Gaming

Marksmanship Hunter: Stepping Up My Game

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In the (many) years that I’ve been playing World of Warcraft (WoW), I’ve always been afraid of the higher level content–from raids, heroic dungeons, and even some achievements. I simply avoided group content unless someone I personally knew was playing with me, despite many great experiences with complete strangers.

For Legion, I’ve been focusing on my Hunter, instead of my usual Druid. I even changed race and gender to go back to my favorite combo (female Night Elf) so I’d feel more “in tune” with my character. To start, I favored my last specialization: Beast Mastery.

Beast Mastery was lot of fun in Draenor, and it’s super fun in Legion. Hati is a fantastic companion, and being able to change her form makes it all the more exciting to customize your presence as a Hunter. Plus, who doesn’t feel super badass with a huge, legendary gun? That plus two beasts on either side? You feel invincible!

That said, I wanted to try Survival. Ooh boy did I love it, even more than I imagined I would! The awesome spear, the close action, the piercing DPS. I thought I had found my ultimate match, and even planned on sticking with Survival over Beast Mastery.

However, as I read Icy Veins guides, I realized I wasn’t going to get my damage per second (DPS) as high as I wanted without changing specializations to my last choice–Marksmanship.

Why the hesitation? Why was it my last choice? Well, my perception was that it would be too slow, that I would get hit often, and that I wouldn’t be able to master the move rotation. All of those fears have vanished in the last few months as I’ve focused entirely on upping my DPS for Marksmanship. I’ve allocated some artifact points to try to keep up my Survival and Beast Mastery weapons (for options, if nothing else); but I’ve mainly been grinding hard for Marksmanship, something I never expected I’d do.

To clarify–it is definitely not slow, I don’t get hit often, and I have zero issues with the rotation. As with any specialization, there’s a period of adaptation and a little bit of struggle, but it’s easily become my most comfortable spec. I now know exactly how to take down my enemy as quickly as possible with minimal damage on myself.

With this newfound confidence in my Hunter abilities, I’ve dismissed previous anxieties about higher level content and simply pushed into it. I’ve been doing random Heroic Dungeons daily, Raids whenever it benefits me, and am going after achievements I didn’t think I’d ever accomplish. In my quest to have better DPS, I’ve broken through barriers I had up for myself. I’ve explored all three Hunter specs, discovered all Artifact knowledge available to me, and completely changed my perception of the game, the Hunter class in general, and my own personal capabilities. After years of playing, I finally feel like an actual, full-fledged WoW player. Raids? Whatever. You want to do a Mythic Dungeon? Sure, alright, I can take it on. Legendary Creature that the Wardens want me to hunt down? You got it.

For anyone who plays comfortably in a cozy spot of familiarity, I can’t recommend branching out enough. Try something new, whether it’s a class or specialization. See what you’re capable of!

The only downfall? My video game ego is getting so big, I think I might try For Honor. HA! We’ll see what happens . . .

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