I was not one of the lucky ones who made it into Beta. There were also some complications when it came to downloading the PTR. So when 4.0.1 was launched, this was my first taste of Hunter Focus. My first impression was:  This will take some time to get used to, but Mikey, I like it.

I have yet to find myself focus starved, like when I am energy starved on my kitty druid, which was my biggest worry. As you can see, my main spec for now has become Beast Master. Granted I could change my mind later on, but for now I find it quite fun.  It’s exciting to see my Bear tank just as good as a Warrior and I love to watch my big red pet tear through casters and rogues in PvP.

My newest project is working through a nice Power Auras layout  to retrain my brain and muscle memory. I’m not afraid to admit  there are times where I find myself spamming steady shot on accident.  BM (as well as the other specs) feel more like a true shot priority than rotation. I find Power Auras to be an excellent teaching tool for breaking old habits.

Last Monday was the first opportunity to play with my new BM spec and Huntery toys. Before 4.0.1, I would float within the top 5 DPSers in the raid. Now my DPS is about middle of the pack. Keep in mind, my play style is still pretty chaotic, but I can manage to stay competitive with the other two hunters in raid – when I’m not taking a pyroblast up the nose.

While it may feel our DPS has taken a hit, it’s important to remember that we are no longer end game. Beastmaster and Survival have to wait till level 81 for Cobra Shot to replace Steady. And we all need to be patient for Aspect of the Fox, especially for those who enjoy PvP. I will say, in talking with other Hunters, the worse part of BM is how Kill Command works right now. With Kill Command as BM’s signature shot, one simply can’t use the ability  if your pet is not on already on the heels of a mob or if you’re out of range. I recently discovered a post  from a Hunter who pleaded with Blizzard to fix the current 5 yard range it has. Thankfully Blizzard listened and had this to say:

We made a couple of fixes to make Kill Command more usable. The pet will no longer check for range or facing since there is already a check in place when the hunter tries to use the ability. This should make Kill Command feel less laggy and should never burn the cooldown or Focus without executing the attack. See how it feels in the next beta or PTR build.  -Ghostcrawler

Yes! Thank you Ghostcrawler!

While I still work out the kinks of my UI, Power Auras,  shot priority, and continue to cry over the lack of updates to my favorite Addon – I’m confident that with practice my shots and DPS will work itself out.  I still enjoy my Hunter, very much, and look forward  playing as a Hunter the expansion.