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Patch 3.1 looms with its crazy changes, extra bag space and Beast Mastery given a full and frank apology abounds. Exciting future-visions aside, here in the hinterlands there’s not much going on except for the usual heroine antics with the possibility of “Hey, look what gear I got!” posts.

Okay, well, Wraith Spear if you must know, enchanted up to the nines with Massacre (850g spent on a single enchant, a new personal best), to replace the Icier Barbed Spear from Amphitheatre of Anguish back at level seventy-faaahve. I’ve also moved into a guild that has Naxx25 on farm and they’re going to run me and my friends through it quite soon, to which all I can say is: OMG! Arrowsong!

Talent-wise, I shifted a point out of Mortal Shots to put back in Beast Mastery because, although people say that you can still get as much DPS from sixteen pet talent points as you can from twenty, the increased survivability of kitty from the extra points should not be underestimated. Still no exotic pet, I mean if I was around in the area and Loque’nahak showed up, I’d make an effort to tame him but I certainly ain’t going out of my way.

Besides, I’m glad I did, an extra tier of pet talents sounds pretty nice. I am, of course, assuming that this extra tier will only available to members of the BM51 Club… ;)

And that’s it really. Not much else going on. Thank you for your patience. Your call is important to us.

(photograph by architekt2 and shared under a Creative Commons license)

Since I’m staying BM, it’s obvious that the current, or should I say “previous”, spec needs some tweaking. I’m going to give this, which I am calling “50/14/7“, a go:

BM, 50/14/7

Sacrifices, sacrifices. Talent points don’t grow on tress, believe me I’ve tried. I went a whole month using only 70 points and planted the one remaining in some fertile soil in the Cenarion Enclave, tending to it regularly with Moonwell water. Nothing.

2 points from Cobra Strikes.

1 point from Beast Mastery. Gusp!

1 point from Go for the Throat, and

3 points from Improved Arcane Shot.

Generous contributions which all get to go into Improved Tracking and Survival Instincts. An extra 5% damage on tracked targets with an extra 4% critical strike chance on Arcane and Steady Shot is hardly going to equalise it with Survival but it’s a start and at least allows me and Anj to continue life with a sense of enjoyment.

Add on the +2% from Focused Fire and 3% from Ferocious Inspiration and that’s an extra 10% damage across the board! Got to be worth a go, hasn’t it? You know? You try. You do what you can.

Training dummies testing, meh. I want to take this to an instance and see what happens.

We’ll survive the DPS crunch, we’ve weathered worse storms than this before! Chin up!

Anj was invited with friends to try her hand at a heroic instance, despite being pretty undergeared for such adventures. First was The Violet Hold which failed at the second boss, followed by Utgarde Pinnacle which… failed at the second boss. Never mind, the Emblems will be mine! Yoink!

Still tweaking with level cap talents, currently one point in Go for the Throat and one in Rapid Killing which may switch to both in GftT since her current crit rate is quite low and the super-low Bestial Wrath cooldown with full Efficiency is working wonders for mana conservation.

The Lich King overhaul for hunters opens up all kinds of questions for the talents though. With Lick Your Wounds and Heart Of The Phoenix on my instance/raid kitty, are two points in Improved Mend Pet really that necessary? There’s one there and one in Improved Revive Pet at the moment for tier-progression filler, but is it better to put them in Improved Aspect of the Hawk despite the fact that it never seems to proc when it’s most needed and is almost guaranteed to treat you to faster shot speed only when any mob is below 10% health?

So the proposal looks like this:


Dealing with the big issues of the day, the preference debate over Careful or Focused Aim is raging like wildfire through the halls of the Hunter Academy, at least in the Beast Mastery Wing where Marksmanship points have to be carefully chosen. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll get the +hit rating from gear no problem but extra attack power from Intellect, Mighty Thought Elixirs and mage buffs? Woo! Easy choice, really.

Hm. There’s work to be done. Yeah, there’s still a small questy element in there, Thick Hide. I know. Grilla and Volley, what can I say?

Joot! Achieved my first Outland exalted with the Sha’tari Skyguard, and went on to do nothing with it except say “Joot!”. Well, I’m not interested in getting a nether ray epic mount, the tabard is okay as a kind of “Hey, I got friends in high places, god, yeah, pun intended” badge of honour but not as good as my guild tabard. The only item that slightly piqued my interest was the Skyguard Silver Cross which I’ve heard both good and bad things about as far as usefulness goes but, as far as I see it, I’ve had Bladefist’s Breadth since level 62 and, yeah, it’s more my fault than the trinket’s that I don’t use it quite as often as I could. So, 4g from my growing epic mount fund isn’t much to ask to put it to the test in my own time. First impressions, has pushed my critical strike rating back above 25% since changing out of my PvP gear and in a short solo . That’s a good start! I’ll give it a go in an instance and keep the Breadth handy, I suppose.

I mentioned a few days ago about moving six points from the first tier of the Survivalist tree, losing my increased combat range and 3% of extra damage against humanoids, in favour of a 30% increased bonus damage from critical strikes. Well, I’ll be honest, I’m not happy with it. My overall DPS has gone down enough to make me uncomfortable and as for that +30% crit damage? One word: Underwhelming. So with Karazhan coming up next week (we hope), I am proposing a shift from this to something that has a more survival-based side salad.

Sacrifices are a grim fact of life and, you know, I’m going to miss the Improved Hunter’s Mark for the boost it gave kitty and the instance-tank assistance but if it has to go, it has to go. Likewise for Aimed Shot but the potential gains outweigh that loss. The extra 5% of critical strike chance that Lethal Shots affords I think is far too precious to lose, at least at this stage in the game with my current gear. Savage Strikes is one worth putting on probation, I might be only using my double-swing Wing Clip and Raptor Strike macro on the way through people back into range, it’s better to make them hurt, right? Right?

Clever Traps I’ve used before and is very valuable so that’s definitely on the team, similarly Improved Wing Clip has been tested before and gave good enough proc rates to, every so often, allow me to drop a class-suited trap at the feet of my opponent and still get into range. A Snake Trap for a mage? Yup, I’ve learned the hard way on that one a few more times than is noobishly necessary.

So all that remains is the difficult last two points. Is Deterrence worth spending a point on? I’m thinking it could earn its keep against melee classes as I charge in to dispense a Clip. Maybe then the final point popped into the Catlike Reflexes box? See, I’m not sure, and I’m certainly not about to start blowing a great deal of my carefully-gathered Epic Mount money into mucking about with two points, my next respec is probably going to cost me 40g as it is.

I hate decisions like this. /sob.

July 2018
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