I've still yet to seriously PvP on my hunter this expansion. While I am on a 2s, 3s and 5s team I've only actively went into 5s since the change to focus and that was as a joke with my Play Naked arena team.
I hear people complaining about the state of hunter PvP on the forums and can't help but think that these people don't seem to realize how good hunters really have it. Hunters in PvP can very well be over powered if they are played correctly but that is where the issue is.
Hunters have an amazingly high skill cap and not many people are like I am and willing to admit it is a skill issue. Remember one of my mantras, everyone thinks they are good. This means hunters do not want to admit that they are doing badly at PvP because of their skill, they would rather place the blame on balance.
Maybe they are right in a way. Some classes can just go in there and slap their keyboard in some random way and destroy anyone that comes near them while others require attention, positioning, planning, and an extremely high level of skill. So I guess they are right. In that case, the classes are not exactly balanced.
If all classes where played out to their maximum potential then you would see a difference. Hunters would always be in the top 10%, or even higher, of players because of the hunter toolbox. There is only one thing hunters are really missing and that is a dependable heal. If they where given that, then without a doubt, hunters would be the #1 class in the game when it comes to PvP.
So maybe the issue we need to look deeper into is how hunters can be balanced, on a skill needed to play level. I think giving them a heal would really help the lesser players, like myself and what seems to be 98% of the hunter PvP player base. The one true issue with a solution like that is the top players in the game, the hunters that actively know how to use their amazingly huge toolbox to its fullest, would become hugely over powered.
So adding to hunters by giving them a heal or a few more survivability skills is not really the answer. I think the answer for making hunter PvP easier for people that do not want to learn all the ins and outs of the absolute hardest class in the game to play at top level in PvP is the removal of abilities and boosting others we already have.
The reason hunters do not appear to be on the same level as other classes for the average player is two fold. One is people like myself, the kill first and ask questions later type. I liked mana for PvP. It gave me amazing burst and there was no class in the game that could hold a candle to that burst. When hunters moved to focus they where screwed, which is why they added fox. It does help a lot.
The second reason hunters do not feel as capable in PvP is because our approach changed. We used to be killing machines that where back up control people and now we are more of a control class. This is my own personal issue. I am not used to controlling people. I am used to getting at distance and killing anyone before they can get to me and if they do manage to get to me I can use my amazingly huge toolbox to regain my distance and continue my killing spree. Being I can not do that any more and I need to play the control game which has changed the entire class for me and many others.
It seems this is the main reason many hunters are having issues with PvP. They have not embraced the new world we live in. The world with focus and using our entire toolbox. While leveling or doing anything else that is not PvP based a hunter will rarely if ever have the need for any of his toolboxes toys to come out.
Sure, more learned hunters like myself enjoy seeing I can now learn concussive shot when leveling but to most it seems like a wasted ability, just as it did to me the first time I ever saw it, before I learned. I use things like that, traps, etc while leveling. It is part of the reason hunters are the best levelers, they can move non stop and handle many different tasks at once but most hunters never learn that. They send in their pet and burn down the mobs. Simple as that. So when they get to the world of PvP they treat those battles they same as they do everything else and the problems start.
The next generation of hunters, the ones leveled in cataclysm, the ones that only know about focus, those are the ones that are going to be just fine. They will not go into PvP with a misconception of who we are and what we do as hunters. It is us, the mana users of years past, that are having the problems. Lets be honest, it is not the class that is the problem, it is the player that is the problem.
Once you learn to adjust your play style you will be better off in PvP. You have to stop thinking like a hunter and start thinking like a ranged rogue because that is about as perfect an analogy as you can get to explain what we are now. A rogue lives on controlling others and now a hunter does too.
Hunters are in a very good place when it comes to PvP, we, the players, just need to get better at it.
As someone on my server said when a person said he had an 1800 arena rating and people started saying that it was nothing to be proud of, that 1800 was easy to get, and someone noticed he was a hunter and pointed it out, he said, a hunter at 1800 is like anyone else at 2800, congrats on the great work. The rest of trade started saying the same thing, they were all impressed after it became known the person was a hunter. Trade supporting a persons accomplishments? Unheard of. They must really have been impressed.
People know hunters are the hardest class in the game to play in PvP. That is also why they know that 90% of the time when you run into one in a PvP environment you excitedly yell, free kill. However, when played correctly, a hunter is nearly unbeatable.
So what do I look forward to in the mists expansion, the one that is supposed to be focused on PvP?
I look forward to them making my hunter less reliant on control and giving me back my old life as a killing machine. Lets face it, I am a hunter, that is my job. Tell me what to kill and I will make sure it dies as fast as humanly possible. Leave the control to the sneaky guys in leather that like to hide in the shadows.
Even if I say hunters are fine in PvP, because they are, I think I have to agree with the majority. In the end hunters are not balanced in the only way that seems to matter. They are so much more complicated to play at the top level than any other class in the game. That is the balance they need to addressed. Make them easier to PvP with, or at the very least, put them on par with the other classes when it comes to skill level required to be top of the heap.
That is the balance people should be complaining about if they want to complain. Do not complain about our abilities because our abilities rock. We have the best toolbox in the game, we just don't know how to use it correctly.