over at his crazy data mining blog has discovered that of the 5752 level 70 Hunters surveyed, a whopping 7.65% of them are Survival specced
. That's 440 hunters (and a .028 of a hunter, and I'm sure that we've all met those) out of the total. Which is not very many.
So, why be a survival specced
hunter? Clearly to do so makes you a freak, the red-headed stepchild of the hunter world. Or at the very least, a bit different. Well... I wouldn't dare to speak for all survival hunters, but I shall speak for myself.
1. I like to be different.
As Mr Okoloth
has demonstrated, we're a rare breed, us Survival types. Our Beastmastery
and Marksmanship cousins weigh in at 34% and 59% respectively, so are common as muck in comparison with the rarefied
company that is the survival community. My talent choice makes me unusual, and I like that.
2. Survival gives me neat abilities.
As a survival spec hunter, I get to do some really cool things. Chain trapping, the ability to drop a fresh freezing trap before my previous one has expired, is a godsend, and responsible for getting me invites to many heroic runs with people I barely know. When you remember that traps can be used on pretty much every mob in the game, you can see how my CC comes to be well regarded. I can put mobs and other players to sleep. My wyvern
sting is stunning in arena PvP
(and it's a shame that the rest of my performance doesn't quite match); allowing me to send the opposition healer to sleep, whilst my team and I nuke down their dps
. Expose Weakness is a mammoth buff to my raid. 25% of my agility is converted to AP and added to all physical dps'ers
attacks. Also, I get more snakes in my traps, and that is worth the price of admission alone. There are few cooler abilities in the game than the ability to hassle your enemies with a bucketload
of angry multicoloured snakes!
3. My dps
is known to be the hunter dps
spec. When you combine reasonable dps
from the hunter with awesome dps
from the pet, you'll find a hunter talent spec that rules the damage meters
. The well known and respected Big Red Kitty
is BM, and frequently devastates his raid damage meters. Marksmanship hunters get to watch mammoth numbers scroll past when they crit
; which means that their top scores are usually higher than mine. However, I do pretty well in the damage stakes. Sustained dps
of 600-650, with none of the mana
issues of my marksmanship brethren, makes for a reasonably happy hunter. My crit
rate is absurd, when raid buffed, and my agility high, so my AP remains pretty good despite the loss of some of the MM AP buffs. I've certainly never had any complaints about my dps
4. I am stubborn.
I have always liked the idea of the survival tree. I chose the hunter class because I liked the idea of being a ranged physical damage dealer (I usually choose that as my first class in any MMO
). The pet thing is incidental for me; so it was always going to be marksmanship or survival for me. I chose survival, and back in the day it wasn't very good. Our top talent was Lacerate, an attack that "Wounds the target causing them to bleed for 133 damage over 21 sec.
, huh? Gradually, Blizz
improved the tree, adding Wyvern
Sting, and pre
-Burning Crusade, survival was a pretty kicking spec. Then came the agility nerf
. From 2AP for every point of agility, now we had only 1. For a talent tree that had an extra 15% agility added from Lightning Reflexes, this was a big hit to our dps
. But did I spec away from Survival? Did any of these things change my mind? Not a bit of it. I am stubborn, and have stuck with it.
The survival talent tree is pretty well balanced now (with the exception of the penultimate
tier), and is well complemented by lower tiers of the marksman tree. Being a survival hunter may not be trendy, and may not result in that table topping dps
, but for me, from the point of view of fun, it's unbeatable.