I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as of late. Some hunters are getting kicked from dungeon and raid groups simply because they don’t conform to a very specific set of criteria: Marksmanship with the Lone Wolf talent. At first I thought it was pretty anecdotal (and it probably still is), but I keep hearing about it. Guildies complained about getting kicked before the dungeon even starts. I’ve seen people mention it in trade chat, only to get belittled by everyone for not playing MM/Lone Wolf. I also saw mention of it in some comments on this blog.
I personally had one experience in a random heroic, but it did not result in a kick. I don’t remember the specific wording, but the gist of it was “lol why are you using BM? Play a real spec, we don’t want to carry you.” Then I crushed them on DPS for the rest of the dungeon and they shut their mouth. If there was anyone else in the group who shared this delightful individual’s mindset, maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to embarrass this fool.
The last straw came when I received two separate emails from readers about this issue. One of them has been repeatedly kicked from dungeon groups, and even criticized by his own guild mates for not conforming to what has become known as the “best” hunter spec/talent combo. The other person was actually kicked from Highmaul groups for playing BM. Both of them were asking for advice. They asked if BM and SV were really that bad? Should they just give up and play Marksmanship with Lone Wolf?
@BendakWoW yeah I had some smart ass rogue question me why I was playing BM in a dungeon. Told him to worry about his own class!
— Ash (@Ash773er) December 6, 2014
The short answer is No. They aren’t that bad. On paper (and in real world for some), MM/LW is going to have more single target DPS potential. That’s just how it is. BM may lag behind the single target damage somewhat, but on high movement fights, or where there’s any kind of cleave or AoE, it will excel. SV may not have any real burst to speak of, but it keeps a consistent damage output throughout the whole fight. On paper, SV even does more damage than BM for single target.
If you’re not enjoying yourself, chances are you aren’t going to be putting out the best DPS you could anyway. I personally still have not warmed up to MM. It feels too much like a caster to me. Some people love it, and that’s great. I don’t. I may still play it sometimes. Maybe I’m in a group that’s struggling to kill a single target boss. If I felt that switching could make the difference, I probably would. But at this point, I’m not going to switch just for my e-peen meter.
I feel like, in a way, I’m partially to blame. Maybe not me personally, but anyone who writes about the game and promotes the idea of “the best spec” or “the best talent,” which I’ve certainly been guilty of — on here, and on the podcast. Some people are looking for that simple answer. They don’t care about the why or how, they just want to know what’s theoretically best. That’s cool. But maybe all of this hype over MM and Lone Wolf has had a bit of a nasty side effect.
What if it happens to you?
If you ever come across this sort of behavior in a group, ask them to at least let you prove them wrong. Tell them, let’s kill one boss, and I’ll prove to you I’m not a liability just because I’m using a pet or playing a different spec.
The other thing you can do is just kick butt in whatever spec you play. Interrupt, CC, and DPS to the best of your ability and gear. If people have a good experience with a hunter of a particular spec, they’ll be less likely to press that kick button when it pops up next time.
You could try out MM too. Who knows, you may find out you like it! Don’t try it because of them, but because you want to try something different.
And finally, just turn off Growl, OK? I know we all forget sometimes, but this doesn’t help matters. 😛
How did it come to this?
If you happen to be someone who doesn’t main a hunter, and you’re reading this blog, I urge to you not participate in this sort of thing. Not just for hunters, but for any class. I couldn’t even fathom looking at someone’s spec in a dungeon, and then consider kicking them over that. Does this sort of thing exist for other classes? Do other specs get auto-kicked by jerks? Wouldn’t you rather have someone who is competent and enjoys their main spec over someone who was forced into another because some guide or some simulator said it was better?
— Shade (@untamedshade67) December 6, 2014
I’m sincerely hoping this problem isn’t as big as it seems right now. Even if it’s not a widespread issue, it still shouldn’t be tolerated.
I hope that, in the end, you can play whatever spec makes you happy. You’re a hunter and you’re awesome — pet or no pet.
BM for life.