Sunday, October 5, 2008

Okay, Pike's Gonna Sit You Down

And tell you a little story to make a point.

With all my spec testing lately and my latest entry on how my "relationship" to my pet, playstyle-wise, varied according to spec, I fear I may have accidentally given off some false impressions. So, I'm gonna clarify.

There are hunters of all specs who love their pets.

There are also hunters of all specs who really don't care very much either way. This includes some BM hunters who are BM only for the numbers, for example.

The point that I was trying to make in my last post, is that I missed the feeling of splitting my damage with my pet. I missed knowing he was doing 35% of my DPS. It felt awkward knowing that the damage responsibility was basically squarely on my shoulders. It felt lonely to me.

When I say that, I am not at all trying to discredit the relationship you lovely MM and SV hunters have with your pets, or say that they aren't important.

Tawyn was my first ever character and she was Marksmanship until level 55-ish.

The reason is because I had no idea what I was doing or what a spec was. So I asked my friends what to do with these newfangled talent points. At this point I'd actually started putting points into BM already but two different people completely mocked the idea of me spec'ing BM and told me Marksman was the way to go, so I promptly changed course and followed their advice.

Up I went through that talent tree and my owl Tux was there the entire way. He was my feathery little pocket tank. He was my leveling buddy. He didn't dish out a lot of damage but he held aggro like a champ. I loved him dearly. I loved him just as much then, as a Marksman hunter, as I do now as a Beast Master hunter.

Really though, I was hungrily eyeing the Beast Mastery tree the entire time I was leveling. Heck, I went off and made Lunapike so I could have a BM hunter that my friends didn't have to know about. There is a reason why I gave her a red kitty pet, aside from the fact that I think they're cute. It was a conscious, symbolic choice because Lunapike was going to be my BM hunter.

That Little Red Kitty is level 70 now, by the way.

Anyways, back to Tawyn. I finally said "Ya know what, screw everybody else. I don't care if they're going to call me a noob now. I'm respec'ing." So I did, and I'd like to say that I didn't look back.

...except I did look back, once. Because it sort of scared me at first. Tux went from being my pocket tank to being this Big Red Owl of Doom. He was doing as much DPS as I was at the time, if not more. "I've created a monster!" I thought. I spent about a level as BM and then spec'd back to my Marksman safety zone. Tux went back to being my mild-mannered companion. All was well.

Then I started to miss the whole "fast and furious" playstyle of BM and the idea that Tux could be more than just my tanky friend. We could fight alongside each other, each doing equal damage. We could be unstoppable, together.

Together we went through the Dark Portal and stepped into Outlands and that is when I spec'd to Beast Mastery for good and since then I haven't looked back. I wouldn't have it any other way at this point. We fight together. He isn't just there to keep the mobs away from me. He is there to buff me with his Ferocious Inspiration so I can in turn buff him with Kill Commands and tons of Focus, and we both act as an elegant killing machine, as One.

I have a special relationship with my pets as a Beast Master hunter. But that doesn't mean I love them any more than I did when I was Marksman. That doesn't mean I don't value them any more than I did when I was Marksman (although in a gameplay sense, obviously you do have to value them somewhat more =P)

When I was experimenting with non-BM specs in Beta, I felt a certain detachment to my pets in terms of there not being nearly so much hunter/pet synthesis (one procs something for the other) and the reason I was forgetting Mend Pet is probably largely because I was busy trying to work out new rotations. Anyways, that is what I missed about being BM. I missed the hunter/pet synthesis. I didn't love the pets any less just because I shuffled talent points around. That would be silly.

So! That is your Pike-story for the day. Hunters everywhere love their pets, and that is the way it should be. Just wanted to clarify that. Thank you, as always, for your comments and support and I will see you all next time.


mazil said...

Aw, that's a great story!

*applause* :D

I know what you mean about the "synergy", I really hope that the expansion and the new pet skills might help the "feel" of playing with a pet for the other specs.

Sarai said...

And that is why half of my hunters are BM ^_^

Ganieda said...

My guild has 4 regular raiding hunters. Two are BM, one is marks, one is surv. I'm cookie cutter 41/20 BM, the other beat master runs a variant, but he's got so much T6 and badge gear he has room to play. We each bring something to the raid. 4 BM hunters would be redundant. Myself and the marks hunter wouldn't give up our pets for anything, the other BM has a ghost wolf and raids with it now, despite it being less then top DPS.
Since we're a PDS class in every spec, playing a hunter is about finding what style fits you, and that includes your choice of pet. People with hunter alt ask me what pet to get... I always respond with the same answer: "the one you love."
Ganieda and Schrodinger, Argent Dawn

Ihlos said...

Cool story, I've always been BM, even when marksmanship was the raiding build. In my opinion, every hunter should do whatever they want, and I'll never tell another hunter how to spec. The farthest I'll go is to answer specific questions about a spec.

For the expansion, I'll be staying BM and focusing on my tenacity pets, and I'll be looking to push the envelope of what's possible in terms of pet tanking. If they implement the 'spec switching', that would be a great opportunity to try out marks and survival, and I hope they do.

Let the Hunt begin!

Cynra said...

Your story about being forced to switch Marksmanship reminds me of why I went Beast Mastery. Some conceited asshat told me that I'd never get into a raid if I weren't specced for Aimed Shot at least in the Marksmanship tree. I glared, fumed, and then decided to stick pure Beast Mastery. I didn't raid with the huntress until the Burning Crusade, but the bird and her had a hell of a lot of fun anyways!

Zuluki said...

I really appreciate what you have had to say recently about the specs and BM hunters. I can honestly say, I know what you are saying when you have a love for the synergy of BM hunters. The very first hunter I ever rolled was an orc BM hunter way back before BC came out. A lot of people chided me back then but I love solo'ing things that my other toons have. While this guy is long gone, my new hunter Zuluki is enjoying the success of the new additions to the tree and I cannot wait to see how the added talents from LK carry us even further.

Nassira said...

Aw, I hope my "I still love my pet" post didn't make you feel bad. It wasn't in response to your post at all, in fact I understand where you were coming from. I had seen another post somewhere else that day about how MM'ers just abuse their pets and shouldn't care about whether or not they die, etc. and was like...woah now...back up. lol

Much <3,

Pike said...

@ Nassira - Naw, it was because I had just written two posts about being non-BM and I was worried they may have come out the wrong way because I was talking about how I missed the pet aspect, so I wanted to clarify. T'wasn't you <3

MW said...

I am leveling two more hunters as marksmanship and survival, but as fun as they are, I can totally see what you mean. It does feel different — I don't feel quite as close to my pets as I do on my BM hunters.

How do you take such awesome shooting pics, by the way?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more.

My exerience is from exactly the opposite end of the spectrum, with my need to mother my pets. I am the strong hunter, and my pets my children, who in return for love, affection, and a degree of protection, will reward me with damage, or tanking, or running off and aggroing everything in the instance.

Every so often one of my children grows up and is sent out back into the wide world to make their own way. I still like to think that Laurentia (my wolf), Sathrah (my spider), Chipolata (my piggy), Webley (my other spider), and soon Getmycoatl (my lightning Serpent) are all out there somewhere, gnawing on hordies and having fun. They may be gone, but they are never forgotten.

Mirshalak said...

IMHO, a pet can augment whatever tree/role you're playing.

If you prefer damage dealing, go BM, and a ravager, cat, or raptor will boost your ability to do that. If you prefer threat management and defense, go Surv, and a boar or bear will greatly improve your ability to do that.

The role they can play is different, in the same way as the role that you play is, but they can still get used in either role.