I’m playing a BM hunter alt. Been playing it on and off for a fair while now. Here’s the thing, though… it doesn’t feel very beast-mastery. My mastery of beasts is somewhat lacking.
As a lvl 10 paladin, I spec’d into Templar’s Verdict and hit it whenever possible. I was an angry force of retribution. As a lvl 10 priest I spec’d disc and completely failed to appreciate the wonder that is Penance, but it didn’t take long. As a lvl 10 rogue, I spec’d into combat and that was a mistake, but as a lvl 40 rogue I respec’d assassination and suddenly I was a mutilating badass, committing acts of desecration on the wretched bodies of my foes.
As a BM hunter? I don’t even *use* Intimidation. It’s supposed to be a spec-defining ability, and I couldn’t even tell you where it is on my bars. Shoved somewhere far out of the way to make space for abilities that actually help. The stun doesn’t seem to be predictable, and is reliant on my pet being in the general area… much like Kill Command, another ability I have serious issues with, since any time that a tank is moving a mob, I’m going to be seeing a bunch of ‘not in range’ errors. It’s like playing a melee, except my own experience in movement doesn’t help at all. Intimidation doesn’t provide any sort of dps benefit either, so it’s simply not worth a GCD.
In solo play, a BM hunter does pretty well. But so far in instances, at least up to lvl 67, it feels like a cut-price Marksman.
So why stick with it? Simple. The real spec-defining ability only appears almost 60 levels after you’ve taken the plunge. This is the most recognisable aspect of a BM hunter… the one that tells you that you’ve made it, the one that shows everyone what you are (probably to your shame, given the relative dps capabilities of BM compared to, say, MM). Yes, it’s worth waiting for, and I won’t consider myself to have played the spec at all until I have it. Also, I really want a Jormungar. Like, so badly. It’s a big fuzzy aoe-tastic worm! What’s not to love?
I don’t foresee the issues with range going away, though. And BM has the additional issue of being shackled to an NPC with notoriously poor AI. Last night I watched as my gfs pet kitty pulled random packs of mobs with which we weren’t in combat. Three times. For no apparent reason. At least my wolf is slightly less psychotic…
Somehow it seems that while BM is a neat idea, the spec just isn’t coherent or even very desirable.