BM Evaluation is Costly Indeed

Posted: by Frostheim


We’ve discussed the dps difference between BM and MM before. I think we can agree that most of the disagreements were philosophical. I’m of the philosophy that you should contribute as much dps as your class can for your progression raid — I’m all about squeezing out every last drop of dps that you can. Others have the philosophy that as long as you’re doing enough for your part to beat enrage timers, that’s fine — after all, if everyone did that, you’d win.  I can see the other point of view, I just don’t share it for a team venture like raiding.

Very few people argued over the facts — data gained from both spreadsheets and thousands of raid parses; however, some people did. The most common argument was that all of the best raiders were MM, so in theory those BM raiders pulling 9.5k dps were subpar, comparatively. Personally I don’t buy this — those top BM parses were from people in crazy good gear, and I suspect they knew how to play BM well, certainly about as well as those MM hunters knew their spec.

However, I’d like to present another argument about the data on behalf of BM hunters.

The parses and data we were looking at represented the absolute best geared hunters out there, both on the BM and MM side. This means that we were looking at hunters who were at, or darned near, the ArP hardcap.

Now both BM and MM like ArP and in a perfect world want to hardcap it. But MM gets a massively, massively better return from hardcapping ArP. Once they get close to the hardcap, MM hunters start seeing almost exponential dps improvements from it. So not only are they leagues above BM hunter, but they also pull far ahead of SV hunters.

The Question

So this brought to mind the question: how far behind is BM in more average level raiding gear? Not ArP hardcapped, not softcapped, but the sort of mid-level raiding gear that most raiding hunters are using?

This is a question that’s kinda hard to test via parses. The advantage of just looking at the top chunk of results is you can be pretty confidant that those were all players at very high skill levels, living through the fight, and with all the raid buffs. Once you start looking at the middle of the pack, suddenly you might be comparing a high buffed & geared hunter with a lower geared but better skilled hunter.

When you’re not looking at the top chunk, the raid parses become far less useful in comparing specs.

The Test

Fortunately I have access to a 25-man raid team. I’m at that middle-level of gear, with around 550 ArP rating. And there were other good and valid reasons for me to drag an entire 25-man raid team to the target dummies, so that’s what I did.

We hit the Ironforge target dummies with the entire raid team, all raid buffs and debuffs, for two tests. We had heroism for both tests. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to justify spending more time testing, though I’d have liked to. Also, I did not use Kill Shot for either test (MM Kill Shot hits a lot harder, and they’d get an extra one with the 2nd readiness. On the other hand it’s pretty RNGy, since there aren’t enough to really average out the crits. Figure kill shot would have given MM an extra percent or two).

Did the first run as MM and got the recount screenshot the instant we hit the 5 min mark. Then I switched to BM spec and glyphs and used the time spent waiting on heroism cooldown to regem my gear for BM (and damn that was costly — especially the regemming back). Did the test again with BM, and again hit the screenshot the instant we hit the 5 min mark. I used the specs here on the WHU, of course.

Now, I’m not the most skilled hunter in the world, but I do play MM and BM specs a heck of a lot. And I’m pretty confident in my ability to hit the proper rotations when I have nothing else to do but sit in place and stare at my cooldowns. In a perfect world I’d have run the test several times with each spec to even out the RNG, but I really couldn’t keep the whole raid out of ICC that long.

The Results

Marksman DPS. Badass mage is badass. Thank god he loses so much from moving in actual raid fights!

Marksman DPS. Badass mage is badass. Thank god he loses so much from moving in actual raid fights!

BM DPS.

BM DPS.

Okay, so what we’re seeing here is identical raid, identical buffs/debuffs, exactly the same amount of time on a single boss target with no moving whatsoever. As close to a controlled in-game boss fight as we can create.

  • Marksman: 9,701
  • Beast Mastery: 8,255

So at this mid-level gear, we’re seeing BM behind by about 15% (not counting the Kill Shot MM advantage). Figure that the coming BM buffs will probably about balance out the kill shot factor.

Certainly this is closer than the 20% – 30% we saw with ArP hardcapping. And I didn’t need fancy BiS gear to go over 8k dps, well over the Festergut dps check (though possibly not Blood Queen, since your pet doesn’t get bitten).

But that’s still showing BM a long way behind.

Conclusions

I’m sure many people will feel that being within 15% of their potential dps is plenty, just as they felt 20% – 30% behind was fine. As long as they can beat the enrage timers, how far behind doesn’t matter if they can play the spec they love. To some people this 15% gap is “close enough to my max dps.”

I suspect I side with the majority of progression raiders who’d say “Christ! That’s 1,500 dps! That’s a LOT of dps to throw away!”

In the end I don’t think this is going to change anyone’s mind in either direction, but I do think it gives some very good data for both sides to argue their points.

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  1. Bozanimal says:

    “I’m of the philosophy that you should contribute as much dps as your class can for your progression raid — I’m all about squeezing out every last drop of dps that you can.”

    So let’s say Zod’s Repeating Longbow drops: What do you do?

  2. Saelle says:

    Good stuff Frost! I think you did everything possible on this test as the skill/gear/buffs were exactly the same and the only difference was the spec. If this information doesn’t close the discussion on the “Is BM a viable raid spec vs MM?” then nothing will. This pretty much confirms your previous article.

    And to state the obvious point that you don’t want to make for fear of the BM backlash … anyone that thinks a loss of 2% let alone 15% dps isn’t a big deal isn’t a serious raider. Any serious raider that has wiped at 1% with a less than optimal setup will do anything so as to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  3. Valacia says:

    Yeah, re-gemming and re-enchanting… wow. I have a separate set of “BM gear” that I have pieced together as I replaced items with better stuff, but at this point, I do more dps in my BM spec wearing my agility focused marks gear than I do in my BM set (which is about 40% of my Marks dps). Guess it’s time to let those pieces go.

  4. Snoggi says:

    It’s always good to have more data and it’s certainly commendable that you try to acquire as much as you can. Insofar the accuracy of the data you collected about ‘the best’ dpsers…I think what most people wanted was to add notes and comments on how the data should be measured, before the reader draws a conclusion from them. With the data measured yourself, you could easily define said assumptions and requirements, with the results generated by other hunters you could not. That, to me, is more important than the actual result.

    As for the philosophical question, for me it basically comes down to this:
    If you deal enough dps, and then some, why do you need to deal another and then some? Of course it’s cool if you’re ‘the best’, but if you feel so strongly about maximizing your potential, then you probably don’t raid with people who do not, hence wasting most of that additional potential you strive so hard to achieve. It’s not unlike sports in that some will invest all their time, skill and money in winning the Olympics, while some participate just to participate. They’re good enough for the Olympics, but not good enough to win.

    And finally, some people may just like the challenge: to maximize your potential as BM hunter means that you’ve got less room for mistakes and overall, to get the same results as even a slacking MM hunter, would take great effort and skill on their part. As in with the Olympics example, not all athletes have the same maximum potential, but they like to go there anyway and see how well they can do.

    Overall though, it’s nice that you provide additional data to compare the specs. Nothing bad can be said about your dedication, that’s for sure.

  5. Valacia says:

    @snoggi – The very thing you mention is why BM isn’t raid viable. There is much much less room for mistakes. There is also much much less room for bad timing in an encounter or for a sudden lag spike on your end.

    I absolutely LOVE BM. I love pulling out my Loqui and dealing death that way, and I do when I solo and in heroics, but when it comes to raiding, where I want to push content, I know that I have a much better buffer for those stupid little things I might do or for environmental variables that don’t bode well for me.

    Sure, it’s nice to be top dps, or one of the best hunters on the realm, but for me at least, it is about being able to walk into a fight like festergut 25 knowing that even if I do screw up I’m not being carried on my responsibility to the other 24 people in there. I would hate to see a close wipe on a fight like that knowing that I was at least partially responsible because I chose not to do my ma potential.

    Then again, I feel like I am slacking when I take the fish feast or use a flask instead of my dragonfin/mighty agility/mighty thoughts.

  6. rapidan says:

    very informative article, and wow! losing almost 1500 dps at midlevel gear… i don’t know that i would want to do that. may i assume you used the same pet for both specs? thanks for the info!

  7. Lirithiel says:

    You must be sitting on a nice pile of gold there Frost. I’m fairly certain there was no need to re-gem and re-enchant after changing to BM as the general consensus is that at higher gear lvls it is perfectly acceptable to go with Agil instead of AP for BM coz the numbers are about the same. I assume you went with AP?

    But thanks for actaully doing the test to nail home the point.

    Btw what spec was the other hunter lagging behind you on both tests?

  8. Bozanimal says:

    “If you deal enough dps, and then some, why do you need to deal another and then some?” -Snoggi

    When every raider strives to maximize their DPS it helps make up for mistakes, lag, undergeared colleagues, limits wipes, increases utility of raid time, and reduces repair bills.

  9. Satran says:

    Wow… wish I had been in IF just to sit and watch this one. Congrats on taking the criticism in stride and firing back with a logical argument (albeit, an expensive one!).

  10. Myrdreon says:

    To add to bozanimal, it most importantly makes up for a d/c.

    I occasionally have a d/c at evenings/weekends… if everybody would do just enough, it means my d/c wipes the party.

    Also, the longer a fight takes the more risk a healer/dps will go OOM (after all, bad skill use likely means more consumption) causing you to not make an enrage timer.

  11. Zat says:

    Personally, I would never raid in a BM spec. I agree with you 100% on your do the most you can philosophy. However, we do raid with a BM hunter and I have not and will not say anything too him about it. I mean it’s been mentioned to him that MM and SV are probably higher DPS raid specs (by others), and he was one of the BM guys angry with your wow.com article, which made me giggle a little bit. But for our raid team, he’s generally in the top half of the DPS on the meters. I’ve mentioned to him a few times that his BM DPS is impressive.

    I just like topping the meters. It makes me happy. He’s satisfied with the top of the middle of the pack. That’s ok with me too.

  12. Gnomemor says:

    I think it would be easier to take if BM was referred to as “not raid preferable” as opposed to “not raid viable”. Not viable infers that that they shouldn’t be there at all versus just not being the preferred option. I am elated that you took this step after the last BM article…all the while I was reading it I was thinking, “why doesn’t he just dual-spec a hunter with similar gear and verify his position?”. Nice recovery. I also love my BM spec, but you have lured me to the MM dark side. I have 2 full sets of T9 gear that I switch between for each spec…I have definitely noticed a difference in the crit damage, but my dps difference is more like 5-10%.

  13. Garumoo says:

    What’s up with that other hunter? Apart from lagging behind your dps both times, in their second run they also did about 500 dps less too. Mage, Rogue, and Pally did about the same both times.

    You need to do at least one more 5 min full raid test – either configuration, simply so you can see how much variation is possible. Damn RNG can royally screw things up.

  14. Phyllixia says:

    I’m impressed you convinced your entire raid to spend time on a target dummy just so you could compare specs; there aren’t many guilds with that kind of enthusiasm for testing :P

  15. Snoggi says:

    “When every raider strives to maximize their DPS it helps make up for mistakes, lag, undergeared colleagues, limits wipes, increases utility of raid time, and reduces repair bills. – Bozanimal ”

    Very true, except I did not try to compare ‘minimum’ dps to ‘more than minimum’ dps. To reply to your comment, only point 6 of your arguments is affected if everyone does ‘very much more’ instead of ‘much more’ than the minimum. That was my point, sorry if it wasn’t clear.

    “The very thing you mention is why BM isn’t raid viable. There is much much less room for mistakes. There is also much much less room for bad timing in an encounter or for a sudden lag spike on your end. – Valacia”

    A beast mastery hunter will be less affected, relatively, by mistakes on the hunter’s part or a prolonged period of lag. A missed shot affects 60% of the BM’s dps, but a missed shot will affect 90% of the MM’s dps. His pet will still be doing 30-40% of his dps if he’s d/ced, as opposed to just 10% of the other 2 specs’ pets. If you’re prone to lag, and you still wanna raid, then your group’d be best off if you specced Beast Mastery…especially if you’re d/c most of the fight. So while there are good reasons to raid MM over BM, relative dependability isn’t one of them.

    However, one should consider if it’s fair to raid if you know you’re not gonna be able to do anything for a large part of the fight.

  16. Buurmen says:

    Cheers Frost for the effort you put in making your point. Don’t think you could have done anything more to prove that BM isn’t viable for raiding new content. The remaining beastmasters will have deep philosophical reasons to stay at their spec, so no point in bringing up any more facts.
    I do have to say that the loss of dps at bm spec wasn’t as high as I anticipated, I have been in pugs (voa25) with bm specced hunters who had similar gear as mine and the difference between mine and their dps was more around 40/45% at Koralon and 20% at Toravon (which favors BM cause their pet will just steadily chew on Tora) They might need to go and read the whu bm guides :P

  17. Grimmtooth says:

    Statistically speaking, this is problematic.

    Look at the other hunter. 8461 vs 7994 – almost 500 dps difference (ah, somebody else caught that, too). Is that a statistical error or what? How much of that applies to your own DPS? Is the margin actually closer than the screenshots reveal?

    Look at the rogue – 8624 vs 9117 – around 500 dps difference the other way.

    There’s little discrepancies like this all through the images. I could list them individually but I believe you get the point.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m pretty sure you aren’t. I’m saying that the data do not support it conclusively. There are too many unexplained deviations, or at least not enough samples to explain it. Maybe we find that these deviations are 100% reproducible. So be it. But it would be great to see more solid data backing up the claims.

    If you want to be all about the numbers, here, then those numbers need to be little more consistent. As Data famously once said, “Further research is clearly indicated.”

    I’ll give MM a fair shot in time, and draw my own conclusions, but thanks for the food for thought.

  18. Idnar Boone says:

    How about your pets DPS with each spec. Was there much changethere? We often over look the total DPS we bring to the party.

  19. Euripides says:

    @Phyllixia He told them they were recording a “benchmark” for the raid’s DPS, not his DPS :P.

    I’d like to take a moment here to mention that even in BM, Frost was top 5 for the raid. That may be enough for some raids, which would make BM raid viable. It certainly wouldn’t fly in any guild that is min/maxing everything to progress as far as they can, but for any guilds that wouldn’t turn down any player who can do that type of DPS, it works.

  20. Chimy says:

    Stubborn BM hunter is Stubborn.

    The mathematically interested know that this isn’t really intended to be a statistically valid test… It’s meant to be an example. You would need to do at least 32 five minute sessions of each, take the averages, and perform a chi squared between the two data sets. Even then, people would still argue that it would only be an accurate representation of your ability to play BM versus MM or perhaps a representation of how well *your* gear performs as a BM versus MM.

    Given a pool of 1.5 million hunters or so, the best raid dps was marksman. The best hunters strive for the best dps. It follows that if the best raiders could squeeze more dps out of BM, many of the highest dps raiders would be BM, and they just aren’t… even though BM hunters are arguably easier to play (even Blizzard has implied this).

    Marksman’s been effectively naturally selected, looking at the data. Don’t see many melee range hunters? Right. That’s because it’s so obviously bad that noone does it. Noone needs to test it. BM is at least close enough where data needs to be looked at, but the results are in. Let it go, BM.

  21. Rades says:

    Awesome comparison Frost, this identical-scenario experiment is probably one of the best examples you can make about the BM viability debate. It clearly shows that while BM is behind, it’s not the steep 30-40% that was being tossed around, and it also shows to all the BM hunters saying that “I constantly outdps everyone else” that they would outdps them MORE by being MM. Other than repeating this test with more variables (different pets, shorter/longer tests), I don’t know what else you could do to demonstrate the differences.

  22. Thenalia says:

    @ anyone who makes fun of Frost for refusing to use a bow.

    I am not a theory crafter but is there anyone out there who might have data as to how much better the Drawven racial of 1% crit bonus makes a gun compared to an actual better bow? To me it has to shrink the gap quite a bit unless the bow is 2-3 tiers higher.

  23. Lat says:

    Well this certainly explains some of why we went to the dummies. For what it is worth my roomate watching the test said “why did frost’s dps drop so much?”

    Looking at the two examples show a lot of interesting things about dps. No, certainly not statisticly significant but one could have been a wipe and the other a kill.

    As far as not bringing your best to every raid: I just dont understand why you wouldnt do everything you can to support your team. Dont you want to be the one that the team can count on to carry someone who had a rough attempt or just isnt geared enough? This is a team activity and as a teamate you should do everything you can to make the team better even if that is a small sacrifice to yourself.

    “sacrifice your body (spec) for the team”

  24. iceveiled says:

    Okay so BM is STILL the worst raiding spec. Let’s beat the dead horse some more please.

  25. Tinderlock says:

    The question we are trying to answer here is whether BM is “Viable”. Viable means: Capable of success or continuing effectiveness; practicable. – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/viable

    8.5k DPS is viable.

    The question we are now leading into is; whether it is ok while working as part of a team to do 8.5k when there is a good chance that with a re-spec and re-gear you could do 10k and help everyone?

    Here I think we are heading to an “IMO” answer. The answer now is with the philosophers and not the theorycrafters.

    Thanks for the tests Frosty I feel I owe you some gold for them in some way.

    Tinderlock

  26. Garson says:

    While I understand your desire and need to explain your position on the BM spec not being a viable raid spec (I think of you as a someone trying to explain that the earth is round to people who just don’t want to hear it) I do think that some people just aren’t going to accept it.

    We all run into these people who want to play the game the way they see it and try to minimize the other players who actually apply fact to the way they play their toons and get the most out of them not matter the cost or effort.

    IMO, one of the things that makes WoW such a great game is that the game changes every patch (i.e. better gear, changing specs, etc.).

    The elite are the players who adapt with those changes, learn the new rotation or spec and make the game better for everyone. The others are people who only want to play one way and god bless them for it but…and I mean this with all due respect…stay OUT of my raid.

  27. Bozanimal says:

    @Thenalia
    At level 80 you need 45.91 crit rating to add 1% crit. In my own spreadsheet tests I could not get any of the current guns short of BRK and Heroic Stakethrower to compare to Zod’s. That being said, end-game MM hunter’s might find more benefit from Stakethrower with the additional armor pen; I didn’t get that deep into an ArPen build.

    I would never poke fun at Frost for his gun fetish, being a dwarf hunter myself. Frost is the best thing to happen to Hunter blogs in years. I will, however, poke him a little to practice what he preaches. He’s got eight Lady Deathwhisper kills in 25-man; odds are Zod’s has dropped (it hasn’t for me in a dozen kills, but odds are still high that it’s dropped).

    And by the way, Frost, grats on picking up Stakethrower! It should be more than “enough for your part to beat enrage timers, that’s fine.” :P

  28. Anansi says:

    Well here’s my question on raiding as BM. Yes, the target dummy testing above showed lesser BM numbers but still very respectable.
    And yes the logs of top-end Hunters have Marks as top DPS.

    However – Given that Marks requires extremely accomplished movement skills to pull off, skills that most Hunters are not highly proficient at (myself included), would not the MM-BM gap close due to the BM pet doing so much more DPS? The pet doesn’t have to move, the Hunter doesn’t have a complex shot rotation. if the Hunter can’t “scoot & shoot” very well, the pet is still chewing on the face of the boss.

    As Marksman, my pet is doing 10-15% of my DPS (heck, I picked up Dual Spec the other day and forgot that one needs to respec pets when you do this, and I ran a Heroic with my un-talented Spider and still pulled 6.5k DPS overall), so the thought here is basically a BM pet doing far more DPS could, possibly, compensate for poor movement skills.

    My guild leader has been asking me this, and I have to admit it’s an interesting question.

    Thoughts?

  29. Qonaan says:

    I really appreciate the rigors involved in trying out both specs for such a DPS-test opportunity. Those gems aren’t cheap.

    Were I not on a different server and playing for the superior side, I’d buy you a [Beer], shorty. ;-)

    I’m going to be doing my own, similar experiment – going from BM to MM to try out the other side of the fence, as it were.

    On your philosophical approach, would you say that SV hunters should be switching to MM if they intend to approach heroic ICC content?

  30. Justin says:

    @Snoggi

    The benefit of maximizing DPS as I see it is that it increases your raid’s margin for error. The higher your DPS, the more cushion you have for your raid to make mistakes. For example, if you have a couple people die on a DPS-check fight, the higher your DPS, the more able you are to make up for that loss of DPS, and the more likely you are to still beat the enrage timer. Or if your raid isn’t the greatest at kiting slimes on Rotface, the higher your DPS, the quicker he dies, which means less time dealing with that, especially when it gets faster near the end.

    If your raid is one that executes perfectly every time, then optimizing your DPS doesn’t matter as much, but if your raid makes mistakes every now and again, optimizing your DPS could definitely help.

    @Buurmen

    The post didn’t prove that BM is “not viable” in end game raids. If you’re doing 8k+, while not topping the charts, you’re doing decent. It’s not optimal, but it is viable.

  31. Caelatria says:

    I also want to say that I really appreciate the effort that went into this. I’d been meaning to try something similar myself, without the regemming and whatnot, just take my gear as it is and swap specs. But I really don’t have to. I’ve seen the difference in the DPS just in heroics between what I could do as BM and what I can do as MM.

    That said, I do agree with Gnomamor. It seems that a lot of people are getting hung up on “viable”. Even though you said in your WoW.com article that you do consider BM to be “viable”, the data and opinion written into the rest put across a very different vibe. Everyone wants to defend what they’re doing, so they read more into what you say than you’re probably intending.

    It’s a fact that BM does less DPS than MM. It’s sad, because I love BM, but I’ve seen the proof in my own instancing and raiding. I’m good at BM. I’ve out-dpsed better-geared MM hunters before in many situations in my BM spec with my Devilsaur. But when I can switch to MM, a spec that I have absolutely no experience with, and see my DPS jump… I can’t argue the point any more.

  32. Gnorf says:

    Thanks, Frost, for getting experimental.

  33. Frostheim says:

    The idea behind going to the dummies was also to measure the maximum dps potential of the raid, including healer and tank offspecs (important to know for when we’re over). We told people that we’d be doing two attempts, and so several people tried different rotations/gear on each attempt, taking advantage of the opportunity to test things themselves.

    The other hunter on there is still gearing up, and I know she’s learning a new rotation :)

    In a perfect world we’d have been able to sit there at the target dummies and do the tests over and over and over. However, while this would have been great for getting solid BM vs MM info for me, after a couple of tests there wasn’t much value to the raid team as a whole. About the only thing we could learn then was dps consistency (good players will do very, very close to the same dps attempt to attempt, while less-skilled players will vary a lot).

    So once we exhausted the info we wanted to get from the raid, as much as I’d have liked to get more data, the good of the raid team as a whole had to come first ;)

  34. Talimin says:

    I am inclined to agree with your reasoning regardless of the RNG.

    Pre 5% Buff I hit 11k DPS in 10 man Festergut as MM with gear slightly worse than I have right now. I’ve passed 11k several times on Korralon which is the closest thing to a Patchwerk imo.

    My best BM parse I have ever gotten raiding was 8.5k DPS in a 25 man raid where I was able to take advantage of Multi-Shot on ads for Jarraxus.

    Some people are simply content with being good enough and some are even content being mediocre.

    As for the raiders saying silly things like “BM4Life” and “I only raid BM, it is what I enjoy
    , have you EVER actually spent the time to learn SV and MM? BM is loathesomely boring in comparison at the endgame where besides keeping your sting up the only attacks you do are MS and SS.

    Some people content on being subpar is fine as long as they aren’t in a progression raid. When they cross those lines they enter my crosshairs :P

  35. AFK Rogue says:

    Personaly I enjoyed the testing on the target dummy not just for the chance to get a look at my new stuff raid buffed but also for the show we got to put on for IF.

    Of course some of the people were jerks about it but we had about every buff combo already on the dummy so they couldn’t mess up our stats and as far as number diffrences I chalk it up to RNG pretty much either way I enjoyed being part of the testing.

    On a personal note I am a Combat Rogue now I know Assassin Rogues are currently the highest DPS but I stay Combat to give an extra raid buff for everyone else that isn’t given anywhere else but an Arms Warrior. So I understand the BM / MM arguement I like Assassin better to be honest but I play Combat to maximize the Raid abbility to me thats very much like the BM and MM thing BM may be “good enough” but your choseing not to help the raid as much as you can and I personaly wouldn’t make that choice but then again its an outside view.

    /afk

  36. Femaledwarf says:

    Interesting testing Frostheim. I wish you had made a combat log of this test and posted it though, it’d be nice to be able to look at the details of what happened on the two tests.

    I’m a little confused about your statement about regemming. What did you regem to for your BM test? I see you seem to be agil gemmed in armory and the impression I’d gotten was that agil gemming was the way to go for BM these days as well, at least at higher gear levels.

  37. Buurmen says:

    @Justin Thats why i mentioned that bm wouldn’t be viable for raiding new content, at the new stuff, mistakes are made and wipes are normal so you want to output the very best you possibly can. I would get pissed at a bm hunter when we keep on wiping. He deliberately brings less than he could to the raid. He might out dps an undergeared raid member but at least that undergeared member tried his very best with the gear he has.

    Doing a toc25 or something is no new content so i wouldn’t be bothered to qq when I see a red pet there.

    I actually should put on a pink dress when a bm hunter enters a raid, when I get a comment, i can say I just like to raid in it, just as the bm hunter likes his rotation and fancy pet :P I think I would get flamed hihi

  38. Brigwyn says:

    I’m glad that Rip mentioned that in actuality Frost proved that BM is completely raid viable which was his point the first time, just not optmimum. And Frost has stated time and time again that he’s in for the Only Class Max DPS Allowed philosophy.

    However, I will say that I know competative raiding guilds that will allow offspecs even during their progression raids and will often encourage it depending on the circumstance.

    So I’ll just say thanks Frost for pointing out that:

    BM IS RAID VIABLE just not raid optimum.

    /salute ;)
    (And no that’s not sarcasm, it’s honest and sincere.)

  39. Brigwyn says:

    I need to clarify that last point. (DANG! lack of edit button)

    That should read as guild. Since honestly it’s just one guild that is currently ranked #1 on Khadgar. We’ll be talking to them this weekend! :)

    Thx again. sorry for the promo, but wanted to explain it was suppose to be singular not plural guild.

  40. Ryuki says:

    I’m sure he regem using attack power gems over using agil ones, because for BM hunters they get more out of attack power due to attack power transfering over to our pets. I’ve never once heard of BM hunters getting more out of agil at the high gear level then they do form AP. It’s always been AP for BM and agil for MM/SV.

  41. Frostheim says:

    Actually BM hunters do want to switch over to agility gems at higher gear levels.

    As hunters get better and better gear, their pets contribute a smaller and smaller percentage of their dps. At some point, it’s more important to boost that hunter dps more rather than contribute more to the pet.

  42. Kalakakin says:

    First off I want to say that I used to LOVE being a BM hunter. I am one of those hunters that feel it is more important to be the best contributer to a raid then anything else. During the BC/ Kara days I was actually SV just for the utility / buffs that were, typically, needed for a very successful run (actually had a hard time talking the GM into letting me run BM for the dps I was so good at SV … LOL).

    I am not sure what it is like on any other realm but on ours dps are a dime a dozen. If you wish to be in raids as much as possible then you HAVE to be best that you can be when it comes to dps numbers. When I see an app to our guild, we are a raiding guild, from a hunter that has no gems or enchants (or next to none) and lists BM as their spec I tell our GM that he/she is not someone we need in our raids. As MM or SV it shows, to serious raiding guilds, that you are willing to do what it takes to be a very successful raider. I will admit, though, that I am one of those that wish that BM would come back as a serious raiding spec but I believe that will never happen. So those that wish to be stubborn and not move on from BM to SV / MM for serious raiding … How good is your tank or healer toon?

  43. Kalakakin says:

    (Quickly realizes how his last comment in his post looked … ducks and hides from being marked ) …. LOL

  44. Eshìn says:

    I love BM… I miss it dearly, what I don’t miss is getting worked on a pet-unfriendly fight. With the buffs to avoidance we don’t have as much to worry about pet death but even then some fights in ICC are not pet friendly, remember the tests Frostheim ran were in the “Ideal” situations with a non-moving non ability target. Even in heroic dungeons this situation is rare, but lets for the sake of argument throw that out the window.

    Lets assume that Frostheim’s DPS numbers were 100% equal, magic happened the RNG is eliminated and all is wonderful in the World of Huntercraft. One point remains and seems that does not seem to be up for debate is that a LARGE chunk of a BM’s DPS comes from the pet whereas MM and SV are not the case so lets use the following numbers.

    BM Hunter 60% + 40% Pet
    MM/SV Hunter 85% + 15% Pet (I’m rounding up Here for me it averages around 12%)

    Now lets take these numbers into a raid, and see what kinds of fight work not against the hunter but the pet.

    -Anything that requires your pet to chase things around, or switch between targets (travel time is no-dps time for Dino-Kitty where all you have to do is switch targets and keep pew-pewin).
    -A boss attack that splats your pet quickly. (Remember your pets health is not usually high up on the healers list)
    -A boss that flies up into the air. (Unless your pet learns the “Jump” ability, or becomes really tall they are not in the game where as ranged you can keep hitting them)

    There are many fights in ICC where this is the case.

    -Deathwhisper Phase 1(lots of target switching, though you can leave the pet on the boss the adds should be a higher DPS priority and as BM your damage output is lower then your MM/SV brothers on them without your pet)
    -The Airship (hows that jumping from ship to ship working out for you?)
    -Putricide (You should be sicking your pets on the ooze to get em down ASAP if you leave em on Putricide you are being a a bad hunter)
    -BloodQueen (she flies for some of it, does anyone know if your pet gets the bonus from the bite?)
    -Dreamwalker (add switching, get those burning skeletons down ASAP)
    -Sindragosa (Have to have really good pet management but even then travel time between boss cubes and back to boss)
    -Lich King… (Stopping someone from getting dropped of the edge, get em kitty… (splat) sorry)

    Some may argue that it’s all about pet management and for a BM hunter I agree but even the best pet management in the world can’t change the boss abilities and the fact that your pet is 40% or more of your DPS. Even if those abilities are short (such as Bqueens air phase) those little parts start to add up over time, and the truth is those “little bits” are much smaller for MM/SV hunter then for a BM hunter. Mix that in with the reality of the DPS gap between SV/MM and BM and suddenly every little bit of damage really begins to count and you start to see where BM falls short in raids.

    Suddenly Instead of being near the top DPS as a hunter and being able to give some breathing room if something bad happens (a DPS dies) you now have become “That Guy” that the other top raiders have to compensate for as well as being able to cover for any surprises that may occur. In other words, being “just good enough” is in reality “I am not able to do anymore then is asked of me.”

    Is a BM raid viable? Well yes… but so is every other class in the game, if by “Viable” can you bring any class/spec to a raid and as long as the 24 other people do their job succeed yes. But if by “Viable” you mean: At the top of their game, doing the best DPS possible, being versatile in emergencies, and making sure the fight is pet friendly. Then no, as much as I miss it, BM is not Raid Viable.

    -Eshin

  45. Eshìn says:

    (p.s. sorry bout the wall of text, seemed much shorter in the reply box)

  46. Florimel says:

    I was a BM hunter for years, and raided up through the start of Ulduar that way. I loved the playstyle and the big red pet and didn’t want to change — and I enjoyed making the most of the spec even after the big nerfs of 3.0.8. My guild was not high end and I was able to be at or near the top of the chart. But then Ulduar came and I had to spec for replenishment — and I found out how fun SV was. And then I tried MM and liked it even better — and since I am in a better raid now, I can’t cut it with BM, but as MM I am still in the top 5 and that is where I like it! So, even a die-hard BM hunter like me found that the other specs are lots of fun too, and I am doing more for the raid, so what could be better than that?

    @Frost I am curious, what did you regem and reenchant for BM? As others have mentioned, BM goes from gemming AP to Agi to ArPen with gear improvements. Unless your gear is around T7.5-T8, I would think Agi would be better for you even as BM, and if your ArPen is at 550 you are moving into Fractured Cardinal Ruby territory. I just got my 4th piece of T10 this week and found that ArPen was better for both my MM and my BM spec. (I use Shandara’s spreadsheet at EJ to determine these things.)

    I found your test very interesting and wish I could get my raid to do something like it.

  47. Snoggi says:

    Is there a reason why Agility does more ofr your dps at high gear levels? On the surface, it would seem that AP gives you twice the dps that agility does, minus the crit. How does it work?

  48. Rayne says:

    At the end of the day (or raid) everything comes down to flexibility… the ability to change when a given situation calls for it. I believe you would be hard pressed to find any hunter who doesn’t love their BM spec. Most of us leveled with it and have an affection for its effective simplicity and grace. The reality is that BM does not offer the DPS opportunities needed for end game raiding at this time. Any serious raider must admit that the key to being successful requires the ability to change and adapt… spec changing is just as much a part of that as anything else. As a DPS class, our focus is on doing damage and as much of it as possible. If it comes down to a question of “enough DPS”, then quite simply it’s never “enough”.

  49. Corwyn says:

    I think that the important thing is NOT personal DPS. I think the important thing is raid damage (AKA how fast does the boss die). With that in mind I added the top 14 DPSers (note the lists have 14/15 raiders respectively) in your target dummy numbers and got:
    MM: 33782791
    BM: 35209546
    (hopefully someone will double check my addition)

    So if this test show something, it is that the BM should be PREFERRED by raids! Or that bringing a MM hunter provides personal glory at the EXPENSE of the raid.

  50. Frostheim says:

    Um…. huh?

    The dps of other people is irrelevant. The raid had all raid buffs and debuffs active in both attempts. The differences in other people’s dps was mostly due to them testing different rotations/gear, as well as a difference in skill and RNG.

  51. Jonathanjams says:

    LOOK. Lets end this discussion here. MM will pull more dps in ICC PERIOD. I am skilled in BM and MM. BM makes closer dps to the MM spec in ICC in real fights. I am currently making around 500 dps less in my BM spec in ICC. Thats not much but enough to make me give up my BM spec for the sake of the raid. I runn ICC 10/25 EVERY week and have tested this time and time again. I even tryd a SV spec (sukd) it was not as good by a long shot either due to my play or spec wise. In closing MM if you want to pull your wieght. BM if you want the nestalgia (sp?)

  52. Michell says:

    I am curious what pet you used for the test – the same one?

  53. Onyxhorn says:

    I know it’s old, but thanks for doing the due diligence on this, Frost. As a hate-drinking Prot Warrior who’s levelling a BM hunter mostly for pvp and fun, though maybe the occasional farm run or what not, I’ve followed your reports on the state of Huntering very closely. The highly controversial Scattered Shots post had me thinking that while the divide between BM and MM at the bleeding edge of performance is 30%, I found it hard to believe that it would be that wide across the board. Using your recount data, for example, putting out on average 8500 dps in MM, I was fairly confident that you’d be able to pump out more than 5950 in BM (no hard science behind any of that, mind you, just hypothesizing.) I thought about mentioning it as I read that but then thought.. no, keep going. He may yet address those same thoughts…and lo and behold!

    Keep up the great work, man – both here and at WoW.com. Very very helpful stuff, even for those of us who moo when we shoot.