Timewalking + Beastmastery = Fun

I had quite a lot of fun in WoW last night for the first time in several weeks, thanks to a combination of running a Beastmastery hunter and Timewalking dungeons. I relearned a lesson that for some reason I can never seem to remember — when I play the game my way, it is huge fun, and when I let the game dictate to me, I hate it. I should take notes and pull a finals-type all-nighter to burn this fact into my sieve-prone brain once and for all.

As I have mentioned before, I have two hunters, both level 100. Until recently, my night elf was my main and my worgen was an alt. For several complicated reasons not important to explain, somewhere around January of this year their positions switched, giving me a worgen main and a very strong night elf alt.

The worgen — even though my guild has not been raiding much — is my raid hunter, the one that got to T2 first, the one that got the legendary ring, etc. Most importantly, it is the hunter that I felt duty bound to maximize for DPS and raid utility, so she is specced MM main spec and BM off spec. This means I have spent a lot of gold and time trying to configure secondary stats, gems, and enchants to optimize for MM. Her equipped ilevel is currently something like 698, not great, but not bad considering our abbreviated raid schedule.

My night elf meanwhile has been languishing, getting further and further behind in gear, the legendary quest, apexis accumulation, almost everything. She is SV main spec, BM off spec, but of course the SV main spec no longer counts. Her ilevel was in the low 680’s. So yesterday I decided to pull out all the stops to gear her up and optimize for BM. Even without the final stage of the ring, I managed to pull her up to 694 ilevel. It cost me a ton of gold for the 270 felblight to max out her crafted gear, and my apexis crystals got spent at an alarming rate, but it felt downright exhilarating to be a wanton spendthrift for a change, since I am normally a real tightwad with all currency — virtual or real.

Having gussied her all up, I looked around for a way to test drive the new gear and spec. Even though she still needs 32 tomes for the final part of the legendary, I couldn’t face LFR. I hadn’t ever done any of the Timewalking dungeons, so the new bonus event last night seemed like something I should try. I knew it would not really test the new gear, but still it would be an opportunity to play BM in a group setting. Even if it’s as bad as LFR, I thought, at least it will be less time consuming.

I was expecting the dungeons to be very difficult, made more so by players accustomed to inelegantly blasting through everything and paying no attention to what they were standing in. Imagine my surprise when they turned out to be really fun and relatively quick. I found them to be marginally challenging, but nowhere near what they were when they were current. Any challenge was really only the result of not knowing critical fight mechanics, or tanks getting completely wild with pulls, or healers not paying attention or having to unnecessarily heal idiot damage dealers. I did a lot of cc-ing, not because I really had to but more for the practice. Same with misdirecting. Had a tank die about halfway through one boss, and I set my pet on growl and we finished it that way. That was fun. I ended up doing four, some with a couple of guildies, before I just had to get some sleep. I’ll do a fifth one tonight to finish up the weekly quest for the bag of goodies, and maybe run some more on other alts.

I can see where they might get old after a while, but to me they seemed kind of like a slightly longer version of the scenarios that were so popular in Mists. I know lots of people are criticizing them for their “welfare gear” but I found them to be fun. The three suggestions I would have to improve them would be:

  1. Make them a permanent feature, not a bonus event.
  2. Let people queue for several at once, like you can for LFR, to minimize the maddening 30-45 minute dps wait in between them.
  3. Make the badges account-wide to help players get max alt benefit while also accumulating them for higher cost items.

The best part of the evening was that for the first time in weeks I actually enjoyed playing a hunter again. BM was never my spec of choice, but with the demise of SV and the clunkiness of MM without tier gear, it felt positively liberating to play like a real hunter again. Unlimited mobility. A pet. Ranged. Physical damage. WOOHOO!

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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