I may have to make my second spec Marksman. That's right, the guy who made a blog dedicated to SV and hasn't had a non-SV spec in almost three years is thinking of going MM. Why? It seems Blizz is forcing me, at least in order to do the content I'm interested in.
The first reason I may have to go MM actually isn't that big a deal. I want a few of the taming challenge pets. Really I want Karkin, the bad ass crab. I wouldn't mind the cat that shares a spawn with him either, but how many rare cat skins does one need? I just got Shadowclaw a few weeks ago! Anyway, every successful tame I've read of Karkin involves interrupting his cast, either with Silencing Shot or another player's help. My guild is awesome, and I bet I could get help with the tame, but I'd rather do it myself. That seems to be the real challenge. I may still try to find a way to tame him as SV, cuz that would really be something to brag/blog about.
The main reason I feel forced to have an MM spec is Shannox. We finally downed the giant melee hunter, and I was SV for it, but I wasn't able to be very helpful on Rageface. I was damaging him plenty, but until he got to 20% and Kill Shot activated I couldn't get a single 30k shot on him (since Explosive Shot is a really short dot). So now I feel compelled to go MM for my raid team. I love my Nagas and I want to get that Kujo off of their grills as fast as possible. But I don't want to play MM and I worry my DPS will drop in the short run while I'm learning the crazy MM rotation. What to do?
SV seems to lack a bit of the identity the other specs have. BM has exotic pets and is probably still the best for solo stuff, especially during leveling. MM seems to be where Blizzard wants raiders to be. They have our only interrupt and the highest boss DPS. They also benefit the most from ranged weapon damage. What is SV? Many would say AoE. That seems weak to me. A skilled and geared MM hunter can come close enough to us in AoE DPS. We do some nice AoE, but we're not mages. Even if we were, is that enough of an identity for an entire spec? It's not as if the other specs don't have Multi Shot or Explosive Trap! Some may say SV's identity is that we do magical damage. Relative to the other two hunter specs, we do a lot of magical damage. But roughly 40% (I should actually check some parses on this) of my DPS is still physical. Auto Shot is a lot of damage! And even if 100% of our damage were magical, that is not an identity.
The other specs have things they can do that Survival hunters just cannot do at all. I can't think of anything we can do that the other specs can't. Between interrupts, other boss mechanics, and taming challenges, I have come to two conclusions: Blizzard, for some reason, wants raiders to all be MM. Second, our class is out of balance. Not in terms of DPS, but in terms of skills. Either SV should be able to do some of what the other kids can do, or we need an exclusive skill ourselves. I'd prefer to just be able to raid any boss in SV.