It’s Not Just About Gear

Reporter: “Coach, how do you feel about your team’s execution?”

Coach McKay: “I’m in favor of it.”

Okay so I ran 25-man OS last night, and a slightly lesser geared Hunter beat me on the dps meters. Now, it should be noted that I was screwing around with dual-spec and tried Marksman for the Sartharion part of the raid (note to self: TrueShot Aura is a good thing, please use it next time).

I’d post my WWS, but it’s kind of skewed because I ran as both Survival and Marksman, plus it has VoA data which the other hunter wasn’t part of. Nonetheless even if I had stayed Survival for the whole raid he would have edged me out. The b@stard even managed to keep his pet alive the whole fight.

I hear a lot of folks make a big deal about gear, and how if they only had better gear they’d be doing much better dps. Gear is important, there’s no question about that. But gear is only one factor in our dps. It’s the engine in our car, and we as players have to drive that car.

Our skill in executing our shots, priorities and rotations will make a much bigger difference than any one piece of gear will.

Right now Survival has the potential to bring the highest hunter raid dps. This is true only if you are able to manage your cooldowns, time your shots, and take advantage of Sniper Training and Lock and Load.

It requires a lot concentration to pull-off, and is very hard to do without using addons such as PowerAuras, Quartz and Bartender4. A properly executed spec/gear combination with a lower dps potential will do more dps than a poorly executed gear/spec combination with a higher dps potential.

There have been a couple of good articles this week regarding shot rotations/priorities for Hunters. Aspect of the Hare posted an article called “The WotLK Hunter Shot Rotation Compendium” and outDPS posted an article called “Survival Rotation for Patch 3.1!” If you’re struggling with your execution both articles will give you some good advice on how to prioritize your shots.

Not everyone has to shoot for the top of the meters. This is a game and it’s meant to be fun. That being said, if topping the meters is something you strive for, then eventually you’ll run into someone who’s flat out better than you. When that happens you should rejoice, because it’s an opportunity for you to improve.

If you think you’re struggling with your rotations or just want to try and get better, here are some things you can do.

  • Practice on a Training Dummy. Get some cheap ammo, grab your pet and go to town. These are great for trying out macros, keybinds, rotations and more.
  • Dual-Spec. Now that we have this option, try a different spec. Marksman, Survival and Beast Mastery have different shots and rotations. Find the one that is right for you.
  • Talk to other Hunters you know. Treat these guys a colleagues and not competitors. Find out how they do what they do.
  • Use Recount and run WWS reports.

Now I need to go find a Training Dummy and beer.


  1. This happened to me once- some punk hunter went on a heroic with me and beat the living snot out of me on the charts. Dark-something. Whatever.


  2. My WWS tells a different story for that day, but thanks for the kinds words.

    If I recall the real punk was the trash-talking healer we first picked-up. Good call on giving him the boot. :p

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