How to Spec Marksman?

A lot of hunters out there seem to be confused about what will yield the best results overall in Raid. So, being the raiding skank I am, I’m determined to find the ULTIMATE PvE raiding spec. Damage, utility…I want it all. Because who doesn’t like to be useful?

The following three specs are the specs I will be testing this week. I will post damage results from any groups I do, as well as from dummy tests, and I will give a basic summary of each fight, i.e. What I used, what I didn’t, if I messed up, etc. (yeah, we all do)

First Spec

This is my current spec; my natural MM hunter instincts told me to do it. We shall see how it stacks against the others.

Second Spec

This is the spec suggested by Drotara of Less QQ, More PewPew for PvE. Keep in mind, I believe he was referring more to soloing than raiding, but I could be mistaken. I am only doing this without Aimed because I know another hunter in my group has it. Otherwise, I would place one point in Aimed instead of Silencing. This will test whether Piercing Shots or Wild Quiver outputs more damage throughout a fight. It will need to be compared to Spec 3 below. Also keep in mind that it will be less mana-efficient, since I am already hit-capped and won’t really need Focused Aim. In fact, I hope you don’t mind, Drotara, but I’m going to switch that around to get a better feel for Wild Quiver – here is my change.

Third Spec

I want to test the effectiveness of Improved Tracking. Everyone seems to think it’s going to be a massive upgrade in damage. However, keep in mind that it’s only to non-periodic damage, which means your crits won’t scale like they would with Focused Fire **edit – I’m told I was misinformed and that crits DO count, I’ll be testing this soon**, and the damage from DoT’s like Serpent Sting and Rake won’t be improved (correct me if I’m wrong). Also, I want to test IAotH to see if that 15% increase is greater than/equal to/lesser than the Improved Tracking when IAotH is combined with FF.

As for Survival Instincts, I’m sorry, but how is 41% crit chance (more on shots) not good enough already that I’d have to spend two points on 4% more? I’m critting out the wazoo here, folks. Let’s see which is better – 7 in BM, or 7 in SV.

Also – those of you who are not speccing into Aimed Shot and Silencing Shot – who do you think you are? You are a raiding hunter. There are several things that raiding hunters are expected to bring to the table.

1.) Misdirect
2.) Emergency Traps
3.) Mortal Strike (Aimed Shot)
4.) Damage

Depending upon your group makeup, you NEED to be able to have these things and use them appropriately. I understand that right now, it’s tough for BM hunters to get Aimed Shot. Well, that’s okay – but don’t EVER let me see you speccing full marksman and NOT getting AT LEAST Aimed Shot. You really should get Silencing Shot, too, because it’s a totally viable interrupt and silence, which comes in handy on multiple raiding occasions.

Hunters : You are not just a damage machine. You have purposes to serve, just like everyone else, and those responsibilities should come first. One day, you’ll be in a raid and your leader will say “Keep Aimed up on Skull!” and you’ll have to stumble around with the words to say, “Um, but I didn’t get it cuz I put that extra point in leik, improved range and stuff…” Thanks for giving us the title “HUNTARDS”.

/disengage rant

Feel better, Neggles? I know I do.

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~ by Kelly Jennelle on October 20, 2008.

8 Responses to “How to Spec Marksman?”

  1. According to Rilgon’s tests, Wild Quiver did less than a percent of overall damage. That’s a big, fat waste of points.

    In the same theory of raid utility, Hawk Eye can also be included in that. For many fights, you HAVE to spread out in order to prevent damage to other raiders. In tight spaces, it’s tough when you have the same range as everyone else. Whether or not those points are affordable or useful in Wrath remains to be seen.

    Aimed Shot is disputable as a vital raid utility. As of right now, it is a vital part of a MM’s shot rotation, but not every fight will benefit from its Mortal Strike debuff. Regardless, every MM should be using it in their rotation, so it is a given. I would list Scorpid Sting as more important, honestly.

    Traps are still the most annoying form of CC, right under Succubi… I prefer kiting over chain trapping any day.

    There are many hunters (notably Those-Douches-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named on the Official Forums) who genuinely believe that hunters are strictly a damage class, like rogues. Yes, we are perfectly capable of topping the damage charts… as long as we have nothing else to do. If we are happily standing there, pew-pewing to our hearts content, we will top the meter. But take Brutallus. I lost the roll and was the MM hunter placing Scorpid on him instead of Serpent. The difference between my damage and the other MM hunter’s was significant, just from the loss of the DoT+bonus Chimera damage. Neither of us did very well since we were MDing on the tanks every turn, as well. We are not rogues – We are a damage/raid-utility (though I heartily dispute the idea of being a tool of the raid – I will not respec SV just so your ten-man can have mana).

  2. “keep in mind that it’s only to non-periodic damage, which means your crits won’t scale like they would with Focused Fire”

    Huh? It only means that DoTs don’t get a bonus from it. A crit is still gonna get another 1.05 multiplier on top of it.

    And I sincerely get a kick out of the fact that Drotara uses Wild Quiver, considering how much of a fucking quack I think he is.

  3. Okay –

    Thanks to both of you.

    @ Neggles – If you have all three points in Hawk Eye, I can see it coming in handy, but putting one point there as I’ve seen quite a few hunters do is not going to net you more worth than putting that point in Aimed. From my experience, I’m asked to keep Aimed on a target probably 30-40% of the fights we’re in. I know that if I decided not to get it, my GL would be pretty pissed. As for Scorpid, yes – adding that to the Utility bucket is a must, especially with that chance to disarm. And yeah, I wouldn’t spec SV for a raid, either. That’s just plain silly, what with all the new mana-return abilities in every other class. Full Surv gimps a hunter so much, it’s just not worth it.

    @ Rilgon –

    So you tested Wild Quiver? I’ve heard it’s terrible, but I won’t flame it til I try it. Also, do you have a Ferocity pet and if you took Rabid, is it automatically casting for you? Because it refuses to for me. The other bottom talent works just fine, but Rabid is being gay.

  4. I’m going to put in a bit of disagreement here:

    1) Per unit mana, aimed shot is simply not as good as arcane shot or steady shot, ESPECIALLY if you have the 4T6 bonus. I’ve run the tests on beta and on live; adding arcane shot does more damage than adding aimed shot to a rotation. Since the aimed shot damage nerf, it’s a situational shot at best, another on-the-go instant for running into a boss fight (M’uru last night for me) or during initial positioning during Kaz and Azg in MH.

    2) I can’t think of many 25 man fights in which the boss is healing him/herself enough to make the dps loss from aimed shot worthwhile. Illidan/IC…if you’re having significant healing, it’s because people aren’t doing their jobs, in which case 50% less healing on the boss is the LEAST of your problems. 😦

    3) There are enough classes who do silences and interrupts well and quicker (shaman, warriors, rogues, mages, druids with arena gloves) that putting a hunter into that space isn’t worth the dps drop, again, or the wasted points. Now that pummel and kick are off the GCD, it’s almost trivial for a warrior/rogue rotation to shut down anything but Lady Malande.

    4) A lot of things are immune to disarm when you wish they weren’t, so scorpid sting is very very situational, especially if your raid is mostly taking magic damage.

    This is of course from someone whose guild rolled over M’uru last night (thanks patch 3.0!) so I might be totally out there. (Amarsine on Cenarius if you want to see what I am spec’d like).

  5. Hi Amarsine! Thanks for your input. You’ll have to keep in mind, I’m speaking strictly from a BC point of view. I don’t have the beta, and I haven’t been past Gorefiend in the BC raids. I’m sure a lot of what I “know” now will change dramatically very soon. I’ll figure that stuff out when I get there. =) I’ll keep what you said in mind.

    Nice to meet you!

    -Nass

  6. Oh, and also – that’s why I say “depending upon your group makeup”. Right now, my guild is severely lacking melee dps. No rogues for Kick, etc…I’m asked to use Aimed quite a bit. And silencing shot is great for 5-mans, which is what we’ll be starting out in once again when the x-pac comes out.

  7. […] from Diaries of a Marksman Hunter gives her views on several builds, including the one proposed by […]

  8. Can anyone link the tests for Wild Quiver? I would think it would become more useful as we pickup the over abundance of haste on our new WotLK gear, forcing more white damage into our dps makeup.

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