The Problem with the BM Rotation

Posted: by Frostheim

I’ve talked before about how the BM rotation feels too simple and easy in the current beta incarnation. I was a bit frustrated with a lot of comments that a simple rotation was fine as long as the dps was the same (and more on that concept tomorrow). I’m concerned I somehow failed to explain just how simple the rotation is.

Thus I went and put together a simple one-button macro that will take care of everything you need in your BM rotation, including cooldowns. Hopefully this explains the issue better than my words could : )

Now, technically this rotation is all you need to do — moving or standing still — to get within a few percent of your optimal dps as BM. To really max your dps, you’ll manually hit a couple extra cobra shots before hitting big red pet and just use the macro the other 90% of the time.

I should point out that this is in fact even simpler than the BC one-button macro, because back in BC we still had to reapply Serpent Stings outside the macro.

Also, it’s possible that at higher levels than we can now reach it’ll be a good idea for BM to take improved steady shot (whether this will be worth it depends on what the final Cobra vs Steady Shot damage works out to be at level 80). In that case BM will have to hit steady shot twice outside of the macro — thus needing two whole buttons : )

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  1. Corwyn says:

    Please, please, please, don’t say that this condition of beast mastery means that BM shouldn’t do as much damage as a more complicated Marksman rotation!

    Instead say that is is boring and needs something to make it more fun; not mindlessly more complicated, more fun. More fun, NOT less damage.

    Thank You Kindly.

  2. Ounitron says:

    Looking at the early beta talent trees i had such hope. I keep telling myself there’s still time, and the pet pass. yess, the pet pass preciousssss.

  3. Hornshot says:

    I’m a bit torn on this.

    I don’t think that I like the idea of complexity for the sake of complexity, but I do think that players who are more adept at their class & spec should be rewarded for it.

    In my mind I’d like to see all of the specs have a relatively simple rotation with approximately equal value that would give you %80-90 of max possible DPS. The additional %10-20 could be gained by additional complexity in the rotation.

    I know that this is possibly the way it is now, but I’m not familiar with all of the rotations anymore (SV, for instance). =)

  4. Novijen says:

    I think for the solution for making it not able to be macroed to one button would be to put Kill Command on the GCD. Personally, I think Kill Command should not have a cooldown reduction so our rotation would be sort of like Survival’s. Maybe they could tack on the Kill Com’s cd reduction to Bestial Wrath, or make Rhumba come back to replace Cobra Shots.

    All Blizz needs to do is to make a couple of procs other than Cobra’s pet crits.

  5. DarkDragoon says:

    i have to agree with frost. BM really need something to up its interactivity and give the player more thought when they are fighting. simple rotations and easymode tend to attract lazy and unskilled players that just want to top the charts but want to put forth no effort to learn their class to its fullest extent. those people are called huntards, and they give us all a bad name. lets try to rid the name huntard from wow, not give more potential for people to use it.

  6. DarkDragoon says:

    also @novijen: a few procs wont really give bm enough extra thought if its anything like the master marksman talent for marks. really there needs to be an extra attack thrown in now and then (like say some synergy between cobra and steady shot so perhaps you would want to use them back to back for instance, maybe one increases the damage of the other for its next cast or your cobra lowers the cast time of steady by a certain amount)

    having to think about what button you are going to hit next and plan for a few shots ahead would work just as well, and not be quite so hectic.

  7. Enthis says:

    Ugh, this needs to be fixed asap.

    I really really REALLY don’t want to go back to the days of burning crusade.
    Spamming 1 button over and over again isn’t appealing AT ALL.

    Blizz, we can haz a bit more complexity plox?

  8. Jindrax says:

    Two buttons? No can do, sorry. jk

    If they’re going to make BM’s rotation as simple as a macro or two, they better bring back Rhumba to make it look less shameful as it is(“Who cares if it’s a faceroll spec, you’re eating snakes!”).

  9. Amorafauna says:

    To me it seems the problem is not the abilities, it is that we don’t have to manage our resource like the other 2 specs.
    from what I saw in frost video , he never had to put any thought into his focus levels.

    IMHO if you make it so that if you spam that one button macro you will run out of focus , it makes the macro not valid for good dps.

    something like a talent like this.

    chimera tactics

    firing cobra/steady shot gives you a stackable buff for 10 secs , that causes you next cobra/steady shot to cause x more dmg , but regen 3 less focus.

    or make the cobra/steady shot buffs separate so you have to switch back and forth

    hell you could even throw arcane shot and kill command in there at increased focus costs , if you do them on separate buffs.

    Anyhow I do think they have to complicate things a ton , just force BM to have to manage this wonderful new resource mechanic we have , and that should fix it all.

  10. Frostheim says:

    I think Amorafauna is right on — the biggest issue with the rotation is unlike any other spec BM doesn’t need to pay any attention to their focus. This happens because their main damaging ability has no cooldown — so it can just be spammed every time there’s enough focus.

    I think BM needs three things: a cooldown on Kill Command, another shot in their rotation (which a cooldown on KC may take care of), and another ability that involves some kind of decision-making (ie: can’t just use it every time it’s available, but there are better and worse times to use it).

  11. Thalgus says:

    Maybe a completely noobish question, but what was that in the /cast Focus Fire line of your macro?

    Thanks in advance

  12. spoodigity says:

    Is anyone else somewhat concerned it took over a minute for cobra strikes to proc? I don’t know I don’t raid with BM that often.

  13. Ottanok says:

    I hope they will remove the /point animation everytime Kill Command is used… it’s fight time, not emote spamming!

  14. David says:

    Here’s an idea…
    If Bm is going to reduce Kill Command to no cd, then maybe the same talent should give arcane shot a 6 sec cd, but it also increases the damage by 200% or something. That way arcane shot would become our Special shot and Kill command would burn off our excess focus. It would put a bit of thought into the rotation to make sure we always have focus for Arcane shot.

  15. ImaJackAs says:

    Frostheim you really are trying to dig a hole for yourself…

    Take any buff gracefully and stfu and dont complain about it…

    wtf? IS WRONG WIOTH YOU!?!?!?!!?!?!??!

    OOOOOO blizzard look you made bm to simple

    QQ QQ make it harder…

  16. John says:

    Frostheim please tell me why don’t you use arcane shot and serpent sting in the video? Is the damage per focus ratio bad in comparison to spamming cobra? I’m not in the beta otherwise i’d be testing this myself…

  17. SlayrAbraxas says:

    @John He did use Serpent Sting. He fired off that and Scorpid Venom then started the “rotation” if you can even call it that. Cobra Shot refreshes Serpent Sting like Chimera does in live, so you never have to manually hit it again after the first time.

  18. Crowyn says:

    @ImaJackAs: you are the reason why I thought that Blizzards real name idea for the forums was a good one.

    Boring “rotations” which do not require any brain power are the death of any fun you could have in a raid or dungeon. That’s why I stopped playing mage in BC. Only if there is actually something to do people wich knowledge and skilsl can stand out.

    With this every BM with the same gear will do the same dps. You have no chance to shine.

  19. ImaJackAs says:


    I have no problem confirming my real ID including where i live.

    Go type in:

    B19 2RT

    On your google map, hello My name is duka cavolli.

    If you want to get clear visuals on my face pls search my name on facebook.

    I have no problem showing my face because im proud of my opinion.

    When clearly they have removed volley and all of our AOE’s, frostheim goes and digs a hole for us by qqing BM rotation is too easy.

    It doesnt make sense for frostheim to “qq” about the removal of volley and finding out that “short range” removal was a bug, but then goes and make a clear point blank vid describing BM as 1 button spec.

    Now does it?

  20. Macerin says:

    Actually those are different issues entirely, removal of volley has nothing to do with situational awareness, which is Frosts main point IMHO, and the actual ability to do AoE damage or even dps at all when in melee range. I agree with Frost to a point in that a boring rotation is definitely not a good thing, it is boring, and what do you do when you get bored? However, I do not see the need to make the situation so complex that you need to be 100% focused and have superhuman reflexes to get the max dps either. There needs to be a compromise between the two philosophies as this is a game, not life or death.

  21. Saelle says:

    @Jackas – Perhaps Frost didn’t say it clearly enough but Blizzard has been pretty clear that they don’t want a repeat of the one button hunter that happened in Burning Crusade. If your spec consists of one button then I will pretty much guarantee you that it was be the worst performing of the 3. I think we’d all prefer to not have a repeat of the underpowered BM hunter but that is going to happen unless another ability is added to the BM rotation. BRK said pretty much the same thing when he was on the Hunting Party Podcast. Both he and Frost are working to make the BM spec better but the huntards among us can’t seem to figure this out (or just want to play a high dps easy mode class which is just wishful thinking).

  22. Skarn says:

    No spec should be able to use a one-button macro and be effective. That’s just plain terrible game design. Hopefully, Blizzard is holding off on significant BM changes until the pet patch hits.

  23. Quesly says:

    well i guess bm is back to being the drinking bird spec like bc

  24. Bindura says:

    Blizz admitted that abilities that are just macro’d into other shots (i.e. Silencing Shot or Rune Strike) are considered failures in the game design as they require no thought into their use. So silencing shot’s damage was removed and Rune Strike has been put on the GCD.

    Another admitted failure by Blizz was resource management needs to matter and the healing model of Wrath was a complete failure as healers only had to worry about throughput and never about mana, so healing has changed, rage is being normalized etc.

    Keeping all this in mind, along with the stated intentions of Cata, of more fun choices with talents/abilites and choices are going to matter or matter more, Blizz have managed to design a class/spec that can be played by macroing all their meaningful abilities into a single macro, which allows the player to completely ignore their resource/choices on how to spend that resource and still be effective.

    Wow! and the Dev’s said BM was a failed spec in Wrath? Best spec for leveling, PvP and raiding in the early part of Wrath, the spec of choice in arguably one of the toughest raid encounters Yogg+0. And fell so far behing that they are the same as SV in high end PVE, and still winning on the arena tournament realms as beast cleave. It remained the best spec for leveling and solo play throughout, and is agruably one of the best extreme soloing specs across all classes.

    What Blizz have done here is taken the road map from fail to awesomsauce that they laid out at Blizzcon and been reading it in mirror image. The current BM design is everything they consider to have failed with Wrath.

  25. Aylfric says:

    I am disappointed by this and I hope they’ll make a change.

    It seems to me there’s a number of problems. One is that firing so many Cobra Shots means that Serpent Sting NEVER has to be refreshed so that drops out of the rotation.

    The next is totally eliminating the cooldown on Kill Command, so that it becomes the de facto focus dump, not even requiring a GCD. Previously the talent which eliminated the KC cooldown increased crit, I think. It sounds like they might need to revert that or change it to do some increased damage and some cooldown reduction, but still leaving a limit on it. In that case, when BM hunter focus is high, we’d want to fire Arcane Shot.

  26. Poake says:

    Isn’t Focus Fire on the GCD? Wouldn’t that halt the macro?

  27. newguy says:

    what’s the name of the song?

  28. Garumoo says:

    I’d like to see more interaction between the BM hunter hand his pet. Not automatic crap like “when your pet crits you get x% bonus” but extra spells which are actually pet commands, and which have interesting combo effects with our own skills. Similar to how SV can get combo effects from their stings and explosive shots

  29. newhunter says:

    what does it say in the macro after focus fire in the´╗┐ brackets?
    i would like to the macro while im still learning the stick and move + range tactics of hunter.