More Than Worth a Try

February 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm (World of Warcraft)

I’m going to talk about being a Marksman today.  Just a warning.

Maybe I should back up a bit and delve into why I’m a hunter in the first place.  In the beginning there was EverQuest.  Well, at least my beginning.  I loved it.  I still tell stories about how I dinged level 15 5x because I kept dying, how in my first 5 min I fell out of the wood elf village,  and it took me an hour to get back up, having to actually talk to NPCs to get quests (“How do I get a [Trueshot Bow]?”), and the time I went from one starting area to the other and it took me 5 hours.  Oh, and the /train runs back to the guards; that’s the only thing I really, really miss.  It felt like a world more than a game.  What I’ve noticed is that it’s the flaws that made it like real life, but there were a few that I just couldn’t overlook.

First was soloing.  Once you hit about 20, it was pretty pointless to even fight an enemy 1 on 1.  Just getting a 2nd person was so much easier and you both benefited.  However, I was living in Hawaii at the time and there just wasn’t enough people on when I played and to be honest, I didn’t know the certain places where people gathered.

Second, was healing.  This wasn’t such a big deal in a group, but I seriously remember spending more than half of my playtime sitting to regen health.  Play went like this: find mobs, and kill for 5 min until health is at 20%, stop and find a safe place, read a book for 5 min while health gets back to 100%.

Now on to WoW.  I still liked the ranger class so in the open beta I grabbed a hunter.  I saw how quick I could kill, I could use food/drink to regen rather than just sitting (and it was FAST!), and I didn’t even need to kite because I could take a hit or 2 and raptor strike for the kill.  And when I died, I didn’t lose any exp… I think I may have actually cried.  I was in heaven.

When I hit level 11, I finally got around to doing the pet training quests.  I actually missed the follow-up, and thought that it was normal to have my pet disappear every 30min.  I didn’t care.  No more kiting – ever.  I quickly learned about pulling agro and not to do it, but I would have happily only used auto shot if I never had to worry about dying.  Best of all, he regened health like crazy. No more downtime.

Eventually someone told me about ‘Feed pet’ and talent points.  I could make my new friend more powerful!  Everyone else was singing the praises of MM, and I was BM to the core.  For 4 years I have never seriously considered anything else.

I have reconsidered.  I spent the night as a MM, and I’m loving it.  My pet still holds agro fine which is really all I want, but the playstyle is much nicer.  I like the shoot and forget of Serpent Sting/Chimera, big numbers popping up, and actually using most of the abilities.  I went and set up WWS for before and after (I won’t post my pathetic ZD quest green numbers), and found my DPS going up by 15%.

I wonder what the difference is in a real raiding hunter.

I guess the point is that I’m liking MM at least for now.



  1. Erik said,

    I am looking forward to seeing your numbers from raiding. I took the opposite track that you did, starting with Marksman and eventually changing Beast Master. Now that pets have changed, it may be easier to be marksmen and still not pull aggro off your pet. That would be fine, but my main concern right now is how it would affect raids.

    The main difference I know of, between BM and MM for hunters and raids, is that BM has Ferocious Inspiration, which benefits the damage from almost the entire group. Of course, I am always looking to be at the top of the damage meter, and while I don’t always achieve that, it is always fun when it happens. But what matters most is whether or not we take down the boss.

    If you have any way of comparing the total effect of the change to MM, I would love to see it. Also, I only just started reading your blog, so I do not know yet whether you have played with survival spec or not. Have you done any comparison to survival with either of the other specs? Either in solo play or raids?

    Lastly, what is your thought on taking a few talent points from BM and moving them to MM to create a sort of hybrid? Is there any benefit to doing so, or will it just nerf both specs?

    By the way, I love your story about your early days in a reminds me of my own start in the game, when I knew nothing about auto shot, repairs, training, or practically anything at all. How far we have come!

  2. florelora said,

    survival is infinitely better than marks for pve. marks, unfortunately, is for pvp, and they turned BM into a solo-only spec. i like the ranger idea, which is why i played marks for two years. survival is the new ranger spec, and marks is a bastard child sacrificed to arena

  3. Faerondil said,

    Agreeing with Florelora here. I started as MM until about level 40 and then went BM and was quite happy with it all the way through BC raids. I leveled in WotLK as BM also but when my DPS sucked in my first Nax raid I went SV and haven’t looked back. I am usually 1 or 2 on the damage meters and enjoy the fact that I’m not dependent on my pet surviving boss fights for my DPS. Give SV a whirl… you may find you like it.

  4. Phantasia said,

    Agreeing with the 2 previous posts.

    I was from 1-80 BM, and loved it to level, using the gorilla i would be able to hit 3/4 mobs at the same time and never steal aggro from the gorilla.

    A friend suggested me to re-specc to SV, now my poor gorilla sucks :) I send the pet in, wait 3 seconds, start with explosive shot and aimed shot and I have Omen screaming on me with the aggro warning and the mob comming at me.

    It still is fine to solo mobs, but soloing elites requires some new type of strategy. But its doable (depending on the elites).

    As for raiding, my DPS have increased like crazy, even on PVP I can do a lot better now than I did with BM.

    Never tried MM to be honest. But not feeling too much confortable to do so now. Feel in love with SV and going to take full advange of this new “relationship” :)

  5. Fearstalker said,

    Gotta disagree here, to a point.

    SV is the highest dps, IF you can hand-weave well. That’s agreed upon. But, MM, is only about 400dps or so behind SV come 3.1 (BM is about 700 or so dps behind SV come 3.1).

    But, it is about playstyle.. BM is very different, especially since the pets are even stronger with 3.1. MM is about the big crits and burst, and SV is about luck with LnL procs.

    I’m going back to BM because I enjoy that more. As SV I feel like another mage or lock in back of the raid watching cooldowns. I don’t feel like a hunter at all.

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