Monday, 1 March 2010

A tale of Two Hunters, in which I am neither!

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...


  1. *salutes to Mr Neeson*

    I think the thing is, the difference playing a less-than-amazing-spec well and playing a decent-spec well is less than people think it is. Hehe, of course, a cookie-cutter spec will be more forgiving if you haven't developed your knowledge and skills yet. Sorry this is all very obvious stuff but I think we can celebrate Mr Neeson without fearing we on a slippery slope to deathtardism "i'm frost lol" :)

  2. Mr.Neeson should be celebrated as one of the few that plays because it's fun and at the same time, is pretty damned good.

    I dunno if it's less than people think, I mean, I'd have to try mightly hard to get decent dps from a Sub specc on Jakkru. Some speccs just aren't meant for some things.

  3. I used to love BM. My tauren hunter grew up in TBC and i just loved BM. Everything fit so perfectly, the lore of being a tauren hunter, my steady shot macro, my pig and my cat... I've done back then something i never did -- i sunk around 1600g on an alt for the belt of the black eagle and some latest and greatest crafted bracers. I was so disappointed by the additions to BM in wotlk, and i explored other specs. Tried survival for some 6 levels. Now, i'm settled on MM because of the nice big crits. Suddenly my cow looked so slow and clumsy and i just race changed to orc. It didn't feel right having the same name as the old horned fleabag, so i changed the name too. Ultimately, i could get dual spec and go BM as well for my personal enjoyment, but still, it's far away from the feeling i had back in TBC.

    I remember watching big red kitty's hunter training videos and squealing with glee when i'd see my cow successfully killing 3 mobs without taking a single point of damage. I remember how awesome i felt when i managed to do more than decent dps on maggy while taking up cube clicking duty from a dead guildie. My armored black boar from rfk and my Humar cat are still in the stables patiently waiting for me to level them. They're more than pets to me, because i camped the humar spawn points for days, and the pig joined me after two real life friends got me into rfk and i named the pig after them. The cat that scratched maggy's arse and used malchazzar's corpse as a litterbox. The pig that tanked more mobs that i could count, saving my hide so many times.