Tuesday, December 2, 2008

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.

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