There was a time, not so very long ago really, that I rolled my first hunter. A long limbed Troll named Decado with a bear named Cuddles (he liked giving bear hugs).
I rarely read blogs, just kind of making it up as I went along until I was nearly level 70. I started playing in vanilla Wow although I never level capped at 60 (I think I was 53 or so when the dark portal opened)
Anyhow, as I leveled I took the talents that to me just seemed to flow together the best. I knew nothing of theory crafting or min maxing for raids, that all came later. I stepped foot through the dark portal as an 8/31/13 Marksman hunter and finished leveling to 70 where if I recall I was 8/41/13.
I started running instances that way and found I liked it.
Then came the teacher, the guild breaker, the 10 man monolith known as Karazahn. We were having a bit of trouble finding our groove, losing dps races such as Morose. The guild was stalled, and starting to bleed people to other more progressed guilds.
Posts were written, gear guides were created, blogs were linked, all with one purpose… put out more Dps.
After a good amount of reading on the subject I wrote out my plan, headed to the trainer, and became a 41/20/0 Beastmaster…. just like every other Hunter I knew.
I put out more damage pushing my magic “I Win” macro’s hotkey. It looked good on paper, and the bosses started to fall before us as we all tooled up our characters to run their best.
It worked good, but it never felt like home.
Wrath hit and I found Beastmastery great for leveling (especially with a tenacity pet) but the nerf bat had simply hit too hard and too often for me to stay there one 80 came around. Once again I found myself cruising the interwebs in search of the “best” hunter spec.. the next magic bullet.
I visited my trainer and walked away with my Elitist Jerks approved cookie cutter Survival build. Hurray for me, I can put out pretty good Dps with that spec and shot rotation.
It worked good, but it never felt like home.
It has been said that home is were the heart is. I have always been a marksman at heart, but could never talk myself into gimping my raids performance just because I wanted to play a less than optimal spec. Blizzard has finally gotten the three trees where they are pretty close to each other in damage output and survivability. A few days ago I made a decision, with a bit of help from Nassira, I went about going back to my roots.
A different Hunter, A different server, A different faction…
One again A Marksman.
Well, that felt good. I am back where I belong. Now I just have to remember how to play a Marksman.
Turns out it has changed a lot since Kara, well not really. More like I have changed.
Keeping in mind the fact that there is no longer a set shot rotation I decided to build my action bars around the idea that there is a shot priority. As for shot priorities there is already a really good writeup over at Diaries of a Marksman Hunter. Instead of reinventing the wheel I will simply link it Here.
So here is what I came up with for my primary action bar set up, the vast majority of which I can reach without ever moving my hand.
1. Serpents Sting – first priority if not currently cooking on my target.
F1. Auto attack (mostly there for those times I need to toggle it off)
2. Kill shot – first priority if it is lit up.
F2. Kill Command – weave in where possible
3. Chimera Shot – high damage, second only to Kill shot on my priority list
F3. Rapid fire – if this is not on cooldown at all times I am doing something wrong.
4. Arcane shot – moderate damage, short cooldown. Third after Chimera shot on two or less targets.
F4. Multi-shot – good damage, moderate cooldown. Third after Chimera on three or more targets.
5. Aimed shot – High damage, long cooldown, mortal strike benefit as well. Drop from rotation if I find myself dipping into Viper too much.
F5. Readiness – Instantly gives me back all my cooldowns, great in the last 20% of a boss fight to get in an extra Kill shot and Rapid Fire.
6. Steady shot – if everything else is on cooldown this is whats left. Mine is still tied to my trinket macro for now, might move them later.
F6. Viper sting – on the off chance that I need to drain some mana. Usually used along with Aspect of the Viper.
F7. Scorpid sting – mostly used for soloing, makes my suddenly more squishy pet survive a bit longer.
A few other odds and ends I may have to move my hand for, but I still want them close at hand.
8. Volley – because mages are not allowed to have all the AOE fun
9. Distracting shot – I keep this handy in the vain hope that I will someday get to trap again.
F9. Concussive shot – Once again I keep this handy on the off chance that trapping comes back in style.
0. Hunters mark – Because I like to see bouncing red arrows over things that are in the process of dying.
F 10. Disengage – Mostly here because I forgot to remove it. I don’t think I have actually used it since I got Feign Death.
-. Feign Death – I like hitting things. Hard and often. Unfortunately they like to chew my face off for doing it. This helps with that. If all else fails Jumper cables are rumored to work from time to time.
F 11. Deterrence – In case something starts chewing my face off while Feign Death is on cooldown. Throw readiness in there and I can emergency avoidance tank for a really short while before getting my head caved in.
=. Mend Pet – Um, heals my pet…. This has been here on every hunter I have ever had, starting at level 12 when I get it.
F 12. Freezing Arrow – not that I have ever used it on something other than the ogres in Negrand (played with it a bit after patch 3.0). It just seems too neat of a tool to take off the toolbar.
Thats it in a nutshell. I may be relearning, but I am a Marksman again.
It feels like coming home.
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