A Few Small Changes to Spec

Okay, after much research, stupid math problems, and guesstimations, I’ve made a few small tweaks to my spec, as well as my glyphs.

I’ve found time and again that Improved Steady Shot is just not that sexy. Sorry, ISS. You were good to me when I had no other choice, but now your 15 minutes are up. I’m dropping you. I’m dropping you for Improved Hunter’s Mark. *gasp* I know you never saw it coming, but there it is. Pack your bags and get out.

Generally, ISS procs about 3 times in a 10-minute fight. Yeah…3 times. That’s so not worth 3 talent points, and I give up on it. Instead, I’ve chosen to put 2 points into Improved Hunter’s Mark to boost my own as well as my hunter buddies’ attack power a bit (especially nice on Razorscale, since it’s burn, baby, burn!), and put the last point into Improved Barrage. So now I have 2 points total in Improved Barrage. Then I swapped my Trueshot Aura glyph with Chimera Shot. So my Aimed Shot will now crit about 53% of the time, which, in my opinion, is plenty. You can see my final talent/glyph choice here. http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cxbZ0eisRhzGIRguVox00b:0IfMz0

After learning more about the behavior of Piercing Shots, I decided to glyph Chimera because not only does it give the most Piercing Shot damage one second sooner, but it smooths out the rotation so that there’s almost a pattern again, depending on your haste at the time. Now, if I begin with Chimera, then fire Aimed, then Arcane, then two or three Steadies, I’m right back to Chimera, and the other two instant shots cool down at the exact same time, ready for me to begin again. It’s almost comforting.

What we have to understand about speccing for Ulduar is that these fights aren’t tank and spank. There are moments when you get to do all-out DPS without moving, but generally you’ve got more important things on your mind. You should spec accordingly. Theorycrafting to find the most DPS from a spreadsheet won’t give you the highest DPS in Ulduar. Please, if you do any one thing for me, keep your head in the game. Focus less on your numbers and more on your efficiency and skill, and then spec to accomidate your most frequent situations. My spec might not work well for you, so try a few things. Never be afraid to respec.

❤ Nass


~ by Kelly Jennelle on April 21, 2009.

36 Responses to “A Few Small Changes to Spec”

  1. I just recently switched to MM for Ulduar and am loving it. Thanks for mentioning the Improved Hunter’s Mark, I may tweak for that too and see how it works out.

  2. =) Glad I could be of service. Also glad you’re enjoying MM! Oh, and welcome to my blogroll, nice to meet you!

  3. I’ve found Glyph of Chimera to be fairly sweet. I dropped three points in Improved Barrage so my crit is just fine on Aimed. I rolled with 3 points in IHM (AND a Glyph of HM) prior to patch, and while it was nice at the time (especially when sometimes we had as many as 5 hunters in a 25man raid), ultimately now it’s a little bit less useful. I guess it’s nice to be a support for your fellow hunters, and I felt bad speccing out of IHM, but I needed those points for Piercing Shots with my setup.

    Oh hey, remember once when I left you a comment about not using Aimed Shot and putting the point elsewhere? Yeah, I ate my words on that one. That’s why I read you and send my marksmen guildies here. 🙂 I’ll be taking some of your advice with today’s respec. May huntery goodness drop for you in Ulduar, good luck!

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more on Improved Steady Shot, especially since the change. With my shot priority of Chimera, Aimed, Arcane, I usually see myself throwing in 1 steady shot every 1 or 2 “rotations” (if you will). I still have 2 points in the ISS but I’ve debated if those points are better off being else where.

  5. @Juggersnaut Hehe I’m very flattered. I hope 3.1 treats you well! Yes, I’m very much liking a faster Chimera shot. I think I’ll be sticking with it for a bit.

    @Wulf Definitely – So many great places to put 2 talent points these days. I wish we had more points. =(

  6. Very helpful post. I’m currently going with Survival as my main spec, but I’ve been wanting to give Marksman a try. You provide a nice overview of talents, glyphs and rotation that I can start with. Thank you.

  7. You’re welcome! Have fun! =)

  8. Ehhhhh…. I found more DPS out of Glyph of TSA over Aimed, but I keep hearing people back and forth.

    How’s that sole point In GftT? Any noticeable difference?

  9. @negathle – Check out this post for a good explanation of the 1 point in GftT. http://www.wowhead.com/?forums&topic=83051#p895413

    Thanks for the post Nass! I feel like I could talk specs all day. Haha.

    I’m curious to see what your perspective on Rapid Rec is. That’s where my beef currently lies. It just seems to generate far too little mana, at this point, to really be useful. So right now I’m toying around with dropping it. If I’m going to have to be on Viper often I might as well take those points elsewhere. QQ.

  10. OH, an interesting point I JUST realized. If you spec into aspect mastery, which I currently am, you get a 5% damage decrease when dragonhawk is up. Just thought it might be worth noting. I think this is the spec I’ll roll with tonight after the patch. What up FREE RESPEC! http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#ctbMzZ0eVsRhzGIsxhVox00b:0If

  11. …*scribbles notes*

  12. @Rob – I was more curious about 1/2 vs. 2/2, as I currently am 😉

    I also do not like my state of mana, so I was considering moving my sole point in Efficiency back to RR, and move a point from GftT to finish RR.

  13. Sweet! With the free talent reset, I’ll get to rearrange some points. Thanks for the informative post. 😀

  14. Nice post – having been unswervingly MM since I started playing three years ago it’s amazing how much you can still learn. The glyph info is particularly useflu – thanks.

    Re: numbers v efficiency – well always trodden that path. Leading a 10-man this week (with my drood) when eager dpsers kept pulling before the tank (not me) grabbed aggro I had to remind em yet again that I’m less interested in their friggin numbers and more intertested in how they use their brains for the good of the party!

  15. Rapid Recoup is a badass talent, and I recommend that every Marksman have both points in it. It’s fantastic for burning a boss, especially if your replenishment raid member dies, and it’s helpful during any boss in which you kill adds.

    Negs – I really don’t see a need for 2 points in GtfT so long as Furious Howl is activated when it needs to be, which it always is for me – but my pets are currently only dealing 10% of my total damage, down from my usual 16% pre-patch, so I’d say stick that other point somewhere to increase your own damage instead. I’m assuming your crit is about the same as mine, though.

  16. I must be doing something right as your revamped spec is identical to what I finally settled just recently. It pained me to get rid of ISS but it really is a dps reduction talent.

    My main issue now is mana. I hear a great flushing sound as I watch my mana bar rapidly diminish! What I am wondering is, what is the most efficient mana/dps balance, 2/2 Rapid Recuperation and 2/2 Rapid Fire or 4/5 Efficiency?
    Since the only raiding I do are occasional pugs I can’t rely on Replenishment and buffs for mana, I need to be more self sufficient but at the same time push strong dps.
    Perhaps it is more a matter fo learning new tricks (ie proper use and timing of Rapid Fire, Rapid Recuperation and Viper Sting) than just spec. My hang up here I think lies in using RF for mana regen as opposed to full damage burn.
    Any tips in this area are greatly appreciated!

  17. If you’re in 25s, you should never run out of mana unless your replenishment buddies aren’t doing their jobs/speccing properly/die, etc.

    If you’re in 10s, I’d recommend either going Surv to provide the Replenishment, or speccing into Aspect Mastery and ignoring Efficiency and keeping RR. You will have to go into Viper, but hopefully you can cut the time and damage reduction down significantly.

    Hope that helps!

  18. I liked Survival pre 3.1 but now… If I wanted to manage DoTs I’d play a Warlock!
    I’ve read that a decent procedure is to go through a couple of rotations thewn hit RF and Readiness and proceed shooting as normal, then hit RF again to get another round of mana regen. Is that advisable? It seems to me that my shots would suck more mana than I would regain.

  19. I do that during Razorscale when we need to burn her down. You end up gaining about as much mana you use during RF, but once RF is finished, you’re back in the same boat. If you are running low, you don’t have anymore RFs, and you’ve already used a mana pot, you’ll just have to go into Viper to regen, unfortunately, but I don’t recommend putting points into Efficiency since you’ll still run out of mana almost as quickly and you won’t have those points put into more damage, which to me, feels like a bit of a waste.

  20. Q u o t e:
    spec SV. its your best spec.

    bm and mm are still bad

    That is not a fair comment and a gross oversimplification of the situation at the moment. You are not alone in this view of course. Mostly I think this is because people like to attach themselves to simple black and white ideas and ride them into the ground.

    MM has come a long way this patch and many current MM hunters are still learning their spec properly after a long stint as SV. This is not to say MM is not still behind SV, just that they are a LOT closer than before regardless of who ends up beating who in the end by a small %. (+/- 5% on “equal” players is what I would call small)

    I cannot comment on BM. It was never supposed to top the hunter charts by design at one stage (see previous GC comments) and it most likely wont now regardless. Have not seen the numbers on it because it is not my thing. (I hate my dps tied up in a pet that I cannot control in a fine grained way)
    The only thing you COULD say with any conviction is that it will be a LOT better than pre-3.1 with the pet buffs.

    In any case it will be a month or so before we can make absolute statements like the above post! One could even argue that these statements are NEVER worth making as so much is dependant on gear, buffs and player skill.
    e.g. Who cares what the “best” spec is if it is too hard for a given individual to master??! They should NOT be cookie cuttering the “best” spec because their DPS will SUCK on it!? SV could very well be in that position now with BA and the already complex rotation. (Just a thought mind you.)

    Here are a few of the issues that I am referring to when I say it is not so clear cut:
    – SV’s raid buff is shared by a large number of specs and is not mandatory
    – MM’s raid buff is only for MM – serious guilds may see this as mandatory
    – MM’s rotation is more forgiving and easier than SV. Easier to hit that cap for lagged or less skilled players. A MM hunter in my guild called it “whack a mole”.
    – MM has 1 more instant cast than SV for moving bosses. (NB: many in ulduar) 2 if the SV does not take aimed.
    – SV relies on being stationary for 6 secs for one of its dam buffs also.
    – MM has less reliance on Expl Procs for max DPS. Possibly a more consistent DPS showing. (this is just a theory – I cannot back this up with numbers at the moment)

    I am sure others could come up with other things also.

    Again, not saying you are wrong that SV wont top the charts. Just that this is a crude statement and the reality is more complex and interesting than that. (as usual)

    Just prior to the patch I engaged in a “discussion” on hunter DPS and mentioned that SV was not doomed as many people were saying and that while we would not rule the chart anymore, we certainly would not be at the bottom.
    As is typical of people trying to post reality to the rabid masses, I was qq’d to pieces by a few eggsperts.
    Well guess what, so far I have been proved correct. Again as I mentioned, it will be at least a month or two before we can start making serious calls on this.
    Basically I am breathing a sigh of relief. I am also excited at the possibility of being able to try out SV or MM and not take a huge hit. Especially since one of our guild hunters has to go MM for the buff! Previously this meant taking a huge DPS hit – no more good sirs!

    In short: pthhthththbbbbbb *tongue out and raspberry flavoured*

    [ Post edited by Kocky ]

    –quoted from kocky
    go to http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?sid=1&topicId=16474260354 to read discussion

  21. I generally agree with the above. The DPS difference between Marksmanship and Survival now is not huge and I think which is “best” will come out in gear levels and skill.
    I hear BM is doing very well too, but as a long time BM Hunter who realised he was awful at it, the other specs offer much more, but I’ve seen some very impressive BM numbers put up.

    The only thing I really disagree with from above is the assertion that “less skilled ” players need to rely on talents to reach the Hit cap. Anyone can reach the Hit cap through gear given enough time and/or opportunity to raid and get the gear.
    Skill or lack thereof has very little to do with it.

    Now with all three specs being fairly close in damage output, I wish there was one I actually *liked*.

  22. “Again, not saying you are wrong that SV wont top the charts. Just that this is a crude statement and the reality is more complex and interesting than that.”

    Who on earth said that? lol I don’t see anything in this entire post and comments stating that SV was or was not the “best” spec.

    I stray away from those kinds of silly conversations, because it doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Spec what you like to play and perfect it. I chose to perfect MM – doesn’t mean I believe it to be better or worse than another spec.

    Also, I’d suggest being careful saying things like “it’s been proven correct/incorrect”. Who does the proving? How did they prove it? This is why we discuss specs and rotations rationally, and why these discussions are called “THEORYcraft”. It is all just theory, and theory isn’t proven – a hypothesis is backed up by evidence, nothing more. It’s like saying we’ve proven Relativity to be fact.

    Thank you for your long and detailed post, and for contributing your opinion – I also believe that both MM and SV are able to compete with each other, and the most important thing behind any spec is the player, plain and simple. Be an excellent player and your spec won’t matter. The new equalization between all classes which gives them the same or similar abilities means that no one will be FORCED to be a certain DPS spec so long as the group you’re raiding with has the utility it needs elsewhere, because all trees put out similar damage. This is what I wanted to see ever since TBC – less pointed fingers and more accepted variety of choice among Hunter specs. Either that, or a plainly obvious raiding, pvp, or soloing selection by tree and not by talent.

    I hope you have fun, whatever spec you choose for Ulduar! Thanks again for your comment.

    ❤ Nass

  23. Yeah, great response, Nass. I agree. At some point all that ‘theorycraft’ just get’s ridiculous. Be a good player, know your spec, and play it effectively. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, have fun.

    That aside I have personally really been enjoying MM. I leveled as a BM and stayed BM through TBC, switched to SV after the big nerf and am now trying to wrap my brain around MM. I’ve found that it’s also very effective in PvP. I topped the DPS chart last night in WSG, it was a blast. Concussive Barrage is a fabulous PvP talent. Kiting DKs has never been more fun.

    Thanks again, Nass. Keep up the great writing.

  24. I may not have specified in my above post that i was quoting a forum post which summarized how taking survival above BM or MM is not mandatory or will not be frowned apon, please read the discussion it is very interesting i believe now that MM is good enough now that many people will take it, I myself have found MM alot more fun than SV and i felt like SV was pushed apon me post 3.1 and would like more of a choice and now that this has happened i am very happy with blizzard. Also theory crafting means nothing if you can not play the spec or do not have a good time doing it. i agree wholeheartedly with Nass saying that it is the person behind the character that will determine whether they are toping the dps charts

    Sorry if i’m blabling =(

  25. many mistakes in the above article (i am not the best of writers)
    1. forgot many periods and have many run on sentences =P
    2. *post 3.1* is suposed to be pre 3.1

  26. Hehe Oh! Now it makes more sense. =) Thanks for elaborating. I’ll have to take a look at the article when I grab some free time. Thanks again for your post! =)

  27. I love it when people make short, poorly worded, and misinformed posts. It just makes me tingle to prove ’em wrong every time I’m in raid and out DPSing my fellow hunters and many other classes.

    Speaking of: Nass, have you noticed major changes in raid yet? I’ve been hitting 5k+, which makes me giggle gleefully especially because pre-patch I was solid at mid 4s.

  28. Which raid? Major change I’ve noticed in Ulduar is that everyone’s numbers are a lot lower. 😉

  29. A bit tardy but – turns out, unless you are putting points into Imp. Arcane (I’m not), you cannot go 1/2 GftT. Meh… so that I have one sole point in RR, and it seems okay. If you don’t have a ret pally, mana is going to suck no matter what.

    And, no, both my wolf and moth are doing about 15% of my DPS o.O

  30. Re: Pet – I have a feeling my Recount is Retarded at the moment, because my WWS is not at ALL matching my Recount during any fights. I’m going to ignore Recount and run my own WWS to compare to the guild’s.

  31. Nass: So far it seems on XT I’m anywhere between 4.6k and 4.8k, higher than it used to be on fights with movement. On simple DPS races, like Patchwerk, I’m getting 5.4k. Guild’s Recount matches, too. It seems like the DPS I’m getting on some of these ulduar fights is higher than some of my DPS races pre 3.1. I can’t imagine Piercing Shots alone could make that happen.

    Also, with ret pally in raid so no viper. That’s probably the big difference. If he’s in the raid and not dead I almost never have to viper.

    • Since we’ve yet to bring our regular/full group to Ulduar, it’s hard to get a feel for DPS – so far, it’s nothing more than attempts, during which (of course) something or another goes wrong. When we get Razorscale or XT002 on farm, it will be much easier for me to see what kind of DPS I’m capable of, but right now, the entire guild is suffering from “Imstilllearningitis”. Thankfully, it’s not fatal, but it is contagious. 😉

  32. Sorry I’m still responding to such an old post/thread. Downed XT last week with guild, pulled 5.2k. Wish I could see my DPS on XT this week, but I couldn’t go because of finals. The numbers are still higher than I think they should be. I’m beating out classes that did 6k pre patch. *sigh* I guess I’ll enjoy it while we have it…

  33. Am I missing something, I see a lot of people speccing into Silencing Shot. I believe to have a fair amount of knowledge on Hunters and just don’t see how Silencing Shot fits into your shot rotation or if its even worth putting one point into it, other than for PvP.

    I also went 3/3 in ISS just cause other Hunters HM in my raid will override mine and it just messed up my rotation having to apply it every time someone casted their HM that wasn’t specced into ImpHM. So until Blizz stops lesser HM from overriding ImpHH I’ll take my chances in ISS.

    Here’s the specc i like to use: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cxbZ0eVsRhzGIsghAox00o:0AfzM0

    • Hi Smirph –

      Silencing Shot is just used for utility. There are actually a lot of mobs you can use Silencing Shot on to help your raid. I don’t use SilShot for anything other than utility – not in rotations or anything remotely close. Sometimes we have to pry ourselves away from DPS for a moment and make the healers’ jobs easier by stopping chain lightning or fireballs, or what have you.

      I did make the switch back from IHM to ISS after trying both. I prefer ISS and believe it’s more useful than IHM, particularly because our hunters have a habit of casting HM anyway – causing them to lose a GCD regardless.

      I see nothing wrong with your spec. Just be aware that utility is always nice to have.

  34. I just dinged 80 and was thinking of switching to this for heroics. My question is, is there a slightly better build for heroics or will this work fine?

    I am going to be farming heroics a bit before raiding.


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