The Great Hunter Debate

Once again the hunter community finds itself embroiled in a heated debate, and it should come as no surprise that at the center of this controversy is WHU blogger, Scattered Shots columnist, and Hunting Party Podcast host, Frostheim.

You see he is organizing a sequel to the great Level 1 Dwarven Hunter Raid – the Level 10 Dwarven Hunter Raid, scheduled for Friday, April 9, 2010.

Level ten allows hunters to do two things. First is the ability to tame pets, and second, we get our first talent point. And herein lies the controversy. You see one of the rules for the level 10 raid is that you can’t go to eleven. Ten is the max. Thus the debate is where should hunters spend their one and only talent point?

Let’s take a look at the talents available to us at level ten.

  1. Improved Aspect of the Hawk – 10% to increase our haste by 3%.
  2. Endurance Training – Increases pet’s health by 2% and hunter’s by 1%.
  3. Improved Concussive Shot – Increases the duration of the daze effect by 1 sec.
  4. Focused Aim – Increases our chance to hit by 1%.
  5. Lethal Shots – Increases our critical strike chance by 1%.
  6. Improved Tracking – Increases our damage by 1%.
  7. Hawk Eye – Increases our range by 2 yards.
  8. Savage Strikes – Increases the critical strike chance of Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite and Counter Attack by 10%.

Keeping in mind that the group will be killing something that is a much higher level than 10, and we’ll need the best dps we can get, we can probably eliminate Endurance Training, Improved Concussive Shot, Hawk Eye, and Savage Strikes as contenders. They just aren’t going to do much for our dps.

That leaves Improved Aspect of the Hawk, Focused Aim, Lethal Shots and Improved Tracking as options. So how do we decide which one? Well luckily we have this handy, dandy spreadsheet that can help guide us.

Now a few important things about the spreadsheet. It’s designed for level 80’s and not level 10 characters. So any information we get from the spreadsheet is speculative at best.

I chose a dwarf with no professions. Since the low level ranged weapons were not available I decided to shoot for the moon and equipped Fal’inrush, Defender of Quel’thalas (heroic of course) and epic ammo. I left all of the buffs and debuffs alone and chose a wolf for a pet (no talent points of course). I left the other settings alone and then began selecting talents. Here are my results.

As you can see Focused Aim provided the biggest dps increase at +7.09 and would appear to be the clear winner. Even if the spreadsheet could be optimized for level 10 characters I don’t believe the results would be all that different.

I’m opting for, and recommending, the 0/1/0 build, and putting all of my eggs in the Focused Aim basket.

It makes sense too. I don’t know what level mob the raid will be fighting, but reducing any chance to miss seems like a smart move. So what do you think? Is Focused Aim the way to go for your one and only talent point?

Good Hunting Level 10 Raiding!