In looking for a casual, relaxing World of Warcraft gaming experience this holiday season, I found myself turning back to my Hunter, Syppi. I suppose it was in part to the fact that, out of curiosity, I looked up her /played time the other day and saw that I had racked up 26+ days with her so far. She’s definitely one of my longest-running characters, dating back to the beginning of The Burning Crusade (she originally was a Draenei before I Gnomified her). Syppi was also the character I first played when I came back to the game a couple of years ago.
But she hasn’t gotten much play in Legion at all, and once again, I put the blame squarely on Blizzard and the 7.0 class revamp. I enjoyed her rotation and feel before the move, but afterward, Beast Mastery became this weird, awkward experience. I didn’t have all of the skills I used to, and my rifle almost seemed superfluous. I tried a few times, got a few levels out of her, but other than adoring the Hunter lodge, it just never clicked.
Still, 26 days is nothing to sneeze at or forget, and to be honest, I missed her and her robotic squirrel pet.
So I decided to give it another go. I dusted her off and spend a frustrating evening or two trying to get used to how she handled. And she was just as clunky as I had remembered. Since it was an untenable situation, I took a step back to reevaluate. I had two options to make it work: change her build or change her spec.
I wasn’t that keen on the other specs. MM might be the standard but… oh so boring. I couldn’t warm up to any of those skills, and besides, I wanted to keep my rifle and not use a bow. And as much as I like to be a rare snowflake in MMOs, I wasn’t going to join the half-dozen or so Survival Hunters out there with their melee insanity.
Builds it was, then.
I loosened my death grip on Barrage, which I saw as the one cool rifle skill left to the BM, to swap it out for A Murder of Crows. Among a few other changes, this one made the biggest difference. I always liked Crows, but in Legion it’s a really powerful DoT that serves as a strong opener and helps to whittle enemies down in no time flat.
With that one switch (and a few other lesser tweaks), the rotation finally locked into place. Crows. Dire Beasts. Cobra Shot. Kill Command. Usually a quick 1-2-3-4 would be enough to end an enemy in under 10 seconds, and there are a few other cooldowns that are left for elites and the like.
Now that I have a serviceable rotation, I’m getting Syppi back up to speed with leveling, quests, gear, etc. Even splurged on a primal-looking transmog, although the Gnome models tend to squish visuals more than I’d like.
I’m hoping this could be a good holiday focus, especially as I continue to wait for the level scaling to come to zones (and my Warlock, which is parked in anticipation of Northrend). Pew pew, one at a time. Sounds good to me.