yr, and began combing the area for signs of the elusive crab.  After about 15 minutes, I finally spot him, his shimmering hide clearly visible! I drop a trap, and start taming… but the animation got cancelled because he disappeared.

I thought that he despawned or something,  but no! Apparently his elusive, crabby self just goes invis intermittently.  Right when my friend says this, poof: there’s a crab.  I drop the trap, and begin the tame!

A few seconds, and many, MANY smacks of the nerfbat later, I witnessed a miracle.

NERF ME NOW GC, I DARE YA! HAHAHAHAHA!
Love,

Klin

Furrious Raiders: The Cunning Mk. 2

Hello! Welcome to the second instalment of this series of guides that’s designed for PvE success! For your pet.

Although the ferocity pets from lat time’s discussion are very adept at dealing damage and “ripping” problems apart, they oftentimes do little else to help the group or themselves! This is where the brawn of ferocity meets the brains of our next family.

Keep in mind that despite all the amazing talent choices, the perfect builds, and the perfect mean nothing if you don’t use it properly.  Skill still determines the majority of your success, but talents can help make that success easier to attain!

Without further delay, let’s get started on the furry little geniuses of the pet world!

CUNNING

Cunning pets are exactly what they sounds like: smart, brainy, and uncannily resourceful.  They are NOT the type to smash and shred their way through  problem: rather, they will probe defences until they find the single, its bitty weak point in something and tear it a new hole.  If you were being chased by a hunter pet, the ferocity pet would be the kind you could close a door on, and run away from while they beat the door down (which wouldn’t take too long, to be honest).  Cunning pets would find a way to not only unlock the door, but infiltrate the air vents and head off the nearest exit!

So although their damage potential may not be as obvious as a ferocity pet’s damage, their damage can begin to far surpass that of a ferocity pet under the right conditions.  Not only that, but they have other, sneaky ways of increasing not only their DPS, but their survivability at the same time! Let’s take a look at this fascinating talent tree in a PvE setting.

BM PvE Cunning

Non-BM PvE Cunning

Believe it or not, the Non-BM tree is pretty much the same as the Ferocity Non-BM from last time, but with a few key changes.  Why is this awesome? Because it means that, curiously enough, the cunning pet is a very viable choice for Non-Bm hunters! Also curiously enough, Beastmaster hunters don’t really gain a huge advantage over Non-BM Hunters in this tree DPS wise.  There are only so many DPS talents! As such, our fabulous selves have to start branching out into unfamiliar, utility territory.

Please keep that in mind while I explain my reasoning for this fascinating tree!

DAMAGE!!
Serpent Swiftness
Remember my explanation of Serpent’s Swiftness in the Ferocity post? For those who don’t, it went something like this: It’s free.  It’s attack speed.  Attack speed means DPS.  DPS good.  Get 2/2 for DPS.

You know what, you come up with a good excuse not to get Serpent Swiftness for PvE, or for the next 5 talents, and I will eat my goggles.

Spiked Collar
Straight up, easy to understand, and a 9% increase to your pet’s DPS.  No brainer 3/3 talent, here we come!

I just got to thinking, I say that a lot.  NB3/3T is much shorter, isn’t it?

Culling the Herd
Another NB3/3T! Increases your pet’s and your damage output!  It’s a wonderful, fabulous talent complete with every breakfast, and neglecting this important part of your breakfast will give you scurvy.

So don’t neglect to take it!

Feeding Frenzy
This is a straight increase to DPS, but it’s the first talent point that is unique to Cunning pets.  So what’s the catch to a 16% increase to damage dealt? It only works when the target is below 35% health.  That’s a simple condition with a HUGE bonus! For a full third of the fight, we get a 16% increase to damage, and at probably the most important part of the fight too.  That’s roughly a bit more than a 4% increase in total DPS from your pet for 2 talent points! Not bad at all, and thats me talking.

Wolverine Bite
If there’s a protip for talenting anything at all, it’s that new abilities tend to get priority because they’re always awesome.  Bestial Wrath, Black Arrow, Chimera shot… these are talented abilities.  These are ridiculous and super powerful.  The same goes for your pet.

Wolverine bite is a powerful attack, and is therefor a straight DPS increase every time your pet critically hits; but I really want to show you just how powerful this attack is.

Taking the formula from WoWhead, let’s plug in the numbers…
Wolverine Bite = (1+((8 602*0.4)*0.1))
Wolverine Bite = (1+(3 440.8*0.1)
Wolverine Bite = 1+344.08
Wolverine Bite = 345.08

Okay, it’s not mind blowing, but it’s 345 guaranteed (pre talent and stat increase) damage every ten seconds.  I guess that’s okay, and it’s certainly better than no damage at all; but Wolverine should stick to his claws, I think.

Wild Hunt
Okay, this is a NB2/2T for everyone involved.  I did the math for how much it increases Bite over here in the last post, so I won’t do it again for post elongating purposes.  Suffice to say, take 2/2 and love them, cuddle them, and give them expensive wines once a year to show exactly how much you care for them.  These 2 points increase your pet’s DPS by enough to make you believe in a pet God.

Owl’s Focus
This talent deserves extra special attention.  It’s an NB2/2T, and there’s a very good reason why.

Your pet is above 50 focus, and can now activate Wild Hunt.  Your pet uses an attack, and it does all the extra damage, but the focus? Thanks to Owl’s Focus, that double damage attack cost no focus at all.  This little talent means that you can generally abuse Wild Hunt to a point where it wishes it had never left Kansas.  The poor talent will feel all used and cheated from not getting his focus points.  Because your pet focused like an Owl.

Now that’s a “hoot”! And this is a perfect example of what I mean by “sneaky” DPS.

BEASTMASTERS ONLY
Cornered
If those crazy non-bm hunters think that Owl’s focus is the sneakiest DPS talent ever, they’re probably right; but we still have the most insane damage increasing talent in the game.  Under the right conditions, Cornered grants your pet a 50% increase to damage. That is the single largest increase in DPS for any pet in the game!

There is a reason why it isn’t picked up by the Non-BM hunters though.  It requires your pet to be under 35% health.  That’s a rare time indeed, and usually your pet is going to want a heal at that point, nullifying the damage bonus.

We pick this up for the rare time when your pet does go under 35% hp, and when it does happen? Massive damage bonuses are welcome for the next few seconds.

UTILITY
Dash/Dive
Make pet move fast, nothing better to pick, longer explanation here.  Suffice to say, take a point in this and don’t look at it too funny.

Roar of Recovery
If there’s one thing people need, it’s more resources (MOAR GASSSSSSSSSS).  What’s a hunter’s resource? If you guessed Focus, you’re right! So what a better way to increase DPS than to give us more resources to do it with? Roar of Recovery gives us more focus so we can dish out more damage.  Smart use of this focus is what will make this talent good, or terrible.

BEASTMASTERS ONLY
Carrion Feeder
This is about as silly as it gets, but you know what I hate to do? Pay for food for my pet.  It’s like what ammo was before pet talents were invented.  And then pet talents were invented.  Carrion Feeder means a quick recovery of happiness, but that’s about all this will do for you.  It’s better than putting it in Boar’s speed though, since we already have Dash/Dive.

Bullheaded
This is a PvP talent.  It is kinda lame for PvE.  It is also situationally useful for PvE.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING: Your tank just lost a mob, and it’s beelining for the healer.  What’s one easy way to save him? Pet tanking! Simply send your pet to attack the mob, Intimidate it, and use growl to keep it off the healer until the tank taunts the mob off.

Thing is, sometimes your pet takes damage from doing this.  Sometimes, your pet takes a lot of damage in general.  Bullheaded does at least one useful thing: it reduces that damage by 20%.  So, whee, your pet has a tanking talent.

CONCLUSION
Having too many point in a tree is possible for Cunning PvE.  Bullheaded and Carrion feeder are so utility that they’re barely useful in a PvE context.  For BM hunters, it’s rare to see Cunning pets for that very reason.  It’s also very saddening, because I love how Ravagers look like and wish I could use mine more often.  In fact, the last two points in Carrion Feeder and Bullheaded can be put pretty much anywhere, and that’s no good because anywhere else is PvP talent territory.

For Non-BM hunters however, the Cunning tree gives a lot of really applicable talents for your pet.  In fact, I’ve heard from Rilgon from Stabilized Effort Scope that Cunning pets are actually Higher DPS for Non-BM hunters than Ferocity pets! I’m not entirely sure myself, but I can believe that considering the synergy with Owl’s Focus and Wild Hunt, not to mention Feeding Frenzy and the unique pet abilities in the Cunning pet families!

For BM hunters though, every point in the ferocity tree, including the extra 4, are all useful for increasing DPS or directly influence keeping your pet alive.  Cunning pets, although really cool, don’t give as much bang for you talent point.  This blogger heartily recommends that BM hunters use Ferocity pets in a generic PvE environment rather than a Cunning pet.  Depending on your grouping, however, cunning pets might be more helpful.  Keep this in mind.

Otherwise, these builds are solid.  Any comments or question are appreciated, and I would love to see them in the comments section!

There won’t be another PvE hunter pet talent post, largely because the entire Tenacity tree is covered in great detail by another blogger, Big Red Rhino.  He can more easily answer Pet tanking questions, because pet tanking is the only role tenacity pets have in PvE environments.  They simply cannot do the damage that the other two trees can!

However, I do plan on putting up Hunter pet talent guides for PvP sometime in the near future! Keep your ears peeled for when that happens.

Now go out, deal damage, and may your pets be the best pets they can be! Maybe even as fabulous as myself!

/flourish

Furrious Raiders: The Ferocious Mk.2

Hello everyone, and welcome once more to the guide dedicated to PvE success! Through pet talents, anyway.

If there’s one thing we know about PvE for hunters, it’s that we dish out the pain.  We deal in massive quantities of sustained ranged DPS (Damage Per Second) and we deal with it every time we walk into a dungeon.  Although skill enters into it in a big way, and there’s nothing better for skill than practice, another huge factor in determining your PvE damage is your talent spec… and that of your pet.

Along with fellow blogger Deadpool (link to his twitter!) of THE WARCRAFT ZONE (his blog!), I want to help people with learning about not only which talents they should pick, but why, so that when changes occur you can all figure it out for yourself.  Make sure you check out his posts on the subject  as much as mine!

So, without further delay, why don’t we start with the pet family that is born and bred to deal huge amounts of damage.

Ferocity

Ferocity pets are made to deal loads of damage, more damage, and then some more damage! The thing is, that’s only if you talent them properly.  If you wanted, you could talent these furry friends to do no extra damage at all! That means they can do less damage than a tenacity pet! That’s no good folks, that’s just an embarrassment.  So let’s talent your pets right, so our furry friends can rip apart faces!

PvE Ferocity Build: BM Hunter

PvE Ferocity Build: Non-BM Hunter

Now we’re going somewhere! As you can see, there are a lot of talents that are similar between the two specs, if not most of them: being a beastmaster, however, has it’s obvious advantages.  Here’s a talent calculator so you can follow along with me as we work our logic through the tree.

There are a few things to keep in mind while we work our way through this, and it’s the recipe for DPS: Damage, survivability, and more damage! This is our recipe for DPS, for any DPS class ever.  Damage because we’re a DPS class, we get Survivability talents because dying means you can’t shoot things, and damage again because… well, more damage never hurt you.

Remember this as I explain my talent choices! Let’s dig right in.

DAMAGE!!
Serpent Swiftness
Not 1, but 2 glorious points for 10% increased attack speed at absolutely no cost? Sign me up.  While I’m at it, sign up the entire hunter community, pronto.

Spiked Collar
One of the simplest to understand talents of all time (OF ALL TIME), Spiked collar is a no brainer.  9% increased damage for everything the pet does is about as obvious as it gets.  3 points please!

Culling the Herd
It might not be 9% increased damage from your pet, but 3% increased damage from your pet (12% straight, so far) and an additional 3% for you? It doesn’t get much more awesome than teamwork.  Another three point no brainer talent.  Oh, and if you thought that was the last no brainer…

Spider’s Bite
3 points later, our pet has another 9% increased chance to crit, which also helps to keep Culling the Herd up! Synergy is a beautiful thing, and this is about as blatantly obvious as it gets.  3/3.

Rabid
This is a DPS increase.  This is only 1 point.  This talent may not say it in plain english, but that increase to attack power is SIGNIFICANT.  Easy 1 pointer.

Call of the Wild
Here’s a big cooldown button.  When you need to do damage, and some significant damage at that, this easy to understand 1 point talent delivers like a fresh Delicio pizza.  Use when you’re using all your other big buttons to deal lots of other damage.  Also, you need the point in this so you can get…

Wild Hunt
This is the only controversial talent in the build, and that’s if you’re stretching it beyond reason.  There’s a choice for non-bm hunters between Wild Hunt and Shark Attack.  Let’s do a little math to show you exactly how much more awesome Wild Hunt is for those non-bm hunters!

Pet damage is heavily based on hunter gear and stats.  My pet wolf, Link, has a move called Bite.  As you can see, a hefty chunk of its damage is based on my attack power (AP).

I have 8 602 (AP) on my person.  Let’s plug it into the equation:
BITE = 186 + ((8 602 * 0.4) * 0.2)
BITE = 186 + (3 440.8 * 0.2)
BITE = 186 + 688.16
BITE = 874.16

Now, Wild Hunt multiplies that by 2.2 (An additional 120%!).  What does that do for us?
BITE + Wild Hunt = 874.16 * 2.2
BITE + Wild Hunt = 1 923.152

Great big Mammoth cutters, that’s a big difference! Even if it only happens once every few seconds (if YOU are talented properly), Wild Hunt helps a lot.  Now, let’s see what Shark attack can do.

Shark Attack gives a constant 6% increase to all damage, but let’s see how it behaves with Bite.
BITE + Shark Attack = 874.16 * 1.06
BITE + Shark Attack = 926.6096

That, folks, it pitiful.  Shark Attack barely boosted the damage by 52 damage.  Barely.  I can guarantee that it won’t increase the rest of your damage enough to catch up to the 1 000 plus difference in damage Wild Hunt made with 1 attack.

Proof in the pudding? I think so.  Take 2 points in Wild Hunt, and be happy with your no brainer talent.

Beastmasters only!
Shark Attack
We don’t have to choose: we can have both.  2 points for 6% increased damage? It’s like the expansion pack for Spiked Collar: not only does your now rabid, punk rock _____(insert ferocity pet here) move like a snake and bite like a spider, he/she is now part shark.  Sweet.

SURVIVABILITY
Now, we can’t make it up that high in the tree without taking some survivability talents.  Here’s what I took, and why.

Dash/Dive
We need three points to get past every tier in the talent tree, but the only points we’ve taken in the first tier are in Serpent Swiftness.  Putting a points into Great Stamina does very little for surviving, and Natural Armor does even less.  With Dash/Dive, you can not only get your pet into the action quicker (Hey hey! It DOES do DPS!), but it also allows your pet to move out of Area of Effect (AoE) attacks quickly! That WILL make a difference.  Stuff your point in here.

Bloodthirsty
Like Dash/Dive, this talent point is needed to get past the tier with Rabid and Call of the Wild.  Your other options include the rest of the tree, but let me let you in on a piece of advice: to no longer need food is nice.  To have a self healing pet is fantastic.  To have both of these effects passively just, you know, happen while it’s doing DPS, is priceless.  Take your point in Bloodthirsty and be proud!

Beastmasters only!
MOAR Bloodthirsty!
Once we have all our DPS talents, we still have 2 free to use.  Why don’t we use one of them to improve our already super helpful Bloodthirsty talent, and unlock probably the most unique and super awesome talent in the tree!

Heart of the Phoenix
Heart of the Phoenix is an unbelievably cool ability, with a strange past.  It used to not work at all, but now it works like a dream! Simply put the spell on your pet’s action bar, and if your pet dies? PRESTO, your pet is a shaman, and gets back on his feet, ready to tear more face! For a beastmaster, this kind of ability cannot be underestimated.  Taking a point in this is taking a point in your pet.

For pets, please, take Heart of the Phoenix.  It’s saving a life.

*cue emotional guilt trip music*

CONCLUSION
Now that’s a lot of wordage, but that’s more or less it; the very best way to talent your pets for DPS.  Now, we could put a point into Charge instead of Bloodthirsty, or instead of Heart of the Phoenix, but it’s really a PvP talent.  The stun does nothing against most mobs, let alone bosses, and the extra 25% AP only last for one attack every 25 seconds (and that’s by moving in and out of melee every 25 seconds!), and that’s definitely not that good.  In addition, the function of moving into combat quicker is covered by Dash/Dive, so I would say that this talent it pretty bad for PvE.

The same goes for the rest of the talents.  They’re all based on taking direct damage or being directly targeted, which is pointless in PvE.  Unless you have growl on permanently, your pet will never take direct damage.   Except Boar’s Speed, but that talent does one thing: move fast.  And we got that covered, don’t we? Dash/Dive?  Yeah, we do.  /flourish

With proper pet management, which you don’t need as much anymore to be honest, your pet won’t be taking much damage.  In addition, they can usually heal themselves through Bloodthirsty for any residual AoE damage they do take, and if they die in a freak hunting accident? Beastmasters are lucky and can use Heart of the Phoenix in a pinch.

So the builds are rock solid, there’s no controversy, and everyone is happy cause they do the most damage possible.  If you don’t use one of the two specs, then you should start.  Right meow.  I mean it! Go talent your PvE pet immediately, exactly like this.  Do the damage!

Next time I write a big guide, which should be soon, I’ll be covering a much more controversial topic: Cunning pets in a PvE environment.  Stay tuned!