I’ve been taking a lot of notes and digging deeper in the abilities and Talents of my BM Hunter, after playing it almost exclusively since Dec 2021, and I’ve still learned a few things …
First, mobility : in Brackenhide Hollow in particular, if your character is outside of those slam/stun areas, you can use a Barbed Shot or Bestial Wrath, and the very last lines of the tooltips of those Talents show that they break controls or stun on the pets.
I’ve had my pets stunned by those trees in BH, one Barbed Shot and they’re back to munching tree bark.
Same thing in Uldaman : Barbed Shot and Bestial Wrath “sends you and your pets in a Frenzy”, with the very last words stating that it breaks crowd control, stun and root effects.
Works in PvP too !
Second, Leech : several people have said to me, on this message board, that the Leech heals the pets and not myself.
And yet, when I open Details! and Warcraft Log Companions to analyze my performance after a run (up to +19 at the moment, I’m definitively not in the high leagues yet), when I check the “healing done, source, target”, I see that my beloved Kurken is the main source of personnal healing, and that I’m indeed the target of his healing !
While when I have Gara out (Spirit Beast, with Spirit Mend etc), if I’m outside of the 25m range of that ability, she will heal the Tank and not me, and my Leech stat (I got a few items with that proc, so not zero without a Ferocity pet out) reads “source = autoattacks, target = myself”.
So honestly I’m at a loss, so many people with much more experience than me told me that Leech heals the pet, but the three damage meters and combat analysis tools I use tell me that I’m the target of those heals, not my pet.
I’ve learned that Aspect of the Turtle is not so much a defensive but rather a group-wide immunity (well, reflect) : the damage reduction if you’re already under DoTs or taking damage when you use it is a bit “meh”, but during it’s duration you’re immune to new sources of damage, and you can run around collecting spore dusts in Underrot or Void Motes in Aberrus without being affected by them, and more importantly without building stacks for the rest of your group !
For me, the biggest problems at the moment are : the short duration and terribly long cooldowns of our Personnal Defensive (with the caveat that Aspect of the Turtle also does something else that is very important in some encouters), coupled with the need to spend absurd amounts of Focus to reduce said cooldowns; and the relative weakness of our self-healing Exhilaration (the pet is fully healed, but the hunter only heals by 30%, with maybe +16% of your max HP over 8 seconds if you slotted 2 Talents nodes for that).
But if I’m making rookie mistakes like standing in damage pools or taking frontals in the teeth, nothing can save me.
Leech, Exhiliration, focusing the right targets in the best order (like they said in Fantasy RPG, “casters first”) and the optimal timing of my Personnal Defensive allowed me several times to be the last man standing in +17 to +19 keys, then Feign Death to break aggro and engi BR on the group’s healer.
The Beast Master might look like the noobie-friendly spec, and in most “open world PvE mid-level content” it’s quite true, but once you reach hard, end-level content, you really need to read every single last word of every singly ability and talent, plus know your timers, cooldowns and effects so well that they become ingrained reflexes, to be actually able to contribute and pull your weight.
Again, I’m far from perfect, and the current system of M+ rotating very old dungeons that I never saw before having started in Dec 2021 mean I have to learn new things every few months, but let’s be clear on one point : the tools are there, they are hard to find and use effectively, but they are STILL there.
Playing a Beast Master in most situation is easy.
Playing a good Beast Master in end-level content is extremely hard.