Playing BM: It’s a matter of principle now

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?

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.

On paper.

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?

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.

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86 thoughts on “Playing BM: It’s a matter of principle now”

  1. FWIW… I’m one of three hunters in my guild. Based on SoO logs, I’d say one is a bit better of a player than me, and the other, I’m a bit better than. We were all BM in SoO.

    For WoD, both of the others have switched to MM (complaining bitterly about the playstyle and the movement restrictions all the way), while I decided to stick with BM, at least while we’re learning the fights – stay with a spec I’m comfortable with, rather than switching to a spec I’ve practiced, but still am not comfortable with; I figure that if we’re wiping on enrage with a couple percent left, *then* can I try MM and see if I get enough more DPS with that spec once I know the fight.

    The slightly better player and I are neck-and-neck for top DPS based on this week’s logs. Top DPS for the whole raid (we’re both similar ilvl, in the higher end of average for our guild, but not top ilvl). The third is middle-of-the-pack as MM; his DPS actually increased a bit when he gave up on MM on our 3rd night out and went back to BM.

    I have not experienced the stigma you are describing; I play on French servers, so perhaps the “MM is the best spec” isn’t as pervasive on French websites/etc (as an American living in France, I gravitate to English language websites – French is a lot of work!). It probably also has something to do with the fact that I’ve mostly done dungeons in guild groups. But it makes me sad that there people experiencing this discrimination against pets.

    Play what you’re comfortable with. Play what you want to play. If you do it well, you’ll be fine. Let’s get rid of that stigma that you *have* to play the supposedly best spec. The best spec is the spec you enjoy.

    And this way, I get to have a pretty purple wolf at my side 🙂

    1. This! This right here is what I have been toting since I started playing in Wrath. Play what you know, play what you like, and you will prove your worth easily. This only further helps to prove that there really is no broken spec and it comes down to, a lot of the time, comprehension of the spec and the pure enjoyment you are having with it and pushing yourself. Play what you like, I always say, and you will more than likely perform better than the so called “best spec.” I am so glad to hear of a success story and hope you stick with BM because of it. Only goes to show numbers on a simulator mean very little when you actually get into the thick of things when it comes to comprehension and enjoyment.

      And 2 thumbs up to this article too!!! Awesome read, and will definitely recommend it to anyone who asks about “best spec” nonsense. I’m beyond thrilled to read one of the many wow and class blogs out there finally promote this idea and that it is truly a viable response to those “best spec” robots out there. I can not tell you the countless examples I have of this play style that supports it, and I am very pleased to read so many others are experiencing it as well.

      Just boggles my mind how anyone could even question a player playing the best class no matter the spec. Other classes need to learn their place as hunter support classes and not talk about things they do not know concerning the God Class. Hunter for life!

  2. Thanks for making this post. I haven’t seen it myself since I mostly play MM/Lone Wolf cause I like it. I don’t like not having a pet but I am good at this spec. I agree that hunters should play whatever they want. I hope people don’t cave into the pressure. 🙂

  3. Been playing BM for as long I remember. Since I first started this game prolly. I haven’t come across any groups like that lately but I do run with my guildies when someone sets a thing up. I think this isn’t the first time either that BM its getting flack since in Wrath (around when Trails of the Curseder and what not) people kicked hunters for not using X spce on top of that it was back when “lol why don’t you use a wolf”. I really do hope I don’t encounter these type of people in the future.

  4. Well i got kicked from Molten core.. cause i was the only BM hunter in the group.. really upsets me as i spent a long time trying to find a group.. This is discrimination!

  5. BM is my favorite spec and I’ve played it since I started playing hunters. Luckily I haven’t run into that, but I do remember getting kicked from dungeons for playing a Frost Mage in Wrath – despite keeping up with numbers.

  6. I feel it’s bad enough casting long cobra shots as BM with such low haste levels. Whenever I try MM I feel like I’m waiting forever for aimed shots. Luckily, I haven’t had anyone complain in heroics that I’m running as BM. I do better as BM since I’ve been playing it for years, so I’ll be sticking with it. The lack of a pet just feels weird to me. Even on my frost mage, I wish the elemental was more pet-like.

  7. Excellent post, and something I think we should bring up on the podcast this week. I’ve been running MM mainly because I like the challenge of learning it, even though I prefer BM.

    That said, we have at least one Hunter running SV in our raids, and he’s doing as well as anyone in our groups.

    As BRK said on one of our podcasts last year – “Skill trumps the math”. ‘Nuff said.

    1. Blizzard, and other MMO creators for that matter, have historically found it impossible to have identical output from specs that operate in any way differently than one another. And, it can certainly be argued, that LW MM’s (slightly) higher DPS is due to it having more restricted playstyle than other specs, so it’s likely harder to actually realize 100 percent of that DPS differential for most players (even in heroics, there’s plenty of moving required, for instance).

      I’ve been MM since 2004, and while I was never kicked from any groups, I’ve dealt with some snarky whispers over the years. It sucks that people are escalating like this, since it’s so immediately obvious when someone’s got a pet out or doesn’t.

      It would be nice if the numbers were closer, but the truth is, they won’t be identical no matter how Blizzard tries so long as there are genuine talent/spec choices for players.

  8. Nice writeup… I have seen it lots of times the past couple weeks…. I did what you already said… basically, ” Let me try… If I can’t stay in the top 5, I will leave group myself”…. And even had my pet tank a few times cause the “MAIN TANK” died… haven’t been kicked yet 🙂 BM for life here.. have always been will always be…..

  9. Much props on stating your preference but still not badmouthing those that play and love Lone Wolf. I must say I’ve never been a FotM reroller, in fact I like to make specs that are underperforming good again if I can. I was stubbornly playing Marksman in Siege just because -guess what- I enjoyed the playstyle. I actually kept up with our top destro lock and even ranked pretty high on World of Logs. That raid group had me using a spore bat for the buff which I hated, so it’s not like I had the chance to pick my own pet anyway. Needless to say I’ve been beyond giddy that my favorite spec is doing so well. Being able to forgo using a pet and bring whatever buff I choose is just icing.

    1. Btw there are still times I like to use a pet. Soloing rare elites is way easier as BM, and the other day my UBRS run didn’t have heroism so I brought out my nether ray for the rylak fight with incendiary ammo and went crazy with the aoe as MM. It was a blast. Binding shot + explosive trap + multi spam was so great.

      1. Using a tenacity pet, I’ve had no issues tanking rare elites as MM either, though I’m sure it’s easier as BM with the bettebetanking toolset.

        I personally was nervous about MM ( I’m a survival guy) but I really have come to enjoy MM with LW.

  10. I simply loathe to play MM. I can’t even believe how bad I’m when I play MM. Even now when it’s doing that much more dps, I can be way behind from when I’m playing BM. I was formed as a SV Hunter, and got BM as second spec because of the exotic pets, and sometimes played it, got used to it and now I’m as good as BM as I’m as SV.

    Now, I remember mid Cataclysm, when MM was top dps, just like now, and my guild always mocked of me for not playing it. My fellow hunter in the raid team was much more a min-maxer than me and switched to MM instantly, she was a hell of a good player and managed to excel the role. I, in the other hand, kept playing as SV, and back there, SV aoe was hell on earth for my foes. I remember we going down Firelands and both hunters topping dps meters, sometimes her, sometimes me. Same thing on bosses. That expansion was the clear advice for me that we need to play the spec that we play better on, nevermind the outside pressure of anecdotal evidence and simulators.

    When MoP came and MM was trash, she instantly went back to SV, but mid xpack, BM was all over it, and since I was much more experient than her, I was topping all bosses. Now she’s comming back as MM again, and I’m sticking to BM, and as always, we’re on the top. Oh how I like to be a Hunter.

  11. Yeah I main a resto shaman and my BM hunter. I had to go through class discrimination. With all the bad press the DPS shaman specs get people would kick me from groups just because I was a shaman. Now as I’m leveling my hunter I’m starting to get the same treatment. Not cool! This is supposed to be a game that’s fun and allow for variety. A heroic dungeon pug is so much different than progression min/max raiding

    1. I was kicked from a group on weekend doing heroic Tank accused me of having growl on when it was off. My husband was in same group and told them it was off he was sitting next to me. I still got kicked. Husband played on till next boss waited for them to pull it and he left group.

  12. All I have to say it what goes around comes around. With all the hate MM hunters got last expansion we deserve a day in the sun. I wish it wouldn’t come at the expense of other specs, but I’m not going to be upset about the spec I love to play being the best.

      1. As I said, I wish it wouldn’t come at the expense of other specs. BM and SV should definitely have a place in a raid environment; BM because it is not that far behind MM on single target and is better in AoE, and SV because it is so consistent and easy to learn compared to the other two specs that it maintains near 100% dps even with complicated mechanics.

        I wish the toxic attitude would go away, and all 34 specs could be played in a group pve environment without judging. But we are humans playing this game after all, so that’s not particularly likely.

        I think Hunters should be able to be any spec they choose competitively (after all, any Hunter is better than one of the support classes), but again, for once MM isn’t getting the shaft and I think it’s about time.

  13. I play SV/BM. I consistently, and significantly, put out more dps than anyone else in my groups. Honestly, commentators are to blame. Almost no hunters have the skill to max out dps on MM, that I have seen. Sims are,and have always been, a deceptive lacuna, and those who subscribe to them fools.

    A call to all hunters – play SV and BM. Show the fools and haters that spec is irrelevant, and player skill (including movement, interrupts, and personal survival) is what matters – and that every hunter can bring those things, regardless of spec.

  14. I haven’t experienced this so far in WoD and I run pugs exclusively since my guild is one of those “a place to hang so you have MR and hasty hearth” guilds. I got kicked one time because I didn’t have a haste pet at all (I hate sporebats, don’t even have one in my stable…that got fixed with rylaks tho) and that was the only buff that we didn’t already have. While that was realistically my fault for not doing my best to support the group, I am still a strong proponent for playing what you like because it is fun. There is far, far too much min/maxing going on and it destroys the enjoyment of the game.

  15. BM since 2006

    I am glad you did an article on this. This is very toxic behavior that hurts our class in a major way. We already have some grouping issues being a pure dps class, so when most of our spec/class options are ostracized it hurts our little community. I feel there are only two simple ways this can be fixed:

    1: Lone Wolf is nerfed. While it is bittersweet since it will ruin the fun for those of our class that have fun without managing a pet, I believe this would be the more likely to happen since it is ( I would think) easier to do. Lone Wolf was likely meant to be only an aesthetic choice so I feel making it seemingly mandatory must have been a blunder on Blizzard’s part.

    2: Buff our pets. This would help 7 out of 9 of our specs and wouldn’t hurt Lone Wolf because they wouldn’t be nerfed either. The simplest way would be to increase the inherited AP from hunters to our pets (currently 66%), with Blizz deciding what that golden number would be. Even if the change is slight it might stop making Lone Wolf “required”, even if it stays on top. The downside to this is I feel that asking for buffs might come across as white noise and might be ignored because I’m pretty sure Blizz is tired of everyone asking for buffs for their class and/or spec.

    One can only hope this issue is resolved, but we might have to wait a while. In the meantime I’m gonna hang in there the best I can.

  16. Same here, BM for life. One of the best DPS in my core 2 guild. The sting of specialization discrimination has to stop and it usually starts with the ignorance of people who relly too much on average computer statistics than the real human behavior of a talent class. I believe that forcing people to change their class often times makes their performance on a class even worse.

  17. This time around i even leveled as survival. I was MM in vanilla. Flipped to BM for pvp purposes and stayed there till wrath, when i realized that pets died like a mofo in raids at the time. Went survival and haven’t looked back. I even swapped to murder of crows. (I thought it was trash in mists, too expensive focus wise blah blah) but now it is in a good spot. I haven’t been kicked by anyone. Or even taunted.
    I advise you to play what you are good at.

  18. I’ve been running MM but with Focusing Shot, I flattery refuse to go with no pet. In the variable world of 5 man Heroics I’m usually 1 or 2 on Meters. Obviously some bosses or a nightmare but it was ever thus each expansion. I have had grief for having a pet in one run, my dps was down too in that dungeon I do wonder if the barracking i got rub’d off on me. Didn’t get kicked but it was a unpleasant experience.

  19. I was wondering if you’d make a post on this, and it allows me to make some comments about why I’ve now gone to a MM Build for Groups and BM for Solo.

    I felt, after failing to dispatch Bosses in Heroics, that BM was not working for me. Having the choice a) to know what was a better spec anecdotally and b) going to play it and discovering I did better damage when playing it made this an easy choice to split my specs. I would not be without BM’s utility whilst playing alone, but I feel that if I am to do myself justice the *ability* to play more than one Spec is something I should at least try to prove my flexibility. The only overriding advantage in my mind, in the current climate, to having multiple specs as a Hunter is to be able to tailor them for specific situations, and I find myself in the position to now have two ways of playing that I can switch between depending on where I am at any given time.

    Sadly, after a decade of playing, it is no wonder people now see only what is the best damage as the ‘best’ spec, when all fights, pretty much to a fault, require a set dps threshold to execute. I am aware of Blizzards efforts to introduce other areas of complexity, but current experience in Heroics tells me that as soon as enough dps is attained, people will simply faceroll through obstacles regardless. The ‘blame’ is perhaps best levelled at the need to keep people engaged in game whilst at the same time not spend enormous amounts of time creating complexity that simply turns players off.

    Needless to say, I have no problems playing a Hunter in various ‘roles’, to keep other people from having to worry less about themselves 😛 As to remaining happy myself, that comes from knowing that however ‘simple’ Blizzard try and make each Spec, you’ll never do anything really well unless you just keep practicing. That’s where my Hunter Love comes, and I’m loving doing just that.

  20. the players are the problem.
    as much as i hate mm its my 2nd spec atm. im flipping between mm & bm to keep my gm happy.

    atm we have 3 hunters in raid, i like bm, 1 likes mm and the other surv. on some fights where we can stand still and no real cleave or adds, mm just wins.
    but as the for rest, we tend to switch back to our preferred specs and in the end we were all within a few % of eachother. sitting between 7-12 on dps. (we just cant beat those melee atm)

    i think it will improve once ppl get some gear going and get settled.
    i did cop some abuse in some heroics and a MC lfr today. i ended up switching and just lowered my dps enough to get buried in the crowd.

    unfortunately we are not the only ones to have this happening atm. Gladiator warriors and regulalry getting kick for being prot dps and shaman are getting kicked for anything other than healing.

    time we live in unfortunately 🙁

  21. I’ve been playing SV mostly for WoD. I enjoy the ability to move and shoot without penalty (or at least loss of bonus). Everything (except Cobra Shot) is also instant cast which I like. I am running Lone Wolf with it. Only thing I miss are the pet cast effects that you can’t get with LW (Hero, battle rez). Like some of the posters above, I find MM feels too much like I’m playing a caster.

    For DPS (as SV LW) I’m comparable if not better than the other hunter who runs MM LW while I was using a 620 weapon and he had a 630 while doing heroics. It’s more about how you play the class and less about the spec.

    For Highmaul I was mucking around in MM with LW but found it didn’t work as well with all the movement required on Kargath – it’d likely work fine on the Butcher but at that point I had swapped to SV. I was top for damage done in the raid for most of the attempts if not then in the top 3 (once I had my Weak Auras set up – I was on a different computer).

    All that said, I do notice I do more damage in heroics as MM with LW but it’s not significant enough to be worth kicking hunters from the groups, not when I’m still doing more than the shaman or rogue who aren’t breaking 10k.

    I’m not trying to be eltist, I don’t kick those people, they’re probably learning or gearing, it’s not my place to judge or kick them unless they’re being a detriment to the enjoyment of the group. About the only people I kick are ones that are trouble makers, have DCed for a time or appear to be excessively AFKing (if something IRL is drawing your attention from the game, stop playing and deal with it – it’s more important than a game).

    I have only kicked people for playing the wrong spec when the tank is running Ret or Fury instead of Prot :$

  22. I play LW MM and I love it. I like having pets, but raiding since TBC with pets, I actually enjoy a break from them.

    To me it happened the reverse actually, had a tank in a random hc asking me where’s my pet, what kind of hunter am I with no pet? 🙂

    1. Yeah, I actually have two MM specs, one with glyphs and talents for raiding, including the self-heals from Chimaera and Disengage, and one meant for soloing/questing with my wife and my bear tank (whom I’ve had since the first day WoW went live).

      I’m happy to not have to manage pets on a raid, but I’d also never trade having a very sticky bear tank (with all my abilities macroed to include MD on the bear) while doing my solo quests.

  23. It is totally odd to me that people will inspect you; total strangers! I remember in LFR for ToT some joe starting haranguing me for some trinket or bit of gear — who is this guy?
    There are lots of them, people peeking into my business; I don’t understand it.

  24. This has been annoying me ever since I hit level 100. I ended up caving to the pressure and going MM/LW for heroics/raids and use BM for soloing. The problem is even though I pull great dps as MM and always top the dps meters with it, I find it so boring. I don’t find that hunters are a class where you should be standing there casting the whole fight. Though I do like seeing the huge hits I do while MM, I find BM much more fun to play, especially because I like to run around like a maniac while fighting. I just wish they would balance the specs more with MM, I wouldn’t even care if that meant nerfing MM tbh because at least i wouldn’t lag behind the hunters playing MM.

    1. Also, I feel hunters are a pet class and I really don’t like having to not use a pet to pull competitive dps.

  25. I’m still surprised by my DPS as MM+LW since I really haven’t been able to do an optimal rotation yet. I have the feeling I do a lot more dps as MM than BM because my ranged weapon is relatively better than the rest of my gear and MM benefits more from weapon damage. This may be the case for a lot of hunters since the 630+ engineering guns are easy to obtain.

    In dungeons and LFR I think BM would still be the better choice. There is relatively a lot of AoE and a pet can be useful should the tank die (or in case you want tot use intimidation) 😉

    I haven’t noticed myself anyone mentioning hunter specs or kicking people from groups. I’m confident this won’t be an issue in my guild(s). In random groups if people question why I run as BM I’ll explain it to them and if think they can force me to change specs than I’ll probably leave them in a memorable way 😉

    If it wasn’t for LoneWolf there would probably be less people paying attention to this anyway but now they can easily distinguish a hunter with and without a pet.

    I don’t mind if MM is the top dps spec but I would like to play it with a pet.

  26. ive played all 3 specs at one time or another but mostly MM from mid-late wotlk through mop , but I decided just b4 the 6.0 patch that I was going to roll BM for this x-pac and did everything I could to learn the spec and rededicate myself to becoming a better player ( 9 years a clicker, and now im a keybinder ) and even though I wavered on the spec itself with me having a hard time pushing 15k dps in highmaul ive decided to stick with it because its the spec I wanted to play and tbh really enjoy it .People need to get over simc results and take a look at the player and his skill he/ she is bringing to the raid / grp , and not what some spreadsheet says . This article was a great read for me as it reinforced my desire to play what we enjoy and I thank you for it as well as the other posters who are of the same opinion …

  27. I only ever play a bm hunter. Like most primary bm, we loyally remain bm. For me, it’s come to a point where my main and secondary specs are bm, each configured differently for solo/aoe fights. I typically find that bm is weakest at the beginning of the expansion because of our link with the pet for dps. The higher ilvl we achieve, the stronger our pet gets and this exponentially leads to more dps. IMO people should be able to run ANY specs for dungeon heroics or molten core (c’mon molten core wow anniversary is for Lolz). Unless we are aiming for bleeding edge raiding where each miniscule point of dps counts, there should not be any discrimination. Currently, I have no problems running random heroics as a bm, but we will see how it goes with highmaul. If Blizzard wants to overcome this early game issue with bm, they can actually introduce set bonuses of early gear from heroic dungeons that is more beneficial to bm.

  28. I started to like BM towards the end of MoP. But in its current state its not doing competitive damage. Right now I use BM for Solo and MM for Dun/Raid. I would love it if the specs were closer but they are not. Are there people that can do amazing damage as BM ? Yes there are. But Im in a progression guild and will be doing Mythic soon. My job is to do damage. What-ever spec does the most is what Im expected to play. Unless of course all the specs are close which they are not.

  29. BM with adaptation just rocks in heroics… being able to almost tank entire dungeons (including bosses if you manually growl…) i usually offtank some mobs with growl on. Since vengeance is gone and my mend pet glyphs can keep my pet up it usually outlasts the main tank on tough pulls and saves the day. It’s just that a lot of people aren’t used to it and are afraid they lose something over it 🙁 Growling mobs off the healers or dealing with a hard-hitting add helps a lot as well…

    1. I play survival. And my turtle has saved a few heroics now. I keep the md glyph all the time anyway. Looks like tank is gonna die? Dismiss dps pet, pull out the turtle. Boom

      1. I play BM and my Shale Spider safe many times the day when the tank goes down in the heroics. Why i play BM?
        MM play like a caster an i don’t like it. When i want to play a caster, i play a mage. MM is like a sniper and it is ok, for the people they love it but for me is a warcraft hunter nothing without his pet. And the fact a bad played MM is always better then a good played BM or SV isn’t funny. I hope BM and SV see better days in the next content patches.

      2. Similar to Jaclie above, I find it easier to manage whether my pet has growl on or not be specifically having a DPS pet which never has growl on (wolf) and having a tank pet that always has it on (turtle ftw). So when a tank tells me to turn off the growl on my wolf I can say that growl is never, ever on for that pet. This has worked well for me so far, but your mileage may vary.

  30. Sorry but I am going to be the pickle head here but BM is no where near MM. I am all for playing the spec you like but when there is this much difference it is a factor. You can be topping the meters all you want as BM the point is you will be doing more as MM… a good 15% more (even if you hate MM like i do). Keep in mind 15% is like raiding without the former aspect of hawk on….would you expect to be removed from a raid group if you never used aspect of the hawk? Simple as that.

    All this “fluff” is like your defending blizzard. Its almost been a month since release. This behaviour is a sign of a broken class. Proof MM hunter need a nerf while the other two specs need a buff. Celestion did a horrible job and people need to lobby Blizzard to adjust the play-style and numbers. Its not like its a hard fix. I have never hated any one as much as i hate this Celestion guy…especially after that bestial wrath breaking cc being a three year bug comment.

    You say BM is decent but its not…i play BM outside of raid/heroics/pvp a lot. Its my farm spec….until this week. I went MM with pet…and tore things up compared to BM. Chimara shot kills stuff, Kill command tickles. Blizzard needs to up Kill Commands damage and that spec will be viable.

    Survival (my fav spec) is a naked spec. Any one who is playing surv now …like why? It is so empty …and its dps is meh. I understand why people still play BM….it is the same play-style as before, just a huge dps difference, but Surv? Surv is totally broken, its quite lame. Keep in mind i am not talking about damage here but play-style. It is also a very easy fix. Kill shot + rapid fire. All this spec needs is to improve the play-style and dps.

    So can you please, instead of writing a post against a certain behaviour…write a post calling out blizzard, write a post to encourage people to lobby blizzard. Please. This is coming from a player who has always played a hunter (since he started playing in 2007)…who only has alts because of achievement (fuck you blizzard for adding that achievement in the game) and who is on the verge of quitting because the MM play-style is horrible. No pet + Huge Cast Bar = Mage

    1. No one’s defending Blizzard for their inability to balance the hunter specs. I’ve bitched and moaned about it more times than I’d like. I’ve been concerned about Lone Wolf being the “mandatory” choice from the very beginning: (look at the date on the post).

      This “fluff” as you call it was the whole point of the post. I think it’s absolutely unacceptable that someone can’t play their favorite spec in a heroic dungeon or casual raid because another spec does more potential DPS. I don’t want to reinforce that behavior in any way, shape, or form.

      The specs need to be balanced better, but BM and SV aren’t as awful as some people think. That’s my only point here. The problem is when all of the “top” players play one spec, it skews the numbers. It widens the gap. No one is denying there is a gap. But this gap isn’t so large that it makes BM and SV useless in these situations. They are middle to low-middle of the pack, that means there should still be other DPS specs below them. The problem when you look at a log rankings and things of that nature (especially this early) is pretty much every progression hunter out there is playing MM right now. It makes BM/SV look even worse.

      In the real world, I won’t deny MM can kill stuff in single target faster. Look, I’ve seen the 100k+ Kill Shot crits too. I just don’t think it’s LIGHT YEARS faster, and any time there’s more than one target or high movement, BM starts to look better.

      Also, plenty of people enjoy survival as is. Those kind of comments are what contributes to these stigmas. So what if it’s a simple spec. Would I personally want some more substance to the spec? Yeah. But I don’t think anyone who plays it is lame.

      I stand by the post. Blizzard has their feedback, I’m pretty sure they’ve heard the cries of BM and SV hunters. Whether or not they do something with it isn’t up to me.

      1. Your point, “But this gap isn’t so large that it makes BM and SV useless in these situations.” is my issue with your post. Its like giving Blizzard the nod to do nothing. The gap is large. Its so large it is modifying other peoples attitudes towards the class. If it was small…you would not see that. This is not new behaviour, this is behaviour that crops up when a spec is broken. I have even heard talk of stacking MM hunters in a raid to beat dps enrage timers b/c the gap between MM hunters and certain other classes is huge enough.

        I remember getting booted from heroic 5 mans in BC because I was survival and not BM. I remember getting booted for being BM but not have certain tree talents. Its been 10 years of WoW. Its time for a change. This should no longer be acceptable.

        I am very concern its going to take the next content patch for things to change. A whole tier at this new play-style MM is not a very good outlook. I hate seeing comments that encourage Blizzard in thinking everything is meh but liveable. That is the impression i am getting with comments such as, “But this gap isn’t so large that it makes BM and SV useless in these situations.”

        I hate using anecdotal evidence. Its just one sample of many but here is what I see. I raid with other hunters, similar gear we are all very comparable. They are MM exclusive…i took the normal clear as a chance to play around with BM on some attempts. As MM all of us are very close…unless its a fight we have a special job… we were always in the top 5 (along with the mages).

        As BM, the bottom. Not the bottom of hunters….the bottom. When you play within a group of equal skilled players (or better) then a spec that does 15% less damage is very very noticeable. It has an impact. This on fights that should be BM friendly.

        I know i am not a casual player but I also am not the “best of the best” or a hardcore raider. I never played in a top 100 or even a top 200 guild. I cannot get a decent pvp rating for the life of me (although time committed to pvp is very low compared to pve).

        ..but I been playing a hunter and all three specs for so many years now. I know my class. I know all three specs.

        When comparing the two specs i currently have, BM is fun to play…MM is horrible to play, but even when i bugger up MM it is still out performing my best as BM.

        This is not ok. Especially, given the changed in play-style between classes these days. I want a pet…and i want not to have a cast bar…and i want it to be ok.

        I hate MM. I loved MM in ICC, i loved MM for PVP at the end of MoP. This new form of pet-less caster…I hate Celestion.

        Yes, i know that be a lot of hate, but what can a grumpy dwarf do (who will be more grumpy if his dam Inn don’t give him another dwarf follower this week….2 elves and a worgen is NOT A CHOICE)

        -Banard the Huntard

        1. The thing is, BM and SV aren’t at the very bottom. They are mid-bottom. There are specs doing even worse — on stand still patchwerk sims! Once you add movement to the equation, the hunter’s real rank actually rises. Marksmanship is a unique case right now. It will probably get nerfed instead of all other classes and specs being buffed.

          Like I said, no one is defending the DPS difference between hunter specs right now. It’s obvious it’s too large. my point is that BM and SV are not useless, ESPECIALLY in heroics and casual raids. I think it’s OK for people to play what they want, period. And I don’t think stating that means I’m somehow a Blizzard apologist.

          We will have to agree to disagree.

          1. We are not agreeing to disagree b/c we are saying 99% of the same thing! I just wish ya put more emphasis on this “difference” not being acceptable. I want pitchforks and torches! I want to log in tonight and play the garrison Facebook game…I mean raid as non-MM.

            The root of all my bitterness…is not the difference in DPS…just that i am stuck in a spec with no pet and a cast bar. Stuck as in there are 30 raiders and 20 spots in Mystic raiding…and BM is not going to cut it.

            Side note: Yes, there are other worse specs….but when you are in a raid with everyone being the optimal spec…and your playing BM, you see the difference. Keep in mind I am talking about a raid where the DPS is so tight someone can go from #14 to #9 to #5 to #10 in a few GCDs. In that raid environment..BM is on the bottom, even those fights that are BM friendly like that rock dude…can’t remember his name.

            1. I am hoping you get pinged when people comment on your blog…b/c i do not have twitter …but regarding your twitt,”@WarcraftDevs couldn’t the kill shot thing have been done without collateral damage to BM? So disappointed.” and the twitt, “@WarcraftDevs We all know Lone Wolf kill shot is the real issue. What if LW increased KS damage by 20% instead of having BM in the crossfire”

              Enhanced Kill Shot. They could of reduced that from 35% to 30% and not effect BM at all. If they wanted to tweek one spec without effecting the other. That of course would mean they understood the nuisances of the class, which after Celestion comments on bestial wrath this summer, we all know is not the case.

        2. What’s modifying people’s attitude toward the class is that they can see at a glance whether or not a hunter has a pet out. If every spec for every class was as visible, you’d see people being equally prick-ish about people playing other classes “wrong.”

  31. I have yet to have anything like this happen to me, and as a guild leader I make it a point in my guild that everyone “Can play what ever spec/class they want so long as they are having fun”. I have an MM hunter that doesn’t use Lone Wolf because he loves MM and his cat (he only ever uses his cat) and I am going to forever be BM with Loque’nahak (named after BigRedKitty) ripping face because that’s how we have fun playing a game, something people seem to be forgetting.

  32. I loved MM since the Vanilla time , i learnt to love BM after Bestial Wrath cam out before TBC release . I love them both , i love enjyong running aroung with Gara ( tnx to you ) .

    But in raid , where even 100 k dps really means , im playing MM lonewolf , putting out 22 / 25 k dps single target ( even ranked 64th on Korgah ) .

    This being said , i do agree that at least in dungeons one should play what he like more .

    This said too , as an you should master perfectly all of the specs imo .

    Best Regards



  33. Ive been SV since BC (yay for Expose Weakness buffing!) Thursday night–our first raid night–was the first time Ive ever been embarrassed by my spec. It wasnt that I was in the top 3 like I was in Siege. It wasnt that I was middle of the pack and doing respectable dps. I was at the bottom of the charts, ahead of only our BM hunter with 615 iLvl (Im at 632.) Sure, I can top the meters in heroics against randoms. But with my friends, I felt terrible. I let them down because I chose to play my preferred spec. So for the first time since H-Shannox, I switched to MM. The result: 25-33% dps increase and I didnt play it nearly as well as I play SV. On our Tectus kill, I was the top damage of the ranged classes and second in dps (behind another MM hunter who died near the end.) I felt like I was cheating on myself, but I was not anchor dragging down the raid.

    To respond to the exact topic: for dungeons, play what you want. Nobody should be kicked from a dungeon for playing what they want. For raiding, until BM and SV are fixed, MM or hope your friends have strong backs. That’s the unfortunate situation we’re in. What’s worse is that, instead of fixing BM and SV, Blizzard is going to nerf MM. From one very good spec and two crappy specs, we’re going to have one okay spec and two crappy specs. Whee.

  34. I have got so many trash comments in dungeons saying “why u play bm lol are you a noob” or something similar to that. I just say bm is fun and I play what a find fun. Then I normally get a response “well I like doing more dps even if my spec is boring” at this point I just double their dps and at the end of the dungeon say. “bm is reallllly bad huh?” this normally shuts them up 🙂 Ps: glad to hear some others have had this

  35. Like I said to you on twitter, I’ve been victim of this, but as MM, when MM sucked. I would hop on a dungeon or casual raid, and people would complain I was playing the wrong spec. Even guildmates would sometimes “suggest” I change specs. I endured, as I always endured when my favorite specs lagged behind.

    The best advice I can give is: endure. And be awesome. Show them you can carry your own height. If they kick you out, it’s their loss, not yours.

  36. I have always enjoyed the idea of MM and really like its iteration this expansion especially with Focusing Shot. The idea of lining up the shot for perfect damage is amazing. However I still want a pet! I rather they just nerf lone wolf than the whole spec.

    Or they can make the other talents more appealing. Maybe make focusing shot not replace steady shot/cobra shot that way you can still upkeep focus regen on movement fights. I also think exotic ammunition should be baseline at least for SV.

    Their should be a talent that does the opposite of lone wolf without playing BM. A talent that enhances your experience with having a pet. Maybe you gain a ranged pet. Or in a dream perfect world you gain the ability to have a pet drake, with each dragonflight having a different raid buff.

  37. I had no idea this was a problem. Maybe just a vocal few? I’ve had zero issues with it. Though, I am a LW MM Hunter… but I’ve had another hunter in my heroics before and even in our guild there is a BM Hunter… of course no one is even near me, I go for the top spec at the time and usually enjoy it, trying hard to enjoy everything the class gives us each xpac.
    I’ve been BM when it rocked the during BC and we had that macro so it weaved our autoshots into steady shots since you could steady shot stopped all autoshots from happening, and also threw in Kill Command and any trinkets / rapid fire – it was literately a iWin button. I would just sit there and hit this one button and top the charts!
    Then the MM Wrath days where we stacked Armor Pen when it was a thing…
    Which of course got nerfed HARD and we all switched to SV…

    Ah, I get ahead of myself. Basically, I have not seen any Hunter chastised for playing another spec, I’ve seen them, but since it seems in every Heroic I do no one is on my level I just shrug it as that, not their spec. I mean, how do people know? If a Rogue isn’t playing an optimal spec I wouldn’t know, and I couldn’t tell what spec he was playing unless I inspected him either. Maybe those high pop PvP ePeen servers are different then my care bear.

    Traxex on Nesingwary

  38. Haven’t run into this, or heard of this until now. I do play Lone Wolf MM though. I’ve been playing since vanilla, and have played all 3 hunter specs at various times, I love them all. What I love most though is being the best I can be for the others in my group, even if they’re random strangers. I rarely ever kick anyone from a dungeon group, for any reason, absurdly long afk’s/offlines are about it. So I would never participate in this type of behavior.

    For 5’s, do what you want, but be good at it, don’t be the guy that gets carried along. For organized progression based raiding though, if you’re not trying to be the best you can be, that’s kind of like a big, “Screw you, my wants/desires are more important than the group’s”. I can’t get behind that kind of attitude.

  39. I personally cannot stand that type of behaviour in 5mans – if you are in a world top guild and going for firsts, or even maybe server firsts, I can understand it. That however is another matter, as you would most likely also optimise class composition and many other things.

    Similarly to others in previous posts though I remember these things happening if you were MM in MoP, which in no way is meant as a justification but more a comment on how some people are just not worth listening to. Even in raids, in our guild it is up to our hunters to play a spec they want to play currently, some switching specs based on encounter and/or task assigned, some sticking to what they play best.

    At the end of the day, we all know hunters are the best class, regardless of spec! 😉

  40. Haven’t seen this myself, but I’ve only run a handful of dungeons in wod, half full guild groups and half pugs with a guild tank. I have to say I like having options. I’d never played mm before this and I alternate between LW and FS (had to see what FS was like in action). Off spec and questing spec is bm. Luckily my guild is relatively casual and people play what they think they will have fun with and know well. Heck most of the other hunters are sv/bm. Guildies who aren’t elitest ftw. BTW thanks to you and petopia, I obtained Gara yesterday, muchas gracias.

  41. Im sad that i “can’t” play BM or with a pet. It’s what i enjoy most with being a Hunter, and the mobility.
    I hope the Specs get balanced as you said No one should be “Forced” to play a certain spec.

  42. I was in a group the other day – new UBRS and we were wiping on Zaela. Every time (about 3 times) I was the last one alive. Then the pally starts harassing me because I am running BM and says we could do this if I was doing more DPS (I was #3 on recount, but real close to #2). I shot back that we could do this if he could manage to stay alive. Alive always has more DPS than dead. He was always the first to die. We did, of course get her down. But how stupid, in the run-around dodge the fire fight, he thought I would do better as MM. I did mange to hit him with a griefer fish, but he promptly lost it when he died…again.

  43. I’ve been playing WoW for 3 years and always play BM. No matter what someone said or what guides said otherwise, BM was my spec. I love spirit beasts, their awesome, they heal you and themselves. Yes most, or probably all, are rare and hard to find, but to me it’s worth it. Plus, as far as I know, BM are the only spec that can tame exotic pets. BM will always be my favorite spec just like hunter will always be my favorite class. Yes, I am trying out MM atm, but BM rocks in my opinion and that’s what i’ll raid/dungeon with. (With growl turned off, of course)

  44. This reminds me all to much of vanilla conditions where i was told several times to dismiss my pet in dungeons and raids cause “useless” and a “liability” even had a guildy stand up for her self keeping her pet out in ZG because she had taken the talents that increase damage when her pet was out.

    I have not been kicked from any groups yet but i have had stupid comments like are you a bot i have also seen plenty of hunters discuss how good MM is compared to other speccs.

    Sadly some people do not see the work you actually do with using tranq shot on the move counter shooting when needing too and all the little things you actually do that may lose a little of your dps while weaving your abilities and i see way to many go for “that one specc” that works and i have to agree with others the long cast time on MM abilities annoys me to no end and i don’t even raid yet.

  45. I’m a collecter of sorts for rare or awesome looking pets. BM is my go to spec and I rarely use my secondary (SV). I haven’t been dungeoning in Draenor much since a friend of mine said not to (cuz they didn’t let me level as much) but when I did, no one would say anything. I haven’t changed spec from BM at all and no one has told me off. I didn’t even know that this was a problem. However, now that I do, I’m grateful that I know of it so I don’t get really annoyed at these types of people.


  46. i just did lfr (5 of us to be exact )with some of my guildies of which 1 of them was a MM hunter and I beat him on 2 of the first 3 bosses and I was in the top 3 in overall dmg for the first wing , and yes I know lfr is a joke BUT in was amounted to a pure tank n spank grp I held my own as a BM hunter doing about 16 -17 k dps …

  47. As a BM it got to the point of being kicked out of almost every other heroic often after getting ridicule and even abuse – told to switch growl off (its always off – I don’t even bother to switch it back on for solo).

    The utter stupidity of this is if the overall mob control by the group isn’t that great or a nasty boss where you have to move around alot then I do less dps as MM than I do as BM because I don’t have a pet that’s attacking non stop. The time when I find MM shines is basically only when you get to stand in one place with little or no disturbance and just fire away – how often do you get that?

    And finally I find the MM cast times too annoying. I would be much happier flow wise if the cast times where much quicker, but the damage reduced proportionately just because the flow (or lack of) feels horrible.

    Oh MM is good for snipping beasts to skin then ;p

  48. Blizzard should work on BM on DPS issue , it’s a unique and good class , instead we hit with bows or guns , we hit with third weapon which is our pet . I do insist Blizzard give BM a legendary pet so we can keep up our dps with others spect . Thanks for understanding

  49. If you ever been to a group striving for a goal, be it a 5man heroic/CM, a raid, or whatever, you know there is a point where people start to change their glyphs, talents, getting extra flasks/enchants, stuff like that to get that extra 1% boost. It may be in vain but in a situation like that I’d find it insulting for the rest of the group to play a spec that’s a whopping 10-15% below the best available even if they’re ok with it.

    That being said, as a returning player from WotLK, I’b a bit sad to see BM remains boring for my tastes and it’s the least changed hunter spec. It just feels as it always did. MM changed a lot, even if at first glance it seems clunky. So I’m kinda glad that BM is not the top spec, cos I know a revamp is not going to happen until the next expansion comes out, if at all. I’m surprised that noone seems to bother with Surv though, which in it’s current state is pretty much as dead as a spec can be. At least BM can fill some roles with it’s top notch AoE dmg.

    1. Forgot to add that it would be cool if BM was better than MM on heavy movement fights. In paper that would be true, however every time I tried that, BM is still a disappointing 5-10% below MM. Maybe if we had a gear choice stacking Mastery things would be better, but as it is for my current gear BM seems to cap out at about 13k dps unbuffed, which is rather low, since 100% movement MM is still sitting at 15k without counting the added kill shots.

  50. As a long time hunter since BC, I’m lucky to play in a guild that lets you play whatever your happy with. We (Reddit horde guild Karma Horde on Stormreaver) tell everyone to play what makes them happy. I have tried MM and SV, have beaten Heroic geared hunters in SOO when i was in LFR gear, and seen first hand this sad toxic attitude happen to even me in heroics recently. My buddy is our MT for the guild, i was with him in a run, and I had a druid healer from Malganis REFUSE to even heal me, and let me die over and over again, crapping on me the entire run for being BM. Keep in mind i had just hit 100 recently my gear is only ilvl 619, but i was doing more than 15k dps..when i was alive. Its really horrible to see this in LFG etc, and just makes us not want to do the group finder at all anymore. I’d rather just solo content and do achieves than get bullied and made to feel like crap in a game that we all pay $15 a month for.

  51. What the heckle, I guess it’s a good thing I’m not really dungeoning because my computer’s a piece of junk and I can barely deal with the 5-10FPS in areas with lots of environmental effects and/or more than ten entities on screen. Also, maybe it’s just my server (Thorium Brotherhood), but I’ve seen an awful lot of hunters with Gara the spirit wolf, so unless they’re switching for dungeons/raids…

    One of the things I’ve loved most about the more recent mechanic tuning in WoW is how personal you can make your play style now, between talents and glyphs. Since Draenor launched, I’ve had tons of fun playing my first and favorite class again! I’ve gotten better at kiting and crowd control, I have a (non-exotic) pet that I adore and I’ve only seen one other person with, and I’m enjoying playing again. The people who have a problem with BM need to get their heads off their shoulders and stop looking at spreadsheets so much. I’d much rather be competent and comfortable with my class and also having a good time than being top DPS or even top five DPS in a raid. I don’t raid to be the best. I raid so I can get a few achievements, maybe a mount or a title, and a couple of better pieces of gear so I can do my rep grinds and mount farming and leather farming more easily.

    BM 4 lyfe unless Blizz makes some more changes, and hunter since 2007. \o/

  52. I rock BM while running around leveling and questing and then when I start hitting up instances, I start rocking SV… It’s a living. And I have blown away MM in raids in the past while in SV. And I reckon that I would be doing the same again once raiding starts up once more 😀

  53. I’ve played BM since I started playing WoW shortly after WotLK was released. I was taught to play by a couple of hard core (rather than casual) players who taught me early on what NOT to do as a hunter. We had a group try to kick me once because I was in BM spec with a devilsaur pet. My two friends told them if I was kicked, they were leaving too (one was a pally, the other a druid healer), so I was able to stay and actually topped the DPS chart on most fights.

    A player who knows their class and their spec well will outshine a player who is uncomfortable with their spec and only chose it because it’s the “best” or they’ve been told to use it. A good player will outshine a poor player every time, regardless of what spec they’re using or where they’ve put their points.

  54. I know I’m a little late to the party on this but if someone pulled that kick crap on me, it would be really fun: Pull excess trash (MD to healer), pop pack, FD, lie on the floor and laugh my ass off.

    Okay, no I wouldn’t… I’m not that kind of player, but deep down, I want to.

  55. Hi! Just discovered your blog…

    Anyways, your comment about MM hunters being kicked from LFR and LFD for not taking Lone Wolf explains SOOO MUCH. I’m a MM hunter (been a MM hunter ever since 2005), and I refuse to take Lone Wolf, because I love my wolf, whom I tamed in 2005 and have had used as my main pet ever since.

    That being said, the last LFD instance (heroic) I was in, after we downed the first boss — everything was sailing smoothly so far, by the way, even if I had to use all of my CC (binding shot, freezing trap, glaive toss, etc) to keep mobs off the healer — when abruptly the warlock went on a tirade against me, claiming that I don’t know how to play a hunter “and still is top dps.”

    I had NO idea why he suddenly began ranting like that, so I asked what was his problem. The tank said “Sorry, huntard” and kicked me! I was completely baffled, since I know that I know my class well (playing since 2005, dude), even if I don’t care about getting maximum dps because… I don’t raid!

    Only now do I realize it’s because I don’t have Lone Wolf. Good grief.

    Well, I ain’t backing down. I held on to MM (and my wolf pet) throughout BC, when the pressure to go BM with cat/raptor/ravager was IMMENSE. I’ll survive this “trend.”

    …but in the meanwhile, I think I’ll hop into LFD only when I have a couple friends with me.

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