Thrill of the Spreadsheet: Proc'ing Marking Targets

I've been playing with haste values and Marking Targets recently, just making sure I've got a good grasp on what's actually going on. I've had a few misconceptions in my head that I hadn't really thought out before, so I figured I may as well post some of it up here, for anyone's mathy pleasure.

Proc'ing Marking Targets 

As it currently exists, Marking Targets has 5 RPPM (affected by haste).  What makes it different (at least a little bit) from other RPPM abilities is it only procs from our Auto-Shots, which are cast at fixed intervals.  

Before taking Bad Luck Streak Protection into account, each Autoshot has a 25% chance to proc Marking Targets.  The formula for this is: 

5(rppm) * (1+haste) * (3/(1+haste)) / 60 [sec per min] = .25

The haste effects cancel each other out, so the 25% chance to proc per Auto-Shot is regardless of your haste rating, though of course the higher your haste, the more often you Auto-Shot. 

Bad Luck Streak Protection gives you an increased chance to proc Marking Targets when you've gone more than 1.5 times the normal expected interval.  With 0% haste, 5 RPPM is once every 12 seconds.  So at 18 seconds, you start getting an increased chance to proc.  This creates a coefficient that looks like:

MAX(1, 1+((TimeSinceLastSuccessfulProc/AverageProcInterval)-1.5)*3)

Because hast affects Marking Target's procs per minute at the same rate it affects how often we cast Auto-Shot, we'll always have the same number of Autoshots before Bad Luck Streak Prevention (which I'm now going to call BLSP because I'm tired of typing it out) kicks in.  That is to say, if we have 0% haste, Marking Targets has 5 RPPM, meaning 12 seconds is the "AverageProcInterval", meaning BLSP kicks in at 18 seconds while Auto-Shots cast ever 3 seconds, meaning the first 6 aren't affected by BLSP, but the 7th or beyond, assuming marking targets hasn't proc'ed, will be; similarly, if you have 20% haste, Marking Targets has 6 RPPM (5*1.2=6), meaning the "AverageProcInterval" is 10 seconds and BLSP kicks in at 15 seconds, while Auto-Shots cast every 2.5 seconds (3/1.2=2.5), so just like before, the first six Auto-Shots after a successful proc won't benefit from BLSP, but the seventh and beyond will.  

The chances to proc then look like this:

Auto ShotSuccessfully proc's Marking Targets
Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot43.75% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot62.5% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot81.25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
Auto Shot100% chance to proc' Marking Targets

The only thing that changes is when those Auto-Shots happen.  With a few haste options, those look like:

10% haste15% haste20% haste25% haste
0.00 sec0.00 sec0.00 sec0.00 sec0th Auto ShotSuccessfully proc's Marking Targets
2.73 sec2.61 sec2.50 sec2.40 sec1st Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
5.45 sec5.22 sec5.00 sec4.80 sec2nd Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
8.18 sec7.83 sec7.50 sec7.20 sec3rd Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
10.91 sec10.43 sec10.00 sec9.60 sec4th Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
13.64 sec13.04 sec12.50 sec12.00 sec5th Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
16.36 sec15.65 sec15.00 sec14.40 sec6th Auto Shot25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
19.09 sec18.26 sec17.50 sec16.80 sec7th Auto Shot43.75% chance to proc' Marking Targets
21.82 sec20.87 sec20.00 sec19.20 sec8th Auto Shot62.5% chance to proc' Marking Targets
24.55 sec23.48 sec22.50 sec21.60 sec9th Auto Shot81.25% chance to proc' Marking Targets
27.27 sec26.09 sec25.00 sec24.00 sec10th Auto Shot100% chance to proc' Marking Targets

Anyhow, the 10th Auto-shot after successfully proc'ing Marking Targets will always guarantee a new Marking Targets proc; though, if you make it all the way to 10 Auto-Shots without getting a proc, your DPS on that pull is going to be in really bad shape regardless.

My friend Mal made me a custom weakaura that shows roughly (there's a slight issue in that A. your auto-shots don't actually happen at exact intervals; and B. combatlog records when an autoshot hits, but Marking Targets is applied when you "cast" your auto-shot) what percent chance your next Auto-Shot has to proc Marking Targets.  Most of the time, this won't be useful at all, but on some occasions, you might be on an unlucky streak, and want to hold off on casting Sidewinders naked if your percent is getting high.  

Marksmanship Rotational Analysis

As Raiding begins tomorrow, I felt like going over the marksmanship rotation once more, make sure I wasn't missing anything huge.

The following represent the damage done by major Marks abilities with Lone Wolf, Lock and Load, Patient Sniper, Barrage and Sidewinders talents, and report single target damage only.

HitCritPer cast average:Focus CostCast time or GCDDam/SecDam/Focus
Aimed LotW123721.5501.7670329.502474.43
Aimed Vuln248149.5576045.0395702.5501.76224937.077914.05
Aimed Vln LotW406745.3501.76231214.398134.91
Marked CotH202645.2301.32153591.586754.84
Marked Vuln284324.4675349.4340185.1301.32257837.6211339.50
MS Vuln CotH416219.0301.32315466.2213873.97

Tests were run in 850 item level gear.  Stats in such gear were:

Weapon Damage8744.5

Listed damage is without any buffs up and assume a completed artifact weapon (I don't have a completed artifact weapon, of course, but I adjusted the two damage abilities which I don't have filled out yet appropriately).  Aimed Shot and Marked Shot are shown with and without the Vulnerable debuff up, and with and without their respective Golden Trait buffs, which are shown as an average increase per cast.  

Priority Rankings

When sorted by Damage Per Second, the abilities rank (in descending order):
  • Barrage
  • Marked Shot with Vulnerable
  • Aimed Shot with Vulnerable
  • Windburst
  • Marked Shot without Vulnerable*
  • Sidewinders
  • Aimed Shot without Vulnerable
When sorted by efficiency (Damage Per Focus), the abilities rank (in descending order):
  • Barrage
  • Marked Shot with Vulnerable
  • Windburst
  • Aimed Shot with Vulnerable
  • Marked Shot without Vulnerable*
  • Aimed Shot without Vulnerable
Both of these lists are assuming you have Call of the Hunter and Legacy of the Windrunners unlocked. However, the only change in ranking is the placement of Marked Shot with the Vulnerable debuff in the efficiency ranking. Without Call of the Hunter, Windburst is slightly more efficient than Marked Shot (with Vulnerable). Though because of the long cast time and our abundance of focus, this won't have any affect on our actual rotation. 

It's also worth noting here that because of the huge increase in passive focus regeneration and the nature of MM's mechanics focusing around the Vulnerable debuff, the efficiency of an ability has a much lower effect on our rotation than it did in past expansions.  

*I wanted to include Marked Shot without the Vulnerable debuff, just to see where it would be; however, there is no reason you should ever not get off your Marked Shot cast while Vulnerable is still up, barring inopportune raid mechanics that incapacitate you.  

Windburst Vs. Vulnerable Aimed Shot

Windburst is about 41% more efficient than Vulnerable Aimed Shot, but only does about 75% as much damage per second.  Because it's rare to be low on focus while Vulnerable is up, this normally isn't an issue, but it's worth digging into.  

To make the simplest comparison, let's imagine Windburst comes off CD right after you cast sidewinders.  Using Marked Shot immediately would cause you to lose one buffed Aimed Shot (let's say we instead cast the Aimed Shot unbuffed, because we now have nothing else to do while waiting for another marking target). The difference between a buffed and unbuffed Aimed Shot, on average, is 283023.8 damage. 

If instead you continue with the normal pattern (SW; AiS; MS; AiS; AiS), you'll delay Windburst by 6.6 seconds.  If that were to happen several times during an encounter, you would lose out on one Windburst for ever 3.03 times it happened.  So we can say we're losing out on the average damage of Windburst divided by 3.03, which is 75844.6 damage. Compared to our 283023.8 damage difference between a buffed and unbuffed Aimed Shot, we'll be much better off delaying Windburst.  

Alternatively, if we got lucky with our Marking Targets proc, we might not ever have to cast that unbuffed Aimed Shot, in which case we'll just be comparing the Damage per Second of a buffed Aimed Shot and a Windburst, which we've already covered.  

TL;DR - Windburst, despite its incredible efficiency, is never worth using while vulnerability is up. It's primary use is filling the space between the end of vulnerability and the next Marking Targets proc. It can, on occasion, be used if Barrage is about to come off CD, and you're delaying using Sidewinders until after Barrage.  

Barrage during Vulnerable

In a bizzarre twist, Barrage is both our highest damaging ability and our most efficient. Since it's inception in patch 5.0, Barrage has always been a fairly high damaging ability, but has normally been fairly inefficient.  In Legion, however, it's damage is so high that we can essentially ignore it's high focus cost when comparing abilities.  

The question still often comes up, however, as to whether or not we use Barrage during the Vulnerable debuff. We can look at a lot of the same comparison methods we did with Windburst. Delaying Barrage ends up being fairly costly, however.

If again we imagine that barrage comes off CD immediately after casting Sidewinders (perhaps Windburst is on CD, and you wouldn't have had enough focus to cast Barrage had you not used Sidewinders).  If you delay Barrage the 6.6 seconds it takes to cast AiS; MS; AiS; AiS; then you'll, on average, be missing out on .33 * the average Barrage damage, which is 263198.1 damage.  If instead of delaying Barrage you used it right after sidewinders, you would then have to immediately use Marked Shot to get the Vulnerable debuff damage, and then your following two Aimed Shots to finish off the duration of Vulnerable (to do this, you need to start with greater than 35 focus, before using sidewinders, otherwise you won't have enough focus to finish the Aimed Shots). In this case, you're losing out on the entire damage of a buffed Aimed Shot, which averaged out to 395702.5. That is considerably higher than the damage you lose from pushing back Barrage 6.6 seconds.  

Of course, Barrage does about 30% more damage per second than a buffed Aimed Shot does, and is a more focus efficient shot, so you're better off if you can use Barrage before beginning another round of Vulnerable debuffs.   

AoE and Major Cooldowns.

While our priority is fairly well defined (that is, without much ambiguity) for single target, it gets even simpler in AoE situations.
Marked Shot and Sidewinders together do more damage in the same amount of time when you get to three or more targets. Using that combination is of course reliant on having Marking Targets proc'ed, or using your Trueshot cooldown.  Both Barrage and Sidewinders/Marked Shot are what you would be using anyway, if you were only focusing on one priority target, so we get the added benefit of doing our full AoE burst while doing max possible single target damage.
There is an odd benefit from using Barrage in AoE situations if you have the Bullseye Golden Trait unlocked (which everyone should at this point), in that it very quickly stacks up your crit buff. This is true whether in AoE or not, but in AoE situations, especially packs of mobs, using Barrage when more than one mob is below 20% health immediately get you to the max 30 stacks of Bullseye.   It of course doesn't last very long, but does provide a small buff that can give you some extra damage to your priority target.  

Patch 7.1 The First Hunter Updates

Yesterday we got our first glimpse of some changes coming in patch 7.1.  There are a lot of cosmetic and quality of life changes; for instance, there are little green arrows on a piece of gear in your bags if it's higher ilvl than what you're wearing. But of course, that's not what I'm hear to talk about.  There were two significant hunter changes.

Aspect of the Cheetah:

The first change is the return of Aspect of the Cheetah, sort of...
  • Trailblazer: Your movement speed is increased by 25% anytime you have not attacked for 3 seconds.
This talent will replace the currently very underused, if ever used, talent Dash, which adds an additional 3 seconds to the duration of Aspect of the Cheetah. Instead, now, we'll have a buff that's similar to the old Aspect of the Cheetah, giving us a run speed buff whenever we're not in combat.  

It's very hard to imagine taking this over Posthaste, for me, but I'm still excited about this change. For hunters, especially Marks hunters, we have almost no choices in our talents.  The disparity between talents is fairly extreme, even in very different situations: high mobility vs low mobility, single target vs multi-target, etc. The only time I change talents at all is if I want a pet tank, which really isn't often, and is never in group content. 

However, this change shows, to some extent at least, that the devs are willing to rework some of more ridiculous talents we have.  Hopefully we'll see a lot more changes like this one, and there might be some slight variety in the talents we're choosing, and we'll see at least slightly different answers to the different problems the game presents us.

Marksmanship Core Mechanic Overhaul:

The other hunter change is fairly huge for Marksmanship hunters.  They are overhauling the core mechanic of the spec, to make it more like the Patient Sniper talent.  Most likely, someone at Blizzard noticed that 99% of hunters were taking Patient Sniper.  Good on them for actually noticing, I guess.
  • Vulnerable now increases damage by 50% (was 25%), stacking up to 2 times (was 3 times).
This brings the base mechanic to a simpler place, and puts it closer in line with patient sniper in damage. It also might make the other talents in the tier viable (I'm assuming they'll be changing at least Sentinels to fit better with the new mechanic). 

Without changes to the other two talents in this tier, my prediction is Patient Sniper will remain the talent of choice for the vast majority of hunters.  The problem they still have is the time inbetween Vulnerable debuffs, is easily filled with Barrage and Windburst, which are generally more desirable than casting more Aimed Shots anyway.  So your choice is between trying to keep up a weaker version of Vulnerable indefinitely while weaving in Barrage and Windburst, or having the stronger version of Vulnerable that you don't have to bother trying to keep up indefinitely, and using Barrage and Windburst while Vulnerable isn't up. 

Especially given the extreme burst AoE power of Sidewinders/Marked Shot with Patient Sniper, it seems Patient Sniper will still come out the winner here.  Still, this seems like a definite step in the right direction, and has me much more excited to see how else they plan to fix the spec.

2 Weeks of Legion

Sylvanas should be the Marksmanship Hunter fantasy

Tonight marks the second reset of Legion, and I can so far say I'm really enjoying the expansion. Yesterday, on the Hunting Party Podcast, we were talking about how we might have felt at this point in previous expansions; so just in case I'm looking for this info in the future, I thought I'd jot down some notes on how the expansion has been so far.  For anyone who might stop by this site on occasion for theorycrafting, you may want to skip this post.


As of last night, I'm sitting at an item level of 847 equipped, with 848 in my bags. Four of my pieces of gear are crafted, with full 7/7 obliterum upgrades to make them 850 ilvl.  I only have one titanforged mythic piece of gear that is currently 850 ilvl, but, if I understand correctly, will jump up to a higher ilvl after raids open next week. I have several Mythic warforged pieces, and one titanforged heroic piece, which are all at 850 ilvl and will remain so.  Both of my rings are regular mythic, 840 ilvl, and my cloak and one trinket are heroic warforged, but just the boring kind, with the trinket at 830 ilvl and the cloak at 835.  As of writing this, I still have two 825 ilvl relics, and one 840 ilvl relic, which all combine to give me a 862 ilvl artifact weapon.  

Gearing has been relatively easy, so far. Because my main is a leatherworker, I had a much easier time getting into random heroics than what I've heard most people did.  I haven't gotten tons of drops, and have gone through quite a lot of dungeons without getting any drops, but there's been enough, and now with two full clears of all of the Mythic dungeons (except Arcway and Court of Stars, which I only unlocked a few days ago) I'm sitting at a fairly good place, to where if raiding started tomorrow, I could handle it.  That has the fortunate side effect of giving me a week to focus a bit more on alts and professions.  

I got my 19th artifact trait last night, which, if people on internet message boards are to be believed, is actually a little bit behind compared to the more hardcore folk.  It's gotten very slow, even as the artifact knowledge starts to stack up, but I suppose that was to be expected.  

I'm not sure how I'll feel about it later in the expansion, but so far, I really like being able to use crafted gear to fill in for any slot, and being able to have as much as I want.  It also gives me a lot of opportunity to really customize my stats to my liking, and not have to try to find that one piece out of 11 dungeons that has the stat priority I want.  


I've enjoyed a lot of the dungeons so far in legion. Most of what I've enjoyed is the artwork, but a few of the bosses have interesting mechanics.  They still aren't on the level of the 4.1, or 5.0 dungeons, all of which I really enjoyed.  I think these are fairly similar in quality to 4.3. (I hope I'm remembering my patches correctly, 4.3 was dragon soul, right?)

I'm not sure if I missed something, but I hadn't realized they were shifting the difficulty levels of dungeons similarly to how the shifted raid difficulties.  Mythic dungeons feel similar in difficulty to heroic dungeons from MoP or prior.  Really, they might be even easier.  I've only done one mythic dungeon with a random pug, and it was everyone's in the group first time doing that dungeon. I think we wiped to trash once, but otherwise it was fairly uneventful.  A few deaths, but nothing major.  Most likely, folks who were doing mythic dungeons on the first reset are probably the type of player who puts a lot of effort into the game, so it might not be all that comparable to using the dungeon finder in MoP, but I recall wiping a lot to some of those heroic dungeons in the early days.  Same goes for 4.3.  And 4.1 was significantly harder.  

I imagine that's about what they were going for, though.  Heroic dungeons are similar to the old max level normal dungeons, and mythics are the new heroics.  Hopefully the Mythic+ levels will be similar in difficulty to the mythic dungeons from WoD, but with more interesting mechanics, and the higher level mythic+ dungeons will be more similar to the MoP Challenge Mode dungeons.  

World Quests

I'm having trouble imagining World Quests are really going to stay relevant for very long.  I'm already at the point where the vast majority of those I get are repeats, and they're getting quite easy. The only way to keep them difficult for people in mythic dungeon gear or higher, will be to add a lot more group quests, so low ilvl folks can do those with a tank and a healer, and geared folk can do them solo.  Actually, that might be a good idea regardless, as it sounds like healers are not having much fun trying to do the world quests, as killing is really slow for them.  

My favorites so far have all been up on that small island northeast of Stormheim.  There were a few where I had to be very careful with planning out my kiting route, as if I pulled a second mob, I would die fairly quickly.  

This isn't actually a world quest, but I couldn't think of a section to put this bit in.  I've really had a lot of fun trying to farm at the Eye of Azshara.  To be clear, I'm referring to the island south of Dalaran, not inside the dungeon instance.  The mobs there hit really hard, and are fairly packed in, so there are (at this gear level, at least), some pretty tricky fights. Also, pet taunts don't seem to work there. So the black arrow pet does absolutely no good. As BM, your pets can take enough aggro to hold a mob, but for me, with my BM artifact fairly neglected, I just can't put out enough damage as BM to make having a pet tank worth it.  So I'm stuck with MM, and kiting forever, which is always lots of fun, for me.  I haven't gotten any of the rank 3 leatherworking patterns that I'm really looking for to drop, but I have gotten a few enchanting and alchemy rank 3 recipes, which I've been happy to be able to hand over to some guildies.  

Professions and Gold

I'm finding it difficult to tell if I'm doing well with gold making, or if inflation is just going up a lot. So far, I've been making some pretty decent cash from leatherworking. The wrists that are required for the obliterum quest have been selling really well, even though the Leather and Mail versions go for a quarter of what the plate version goes for, but it's still pretty decent stream of gold coming in. And of course, Obliterum is a sold seller at the moment. I keep expecting the price of it to go down, as more people buy up my wrists for the obliterum quest, I keep thinking the market will soon flood with obliterum, but it seems to be at a fairly stable price for the last week or so.  

The biggest money makers for me so far, however, have been BoE drops. For some reason, I've gotten tons of plate BoE drops, including an 850 plate helm, and 845 plate legs, as well as a seemingly endless supply of 825 and 830 BoEs. I had actually been planning on giving the helm to a guildie of mine who hasn't had a lot of time to gear up yet, but I thought I'd try a ridiculous price on the AH, just to see what would happen. There was a similar plate helm up that was only 840 ilvl, and it was listed at 85,000g, so I figured I'd use that as a starting point, and sure enough, a few hours later it had sold.  I have no idea why anyone would pay that much for a helm, when they could have bought 7 obliterum for 35,000g less and upgraded a crafted piece, but I'm not gonna complain about it.  

Unfortunately, on my fairly small server, I haven't been able to find much to spend the gold on.  I'm really hoping I can buy a good trinket, assuming I don't get anything else in mythics this week, but so far there's been nothing on the AH.


I love Suramar.  I have no idea how long it will remain relevant, but I've had a lot of fun exploring the city, with both regular quests and world quests. This is by far the best city they've ever created in WoW; I'm not sure if it's the largest or not, but its scope and detail leaves me very impressed. I like that I can either move around very carefully, avoiding the people who pop you out of your disguise, or you can just go through like a wrecking ball. I'm not sure what they've technically done with aggro in Suramar, but it seems like they've greatly reduced the aggro radius, which allows them to have a city that feels like a city, but without making it impossible to play in; though that does require a bit of suspension of disbelief, as I murder people just a few yards away from a guard who doesn't seem to mind. 

Hunter Thoughts

Everyone has been talking about the Barrage change, which I found fairly confusing myself.  From my perspective, Sidewinders is a much bigger problem than Barrage, though they're both fairly harsh in Legion dungeons.  They're both, however, a fairly huge part of doing good DPS, especially in dungeons where AoE is so important. 

Darkbrew made some pretty good points about the "fantasy" of marks hunters. With the current spec, there is no semblance of the precise, long range sniper with deadly accuracy, shooting from the shadows.  Instead we get a Spray and Pray spec.  If any of you haven't seen it yet, either finish your Stormheim story-line quests, or google "Sylvanas and greymane cutscene".  Sylvanas shows the perfect example of what the Marks Hunter fantasy should be: agile and precise. 

While I really loved that cutscene, and the entire Sylvanas story in Stormheim, I would like to point out that they made her shoot backwards, with her bow in the wrong hand, so that they could show her face while she was upside down.  Really should have had her flip to the other side of greymane, but oh well.  Perhaps we can pretend that she's just so good of an archer that she can shoot well with either hand, and neither eye is more dominant than the other.

Legion: the Leveling Experience

Legion is upon us. Most folks are now 110, or at least getting close, and now it's time to spend the weekend gearing for raids, and hoping the RNGods smile upon you with a legendary drop. As such, I thought I'd start up the old blog and you know, rant for a bit.

Adjusting Expectations

So far, my enjoyment of the game seems to be based on how much I can lower my expectations. If I think about how much fun hunters used to be to play, then legion is simply miserable.  If instead I compare it to some other MMO's out there, then I can start to feel like it's a pretty good game. Unfortunately, the way world quests are set up, and the focus on a Hunter class hall, there's a lot that keeps my mind focused on how much we've lost, and how great this expansion would have been if they hadn't destroyed the hunter specs.


Once again, they've really stepped up their game and made some of the most beautiful zones in the game.  I did very little leveling on the alpha/beta, so I hadn't had a chance to really experience the zones like I am now.  They feel much more expansive than Warlords of Draenor did, and the work they've done to make phasing between small areas in the zones more seamless has created a much more dynamic world. It feels pretty cool to be able to have world quests pop up in an area that's normally a quest hub or faction headquarters.


Though the general story of Legion fits into the world of WoW much better than Warlords of Draenor did, the smaller, zone-wide stories aren't as compelling as they were in WoD.  I didn't feel like I had a good impression of the personality of the citizens of each zone by the time I was finished leveling there.  Some of that might be because leveling was very, very fast in Legion, but some of it was surely because the storytelling just wasn't quite as good as it has been in the last couple of expansions.

There were, however, some moments that were highlights. I had fun getting to know the moose Tauren of Highmountain.  The Horde questline in Stormheim was a lot of fun, though the Alliance version is fairly lacking.  Suramar, also, has so far had some fairly fun quests.  I enjoyed exploring the area and getting to know the people there, learning the story of the city and the Legion.

Solo Combat 

In Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard starting adding more interesting mechanics to mobs out in the world. It was generally fairly basic things, like a telegraphed AoE cone, or void zones that appear.  In WoD, however, they didn't really expand on those. In Legion, however, they have. Similar to how you sometimes will see trash mobs in a raid doing mini versions of a mechanic the raid boss is going to do, now we have that out in the world. These aren't difficult mechanics by any means, and I haven't come across any that I think would 1-shot you if you messed it up, but they tend to hit pretty hard, and encourage you to pay attention while playing.  

Unfortunately, most anything interesting in combat mostly just makes me wish I could play a pre-Legion version of a hunter. Perhaps this is just my jaded reaction, to old of a dog to learn new tricks, but there have been several times where I've thought something looked cool, maybe a mechanic that's really hard if you have lots of mobs or something, and I had ideas for how to handle it, only to realize that wasn't something hunters could do anymore. So instead I just turn on netflix on my other monitor, and go back to the boring grind of playing the new hunter specs. 


I did absolutely nothing with professions on the Alpha/Beta, so that part was all new to me. I had heard they were adding a lot to them, though I didn't really have many expectations for what that would be.  

After leveling a couple of professions now, I have some mixed feelings. There were parts of them that were a lot of fun.  But I also think there are parts where the devs fell into the old trap of thinking travel time is the same thing as content.  There were a few moments where I was surprised to run into an interesting NPC with a fun quests to gather recipes (Nomi is all grown up!).


Overall, I think we've got a fairly good product.  While the game was a bit glitchy at times, and there was that huge "error 132" issue, things were much smoother than the WoD release.  And if I can convince myself to stop thinking about how great hunters used to be, then I catch myself having a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of my gearing experience goes, and how the raids turn out.