Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hello, Arcane Mage.

Dear Arcane Mage,

I am a Marksmanship Hunter.  I would like to compare your "hard" spec to mine.

Your priority system is divided into three phases based upon your mana pool.  That's nice; my priority system has several different permutations based upon the health of the boss, how much movement is necessary at the moment, and whether any dynamic haste cooldowns (like Heroism or my own Rapid Fire) are active.  While one of those permutations is a two-button scheme like yours (during this time you'd actually be using only one button), it is for the narrowest of phases (boss health greater than 90%) and requires a haste cooldown to be active.

While we're on the subject of haste, we look at the stat in very different ways.  You see haste on your gear and say, "oh, my spells cast faster." I see haste on my gear and promptly break out a calculator and open two or three tabs in Chrome to see what I should reforge it to, if I should reforge at all.  You see, my priority system will change at certain levels of haste, due to being able to work in extra shots between my signature shot.  This makes haste all kinds of win at certain points, and my absolute worst stat at others.

You have several "utility" spells to manage.  Hey, so do I.  I have an interrupt in Silencing Shot.  I have CC in Scatter Shot and Freezing Trap.  I have to Tranquilizing Shot enraging bosses.  Are there adds for the tank to pick up?  I'm probably Misdirecting them to the tank, as well as using it at the pull so you can press your Arcane Blast button lots without pulling aggro.  Oh, you have a threat wipe?  So do I.  You have a short-cooldown movement aid?  I do too, except I have to spin myself 180 degrees to aim it.  So while you face the direction you want to go and push "go," I start to run in the correct direction, jump, spin 180 degrees, push "go--backwards," shoot the boss as I careen across the room, spin back around in the correct direction (while still in midair), and continue about my business.  Did I mention I'm shooting the boss during this entire process?  Yeah.  I am.

So you say you have a resource you have to manage?  Me too!  My life would be much easier if Blizzard gave me Focus Gems, too.  Cooldowns?  Check.  Procs?  Yep, so do I.  In between Steady Shot pairs--I have to pair them or I lose DPS, and I have to fire two pairs between signature shots, or I lose a lot of DPS--I have two globals to dump my focus and react to procs.  Hunters have fast globals too, like Rogues.

So what's your main rotation?  Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles?  That's it?  My main rotation, which is to say when the boss is between 90% and 20% health and there isn't Heroism or Rapid Fire active, consists of Chimera Shot, Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, and Aimed Shot.  This assumes that I've already applied Serpent Sting.  Not only do I have twice the buttons you have, I have to carefully manage my short-term buffs, procs, and my rapidly rising and falling resource in order to not lose a ton of DPS, all  while doing all the useful utility stuff just like you.

In addition to all that, I have a pet that requires careful management, because if it dies, not only do I lose 10-20% of my DPS, but the raid group loses the buff or debuff that my pet was bringing.  That's right, in order to do my job properly, I have to pay close attention to our raid comp and bring the pet that gives the best buff or debuff.  This means that while you're selling ports, I'm trekking all across the world to find the myriad of pets I need to cover buffs/debuffs properly.  Myriad is not an exaggeration; I routinely use 5-8 different pets while raiding, based on the raid composition and the boss we're facing.  Sure, a Huntard might get away with bringing his cat (which brings the Strength/Agility buff) to the raid with two Death Knights, a DPS Warrior, and an Enhancement Shaman, but a good Hunter would be using the correct pet.  In case you're wondering, based solely on that information, the correct pet could be any one of about five different possibilities, depending on how the DKs and Warrior are specced.

In closing, I just want to be clear:  I'm not saying your spec doesn't require skill.  I'm not saying you only press two buttons for an entire fight. I just wanted to compare all the things we have to do over the course of a raid encounter

Yours Truly,
Marksmanship Hunter