I've just finished a ToC10 pug, still aiming to get my shield on the shaman. Blizzard mocks me once again by dropping the axe. Wankers.
But that didn't phase me, because today I met a player who was genuinely skilled. He was a random hunter, in a guild that I cant pronounce. I'm gonna call him Mr.Neeson - because he has a certain set of skills.
He was the unconventional Beast Master specc. Which is renowned for being super for levelling but pretty terrible at end game (well not terrible but when compared with Survival or Marksmanship speccs in the same gear, it gets left eating their metaphorical dust).
There was another Random hunter in the group, who I'm going to Mr.Arrogant. He was in 3 parts T10 and thought he was gods gift to all things hunter. He was a cookie cutter Survival build.
The gear difference between the two hunters wasn't that much. Mr.Neeson was sporting 4 parts T9, some ICC10 epics and the 264 bow from ICC25. Mr.Arrogant as said before was in 3T10 and some ICC/ToC10 epics. Pretty even.
We had a wipe on beasts, our tank disconnected and the other tank ended up on 13 stacks. Not nice to heal. The second attempt was much better and what I saw was something very surprising, Mr.Neeson was pwning. I automatically thought "Mr.Arrogant is utterly terrible, getting beaten by a BM hunter..." but no, Mr.Arrogant was a close second, a few dps behind Mr.Neeson and around 1% damage. I was quite shocked, I was in a party with someone who was skilled...
Mr.Arrogant spotted this and asked - "lol, why you bm? go surv or mm and you'll do more dps." I had to stop myself pointing out that Mr.Neeson was beating Mr.Arrogant but the self-proclaimed gods gift to hunters had a valid point.
Now, this next bit. Made me smile as this is pretty much my view on the whole game.
Mr.Neesons response was simply "I like playing BM, it's more fun and I play for fun. I've been BM for a while and I've got good at it..."
Hats off to you! I used to love BM back in the old 1:1 or 3:2 macro days. Cooldown management, micro-managing your pet so it was alive on even some of the hardest bosses. Trying to keep your mana topped up without wasting a global cooldown and generally having tonnes of fun. I was miffed when they changed it a little and luckily on my Hunter I gave Survival a go and it was amazing fun and also good dps.
I started thinking about what Mr.Neeson said while I was spam healing on Twins and I had to admit, this game is definitly more fun when you're doing stuff the way you like to.
I'm pretty skint in game but that's because I dont do dailys or grind - why? Because it's too much like work. When I come in from a day of lectures, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour repeativly killing mobs. I'll more than likely sit in Dalaran and catch up on the days events with my guildies, run a few instances or generally mess around.
I was also thinking of the downside to this. Cookie cutter speccs are cookie cutter for a reason - they're good. They make raids better, progress further and therefore increase enjoyment. I suppose if you're playing the specc you like AND have the skills to pull it off, then it's fair do's but if everyone was playing the game how they wanted to, it could definintly get messy, especially with some of the speccs I've seen on some people...