Symbiosis: Hunting as a Beastmaster

Beast Mastery.
To many, this signifies one of two things: A hunter who doesn’t understand his class, and has chosen a suboptimal spec, or perhaps a BRK fan who doesn’t understand that things have changed.

To me, beastmastery’s a complicated topic, but if I had to sum it up in a single word: Symbiosis. Our symbiotic relationship with our pet is absolutely defining to the BM spec. I live or die, succeed or fail based not only on my own actions, but also those of my furry (or scaly) companion. This is a great strength – Ryo keeps fighting through things that incapacitate me, and his Bestial Wrath breaks fear. I can attack two targets, and split my DPS virtually in two. I get to present both a melee and ranged threat to an enemy.

It is also our greatest failing. If I lose my pet in a boss fight, I have to take the long six seconds to revive pet. I’m basically reduced to half a player. Pets also tend to walk into / stand in things they shouldn’t. It is well that our shot rotation isn’t hideously complicated, as the beastmaster’s situational awareness must be excellent. Pets get punched through the floor pretty easily, and losing your pet isn’t the minor inconvenience that it is for other hunters.

With that said, our constant concern for the wellbeing and survival of our pets isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A good beastmaster’s situational awareness is high, and this is often beneficial to ourselves in terms of not standing in stuff…

For me, none of the advantages and disadvantages are really relevant to my decision. I love playing BM, and I love the idea of the symbiotic relationship: Hunter and pet, both reliant on each other for their success (and indeed survival!).

And having a pet that can out-DPS some whole players is an advantage, too…


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