Quick Note about BM Raiding

Morynne —  February 11, 2010 — 21 Comments

First off, I have no problem with it.  Whew, good. That’s out of the way.

I played MM pre-BC, I played BM during BC, and was giddy when MM became a competitive spec for raiding again with the 3.0 patch.  I go where the DPS is.  Marks is my absolute favorite spec.  I love the complexity of it, and how skill-intensive it can be.

I am an end-game progression oriented raider who prefers the 25m format. I will do what has to be done to kill the boss and maintain a high standing in progression stack on my server.  As it stands right now, CA is ranked second on the Alliance for progression, and 6th overall on a Horde heavy server.  I take a lot of pride in that, and so does my guild.

End game progression raiding isn’t all that’s out there.  Casual raiding is perfectly fine.  I probably would go casual if real life ever becomes too much for my raiding schedule. Would I ever pick on a BM hunter in a heroic? No way.  They can play the way they like.  Same thing in a PUG 10m ICC run – they can do what they want.  If I were to pick people for 25, and I thought we were able to clear the whole thing? I probably wouldn’t take the BM hunter, just knowing I could get a MM or SV hunter that can push bigger numbers. That’s just me.

Ultimately, WoW is just a game.  Play how you want, regardless of how much the GearScore-mis-using people pick on you.  It’s your hobby, not theirs.  If you want to do end game raiding in BM, go for it.  If you want to dress like a purple unicorn and dance on the fountain in Dalaran, go for it.  Play for you, not for what other people think you should be doing.

*Edit* Perhaps my point wasn’t 100% made the first time I went through this post.  Beastmastery IS raid viable IF you can play it well.  It is the easiest rotation to play.  If you want to play BM, do it.  Just understand that nailing down the solid rotation to hold your own will take time — as with any spec.  If you’re chasing DPS, and want to maximize your potential? Think about MM/SV — but if those play styles don’t work for you, go with what you like.


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Morynne is an avid hunter, and prefers Marksmanship. She has co-hosted the Hunting Party Podcast, and appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. For more information, click here.

21 responses to Quick Note about BM Raiding

  1. Hyea Morynne! :) Great post and I can agree with pretty much everything you said here. :)

    I reallly have to say I love "If you’re chasing DPS, and want to maximize your potential? Think about MM/SV — but if those play styles don’t work for you, go with what you like." Maybe most of all.

    Keep up the good work. :)
    .-= Brigwyn´s last blog ..THL Podcast Coming to you LIVE from Mardi Gras =-.

  2. QUOTE
    If I were to pick people for 25, and I thought we were able to clear the whole thing? I probably wouldn’t take the BM hunter, just knowing I could get a MM or SV hunter that can push bigger numbers. That’s just me.

    Are you sure ? As a raiding BM hunter I regularly outDPS similarly equipped MM and SV hunters in ICC 25m (6/12) …

    Preconceptions like this are what ruin the game …

    Fact is that an average MM or SV hunter will be pushing less DPS in ICC than an average BM. And an good MM or SV huner will be pushing less DPS than a very good BM ..

    Overall i prefer what does the most dmg in a real raid and not on calculation spreadsheets and with the last changes in 3.3 with BM gemmed AGI/AP/Crit i do the sam dmg i woudl do as MM gemmed ArP.

    • I'm not sure what hunters you're comparing yourself against, but I recommend reviewing some of the top DPS numbers from WowMeterOnline comparing apples to apples some of the best hunters in the world. There is a 20-30% DPS difference from those who play MM/SV well to those who play BM well.

      The fact of the matter is that there is a larger opportunity for error with a MM/SV hunter. If your shot timing is wrong, you will screw your rotation. It's much easier to be bad at MM/SV than it is BM.

      • Sorry my previous message was abrupt from the office and forgot to say some very important things such as i absolutely love your blog! it is one of my favourite hunter site :)

        Any way to motivate what i was saying in my previous message i need to give you the context of where i am coming from :)

        You say compare the top hunters to compare apples with apples, well sorry this is not true, ALL the top hunters are MM. There aren't top BM hunters. The best hunters play MM. SV and BM re really comparable.

        I am talking true life comparing of the average hunter Joe like me, mostly T9, some T10, ICC up to Rotface (i can't speak for beyond that). Nt web sites, not calculators, not spreadsheets.

        BM push very comparable damage at middle tiers, GS around 5400. It is a fact.
        Like it is a fact that if the top hunters would raid BM would most likely pull out similar damage to what they pull in MM. Provided they research spec and rotation at the same level of detail they did with MM.

        It speaks volume by itself that the standard best BM spec and rotation that sites and simulator such as Rawr have embedded is not anymore the best spec and rotation there is to show how much top hunters have forgotten BM and they do not research it anymore.

        SV is really very very comparable to MM. Especially now with the new armors set that Blizzard have released T9 and T10 that benefits BM more than other specs the gap is getting narrower by the day …

        Try for yourself. Get a secondary BM spec, learn to use it as well as you use MM. bring it to raid and i think you will be surprised.

        MM rotation is easier than the BM rotation, as you do not have to worry about refreshing serpent sting. the fact you think BM is easier show that you don't like this spec and haven't researched enough :) it is not a criticism to you, but a fact that saddens me, All hunters today are MM ArP gemmed and whatever they know how to play it or not this is what top guilds look for, and then the ones similarly equipped to me come to random hero PUG with me and they are 20%-30% below me in DPS …. and i am BM …

        If this sterotype was not there we would have three viable specs and some more top hunters interested in BM and then we would compare for real apples with apples …

        • Thanks for the compliment! I really appreciate it, though it seems you missed the point of the article I wrote. I never said BM wasn't viable. I also said I don't like 1-2 button raiding. I've played BM, for quite a long time actually. I don't like it for many reasons. I've played all 3 specs to be perfectly honest, Marks just happens to be my favorite, as BM is for you. Agree to disagree.

          I'm not out to tell people how to play, they can do what they want. It's their $15/mo. Nor should you. God forbid someone have an opinion on the internet people don't agree with. Frostheim at Warcraft Hunter's Union and WoW.com would likely anger you to no end if you have this much of an issue with one sentence I wrote.

          • Sorry if i did not explain myself well. I have no issues with your sentence and I do not want to tell anybody what to play … it is up to them.

            I am just sorry top hunter do not explore at all, or even consider playing, a spec because of a stereotype that is only partially true and not in all circumstances (people with slow PC or high lag should not play MM/SV because they will suffer much more than if they were playing BM for example).

            I just think BM could be twice as effective as it is today if was explored more by the top hunters, and it is a shame it is not … here it is all my thoughts, in a nutshell (nothing more)

            And it is even more a shame that low end hunters play MM and SV, because they feel they have to, given all the top guys say it is the way to go and then they push less DPS than pallys and DKs because they can't play it.

          • The lag scenario is very true. If shots aren't timed just right on MM/SV, your DPS will suffer, more so on SV than MM though just because you have to time shots with Lock and Load.

            BM can be very effective given the right situation. I was listening to Brigwyn's podcast a couple weeks ago, and his ultimate message is that hunters are a utility class – and this is very clearly shown on a fight like Deathbringer Saurfang. Marks and Survival hunters may have issues with this fight because their pets can't keep the Blood Beasts busy long enough in most cases to prevent them from attacking the range. DPS numbers aren't always where it's at, but if we're in a situation where the numbers are needed, we need to be able to push them.

            Festergut is a hardcore DPS check. If your DPS aren't pushing enough, you will wipe every time. Rotface really isn't so bad, it's more about spatial awareness. Putricide is a mashup between the two, especially on phase 3, so in those cases, you need to be the best of both worlds. For Blood Princes you can forget your DPS, as you'll be playing Beachball — and hitting the boss is a secondary objective. As you know, I raid Marks because of preference, and ultimately because of DPS. I do progression raiding, so I have to have the best possible spec for the content we're raiding. Yes, I've respec'd by fight before based on need (like General Vezax in Ulduar because the extra replenish was needed). Based on meters, I'm typically in the top 5, based on the fight — only being beaten out by Rogues, Mages, maybe a Boomkin and the best geared Ret Paladin on my server.

            Do I expect everyone to be able to do that? No. Why? It takes practice, and Marks isn't for everyone. If you do better BM – do it. Just know you might get left out of things if people misuse gearscore, and believe everything they read on the internet.

  3. I'll be honest I'm really tempted to make BM my offspec. Purely because I miss my giant pink dino called Gaylord (yes I realise a wolf would be be better) and because I'd be tempted to give it a go just to properly give it a chance. I haven't touched the spec since it got the almighty whack with the nerf bat. Also Urkraft – I'm pretty sure there's still an EJ BM thread being kept update, so options are still being explored.

    Regarding 5mans. 5mans are not raids and data or experiences from these are simply not valuable. The trouble with every defence I see of BM is that its always circumstantial evidence I see people posting. Yes if you're not completely retarded you'll beat the MM hunter who's using his bow to pick his nose but check all the other data out there. The gap is closing but its nowhere near where it needs to be for more endgame hunters to pick it up. My guild is wiping on LK25 at the moment – they need every smidgeon of dps possible – taking a spec 400+dps below MM is simply not a choice if I'm to be responsible and help progression.

    I also think in all honesty both specs are pretty freaking easy to play. Surv is the little bit harder than both as Morynne says due to more shots to keep up as well as a procs (also forcing procs).

    The only challenge with MM is "aligning the heavens" as another blogger put it and landing a massive serpent sting on the boss and then keeping that up. Everything else is just firing shots on CD and making sure you pop RF, cotw and readiness and the right time
    .-= Echo´s last blog ..Having the balls to fail =-.

    • As far as keeping up a massive Serpent Sting, remember that Wild Magic Potions will help those heavens align when you have other proc's go off ;)

    • Echo, i am not talking 5m.
      Icc 25m, Fester/Rotface downed or Icc 10m Council downed (which is where my guild currently is at). Real life examples of a upper-mid tier semi casual guild:
      I am the only BM hunter (gs5400), we have 3 MM hunters (gs 5650, 5550, 5300) and 1 SV hunter (gs 5550). Thanks God my guildmates don't care about my spec as long as my DPS are good, actually they do not mind the raid buff to dmg they get.

      Hopefully the above gives you the picture.

      I have never been the hunter with the least DPS, and often i am been at the top when we raid with 3 hunters.

      Last week i was 3rd raid-wide only behind to the rogues and close enough in a Icc 25m 6/12 + VoA 25m run (p.s. great as the sanct gloves dropped for me).

      But i am going to give a try this week end and see how much would i gain in DPS in MM. Last time i tried was couple of months ago and the delta was no more than 6% more in DPS on perfect fights, and about 10% less in fights where there was a lot of moving around to do (off course while i move at fester to get spore the pet continue to hit hard when i am in BM, maybe even benefitting of bloodlust ..).

      • Urkraft – Movement is key as any spec of hunter really, its just BM, as you say, where it penalises you the least. I tend to disengage a lot more than I stutter to reduce this and I'm always popping an instant off as I move. Fester's a pretty static fight in any case.

        However my pet when I go BM is only 30% of my dmg – admittedly I'm still getting used to the spec again having decided to take a closer look at it and try and push the dps a bit. Yet because I am still learning (and admittedly the only raid I've done as BM was a pug TOC) I was a long way behind. I managed 7k on beasts – which was frustrating as I lost the pet due to stupidity on mine and a worm tanks part. I then res'd the pet and a dps with the flame debuff decided to run out to him and kill him. I also messed up the CDs and could have done better on Icehowl.

        To put it in perspective I've been managing 9-9.5k ish as marks on that fight in a proper group. Now if I solved the L2p issues I could probably get a lot higher. I also still have a lot of spreadsheeting to do with specs as well, not to mention pets (I had to use a spirit beast as my dino was too low). Next wednesday work permitting I'm going to try and take BM to ICC25 at least for the first 4 and see how I do.
        .-= Echo´s last blog ..Having the balls to fail =-.

        • Well for me getting to 9k dps is not possible with my current equipment even in MM. I get to 7k in BM and below 8k in MM :) so today for me the difference is not that big.
          Maybe as my equip progresses i will have more need of going towards MM but today the difference is really around 10% …

        • Echo, i did try MM over the week end, both with "standard" spec and rotation and with an adjusted one that i thought would reduce the L2p issue for me (no aimed, no silencing). Tried in pre-made Hero groups in HoR, PoS which have armors values of mob similar to raid trash.

          Results were that my friends asked me to go back BM, there in BM i go from 7.5/8k in BM and MM i was around 6.5/7K

          This is maybe due to my gems (AGI red / AP blue / Crit yellow instead than ArP). Even with the simplified MM spec (no aimed, no silencing) if all was true i should have been above BM, but it was not the case, Actually i was below on the simplified MM, compared to the standard (i.e. Aimed is definitely worth having, Silencing i am still debating).

          I will try MM also in ICC tonight as we'll go in to Rotface directly.

          P.S. PTR 3.3.3 has a small buff to Ferocious Inspiration….

          • I would spend more time with a training dummy before making up your mind. Get more comfortable with the rotations. The Silencing Shot is basically another instant shot, but with a longer cooldown. I've got that macro'd in with my Chimera, Aimed and Arcane, and it's one less button I have to push. Feel free to snag my macros I've listed on my site — they're helpful!

            Also, if you're not running a cooldown timer of some sort, I would sincerely start — if you're not comfortable with cooldowns, MM will gimp your DPS every time.

          • I use Kharthus’s Hunter Timers, it is essential also for BM.

          • I ran that for a bit, it's pretty good, but now I run a combination of OmniCC to put a big number on my buttons plus ForteExorcist (it shows Serpent Sting on multiple targets which is nice, plus cooldowns)

  4. I specced BM and swore by it while I was levelling but when I joined a raiding guild I was told to pick something else as BM "wasn't viable". I went away, did some reading, picked a marksman spec and learned the rotation and I have to admit it did make a big difference in dps. It's not a minmax guild and it's not hardcore, but I'd feel a little guilty if I turned up to a raid and chose not to do the dps I could be capable of. For me, that was the choice – I knew BM inside out and loved it but couldn't justify raiding in it. MM made a big difference and I am glad I switched beccause I feel I can justify my raiding spot each week by competing well with the other dps in the group.
    .-= Misscritalot´s last blog ..Heroics for Dummy Hunters (a guide for the rest of us!) – part 2 =-.

    • That's exactly how I feel. If I were showing up to raid knowing I could be doing much more DPS, i'd feel really bad — especially since my guild does the hardcore progression thing. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Morynne:

    Also, if you’re not running a cooldown timer of some sort, I would sincerely start — if you’re not comfortable with cooldowns, MM will gimp your DPS every time.

    I use Kharthus’s Hunter Timers, it is essential also for BM.

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