The motivation: the fella that was to be our K3 Raid Leader's hunter is somewhat "younger" than I am, and somewhat lesser geared, and also is BM spec as of recently. And yet, with all this in consideration, he has been killing me on the damage meter.
Now, I know, I know, that is a lousy reason for a respec, but there are other considerations as well.
- Trapping - My trapping really hasn't improved a whole lot in Heroics and raids compared to my old spec that went into the MM rather than SV as a "minor". Trap resists and early trap breaks are pretty much the same ether way. So it doesn't seem to me that the excursion into the Survival tree was worth it.
- Other CC methods - our group has taken to using priest, mage, and warlock CC over Hunter when it is convenient, because these have far superior cooldowns when compared to my traps. As in, if sheeping fails, you sheep again. If a trap fails ... you wait for a 30 second cooldown, hope you survive it, hope the mob doesn't kill a priest, and then hopefully what's left of you retraps.
- Trapping is the only useful utility I bring to the table. Otherwise I'm about the pew pew.
So with that in mind, moving back into a higher-damage spec makes sense, if I am going to focus more on damage than utility.
The three stages:
- Respec - Primary BM, but secondary is now MM. I did not want to get Aimed Shot, but you have to to get the improvements that lie on the next tier. There was an improvement but not as much as you might expect from the respec. Maybe 60 dps.
- Re-Gem. I know people thought that having +spell penetration gems was silly, but that happens to be tied to the trap resist mechanics. Since I am less caring about this now, those that enhance damage in some way are back. Results after this were good, but not spectacular. At this point I was still using the bow, which has a higher DPS rating than my gun - much higher. Again, close to 70 dps improvement, but that's it.
- Switch to guns. I broke out ol' Bangy and let fly. Oh yeaaah. Massive improvement in DPS.
Now, here's something interesting. When using the bow and the gun on Dr. Boom, the bow had the edge, but only slightly. When using the gun and the bow in Karazhan, the gun blew the bow away, even though it is inferior to the bow in stats. So: Dr. Boom is not entirely accurate for this sort of thing.
Even worse: the bow was against the front-side of Karazhan, and the gun was against the tougher back-half trash, where traditionally one sees lower DPS.
As a dwarf, I get a racial bonus when using a gun, and this really seems to stand out over time. It was so noticeable that the GL caught it immediately. And that was the only change between the two nights.
I'm sold. My next bow better be a Jesus Bow, a veritable iPhone of stringed weapons, or it stays in the closet.
PS: The Huntard Hat remains firmly affixed to my handsome skull. I managed to pull the entire dining room, including Moroes and his guests, inadvertently. I blame the vase on the table. There were a few weak attempts to take it from me, but nothing matching the carnage of my little faux pas. I'm ashamed to say that I did not have FRAPS running.