World of Warcraft: I’m not giving up on Beast Mastery


Where can I tame a flower to attack on command?

Ever since 7.0 — Classocalypse — came out, there has been a dire sorting. Players have been lumping classes into the naughty and nice piles, mourning over some that have been ruined, RUINED for life and rejoicing over others that are now shining brighter than the noonday sun.

One spec that seems to be widely derided since 7.0 is the Beast Mastery Hunter, a spec that has been my go-to since I first created this character in Lich King. I love me some strong pets, and the Hunter’s ability to tame and choose pets adds to that bond. Plus, while there are other pet classes in the game, this one is paired with a ranged weapon-using class, which has always made me feel powerful and mobile.

But I’ll admit it: 7.0 was not kind to BM Hunters. I felt like the spec was in a great place in Warlords and had a terrific flow to it. Now, post-7.0, it’s like something’s been amputated. It’s still pumping out damage and presumably enough to stay competitive, but it’s clumsy. The rotation isn’t smooth, but instead awkward, like dancing with two left feet. There’s been much moaning about waiting for cooldowns to finish, and really, that’s the truth of the situation.

I know a lot of people are saying, “Just wait until Legion. Wait until the artifacts. Right now you’re not playing the full, completed class as it’s been (re)designed.”

And I get that… but that also doesn’t strike me as true.

For one thing, does this mean that from now on all of the classes of the game aren’t supposed to feel “complete” until players hit 100 and gain access to artifact weapons? What about the 1-100 experience? Is it OK if a level 99 class comes across as only half-baked?

For another, from my experience, some of these new specs do work quite well as they are, even before Legion. My Unholy Death Knight is an absolute treat as is and I can’t wait to flesh her out a little more. It’s a good thing that’s going to get better.

The best I can be hoping for my Beast Master, on the other hand, is that a somewhat broken, incomplete spec might be made whole through Legion. And this irritates me, as if the devs stabbed my character in the belly and then crowed, “Just wait until the expansion when we give you the bandages that will finally make you whole!” All I can think is, I was doing pretty well for myself before your interference.

This might make me sound like I’m giving up on the BM. Trust me, there have been moments. I’ve even looked at the other specs, but Marks seems so blah and I am NOT going melee with a Hunter. And even though I’m not quite buying this call for patience, that all will be made well come September, I am sticking it out.

Even as is, I love the look of my Hunter charging in with her rifle, firing off a barrage and attacking creatures half a football field away. I am quite attached to Oz, my ghost wolf, and have a devotion to seeing this character continue her journey that she started so long ago. I’m excited that she can explore Engineering and maybe build herself a little robot companion come Legion.

And yes, I’ve looked at Titanstrike and seen a few things that might make an uneven situation a little more smooth. Getting a second pet is darn fine compensation to yanking out some of the gears that made my BM work in the past, so I guess we truly will see. I just don’t want to get so disheartened now that I shy away from playing her at all.


6 thoughts on “World of Warcraft: I’m not giving up on Beast Mastery

  1. Rowan August 17, 2016 / 9:53 am

    You worry too much. I have a relatively lowbie BM hunter that I have no intention of changing (except maybe raiding, if it comes to that). I agree that it seems a little stilted, like they expect a chunk of damage to be auto-shoot. I expected more beast commands, but right now I basically have 4 abilities of any consequence. OTOH, they’ve made it super easy to switch talents and even specs (making trainers nothing but decoration). I wouldn’t be afraid to experiment.

    Maybe it makes me a worse player, but I rarely listen to the commentariat regarding ideal/garbage specs. Soon enough, any uber spec will struck by the nerf bat and will be teh next suxxors. The one recent exception is when Manglehaft and Psynister tempted me into creating a Fury Warrior last night, which is now my boosted toon.

  2. Atheren August 17, 2016 / 10:23 am

    My Hunters will always be Beast Master, but they need some tuning now. I created a Gnome BM and sent a copy of my live BM Hunter into the beta and they both got pounded. Whereas my Feral Druid dances on air. The Artifact Weapon is no cure all for current changes.

  3. Barry White August 17, 2016 / 10:48 am

    I came in late to WoD and didn’t really hear much about the prune back then, I felt hunters had been really crippled, more so than any other class. I levelled as MM (my spec of choice) and it was actually ok, with a nice rotation, although the goal was always just to get to Lone Wolf for me.

    This time around, more culling and it feels to me like MM has even less to press, which is concerning, I’m sure when it all comes out in the wash it will be fine but I felt like BM was a little bit more involved than it used to be, in a good way, in a having something for your fingers to do way.

    I don’t know if I will stick with BM through Legion but MM sure does feel lifeless.

  4. Tyler F.M. Edwards August 17, 2016 / 11:14 am

    I don’t know much about beast mastery specifically, but my personal experience is that every ranged spec I’ve tried feels somehow empty or lacking since the patch. This really seems to be the Era of Melee. Nearly every melee spec I’ve tried feels good and satisfying to play, but ranged all feel uniformly empty, or sluggish, or just somehow incomplete.

    The one exception I’ve found is elemental shaman. I didn’t play it until 7.0, so I don’t know how it compares to pre-patch, but I’ve been having a grand time with it so far. Cast times are fast, and you’ve got a nice mix of DoTs, procs, hard casts, AoE, and single target. Very well-rounded spec.

  5. carson63000 August 17, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Interesting. I boosted a Hunter to 100 with the boost I got with Legion, and have been doing invasions with him, as Beastmaster. So I’m in the position of playing the spec now, without ever having played the pre-7.0 level 100 version.

    And I think it’s one of the more enjoyable of the new level 100 specs I’ve tried. I feel like I’ve got a lot to do, I have short cooldowns, I have longer cooldowns, I have a short cooldown that reduces a long cooldown and also pops up randomly despite its cooldown.. it’s a fun, interactive spec, imho.

  6. Azuriel August 17, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    It’s still pumping out damage and presumably enough to stay competitive, but it’s clumsy. The rotation isn’t smooth, but instead awkward, like dancing with two left feet. There’s been much moaning about waiting for cooldowns to finish, and really, that’s the truth of the situation.

    Sounds like Retribution in nearly every expansion I’ve played through, minus Wrath. Blizzard’s justification at those times were that you could use the globals to toss some heals or buffs around, or just “take stock of the situation.” That excuse didn’t fit then, and it seems like it doesn’t fit now that dead time has been extended to other specs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s