Return of the Beast Master

Warlock didn’t last long! Hey ho, at least I tried…

After trying to play for the second time as a Warlock this expansion, unfortunately it did not work out as planned. DPS was not where it should be, and parses were terrible. I saw some results at times, but nothing that was consistent, nor of a quality that either demanded or deserved a raid spot.

So given the choice I spoke to our GM and have returned once again to playing Hunter for the remainder of the expansion.

I’m very happy, yet disappointed too. Happy that I get to once again play my favourite DPS class in the game, one that I’m able to play with my eyes closed. However I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to wrangle decent results from Warlock, doubly so given that I played it so well in Legion and also that this was the second time in BfA I’d tried and failed to make the switch to Warlock.

I will take it from the failure that I play a lot better with more mobile classes who don’t have to stand still to cast a lot. I didn’t really gel with Boomkin in Legion for that reason, so the same appears to apply here too, and hence the switch back to Hunter.

Worth the switch?

Improvements were immediate! On my first night in Nyalotha during a normal mode clear, I was immediately able to beat every single one of my Warlock’s previous best DPS scores with my Hunter. Sometimes by over 15k DPS! This despite my Hunter being a full 10 item levels lower than my Warlock…

And, at my item level, I am the European Alliance BM Hunter for Skitra in both Normal and Heroic, and 2nd on the planet for both difficulties! 😀

The Good

In terms of performance so far in Heroic I’m playing great on:

Skitra 🙂

Drest’agath needs a bit of improvement, but I’m averaging average there.

The Bad

I do have a few Heroic bosses to make improvements on, namely:

Wrathion (basically stay alive)*
Hivemind (more AoE damage)
Vexiona (ditto to Hivemind)
Il’gynoth (ditto to ditto above)
N’Zoth (see below)

*Wrathion got me on the Hunter last week as I moved out with the Incinerate debuff, and just as I reached the debuff drop off point Wrathion transitioned for the fire spreading on the floor phase, and no points for guessing where he went: right on top of me, lengthwise at the top of the room. That meant I had to try to sprint the entire length of the room in less than 2 seconds.

Spoiler: DNR forms signed and sealed.

The Ugly

Carapace/Fury of N’Zoth is a pain in the arse. I’ve only done it once so far on Normal mode since switching back to Hunter, but pet pathing in that fight is horrific. In my only kill I had to resummon my pets FOUR TIMES. First time was right as all my cooldowns were popped at the start of the fight, meaning I lost out on a tonne of damage right at the start because my pets wouldn’t move to within range of the boss and couldn’t Kill Command nor use their basic attacks.

And with the changes to recommended talents that now includes Animal Companion (dual pets!) and Killer Cobra (Cobra Shot resets the cooldown on Kill Command), that meant a LOT of missed damage.


In other news, Fade have now fully cleared both Normal Mode and Heroic!

I was on a weekend break in London when the rest of the team nabbed the normal mode kill, but was back to take part in our Heroic N’Zoth kill the following day and got my Ahead of the Curve and the resulting mount!

The kill pull was my first time seeing the later phase of the N’Zoth fight, and man, after the tricky early sanity management phases (Psychus & tentacle clearing duties), the burn phase is essentially a Patchwerk fight! All in all it turned out to be a lot easier than I was anticipating! That said I’ll need to improve for next time, as I only got a 51% parse on the kill, and I like my parses to be over 90% before I’m happy 🙂

But it’s nice to see a boss where the tricky part of the fight is at the start of a 10 minute long encounter, and not 8/9 minutes into it!

The Future

As a result of clearing Heroic we now begin to plough on into Mythic this weekend. However I feel I’ll need to get a good bit more gear in order to justify a Mythic spot, so I’ll be concentrating on Heroic clears for the next few weeks in order to up my item level and DPS as I’m playing alongside a LOT of players who’s characters are in the mid 460’s in item level, so I’m a fair bit behind gear-wise.

That said, I tend to wring good DPS out of lesser Hunter gear, as I tend to be very picky about her gear. She’s currently 445 iLevel, and I have 453 in her bags, but donning that would drop her DPS by around 2,500!

Trinkets this tier seem to be particularly bad for Hunters, as one is an Agility trinket with an on-use Haste effect (+Crit would be far better), and the other is a trinket that does AoE damage around your character, not your target, which as a RANGED DPS spec is near-useless and thus more useful for melee DPS (or Survival if you’re a sicko).

BfA: Complete

Overall though, getting Heroic N’Zoth down was my main objective for this tier, which I’ve managed to get done pretty quickly after the tier’s launch which is a weight off.

From now on until Shadowlands launches, it’ll be a case of gearing further and helping out as much as I can to help Fade progress into Mythic before wrapping up the expansion!