Friday, February 27, 2009

SV Respec Kit for Dummies, Part 1 of 3

PVE and end-game raiding as a SV hunter is not hard. It's a little tougher than BM, with more movement, but if you want to do some respectable DPS, AND have fun doing it, survival's a great way to go. Many people have told me they find it intimidating, particularly if they've been BM or MM all the way. Why is this for dummies? First, because I did all the research before I respecced, checked out every talent, planned my gear, practiced, modified my macros, and STILL made a ton of mistakes along the way (yes, I'm still making them even now). Second, because you will be using not just dummies like me to learn, but the training dummies in capital cities.

I'm going to summarize what I learned, slough off all the unnecessary stuff, and give you some exercises -- yes, homework -- that you can use to practice and get better very quickly. You can vary the directions below with excellent results if you are willing to take the time to understand what you are doing, as with anything. The best way to learn however, is to simply jump right in and start exploding things with DoTs. Still intimidated? Fear not, hunter friend, the barrier to entry on SV is lower than you might think.

Here's a quick plan to get you going right away on SV. I have simplified many of the SV concepts; most of them are more complicated under the hood, but I don't want to scare you off, so here you go.


Pick 1-18-52 or 6-14-51 . If your haste is above 10%, pick the former, below 10%, pick the latter. Don't agonize, you can always respec again for refinements.

Once you've respecced, retrain your skills. I can't emphasize this enough. I raided with Explosive Shot rank 1 for many weeks, maybe even for months. You'll prefer to have Explosive Shot Rank 4.


Your majors for the majority of raid situations: Glyph of Steady Shot, Glyph of Serpent Sting, Glyph of Improved Aspect of the Hawk. Your minors stay the same.


Hey, awesome! You're wearing hunter gear! Congratulations, you don't need to change anything.

More extended discussion: all the same things that were important as MM and BM are important as SV. Hit rating and getting to the hit cap is the most important thing. Do you read BRK? Did you know that your pet's hit rating rounds DOWN to the nearest whole number? Yeah... that means, if you have 262 hit rating and no points in Focused Aim, you may have 7.99% hit, but your pet has 7.0% hit.

Your gear will transfer smoothly between specs, but the difference is the stats that you will come to see as "frosting". That is, you should be stacking Hit and Agi, and don't forget Int. Regardless of your spec, 3/3 Careful Aim means you skip the rogue gear and put on hunter gear! The "frosting" on your hit/agi/int cake for SV contains a delicious creamy mixture of haste and crit. Sure, I still equip the Incisor Fragment because I haven't gotten anything better for my second trinket slot. Armor Pen is good frosting, but it's the lesser imitation vanilla kind.

Most people get why crit is important, but why stack haste? The short answer is, Explosive Shot and Steady Shot are like oil and water -- they don't mix, they don't play well together. When you stack enough haste to bring the speed of Steady Shot down to the GCD, you get a perfect emulsion, a mouthwatering vinaigrette of ESx1+SSx3 that dresses a boss salad like nobody's business.

In summary, you don't have to make any changes immediately, especially if you've taken 5/5 Improved Aspect of the Hawk. But as you go, consider a haste gem here, an Agi-instead-of-AP enchant there, a sidegrade piece of gear that gets extra haste or crit.


Your flask stays the same for a raid. You might prefer to switch your food buff from a Feast (or other AP) to Agi food. Your pet food buff stays the same.

To be continued....

1 comment:

WoW Account said...

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