If you're not a hunter, you gotta respect beast mastery.
If you are a hunter, you gotta spec beast mastery.
Pretty straight forward. I dinged 50 last night, which made my 41'st talent point available to me.
And now I can become a big raging red hunter who has no remorse or ability to be stopped. So much fun.
BRK (sorry I pirated your name for this blog entry title, send me a cease-and-desist email and I'll back off) gives an excellent talent build path for a lvl'ing BM hunter. Its been working QUITE NICELY.
When I first started out playing WoW, I had no clue what talent points were or what specs were. I didn't even find out that I had talent points until about lvl 15 when I noticed a cute red icon on my UI, clicked it, and found these magical talent trees. So I just randomly read around and thought "hey, I like my pet, let me give him some more health" and gave a point in the BM tree. Then I saw the range increases in the survival tree and threw some points there. Then I saw marksmanship and figured that would be fun too, so threw a couple points in there.
Then I started making friends in WoW and one looked over my armory profile and she recommended a BM focus for my talent points. In my guild, we had an informal, bragging-rights-only, arms race for the biggest crit, so I ignored the advice and kept pushing points into MM. Over time, I started to wonder why everybody says playing a hunter is easy to solo, since your pet can tank for you. In my experience up to that point, my pet would start the fight, and shortly thereafter, the mob would come at me and spank my leather-clad @$$. I had no clue why.
About the same time, I stumbled across KTM threat meter addon. Installed it just for fun, no real goal in mind. I start to notice, sharp cookie that I am, that as my threat bar thingie passes Teddy's threat bar thingie, the mob's switch attention and come at me.
Being the sharp cookie that I am, I go search around to read about this phenomenon and discover threat, hate, and aggro.
Light Bulb Moment! I'm generating too much threat with my special aimed shots and arcane shots and multi shots. How 'bout I tone it down a drop and try to keep my threat bar thingie lower than Teddy's. Trouble was, that even on auto-shot only, I was still out-threating Teddy. So I tried letting Teddy attack for a bit to build up threat before I'd open up with auto-shot. Even still, I'd pretty quickly steal aggro from him.
Then the real Light Bulb Moment....I seemed to remember my friend mentioning that BM was the bomb. Maybe she's right, and I should put my silly guild arms race to the side? So I did my first respec and randomly threw points into the BM tree.
I loved it right away. Teddy builds lots of threat and holds aggro. As long as I throttle the DPS back a drop, he holds aggro indefinitely. Very Nice.
As I lvl'ed up a bit more, I then discovered the treasure that we know as BRK's blog. He's got a recommended lvl'ing build. I held out for a bit, but finally did a respec to get rid of the 3 points I was stubbornly holding on to in the Survival tree to increase my range. I missed that extra range for about 10 minutes, and now I can't even remember what it was like, the BM build is so cool.
The icing on the cake is that many of my guildies still are on the crit arms race, and one of our most prominent members is a MM hunter who likes to poke fun at us less flashy beast masters. On friday, I installed Damage Meters, and then 5 of us went into Zul'Farrak. 4 of us were at lvl 46, and the 5th was a 49.
As an individual (not including Teddy's damage), I was just squeaked out by the lvl 49 rogue for raw damage output, and just squeaked past the lvl 46 rogue. I crushed the lvl 46 MM hunter. Then I clicked the button to combine my damage with Teddy's. WOW!!!! Off the chart with damage output.
And I don't even think I'm that good of a player. I just try to stick to BRK's mantra of..."The purpose of a Hunter is to provide massive quantities of sustained, ranged DPS". Now, the mobs and bosses we're fighting in ZF aren't too hugely challenging, so its not like fights last quite long enough to really need to squeeze out every last fractional drop of increased damage, but I'm convinced that BM is where my heart is at.
The real kicker was that I took a screenshot of the damage meter bar chart, mainly for my own personal satisfaction, but maybe to share with the guild. But I discovered later that with windows vista, there's a folder permission problem that requires you to do some setup before you can take a screen shot. Too bad, because I really would have liked to capture that one for my memoirs.