Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reply to Kruger - A good Surv spec for Heroics?

Hey Kruger,
In terms of a good 51 point Survival DPS spec for Heroics, this spec is what I found on Elitist Jerks. Apparently it has been used to reach just under 4k DPS on Patchwerk in Naxxramas. I am assuming that that had plenty of Volley use, however.

As far as rotation is concerned, from memory Draculea recommended Serpent, ES, Steady, Steady, Steady if you're haste capped. If you're not, I'm not entirely sure; I use a tighter version of the old 1:1.5, and just hug the GCD in terms of the number of Steadies I can put out, but I've never had more than around 1.4k DPS with that rotation.

Trap dancing and keeping Serpent up can maintain Lock and Load pretty much all the time, so Explosive is more or less the only thing I use if using that strategy with 51+ point Surv, but the DPS with that is even lower; on the order of 1.2k.

If I want DPS in Heroics at the moment, I use this spec, and primarily spam Volley. Doing that, I've had just over 2k DPS in the Heroic Culling of Stratholme before, and that is the spec which I primarily recommend before the patch. Post patch however, 51 point Survival will be the way to go, especially considering the Steady Shot nerf.

In terms of Glyphs, I recommend Immolation Trap, Steady Shot, Serpent Sting, and Feign Death in particular. For pets, my cat does fine, but tends to die a lot in Heroics. You might want a Scorpid for the 10% extra Stamina.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is Surv pure DPS? - Reply to Santyn

Hey Santyn,
I'm glad you decided to hang around. Believe me when I say that I know I can get unbelievably obnoxious at times; I've often wondered how it is that Pike has had the patience and understanding to continue reading me at times, as well. BRK also completely, silently disowned me a while back; he commented on my first entry, but then I never heard from him again, after that. He has periodic roll calls where he goes through the blogs he reads; I've never been mentioned in one of them.

It is a shame, because I learned pretty much everything I know about the class early on from his material. He is an exceptionally knowledgeable and intelligent Hunter, and I still admire him. Although he uses Beast Mastery himself, those who do so with intelligence, as Pike understands, have never been the target of my hostility.

Anyway, to reply to your assertion that Survival is as much about pure DPS as the other two trees. Although I wouldn't have always, at this point in the game, I do agree with you. Deterrence is gone, and our ability to gain %dodge from Agility is mostly gone with it. Hence, our mitigation has almost entirely gone with it.

I've been able to adapt to some extent, mainly by simply putting more points in Marks most of the time, but I grieve when I think of old timers like Mynithrosil, who actually played the offtank/healer bodyguard role a lot more intensely than I did, most of the time. The interesting thing is, he didn't just do it in 5 mans either, but also apparently did it in Sunwell. I on the other hand, always had the attitude that in raids, Surv was still DPS, but he found a way to make our smaller scale, defensive role work in a raid as well during TBC.

I have memories of a few occasions though when myself and a cloth wearer stood back to back and prevented a total wipe, and then I was able to use cables, or the cloth wearer was a Priest, a la this post. I miss those days, quite intensely at times, but I don't deceive myself. As much as I might miss them, they are gone, and most likely forever at this point.

Blizzard seem to want to make Survival our Arena tree at this point, which means that most of our primary old school talents are unlikely to make it through WoTLK intact, unfortunately. I've never been a fan of the Arena, and feel that it has done a lot of sociological damage to this game in other ways, so that does not make me very happy. I originally made this character primarily for PvP, but the old kind; battlegrounds, and fending off a Rogue who jumped on me out in Felwood or Desolace while levelling.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Got the Drake crossbow

Did another run of Heroic Utgarde Keep this morning, and got my crossbow.

I also had some more feedback from the forums earlier, which led me to try conducting the following experiment.

I went to the Beast Mastery Bible on Elitist Jerks and followed their instructions. I got the 50/21/0 spec, stayed with my cat rather than a Scorpid after being told that Scorpid Poison was only good for long fights, respecced my pet for Call of the Wild, got some more Agility consumables, and then got and used this macro:-

#showtooltip Bestial Wrath
/script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE");
/cast Kill Shot
/cast Bestial Wrath
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] Scorpid Poison
/use Scarab of Isanoth
/cast Blood Fury
/cast Kill Command
/cast Steady Shot

The result, in H UK, was 1.5k single target DPS; 100 more than single target with this spec, but 500 less than what I got with that spec and almost pure use of Volley in Heroic CoS. Yes, this damage is bad, or so people claim, but my gear is still bad atm as well, I admit.

I'm going to stick with this for a couple of days, (mainly to test the difference with a Scorpid) and then probably go back to the above hybrid until the patch comes; this was merely to demonstrate a couple of things to myself.

a) That I'm not totally useless when it comes to using BM. I wouldn't want to use this for questing myself, but it is not entirely unenjoyable in an instance. If I keep Viper up between fights, mana efficiency is very good, and it was a good test to try and get used to keeping Mend Pet up constantly and keep track of my pet more, as well.

b) That the DPS difference is nowhere near as large as what many people claim. I was using BW every cooldown, and Readiness on longer fights as well, and even with that, my trinket, and Blood Fury built into the cooldown, the difference was, as I said, around 125 DPS between this spec and the Marks/Surv hybrid.

Where BM produces the massive results seen in raids, is due to the ability to stack Call of the Wild multiple times, with multiple Hunters using it in synch; it is a multiplicative, synergistic effect, and was apparently also unintended.

c) That I am not as inflexible, or as ignorant, as most people on the Hunter forum seem to insist on thinking. I can use BM; I've had top damage with both it, Surv, and my usual Marks/Surv hybrid in both battlegrounds and five mans before. So I reject the assertion that I am ignorant or that I don't know how to use the tree.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Why Explosive Shot needs the buff

I just did another Heroic CoS run, this time as 51 point Surv. From 2k DPS the other night, my damage in this last run fell to just under 1200; a drop of more than 800 DPS.

However, here's the reason why. In that run where I got 2k, I was using virtually nothing other than Volley. At the moment, if you're not Beast Mastery, your damage is pretty much entirely based on either Chimera or Volley.

In this run where I got around 1190 DPS, I trap danced, kept Serpent up, and was getting Lock and Load procs pretty much all the time; so if I wanted to use ES, I literally didn't have time for Volley, and even if I did use Volley, my damage from it was down radically due to no longer having Barrage or TSA anyway. ES, however, in its' current form, is just too weak.

ES' coefficient being raised to 18% is not going to make Survival overpowered. It will make us competitive, and in terms of raw, direct damage, it will be literally the first time in this game's history when we will be.

During TBC, Expose Weakness was advocated as the reason for taking a Survival Hunter, but it raised everyone else's damage, which meant that a lot of the time, we were still behind. The reason why we need that 18%, is because aside from traps and Serpent, which everyone else laughs at, that 18% is almost all we have. We don't have BM's speed, or Marks' RAP bonuses. LR and EW alone don't go anywhere near far enough to make us competitive with other people's damage, and truthfully they never have.

The other point is, Survival isn't a stationary tree; stand and fire largely without moving might be the BM or Marks playstyle, but it isn't Surv's. We need an ability which synergises with what we do; kiting.

It's been nearly four years, but I've had a funny feeling for a while now that WoTLK was going to be the expack where we would finally see Survival's true ascension. Assuming the ES buff survives the PTR, in pure damage terms, Survival's mobile playstyle is about to become irrefutably viable for the very first time.

I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays to everyone :)

Whatever you celebrate, I hope you enjoy it. New Year's Eve is traditionally my own primary festive observance of the year; this is because I have observed that it is a period of a single day (or night) during which people are able to treat each other in a manner which, hopefully at some point, we will eventually start to permanently.

I was also going to link to a piece of music which I always listen to at this time of year, and which has become very special to me; a particular Scottish backpipe rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

Although I haven't been to Scotland, there is a particular mental image I have, while listening to this piece.

I'm standing on rough, thick green grass, on a high cliff overlooking a freezing, restless sea. It's fairly dark, but dawn has just begun; light enough for me to be able to make out some details, and also to see the first faint traces of the northern Sun on the horizon. There is a large flame burning in a steel brazier to my left, and in front of me is a group of around a dozen kilted pipers, assembled in a diamond formation.

The flame does little to dispel the biting cold from the wind, which bypasses me skin and even seeps into my bones. I do not recoil from it however, or find it uncomfortable; I love it. The wind makes an odd wailing sound, which is echoed by the constant undertone to the music, provided by some of the pipes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A couple of good Heroics

Went to both H: The Culling of Stratholme, and H: The Nexus last night. Got what I felt were some very good results, as well.

Just a hair over 2k DPS. Given that I'm still in a mix of blues and quest greens, I don't feel that that is too bad.

By the end of the Nexus run, I'd dropped down to 1.3-1.4k, but earlier peaked at around 1.7k, and per-fight damage was recorded by someone else as being just under 1k while kiting Keristrasza.

I got some nice drops, as well. The Dragon Slayer's Sabatons from Keri, and the Spaulders of the Careless Thief from Grand Magus Telestra, which was a tough fight.

My next goal is the Drake-Mounted Crossbow from Heroic Utgarde Keep, and I'm also currently wearing the Argent Crusade tabard in order to get a Polished Regimental Hauberk.

I do not recommend my current talent spec to other people, however. As well as being extremely dependent on buffs and consumables, its' mana efficiency is absolutely terrible; I chug pots like a madman. I am using it because a dual EW/TSA spec is something I've been wanting to try for a very long time; since pre-3.0, in fact.

Although the total amount of RAP I get from it is genuinely wonderful, the Steady Shot nerf post-patch will also sadly mean that it will be truly non-viable then as well, at which point I will be going back to 51 point Surv.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ding 80...and mixed emotions.

So at around 5:50 AM today, Eastern Standard Time, I hit 80. I'd been pushing as hard as I could for it over the last couple of days; I want to hopefully do Naxxramas before it becomes badge run territory. Although I know I've been a lot slower than everyone else I know, it feels good to have finally made it.

And yet...

It took me nearly 18 months to reach 70, all told. Mirsh is still my only 70+ toon; my second highest is my old main, a Mage, who I only recently got to level 40. I still remember the day I hit 70, as well; I came close to finishing in Nagrand, before moving out and doing some very painful last quests in SMV. I loved questing while I was levelling for the most part, but those SMV quests were terrible.

On that day I can remember commenting in General that it felt like the game was over, and I didn't like that at all. I love playing this character; both in-game, here, and on the forums...she's an alterego for me, now. Someone else answered me in General back then though, assuring me that it never really ends; that there's raiding, and end game PvP, and lots of other goes on.

I think I can honestly say that I'm mentally ready for the raid game now, as well. When someone in gchat a few minutes ago said congratulations, I answered him that the reason why I'd wanted to get to 80 is because World of Warcraft isn't a solitary experience for me any more; and I don't want it to be, now. I either group with people, in terms of Heroics, or soon, raids, or I find that I lose the motivation to stop playing.

Ippon used to say to me that I had snowflake syndrome, and that I wasn't willing to do what was necessary to conform at least to some degree, and fit in, in a social environment. At the time, he was right, and although that was painful, it was feedback that I needed to hear. Although I haven't stuck with it permanently, trusting my instincts that eventually Survival would be a good choice for raiding in WoTLK, the amount which I've tried to adapt to Beast Mastery in recent months tells me that I am now willing to adopt an appropriate level of mental flexibility. I will still be myself and retain my own identity, but I think I'm a lot more open now to listening to people when they tell me to try alternatives that might be good for me.

I wasn't ready during TBC. All through that expansion, I still wanted to go off on my own, and do the quests in Nagrand or Zangarmarsh, or simply some solitary air farming in SMV. As Illidan said, "You are not prepared!" I wasn't.

Now, however, I genuinely do want to take this game to the next level. This isn't unexplored territory for some people, or maybe even most...but it is for me. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another couple of instances

My apologies for no updates for a while. Real life has been a little more active for me lately, so not as much time for WoW. However, ding 79, and I managed to do two instance runs earlier as well.

This image is from the second Gundrak run. 1.4k DPS, farming spec, and I haven't even started to gear up, yet. When I do, I'm coming for you, Patchwerk! ;-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Finally got Hemet's Trophy Gun this morning, and have started on the earliest Icecrown quests. I also managed to snag a pair of Swiftarrow Leggings from the AH, which will possibly help move things along a little more quickly.

I've resolved that I'm not going to blow all my money on gear this time like I did in TBC; I really want an epic flyer this xpack, but still only have around 1k on my bank alt atm, even though I've got Cold Weather Flying now as then again, maybe I'm not doing too badly.

Orcish hugs and kisses also to Sumdumbracist, and my other current comments groupies, as well. ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My dream for our class

In reply to this thread on the forum, I wrote the following:-

Now, hopefully, if Blizzard repair the damage they've done to Steady Shot as well, we will finally see a bit more genuine diversity among talent trees.

I want to see thriving miniature communities based around Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival; all three trees.

I want to see Hunters from all three trees be able to walk into a raid or instance together with a totally equal level of respect and civility towards each other.

Finally, I want to see Hunters choosing their talent tree based on what they as individuals truly love, and on what reflects their individual psychology and desired playstyle...not purely on everyone speccing in exactly the same way because a single spec has been discovered to put out 5% more.


I will never forget one particular instance run I did, which I'm pretty sure was at around level 55. I four manned BRD late one night as Survival, with a Marks Hunter, a BM Hunter, and a Warlock. We got almost all the way to the entrance of Molten Core, and aside from wiping once, we needed no healer.

The synergy between all three trees in this class, when natives of all three trees are present in a group, can be a beautiful thing to watch. I have only seen it a few times during my time playing this game. It needs to be seen much, much more often.

The obsession with the damage meter truly needs to end and be done away with; we as a class, and as natives of individual talent trees, are held back by it. By collaborating and co-operating with each other, instead of seeing every loss to someone else as being our own gain, and seeking enlargement of the epeen, we could become so much more.

Beast Mastery chewing through casters, Marks providing high burst to get through the armor of melee mobs, and Survival pulling, trapping, and helping to keep everyone's mana topped off. If you're willing sometime, get a tank and a healer, and do a Heroic with yourself and a Hunter of each of the other two trees.

Even though most of our WoW experience, like most of the rest of our lives, blurs into a haze of generic forgetfulness, if, like me, you love the Hunter class, then I promise you that it will be an experience you will never forget.

We're being nerfed

We just had this thread started by Ghostcrawler, (a Blizzard developer) where he announced some changes.

There is, of course, already talk of respeccing. As I said in that thread, Survival ended up with Marksmanship's proverbial poor, tired, and huddled masses during The Burning Crusade, as well.

It's genuinely ironic how much things with Surv within WoW echo people's attitudes towards Survivalism as a real world ideology, at times.

When times are good, the attitude is very different in the forum. Then when the nerf bat hits; metaphorically in WoW terms, the proverbial TEOTWAWKI scenario; guess where all the cool kids go? ;-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Hunter forum: Why it really angers me

I've just realised the single main reason why the official Hunter forum makes me so angry.

It isn't actually the utterances of, "lolsurvival," which are directed at me. I'm used to that stuff. I might not like it, but I can take it.

What really upsets me, however, is the attitude that is expressed towards newcomers who are trying to learn about Surv. Every single time a new Hunter posts a question asking what Survival is for, it is immediately deluged with vitriolic trolling about how useless the tree supposedly is.

Witness the fetid cesspool that this particular thread degenerated into, for example. Same scenario; a new Hunter asks what Surv is for, and immediately the trolls materialise.

I'm starting to think that the BM raiders who inhabit the forum are honestly afraid of anyone using Survival. I will never forget one particular thread where a newbie was asking questions, when the BM poster after me told the OP never to have anything to do with Survival whatsoever...and the tone of his writing was genuinely frantic.

I wish I understood what they feel so threatened by.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Surv mindset

This is something I found buried in the archives of the Hunter forum yesterday. It's written by Yurch of Anatheron, a man who has mentioned being a real life Survivalist, in addition to playing a Survival Hunter in WoW.

As opposed to just playing with Surv as a talent tree, if you want a window into the underlying mentality, this thread is something I'd suggest reading. It's intended as humour, but as Shakespeare said, comedy is usually the container of the greatest truth.

Master Nesingwary, I presume

Ding 77, and I finally arrived at Nesingwary Base Camp this morning, in Sholazar. The preliminary quests were a little tedious, but then there was the Great Hunter Challenge! For most of you, winning that might not be much of a challenge; but here's another challenge I'll set for anyone who hasn't done it yet. Do it from start to finish, (60 mobs) without having to drink once.

I did, and not only that, I was still at 23% mana when I'd finished. I could be wrong here, (I really sucked at mathematics at school) but I think that works out at an average of 1.28% mana per mob. Of course, I was also getting Replenishment ticks as well at times. Still, even with that, my mana usage was utterly minimal.

So how did I do that, you ask? There are a couple of things I rely on.
  • The first thing is the pet ability, Charge. Charge is available for both Ferocity and Tenacity pets, and assuming you're not using a Gorilla, or actually, even if you are, there's really no reason at all not to have it, since it still offers the 1 second stun, +25% melee attack power on next attack, and is faster than Dash, too.

    The single main reason why it's important for me though, is because of what it allows for mob positioning. I'm talking the ability to make a mob stop on a proverbial 5c piece. (A nickel I think, for my American readers) This is good because it means I can pull from a very short distance away from a target, and still not have them touch me. I'll explain why that sometimes happens in a moment.

  • This particular piece of magic - Crude Throwing Axe. Remember BRK's low threat pull shot trick, Rank 1 Arcane Shot? I do, and I loved it. Unfortunately however, with the end of downranking, we can no longer do that. The Crude Throwing Axe is our salvation. It does roughly the same amount of damage as Rank 1 Arcane did. The only downside is that Thrown unfortunately doesn't benefit from Hawk Eye, so its' range is only 30 yards.

    The fun part about using Thrown is that it almost involves a certain amount of actual stalking, since getting an axe on a moving target while still allowing yourself some margin of range between yourself, the mob, and the trap can be a bit fiddly. I sometimes had to wait a few seconds for a mob to stop at exactly the right point, (30 yards from me, with the trap set at 15, dead centre between the mob and max range) before throwing.

So, the sequence/rotation:-
  1. Using RangeDisplay, measure 15 yards from your intended target, and drop Snake Trap. Remember, we want Snake because of Crippling Poison. If you're not able to get enough range in time, this will give you more of a margin for error, without letting the mob touch you.

  2. Move back out to 30 yards, and throw a Crude Throwing Axe.

  3. Backpedal constantly as the mob comes towards you. Send your pet the moment the mob hits the trap, and Charge will stop it at that exact position. This is important because the distance between you at that point will probably only be around 10 yards.

  4. Once you've sent the pet, side strafe back out to 25-30 yards.

  5. Face forward again at that range, fire Serpent, and then use a Lock and Load proc with Explosive Shot. Fire Explosive, then wait one second for the DoT to finish working, and then fire it again. Once the second Explosive DoT has finished, the mob should be dead.

For a per-mob comparison with Beast Mastery, also:-
  • 1x Hunter's Mark = 3% base mana.

  • 1x Serpent Sting = 9% base mana. (Assuming Steady Glyph)

  • 4x (5% each) Steady Shot = 20% base mana. (conservative estimate; assumes manual timing. For macro spammers, 5-7 steadies would probably be more realistic)

  • Total = 32% base mana.

    This is consistent with my own experience with BM, where I was having to drink every 3-4 mobs. This also includes the conservative four steady estimate. That number would be 37% of base mana with five. Use of Bestial Wrath on kills when it is up would push this up to 47% of base mana, or almost half the Hunter's total mana pool for a single mob. This is approaching a degree of mana inefficiency more commonly observed with the Mage, (in the neighbourhood of 60% per kill in some cases) rather than the Hunter.
For Survival:-
  • 1x Hunter's Mark = 3% of base mana.

  • 1x Serpent Sting = 9% of base mana. With Improved Stings, on a mob with 10k health, Serpent will account for 20% of overall damage, or roughly 2k. This maintains a damage to mana ratio of slightly over 2:1.

  • 1x Snake Trap = 9% of base mana.

  • Total = 21% base mana. (Explosive is used twice, but is free in mana terms due to Lock and Load)

    Although I don't have 5/5 Hunting Party at the moment, for the sake of argument, in order to make things easier, I will assume that I do. Even with an assumption of a single crit per kill (conservative to the point of unrealism) Hunting Party thus gives us 3.75% mana back total. (0.25% mana per sec for 15 sec)

Our adjusted total per kill mana cost for Survival while farming/questing assuming the above sequence, then, is 21 - 3.75 = 17.25%. This also does not take passive mp5 regeneration into account, either.

The downside here, however, is speed, or a lack thereof. With probably a good 5 seconds spent on initial setup prior to the trap going off, and another 10-12 seconds after the trap goes off, I'm looking at around 17 seconds per kill.

On the other hand, given that I could expect to be drinking for probably 10 seconds after every third kill with Beast Mastery, (which I don't experience with Surv) in actuality, it probably works out about even.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Back in my old battlegroup

I wasn't able to play WoW nearly all of today, since the weather is hot here at the moment, and my video card is temperamental at the best of times.

When I finally got in about an hour ago though, having become bored of levelling, I decided to hit AB and keep working towards my Conqueror title. Apparently it's the AB weekend, as well, which is good for honour.

It turns out that Saurfang is in my old battlegroup, Vengeance, which also contains the server I initially levelled this character on; Jubei'Thos. I wasn't really sorry to leave Jubei, but I do remember having some good fun in Vengeance. Truthfully, Bloodlust was a little too intense, I will admit. It's nice to be able to kick back and not have to work quite so hard once in a while, but still manage to light up the board anywayz.

This was a good match, which also included a particularly satisfying 1v1 victory against a Beast Mastery Hunter with a Devilsaur. I was also actually using my current levelling spec; 0/16/51. Explosive Shot is a truly beautiful thing. ;-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ding 76

Finally made it to level 76; going slowly, but steadily. If I keep pushing at it, I might hopefully hit 80 by the weekend. I'm enjoying Zul'Drak; laid back kill quests with not as much running around as the Grizzly Hills. It's good.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Added Gaming Diva to my blogroll

Another blog which I should have added some time ago now, as I have been aware of its' existence for a while:- Gaming Diva.

Also, I am in agreement with a statement in her latest post, that Orcish women can indeed be very beautiful. My first character in this game was a male Forsaken Mage.

After a while I became a leader of a levelling guild, which before a coup and disintegration, had close to 100 people at one point. Because of this, I felt perhaps it would be good to have a character who was more physically striking; and on visiting Orgrimmar on a few occasions with my Mage and witnessing some of the female guards walking around, my reaction was the same as that had by Jim Gordon in Batman Begins, on seeing the Tumbler.

"I've gotta get me one of those." ;-)

An Open Letter to the Hunter Community

I was prompted to write this after getting onto the forum after maintenance began a little while ago, and discovering this thread. This message is not directed at the resident readership of this blog, who have been extremely positive and supportive of me, and for that I thank you.

However, to a large extent, Survival Hunters have been consistently persecuted by our peers for as long as this game has existed, and during The Burning Crusade, Rilgon and other Marksmanship players became targets of this, as well. It is time for this sort of toxicity to cease, once and for all, and I ask every Hunter with a blog who is willing, to join me and repost this letter on your own site. Together we need to ensure that nobody who plays a Hunter is viciously trashed purely for their choice of talent tree, ever again.

I've been seeing a lot of threads on the official Hunter forum recently about how terrible Survival supposedly is, and about how if someone isn't using Beast Mastery, they literally shouldn't be playing a Hunter at all. While this sort of attitude has been prevalent more or less since the release of the Burning Crusade, over the last week or so it has become persistent and savage to the point of being intolerable.

A friend of mine only just recently told me about a WWS log where a Hunter managed to hit 7.5k in Naxx 10 with Beast Mastery, so I acknowledge that it is true that, empirically speaking, Beast Mastery is capable of much higher raw damage output.

However, what needs to stop is the elitist vitriol, and the belittling of people who use Survival, and who do so because they enjoy doing so. There are several points here that I need to make.

The first is that nobody, at this point, is chasing world first kills. They've all been done. Hence, in Nihilum's eyes, the most Godlike BM Hunter in the game would be late to the party at this point, in pure epeen terms.

The second is that given both the first point, and the degree of homogenisation which Blizzard has introduced into raiding, (specifically to counter exactly this kind of elitist unpleasantness, I might add) you also can't legitimately use the familiar argument that Survival's DPS will be an impediment to progression. Survival is, and I will openly acknowledge this, currently producing the lowest raw damage output of any of the three Hunter talent trees. However, while acknowledging this, I refuse to believe that the tree's damage output is sufficiently poor to make it truly unusable for progression, and will seek confirmation of this from Blizzard if it proves to be necessary.

I was told on the forum a few days ago that 3,000 DPS was a minimum requirement for killing Patchwerk, one of the bosses within Naxxramas. As of level 75 with a Marks/Survival hybrid spec, in mostly Season 2 Arena gear from The Burning Crusade, I managed half that, 1,500 DPS, in Drak'Tharon Keep earlier today, while also topping the damage meter in my current 5 man group. This was also the fifth time I have been to a 5 man instance in Northrend so far, and I have come first in damage with something very close to the same spec, every single time. I managed to hit 1,200 DPS with 0/12/52 at level 74 in Ahn'Kahet, as well.

Given this, I am entirely confident that I will be able to hit the pre-requisite 3,000 DPS with a Marks/Surv hybrid at 80, assuming I get the appropriate gear upgrades.

My third point is that anyone engaging in the above mentioned vitriol is unable to legitimately claim that they are doing so for the purposes of educating others. I attempted to respec Beast Mastery myself yesterday, yet of all the people who are currently engaging in this kind of abuse of Survival Hunters, there was only a single person on the forum who was willing to give me spec advice. Thus, the people hurling abuse at those playing Survival Hunters have demonstrated that they are not doing it for the purposes of educating others, improving the state of play among Hunters, or anything else constructive.

It is purely and simply a case of insecure individuals who apparently have a desperate need to use any excuse they can find to feel superior to their fellow players, and taking advantage of online anonymity to treat others in an unconscionable way, without needing to accept accountability for it.

If you want to be able to legitimately claim that you engage in such abuse of people for the purposes of education, then actually educate. Link to specs from the wowhead talent calculator, offer links to theorycraft, and otherwise demonstrate that you are willing to truly follow through with providing legitimate information. If anyone knows which build the above mentioned Hunter who was able to obtain 7,500 DPS was using, please let me know, as I *am* very interested in using it and attempting to obtain similar results myself.

Stating the empirical truth, on its' own, that Beast Mastery as a talent tree is capable of producing a higher degree of damage output than the other two Hunter trees, is legitimate and acceptable. Engaging in snide, vicious, dismissive, elitist abuse of other Hunters who use either of the other two talent trees for their own pleasure in World of Warcraft is not, and it needs to stop.

Regardless of which talent tree we use, as Hunters, we need to cease abusing each other over our choice of tree once and for all. We have traditionally received more than enough abuse and ostracision from the rest of this game's playerbase as it is.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ding 75, and an angry rant

Just hit 75 earlier today. I would have been higher, but I hadn't really played WoW at all for most of the weekend. I'm finding it important to fit other things into my life as well; I'm starting a herb garden in the back of my house, and want to possibly do courses in astrology and herbalism at some point in the New Year.

In other news, after being subjected to some particularly caustic abuse from the usual elitists on the forum last night, I'm ashamed to admit that today I succumbed to the pressure temporarily, and attempted two different builds based around Beast Mastery. For levelling anyway, both were an unmitigated disaster. I tamed a Devilsaur from Un'Goro Crater, used my boar, and also my cat. My cat worked best out of the three, but none of them could hold threat. I also found mana efficiency to be terrible compared to what I'm used to, I will admit; and my damage wasn't really up all that much, either. I averaged around 640 DPS, but if I really go frantically with it, that is less than 40 DPS higher than what I'm able to get with Surv, while trapping, no less.

I'm going to apologise in advance to Pike and any other users of Beast Mastery who customarily read this blog, (as well as asking you to remember that it won't be directed at you specifically at all) but I can feel myself building up to going on a major rampage in the forum over the next couple of days. I'm extremely angry. I'm tired of the amount of negative stigma I'm seeing directed at Survival lately; the cry of "lolsurvival," seems to almost be as common as "lolret," these days. The other thing that upsets me about it more than anything else, is how baseless it is. The very elitist who savaged me on the forum last night, admitted that the difference between BM and Surv in damage terms is around 15%; that isn't exactly what I'd call huge...certainly not large enough to justify the level of vitriol I've been experiencing lately.

These same idiots also cry about how even during levelling, their pets are unable to hold threat; if I use nothing but Lock and Load procs, a trap, and Serpent, I usually won't pull threat until a mob has only around 10% health left, and by that point, I've also often got TNT or Entrapment proccing anyway, so I will generally barely get touched. I also read yet another thread by a member of this same group just a few minutes ago, crying about how trapping is too difficult for her.

Again, the above is proof (in the sense that I know that Pike released a video about chain trapping, which actually led me to improving my own level of ability with that as well) that this rant (and others which will almost certainly follow on the forum) is not directed at Pike and those users of Beast Mastery who genuinely are diligent, intelligent, skilled, and know how to use the tree well.

It is directed at a small, but disproportionally vocal group of utter morons who, while inexplicably managing to obtain access to raids, still continue to give both the BM tree, and our class in general, an undeservedly bad name. I'm going to start to become a lot more active in my opposition to them, because I'm fed up with the fact that they, as a group, exist.