#0 - July 24, 2009, 9:38 a.m.
1. Starting out and levelling
3. Talent builds and glyphs
4. Gear and enchants
5. Shot rotations and macros
6. Help! My DPS is really terrible
1. Starting out and levelling
Q: What is the best (Horde/Alliance) race for a hunter?
A: It depends what you want to do. For PvE, the 1% crit to bows/guns provided by the troll and dwarf racials is quite strong, although the orc +5% pet damage racial is considered to be stronger especially as BM and the draenei +1% hit racial is probably the best for endgame raiding. For PvP, Alliance players might want to go for a night elf for increased dodge and Shadowmeld, and Horde players for an orc for the stun reduction. However racials are relatively minor effects, and the most important thing is to choose something you feel comfortable with.
Q: What is the best levelling build?
A: The easiest and fastest way to level is to invest heavily in the Beast Mastery talent tree. This will allow your pet to do much more of the work for you and ensure that he's the one that gets hit all the time. This is important because he can be healed up much more quickly than you can, enabling you to get on with the next thing sooner. There are also talents that improve your movement speed in this tree which you should take, as moving to quest locations takes up a lot of time while levelling which can be reduced.
Q: OK I understand that, but what talents exactly?
A: 10-14 Endurance Training, 15-17 Thick Hide, 18-19 Focused Fire, 20-21 Pathfinding, 22-26 Unleashed Fury, 27-31 Ferocity, 32 Intimidation, 33-34 Spirit Bond, 35-36 Bestial Discipline, 37-39 Frenzy, 40 Bestial Wrath, 41-43 Catlike Reflexes, 44 Frenzy, 45-49 Serpent's Swiftness, 50 The Beast Within, 51-53 Cobra Strikes, 54 Longevity, 55-59 Kindred Spirits, 60 Beast Mastery. After this start building up points in the Marksmanship tree and get Go for the Throat as soon as you can.
Q: I am bored of levelling as BM, can I level as survival or marks instead?
A: Sure. You can level with any combination of talents or in fact no talents at all. You will level more slowly, but you may have more fun, if you enjoy a challenge.
Q: What sort of stats should I look for on gear while levelling?
A: Agility, attack power, and crit rating are your priorities. Ignore anything with strength on it and melee weapons with an on-hit effect. A somewhat small proportion of your armour and stamina (35% for armour, 30% for stamina) is inherited by your pet and can therefore make them a bit more sturdy, however as long as you are attacking mobs of the same or similar level of yourself this is not necessary. Finally, intellect increases your mana pool and mana regeneration rate which is good for reducing downtime between fights.
Q: What twink enchants can I use on the heirloom bow and weapons to help me levelling?
A: You cannot put a scope on the Charmed Ancient Bone Bow until you are of a sufficient level to use the scope, reducing its utility significantly. Although you can get a high level alt to apply the scope, the bonus it confers is unusable until you are of a sufficient level to apply it yourself. You can however use Enchant Weapon - Agility on two Balanced Heartseekers for +30 agility.
Q: When can I get a pet?
A: At level 10, via a quest given by the hunter trainer.
Q: What pets are there in the game?
A: See Petopia http://www.wow-petopia.com/
Q: My pet doesn't have any talents, I thought he did?
A: He gains his first talent point at level 20 and one every 4 levels after that.
Q: What are these pet families and what are they for?
A: Much like talent trees, families represent different focuses or flavours of pet. Pets can only have talents from one family, however. Tenacity talents are oriented towards tanking with stamina, armour and threat improvements. Ferocity talents are focused more on doing damage. Cunning pets have talents that improve control and mitigation against stuns and the like.
Q: What is the best pet for levelling?
A: Any pet in the Tenacity family will be fine. Bears are often chosen especially at low levels because of their abundance and their swipe AoE ability. Crocolisks also have a Thorns-like AoE ability enabling them to keep good threat on multiple targets.
Q: I am a blood elf, there are no tenacity pets in my area?
A: There are turtles you can tame in the lake just west of Tor'watha.
Q: Can I rename my pet?
A: Yes you can, find a friendly scribe.
Q: How can I learn new skills for my pet?
A: Your pet automatically learns new levels of skills as he levels up.
Q: I left a pet in the stable for ages and he is really low level, should I just abandon him?
A: Pets will level to at most 5 levels below you automatically when tamed or retrieved from the stable, so just level him up.
Q: What is the fastest way to level a new level 75 pet at level 80?
A: Do heroic dungeons.
Q: What happened to loyalty? I hear my pet won't run away any more?
A: That's right, there is no more loyalty. However your pet can still become unhappy if you don't feed him and he will do less damage if so. All hunters should get Glyph of Mend Pet which allows you to use Mend Pet instead of food to keep them happy.
Q: Why does my pet get smaller when tamed?
A: All beasts become the size appropriate for other beasts of the same level when tamed. Some beast mobs had a size modifier applied when they were a mob to make them artificially bigger than other beasts of the same level, they lose this modifier when tamed.
Q: I heard of someone taming an elite pet and he stayed with his elite frame when he was a pet?
A: This was a bug when the hunter named the pet the same as some elite mob, and the elite dragon frame would never show for the hunter, only other players.
Q: Are there tameable beasts with special abilities that other pets of the same family don't have?
A: No, all beasts of the same family and level have the same stats and abilities (barring talents).
Q: I have an exotic pet, but I respecced out of BM. How do I get the exotic pet out of the stable to abandon him?
A: You can't, except by speccing back to BM. However just ticket a GM and they will happily remove the pet for you if you don't want to do that.
Q: My pet always seems to lose aggro quickly, is this normal?
A: Make sure that the pet has Growl on autocast. If the pet is still not making enough threat, make sure he has enough focus to use his abilities normally (spend at least one point in Go for the Throat).
3. Talent builds and glyphs
Q: What is the best spec for levelling?
A: See section 1: Starting out and levelling.
Q: What is the best spec for endgame raiding?
A: It tends to vary slightly with every patch release as different things are balanced. It also depends on whether your raid wants you to buff them, or whether they have other members who provide those buffs and want you to do all-out damage. At the time of writing, survival is strongest in starter and medium raiding, and marksmanship starts to take over once you get T8 gear with a lot of armour penetration. BM is currently slightly inferior to the other two trees, but viability has improved with the 3.2 patch. See below for the various options.
Q: What is the best raiding survival build?
A: If your raid needs replenishment do this: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cZ0eVooZx0ci0cIhedAhsd:NAfzM0 (this also gives Aimed Shot for a good debuff if there is no Arms warrior, if you do not need this move the point from Aimed Shot into IAotH and replace Serpent Sting glyph with Glyph of the Hawk). If you have enough replenishment from other sources in the raid and do not need the MS debuff, do this: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cxoZ0eVoZx0ci0cIhedVhsz:NAfzM0
Q: What is the best raiding marksmanship build?
A: If there are no other hunters providing Improved Hunter's Mark: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cxbZ0eAsRhzGIoguqox00b:IfAMz - if there are at least 3 hunters in the raid, swap the Kill Shot glyph for Glyph of Hunter's Mark. If your raid needs the +10% raid damage buff: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cxbZ0eVsRhzGIsguqox00b:IfAMz ; if you don't need either of these: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cxbZ0eVsRhzGIcguiox00b:IfAMz .
Q: What is the best raiding BM build?
A: Use http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#ctbMztxRwu0est0emoZx:VbiMz with a Devilsaur pet specced as follows: http://www.wowhead.com/?petcalc#cud00fc00hoRb
Q: What glyphs should I use?
A: They are included in the builds I gave.
Q: What is the best PvP spec?
A: I have no idea.
Q: What about a melee spec?
Q: Pet tanking spec?
A: Something like http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#cVbhzggRwzhest0eVb:VcMzM and http://www.wowhead.com/?petcalc#0s0G0rGzbz0b should work well.
Q: These specs are wrong, I saw a different max DPS build at EJ?
A: These specs are intended as a relatively bulletproof guideline for starting and intermediate raiders to get you going immediately and make you not look like a nub. The exact talents which will produce maximum DPS for you depend on your exact gear, enchants, gems, race etc. Ultimately, if you need a better answer than a simple one-size-fits-all template build, you will need to find and use a DPS spreadsheet, correctly configured with your gear and stats.
Q: I can't use the spreadsheet, I am on a Mac/don't have enough money to buy MS Office?
A: Rivkah has kindly provided a webpage adaptation of the spreadsheet which you can access here: http://www.femaledwarf.com/