I really love this list that Laeleiweyn of World of Lae has put together with Hunterstalker. I have to say this is eerily similar to my Armory App’s bookmark list on my iPhone. I have always kept a close watch on other hunters from my own guild/raid team, as well as competing ones on my servers to see what they are doing to tweak their own gear for their play style.
Its also very important to see the items other hunters have around the entire WoW community to benchmark yourself. Word of caution….there will be times in viewing someone on the armory you may see odd combinations of reforging, gemming, enchants, and gear selection. Some hunters may have been in the middle of testing things and did not migrate back to a more standard build or set up. *queue segue*
I personally having had my curiosity majorly peaked by this Blue Post and follow up regarding Survival and the maximization of our shot rotation…
I passed this along to Xelnath, as he’s the one who made the statement you’re referring to. Here’s what he has to say:
I’ll own up to this one. Our players are incredibly creative, dedicated and focused on maximizing their classes’ effectiveness. That said, I’ve seen some incredibly talented Subtlety rogues pull off damage nobody thought was possible. Sometimes the truth is hidden out there – when a majority of players are drawn to the current theorycrafted max-dps spec – there’s fewer eyes to find the tricks to maximize the effectiveness of another spec.
I don’t know how to play your class – you guys are the masters there. Sometimes an “underpowered” spec is actually just underloved.
Thanks for the passionate discussion.
So….which is it? We don’t know how to play our specs or we do?”
When looking at the big picture of class design and performance, the answer is kind of both. I think the point is that specs not played nearly as often as others aren’t necessarily underpowered. Our data may show a much smaller percentage of players using certain specs, though a good amount of the people who do use them competitively tend to do very well.
Here’s a follow-up from Celestalon:
Unholy and Survival are definitely underpowered in 4.2, and are getting buffed to compensate in 4.3. However, the point that Xelnath was trying to make, I think, is that they’re not as far behind as people think they are. With just a couple minor buffs, these specs are able to be competitive, in at least some encounters. Subtlety is a good example of this already: Subtlety is a very difficult rotation to play, and suffers quite a lot of drawbacks. But in some encounters, those drawbacks can be mitigated, such that it becomes the optimal spec. For example, the top Subtlety rogues are beating the top Combat and Assassination rogues on Baleroc, since that fight plays to Subtlety’s strengths. Will Subtlety win on every fight? No, probably not. But they’re not nearly as far behind as most players think, and sometimes can even be better. We’re hoping the changes to Survival and Unholy (and Destruction, and Beast Mastery) in 4.3 will help push those specs into a similar situation. We really hope people give these specs a chance.
As I have been leveling a Worgen hunter I have been toying with non standard rotations to see what kind of DPS I can garner; mainly since I do not at level 66 have all the required abilities and talents for a standard raid dps rotation. Its been interesting to see the results of ignoring things like Explosive Shot unless its an LnL proc and substituting Arcane in its stead. I’ve gone and done some major rebuilds on my raiding Orc hunter and spent a few hours at a target dummy testing. Nothing conclusive as of yet, but for some reason I still feel Mastery should be working out better than it does. GUH! I HATE math! Seriously…as an artist & designer I do need simple math from time to time…but otherwise…I hate it.