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At the start it didn’t look so bad but a disastrously high fall from DPS grace in a couple of heroics had me thinking, hmmm, maybe I’ll try this Survival spec gubbins and see what all the fuss is about.

Yeah, I tried it. 50g spent on a respec and, some Training Dummy time later, another 50g spent to spec the hell right back to Beast Mastery again. What went wrong?

One. Using Immolation Trap to proc Lock and Load is all well and good, and fine for some people, but I wasn’t going for it. Throw Sniper Training in as well with it’s snazzy damage rewards for greater distance and suddenly I’m running for miles! When Anj first picked up a bow with a view to learning how to use it, she pretty much signed a waiver saying that pointless running back and forth wasn’t for her.

Two. Well, *splutter*, it’s Beast Mastery! Obviously different people have different play-styles and it’s great that we’re all catered for but, personally, I quite like the synergy betwixt hunter and pet, up to the point where I even feel uncomfortable with the word “Mastery”. We’re a team, me and kitty, we love each other and couldn’t live without each other. Sure, occasionally I’ll roll with my gorilla for questing, but that’s only because I’m giving kitty a well-earned break because she works very hard! Survival? Pet might as well not be there. Am I getting too emotionally invested in something to think that switching from my “Me And My Buddy” spec is in some way betraying KittenHeels? Hmm, maybe. But ah dun care!

So I’m sticking with Beast Mastery. On the training dummies with SV I was (it seems like a heavy-handed word to be using but I’m going to use it because it’s true) effortlessly doing more DPS than I was with BM. Well, it had to be effortless, it was a whole new way of playing and I had no idea what I was doing for the most part but there was still the same number of buttons to press, it’s not like I went from hotkeys to a command line system. Effortless. That’s including even missing out the DPS time spent on running to melee range to drop a trap and then Disengaging back, moving a bit more back to get to the optimum range and then going back to the weaving.

So I find myself torn between two thoughts, either the mass exodus from Beast Mastery to Survival cookie-cutter specs is something akin to a person shifting support to a different football team when their own starts losing a few games (which is a totally bad analogy for me because I don’t even like sport) or…

(whispering) Well, you know, is it a big unspoken protest, given Ghostcrawler’s comments about fixing BM if everyone shifts to Survival? (/whispering) OMG, am I being a scab?! Let’s face it, the DPS classes want to do as much damage as possible because, well, it’s their job but the blogs and forums I’ve read show that Beast Mastery wing of The Hunter Academy is emptying out, with the last person to leave being instructed to simply toss a ball of tumbleweed into the hall before they switch out the lights.

Either way, I’m not going to spend my time gathering a bunch of new gear for a different spec only to have to throw it out again when Teh Blizz see the error of their ways. I, and I expect many others, don’t want to be the automatic top of the damage meters, we just want to be invited to raids or heroics and have a chance at barely competing and maybe even be spared from the gallery of morons who hear the word “nerf” and their ears start bleeding.

Blizzard haven’t solved the problem of one spec being more popular than the others, they’ve just moved it somewhere else. Perhaps the only way they’re going to even begin to sort it out is by, more or less, equalising the damage output of each talent tree but maintaining the diversity of ways in which it is achieved, obviously with differing results to widen the gap depending on the effort that goes in. Insight or naivety? You decide! ;)

Choice. It’s not much to ask!

(picture by Reverse_Thinking and shared under a Creative Commons License).
July 2018
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