Allow Me to Clarify
When making a performance comparison between Marksmanship and Beast Mastery hunters in a raid, be critical in how you compare the two.
In a Karazhan run for his hunter, Big Bear Butt compared the performance of his young Beast Mastery hunter to a Marksmanship hunter in partial epic gear. BBB boasted a solid 664 DPS, while the Marksmanship hunter put out only 514 DPS. While I’m sure his learning of hunter play from BRK contributed to this performance, sometimes a gut instinct is also correct. BBB considered two possibilites how this performance gap could have happened:
- Something is wrong with the player, or
- Something is wrong with the spec (0/41/20).
From the looks of it, Rannan, the Marksmanship hunter, seems to know what he’s doing for PvP when looking at his gear and enchants. He has a 3-set of Gladiator armor, as well as several PvP reward items. Stamina enchants and a Mongoose enchant are commonly seen in characters geared towards this type of play.
Let’s compare the basic hunter stats. Rannan has 1689 RAP when Aspect of the Hawk and Trueshot Aura are active, compared to BBB’s 1313 RAP with only Aspect of the Hawk. However, Rannan also has 303 Agility, while BBB has 413. It was noted that Rannan survived the fight against Prince Malchezaar, but BBB did not. This is evident in that Rannan has nearly twice BBB’s Stamina. A PvE Marksmanship hunter of Rannan’s level should probably have at least mid 300s Stamina instead of 500s.
Finally, take a look at Rannan’s spec. This 0/41/20 build is far from being a PvE build. For one, there are no points in Ranged Weapon Specialization, which is essential in PvE. Improved Stings is definitely a PvP talent, as well as Deflection.
Bottom line is: If Rannan were a PvE hunter with PvE gear and the equivalent PvE enchants, I don’t doubt that he would have been able to out-DPS BBB in that Karazhan run.
However, DPS is not necessarily indicative of a Marksmanship hunter’s performance. Case in point, myself in Magtheridon yesterday. During the attempt where Magtheridon went down, the final damage meter indicated that I was about 5th in DPS (approximately 760), but I stil did the second highest damage, not far behind a Beast Mastery hunter who put out ~820 DPS. The reason? My cat died at the beginning of Phase 2, so I took the time to resurrect and heal her before sending her into the fight (because I need her for Focused Fire to achieve its bonus). So for almost 2 minutes, I did not do any damage to Magtheridon. But yet, I was still able to climb through the damage meters and still contribute a large amount to the raid. This is what Marksmanship hunters can do.
If you take nothing else away from this post, remember that it’s not only about the DPS and damage meters. There are other factors that differentiate a Marksmanship and a Beast Mastery hunter. You’re not comparing two things that are similar. Hunter talent trees aren’t like brothers. They’re more cousins of each other.