A Class Digression

For those waiting for the next macro (scripting) class, you’ll have to wait a little longer.  Not least, I got sidetracked by the job that pays my bills.  Add in the following amusement and the fact my internet connection went down yesterday so I couldn’t make sure the scripts I was preparing for lessons were really functional…  It’s coming.  Just not here yet.  Now about that “following amusement”…

Between the guild drama, time, and the holidays, I’ve not had extended playtime with my priest.  Instead, given the small opportunities I’ve had, my alts have been a better option.  And to be blunt, because of the burnout I’ve spent more time on the hunter than the priest.  As a consequence, I’m itching to write about it.  However, this is Priestly Endeavors, and hunters are… well, they’re not priests.  So, I’ve resisted.  I DID resist, mostly, with only an aside here and there.  But I’ve also been writing of guild and macro, and only sorta doing these from the priest perspective.  And, well, it’s my blog and I still itch to write of my hunter and lessons learned.  So…

I will be writing hunter related articles.  Not heavily, but this won’t be a purely priestly blog any more.  Since I am nowhere near as experienced, the lessons here will be more along the lines of a beginner discovering what experts have already known.  If you’re not interested, just skip the hunter category – I promise, I won’t be offended.  Obviously, then, this is going to be the first entry in this area.

My hunter is a Draenai, level 50.  Right now he’s BM spec, straight down BRK’s BM boilerplate.  And I love it for many, many reasons.  Not least is the contrast to leveling with a priest.  (Level a priest to 40 – even shadow spec.  Then level a warrior in Prot spec to level 40.  Then put a hunter in BM spec and level to 40.  That was my experience — and it’s why when I listen to warriors and pallies cry about their slow leveling I want to laugh at their ignorance while at the same time I understand their tears.  Compared to the priest… compared to the hunter…  Enough said.)

Anyway… I’ve been playing pretty intentionally as a bit of a huntard.  Set a trap just in case, hit the mob with a level 1 arcane to pull it away from its peers, send the pet to intercept it (with growl, it does this 100% of the time), pop hunter’s mark, start pewpew till it’s dead, rinse, lather, repeat.  Sometimes for variation send the pet right away, let it get a couple of hits then have it switch to the second mob, pewpew second mob to death, retarget and pewpew first mob.  Fast kills, fast leveling… routinely dealing with mobs and quests that are allegedly a little too high just so I’m CHALLENGED instead of bored.  (Though I admit I’m still giggling when I do more than one level in an evening even above 40.  And crying when I take a break and spend three times as long with my priest running the same level but having to use quests my hunter did two or three levels earlier…)

But anyway… I’m considering challenging myself.  Both in making the leveling a smidge more difficult and simultaneously forcing myself to develop more and better hunter skills.  If I do this you’ll see a LOT more hunter posts than if I just stay BM.

See, I’ll spec SV.  Possibly – PROBABLY – SV/BM.   “WTF?” yell the experienced hunters.  Calm down.  I know – KNOW – already that this isn’t the biggest BANG spec. I know that BM is the highest sustained dps and MM is the highest burst, but SV’s max DPS comes from crits and most of the crits are in MM.  And that’s why – yes, I know – that the most common SV/something split is SV/MM.  Yep.  But I’m taking the road less travelled.

See, I’ve gotten it into my head that it’s possible for a hunter to do most of if not clear most instances that are barely green (not yet gray), and MAYBE even a little higher. I’m not talking with group, I’m talking me and my pet.  But to do that, I need to take care of my pet – both survivability and tankability.  That is, armor, health, and ability to generate aggro.   And therein lies one of my first annoyances.

See, I really like my pet.  See, I happen to have two cats as pets.  I picked up one at around 12 and the other around 20, worked them both to 30, but have been running one exclusively to now.  Both are personal chest-thumpers — meaning I had to do a bit of work and extra effort to get them.  The one I got the earliest – and is my 49 – is my lynx, Lyallii.  I had to go to the blood-elf starting land to get her.  The other is a ghost-saber – Mist.  Mist is a dangerous kitty in BGs because she’s translucent — not quite as bad as being stealthed, but still she’s been missed till attacking more than not.  But Lyallii…  Hey, chest thumping.  And personal sense of humor — Urtica Lyallii is a stinging nettle.  (Properly Urtica Dioica Lyallii — if I get another fulltime pet you can see what the name will be already.)  Anyway…  The cat will do aggro through damage and growl.  But it won’t do as much as a boar.  And while it’ll tank, it’s not as survivable as the armor pets.  Which means I have to throttle my damage a bit (for that 1K initial aggro) at the same time I really need to kill the pulls before it/they kill my cat.  Or, I have to be prepared to intentionally pull something off so my cat can deal with something else.  While, probably, trapping yet another something…  I did say I wanted a challenge.  I still may end up with a different pet, and bid a wistful farewell to Mist.

For the kibitzers, I’m looking right now (level 70) at 17/24.  Here’s my reasoning, and after that I’ll mention where I’m looking for the march to 60 — realizing that lessons learned may change my mind in any number of ways.

The BM points are 5 in endurance training, 3/3 in thick hide, 2/2 in focus fire, 5 in unleashed fury, and 2 in improved mend pet.  The only one of those I’m not certain I like is the focus fire.  Endurance and thick hide are tank aid.  Unleashed fury means the pet has higher aggro which lets me boost my dps.  Mend pet is both a tank aid (clearing those debuffs) as well as a mana saver.  The former, given my plans, is more important.

Over in SV, for now it’s 3 in humanoid and 2 in monster slaying.  3 in entrapment and 2 in improved wing clip.  2 in clever traps, and 4 in survivalist (helps me and my tank/pet).  2 in trap mastery, 3 in surefooted.  And finally 3 in Killer Instinct.

My next 6… one more in survivalist, and then 3 in resourcefulness followed by 2 in Lightning Reflexes.  I intend to max lightning reflexes and grab Wyvern sting, and then see where I am.  One direction would be to pick up improved hunter’s mark via lethal shots so my ‘tank’ does even more damage.  Alternatively I can push for expose weakness and readiness.  But those are decisions I’ll make after I finish my next six levels — after 56, when I know more about the path I’ve chosen.

Feel free to kibitz.  Probably won’t change my mind much, but I’ll be interested to see if I hit the pitfalls you predict – or can work around them as the case may be.

And as always, have fun — at least as much as I plan on having, if not more.

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~ by Kirk on December 14, 2007.

7 Responses to “A Class Digression”

  1. You might consider renaming your blog to something a little less class-specific, eh.

    I definitely feel for your healer burn-out. My solution was initially to roll a lock, but as easy as they are to PVE, I found it lacking–and boring. My solution was to roll a SECOND priest and spec her as pure shadow. Now I have a set of twins–good and evil–and I love them to bits.

  2. I leveled a BM hunter after my holy priest as well. :) I was able to solo clear SM with her while the mobs were still green – did a couple levels that way. I stuck to pretty much pure BM while leveling so I don’t know much about the survival tree.

  3. And here is the reason my blog is called “Mystic Chicanery” instead of “Blessing of Sacrifice” :)

    I look forward to reading more.

    Nibuca
    http://warcraft.fibergeek.com/

  4. Meh, my blog was supposed to be a priest blog, But I am burning out on my priest, and only have her out to heal groups. But my blog name is still going to be Lady Jess, and my sub-title explains the rest. It’s your blog, your priest is your main, and we all have alts. Write what makes you go “I just MUST blog this” and call it a day:)

  5. oops I meant to add…good choice on the ghost saber. My hunter is 62, and that’s been her loyal pet for 42 levels now. We call him Whispurr:)

  6. @Teni

    I did the same thing. Some people look at me funny when they know I have two priests, but hey, I’m happy. I was fortunate enough to roll a nelf for my shadow priest (seemed like a good fit), and thanks to the 2.3-improved starshards I now have 3 dots … so hey, who needed that ‘lock anyway. :)

    @Kirk

    I don’t play a hunter (well, not yet anyway) but I love to see people try something different. Maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t – but it’s going to be fun either way.

  7. Well, what I know abouts huntering wouldn’t half-fill a gnome’s shot glass, so buggered if I know how well this build’ll work. But I’s a big fan of following the road less-walked-on, so I says go for it, and /cheer. Looking forwards to hearin’ yer instance-soloing stories.

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