Bring mathematicians, guns and money

My apologies to Warren Zevon.

I’ve been playing my Hunter a lot lately… actually doing a few quests I never did before, getting a little gold, but mostly speed farming ore to feed the Engineering leveling craze.

I am at 373 Engineering now, and I decided last night that I was tired of farming fel iron to get Motes of Fire, to make Khorium Power Cores, to make Field Repair Bot 110Gs.

I have a LOT of Repair Bots. I’m covered well into level 80.

So I figured I’d go look for a BoP recipe somewhere, change up my options for those last two points.

In the past, I had already farmed the Khorium Scope recipe on Windshadow, so I know the drop rate on that sucks.

So decided to pick a different one off the list at random, saw the Mo’arg Weaponsmiths are supposed to drop a recipe, and went to Shadowmoon Valley to farm them for a while.

Little did I know that they are farmed a lot for Aldor reputation drops. And also for the Fel Strength Elixir recipe for Alchemists. I had no idea at the time, not until I just looked them up. A very heavily farmed area and mob.

By the end of the farming run, I did get 4 Fel Armaments and 24 Marks of Sargeras, but no recipe.

Does the recipe still drop from them? I didn’t know, I was going off a list from the WoW European Class Forums, I didn’t actually verify it still drops on WoWHead until just now.

I had a ton of fun farming though, since I was speed pulling, multi-mob pulling, and generally trying every different trick I could to handle as many different mobs as possible.

I learned that a skill I have never bothered to use before, Disengage, drops a bit of aggro if Feign Death doesn’t work, a Trap gets resisted, and Misdirect is not quite enough to pry it off your face. Hey, it might not work, but it’s better than running around in circles screaming “Argh! Argh! Get it offa me! Get it offa me! Halp! Halp!”

Now that I think of it, I need to make that a /yell macro for my Hunter.

Anyhoo… I decided to try my hand at taking down a level 68 Elite that kept wandering through the area, Makazradon.

The first time was a failure, as I managed to aggro a second mob, an Overseer, that spawned on top of the fight. And he brought a nearby friend.

My, the graveyard is so lovely in the fall. The green lava goes so well with my wisp’s… wispiness.

Second time went a bit better.

I sent Moonclaw in, popped Beast Within, opened up ammo, lay Trap for backup, fired off trinkets and Rapid Fire and generally had lots of fun… but I went over aggro with the jerkoff still having around 3000 Health left, and he came after me.

I Feign Death as usual, he resists. He runs over my Trap, it does nothing. I lay  a second Trap instantly, still nothing… I pop off my Misdirect macro as I spinfire while running and Arcane Shot his butt, and he’s still coming.

So as I wait for Moonclaw to get off his rump and, like, DO something, P prepare to fall back on Plan B, running around in circles panicking, when I spy this Disengage thing on my button bar… so what the hey, it’s a slow night for TV. I whack him with Disengage… and he goes for the cat.

Hey, how about that? I’ll have to remember that.

It was a lot of fun. The time flew by, and I really enjoyed trying lots of different things while I farmed Weaponsmiths.

Now, as I was leaving Shadowmoon Valley, I recalled a conversation I had with Cassie earlier.

She had seen my paper doll up, and had noticed I had a Trinket called the Icon of Unyielding Courage that drops from Keli’dan the Breaker in Heroic Blood Furnace.

She was kinda torqued off, because she has been chasing the Hit Rating cap for Rogue off hand use for months, and she had no idea the trinket had that much Hit Rating on it. Shadowpanther’s website doesn’t rate it very high at all. She told me she thinks that, with that trinket and some Hit Rating food, she could finally hit the cap.

Well, so I’m tooling along hours later, and I remember our conversation, and I suddenly wonder to myself… what is my Hit Rating on my Hunter, anyway?

And what is the Hit Rating cap for Hunters? 

I have no idea.

I go look up Hunters and Hit Rating on Wowwiki, and find out;

Hunter Hit Ratings

  • Special attack or ranged auto-attack, base 142 hit rating (9%)
  • Special attack or ranged auto-attack, with 3/3 Surefooted: 95 hit rating

And these can be modified by the presence of a Draenei in the party with Heroic Presence (+1% Hit to party members) or a Moonkin with 3/3 in Improved Faerie Fire that gives +3% hit when fighting an affected mob.

Anyway, point is, soloing around, my Hit Cap is either 142, or 95 if I’m 3/3 Surefooted.

Surefooted? WTF is that?

I go look… why, Surefooted is deep in the Survival Talent Tree.

And “Yes, I have it.”

We’ll get into why in a minute.

The point is, I just now find out, “Hey, guess what… any points in Hit Rating over 95 are being wasted right now, stupid.”

How much Hit Rating do I have?


Son of a…. 55 wasted freaking points?!?!

As in, that Icon of Unyielding Courage is doing me zero benefit except when it’s actually triggered, and the -600 armor ain’t all that big a deal, at all. Hell, I’d get more benefit out of a Gnomish Poultryizer

I even have a +8 Hit Rating gem equipped, just…

That’s so stupid, it’s not even funny.

I’m very glad I have the Hit Rating to be at the cap IF I were fully specced Beastmaster/Marksman, but it’s still annoying to find out I didn’t even know I was at the cap, and that no matter what, that +8 Hit Rating gem is wasted.

So, joy.

Now, about my spec.

I’ve been doing a lot of Karazhan on my Hunter lately, and I would like to do some instances. I’ve done a few regular instances, I’ve been having fun.

Since a critical part of a Hunter’s job is trapping, I decided, why not go ahead and stay specced full Beastmaster (of course), but instead of pumping points into Marksman for reduced Rapid Fire cooldowns and Go For The Throat, put the points into Survival for the stronger Traps?

Now, I could have stopped putting points into Survival when I hit 2/2 Trap Mastery, and put those last three points into Lethal Shots for +3% Crit… but at the time, I figured, “Hey, +3% Hit? That rocks!”

You’ll notice, I did not at the time actually know whether it did or did not “Rock”. Or if it did “Rock”, how hard would be the rocketh.

Amusingly enough, I have not been trapping enough to really notice an improved trap effect. I FEEL more trappy, though.

I justified not having Go For The Throat by thinking, since I only use Claw in raids for streamlined Energy consumption, no Bite or Growl, that the loss of Energy wouldn’t hurt me TOO bad.

Sigh again.

I dunno… since I have 150 Hit rating, should I just spec back into BM/Marks, and not worry about the traps? And just drop the +8 Hit Rating gem for some other yellow?

Or do I stick with what I got for spec, and regem my gear, and drop things like that trinket in favor of stuff that boosts me in more useful ways? 55 extra Hit Rating is a lot of room to drop gear for more Agi or Crit or AP.

It’s just so funny… another character, another opportunity to find out at level 70 that I have no idea what I’m doing.


13 thoughts on “Bring mathematicians, guns and money

  1. See? Altitis is healthy for you. 😉

    On the one hand, I’m tempted to say “it’s just a game, that’s a lot of time spent for relatively little gain”… but on the other hand, learning critical analysis skills and perhaps more importantly, how you learn, is a valuable thing indeed. That little prick of humility is healthy, too.

    Whatever the case, you’re way ahead of me, BBB. There’s a ton of data and analysis that I would like to dig into from a game design perspective, but I just don’t have the time. Blizzard may botch some of the business side of WoW, but there’s a good chunk of game design going on there that’s worth studying.


  2. Well, I think we both know what our favorite dwarf hunter would say on this subject, but he’s not here, so I’ll give my humble two cents.

    If you’re doing a bit of raiding and 5-mans on the hunter, and you want to max out on the dps, then yeah, you might want to switch over to BM/Marks to max the MQoSRPDS.

    However, if you’re having fun exploring the survivalist side of your hunter, then go with it. Just re-gem and get some more agi/ap/crit gear instead of the +hit, and rock out with the trapping.

    As you say yourself, it all comes down to personal play preference. My buddy just got his hunter up to 70, and he insists on doing Marksman, because he loves the shot rotation on it, even though I tell him going beastie will up his dps a bit (in my opinion).

    Oh and the bit about hitting 70 on a new toon and finding out there’s a whole lot you don’t know? I’m right there with ya, I’m working on a tank for the first time, and it’s a whole different game when you’re trying to horde aggro rather than get rid of it.

    Good luck with the Hunter!


  3. Yeah i pretty much agree with Josh. Go 41/20/0 and bring the dps.

    If you are trapping in heroics and kara alot, then by all means try out the trapping talents. They are not needed in normal instances though.

    In the past I’ve been specced into survival for the traps, as they break ALOT in heroics and kara. The trap talents really do help. Trap Mastery virtually eliminates trap resists in heroics. Its really set and forget then. Without the trap talents you really have to be on top of your game trapping heroics. You need to be on top of your cooldowns and positioning, and have a backup plan in case of a resist or multiple resists (practice your kiting skills. you’ll need them).

    Lose Entrapment though, as its not so useful in pve. Ask yourself as a tank if you would like random mobs to be rooted while you’re trying to position them.

    Put 1 point in any of the other talents to get to the next tier, then put the extra in Survivalist and/or deterrence if you want another oh-shit button.


  4. Yeah, I don’t really run normal instances, so I’d have to go with the reason I did it, which was heroics and Kara. If I wasn’t running Heroics and Kara, it never would have occured to me. Thanks a lot about the Entrapment pointer, you’re right, that was a bad idea to take.

    I have to say I LOVE the ‘specced intelligently’ line, that made me laugh in real life.


  5. It really depends how geared your guild is for Kara and if you have a Priest.
    When I do Kara on my hunter I only ever find myself trapping on Moroes, often sharing that duty with another hunter. If we have at least one Priest or a Paladin tank, all is fine and dandy for most of the run anyway, otherwise we just use our two tanks. So far none of the Hunters we have have been Survival spec, (personally I did muck around with a 44/0/17 trapping-BM build for a while but found that the DPS was sadly lacking).
    Unless a respec would cause you to wipe endlessly, I’d say respec (and regem). The hunter who solo traps on Moroes when I’m playing my Druid is BM, and still manages a respectable DPS while doing so (although from experience, coordinating traps between two people involves a lot of running around and shouting on Vent, although I may be exaggerating).
    I used to use Disengage all the time while levelling, especially on adds, but now I find it either doesn’t land and doesn’t remove enough threat.

    Wing Clip kiting. It’s the best.


  6. Personally, I’d say go with whichever playstyle you think you’d like best. If you enjoy Survival, then re-gear. If you think you’ll enjoy Beast Mastery or Marksmanship, then respec. If you’re not sure…well, respeccing is easier than re-gearing, and also less permanent if you’re in the habit of vendoring/disenchanting gear you feel you no longer need.


  7. For a rogue (for Cassie), the hit cap is 360ish… But I have been told by my rogue buddies that once you are over 320, (340 food buffed), its better to go with ap/crit then hit… the 5 times you may miss in the whole of a raid’s bosses is minimal to the extra dmg from all hits.

    And with a moonkin you get 3% hit anyways 😛


  8. Small matter which may no longer be relevant… But the easiest way to get the last two Engineering skill points are to make the ‘Copter (the blue one, of course).

    They turn yellow at 375, so it’s a confirmed skill-up and require very commonly available mats (just a lot of them… lol)


  9. My main is a survival hunter and is always in the top 3 DPS for any kara or ZA run, despite the fact that i have heavy duty trapping duties. IMHO The 1st 20 points in MM are really mandatory for either a BM or SV hunter to maximize their DPS. If u love the trapping, i strongly suggest regemming with a bunch of agility and going into a survival build and abandoning the BM points altogether.

    As a SV hunter, one of my favorite things is that my traps can theoretically last forever thanks to 3 points in Resourcefulness. With resourcefulness, your trap cooldown is over before the effects of the trap are over–this is amazingly reliable CC for pve in 5 man and 10 man content. (i know–useless for pvp)

    In fact, I once tried testing how many times I could trap a mob (same level) and got tired of the test before the traps failed–my count was 80 freeze traps on the same mob and i stayed within the same 30 square yard area. My guild’s MT has so much confidence in my traps, he will sometime forget that i still have something trapped and goes off and does the next pull.

    If you love trapping a full SV build is a lot of fun, and with gear, you will still be near the top of the DPS charts.


  10. @Niteshana, is Trap Mastery any good or a waste of points? Especially as in patch 3.0.2 the hit and spell hit rating will become one, meaning I guess an already hit-capped hunter will also become spell hit-capped (for level 71 mobs)?


  11. @ Solidstate, Unless they change the amount of spell resist need for cap then i would say no it is not a waste since you need 15% to be spell hit capped as opposed to 9% for melee and ranged. Also I’m not sure trap resists operate on spell hit.

    My hunter leveled to 59 as marksman and then switched to SV untill 70 and after awhile at 70 I lost interest in playing my hunter for a few months. Few months ago I got back into her and resepced BM and have been having fun.

    I really think hunters regardless of spec are alot of fun and just changing things up a bit can make all the diference. So for WoTLK I may be lvling as Marksman or SV again to try it out.


  12. I’m not going to throw my 2 cents in on the spec, I think enough people have done that. I agree with all of them that if you want any advice BRK is the best place to get advice not because he’s the best theory crafter in the world but because he’s such a great writer and you enjoy even the drier stuff on numbers.

    I thought I’d comment more on the fact that I admire you’re ability to admit that you haven’t been getting the most out of your toon and have decided to change that.

    I’m a guildmaster that wishes more of his guildmates would take the time to research where the best stuff for their class drops and try to go out and get it.

    Nothing pushes my buttons more than under geared players wanting a free ride through heroics trying to take immense shortcuts in gearing up by making guildmates pick up the slack. I mean I enjoy these people or I wouldn’t be in the same guild as them but I wish they’d put in more effort rather than taking advantage of the good nature of all those around them.


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