Friday, November 9, 2012

That One Thing You Love About Being a Hunter

If you had to answer the question, what is that one thing you love most about being a hunter, what would you say?  I have been thinking about it this morning and I can't come up with anything.  Every time something pops into my mind it leads to another and then another and sooner or later there are a few things, all great, and I can not decide which one thing I like best.

At first thought I considered feign death.  The reason for that would be that if I could give any one ability from my hunter to my other characters that is the one I would want on them all.  It is, or could be, useful in many situations. 

You can feign death in PvP while a caster has you targeted and cause their cast to stop and make them lose you as a target.  Against relatively inexperienced PvPers they might even think you died and go to do something else, which really gives you the upper hand. 

You could run thru a bunch of mobs to an objective and then feign death to drop aggro and be where you needed to be without needing to fight your way all the way there.  If you pull too many when out and about you can basically reset the encounter, same goes for soloing.  You can save your butt to mass resurrect the group in a dungeon or raid.  Feign death might not be the most flashy spell in the game but it is one I would love to have on every single one of my characters.  So of course it was the first thing that popped into my mind.

Deterrence is another one of those abilities I would not mind having on all my characters but I don't think I would rank it nearly as high as feign death.  Same with disengage.  A fine talent and one of the staples of being a hunter but compared to feign death it does not have a prayer.  Masters call is closer to the feign death ability and I love to call it the most underused ability in the game.  It is something I wouldn't mind having on every character, that is for sure.  It is a great ability and not just for player vs player.  There have been many uses for it over the years and it is sad that I have never seen another hunter in a random use it when he could have.  Even the hunters in my own guild I had to teach the uses of it.  So while it is great and it is the most underused skill in the hunter arsenal, it would not reach that level of the one thing I love most about being a hunter but it does reach the level of the one thing I love about being a hunter that most other hunters don't even know how to use.

The second thing that came to mind was my pet.  My pet for various reasons but first and foremost because I love to solo things and it is all about my pet when I solo anything really.  Without it I would never in a million years be able to solo some of the stuff I do.  I always get a chuckle when I see someone posting "world first hunter solo" and it was something I soloed 6 months earlier.  I often think they need to add a word to that, "world first "recorded" hunter solo", that would be more accurate.  Heck, many times I see a world first I can't help but think that if I were able to do it and I am not very good there have probably been dozens of hunters that have done it already, just none of them wanted the spotlight.  Then there are some hunter solos that I could not do even dream of doing and they show how amazing the hunter class is at soloing stuff.  I wish I could reach that level of soloing because soloing is one of the best parts of being a hunter. Either way, me doing it, others doing it, it really comes down to our pets.  With the exception of a very few soloing moments, our pets are what made it all happen.  Our pets and us are like the rifleman's motto.  My pet, without me, is useless.  Without my pet, I am useless.

Pets are not only for soloing.  There are times you want to gather, you land and a mob attacks.  Send your pet to work while you mine that node or pick that herb.  Quest items to gather, no problem, let you pet keep the mobs busy while you collect what you need.  Ever go AFK and come back to a pile of bodies at your feet?  Thank you my furry friend, just wish I could loot them too.  Actually, because our pets are so freaking awesome is why we are not allowed to loot things our pet kills alone.  It would make hunters the ultimate botting class with no botting needed.  Just go to a busy area and go AFK and come back to loot later.  Oh how I miss aggressive stance.

Then control popped into mind.  Hunters have lots of it.  Traps, slows, interrupts, you name it.  Under perfect conditions and if you spec and glyph correctly you can conceivably interrupt 10 spells in a row, what other class can even claim half that many?  When it comes to kiting hunters are king.  We can slow in more than one way, we can grab the attention of multiple mobs with little or no effort while doing so and we can do everything we would need to do, even regenerate our focus while doing it not to mention giving ourselves a little speed boost if we need it. 

In the past years this has been made increasingly easier and coming soon it will be made even more so being there will be no need to change to fox to gain focus on the move.  I am not much of a PvPer and even when I do I do not like to play the control class but it sure is nice to be able to do that.  It works for PvE just as well as PvP.  Think a hunter solo tanking rotface back in ICC.  Pet on the boss while you kite slimes and still put out decent DPS on the boss at the same time.  Now that is control and utility, something no other class could have even imagined of doing while it was current content.

Speaking of utility, hunters have lots of it.  We might not be a great AoE class in all specs but we can switch back and forth between specs to excel at it if needed.  And while we have no real cleave ability some smart hunters have found a way to make us somewhat respectable with it, even if we will never challenge a rogue or warrior when it comes to a situation like that. 

And talking about mobility, none have the capability of being as mobile as we are.  I remember when I started playing, I was the land locked hunter.  It was either be land locked and do your damage, or be mobile and kite because your DPS while kiting did not matter.  Now I can do both, at the same time.  As the years have passed the glue on our boots has rotted away to the point that we can always have near 100% up time.  Take that mr warrior and mr rogue when you have to go running from target to target and I just hit tab. 

We can use those control things I mentioned earlier in many raids to slow, trap, and interrupt during fights and we can also remove spells and enrages on the enemy too.  How is that for utility.  Good standing still, good on the move, can do a wide variety of situational things that are needed for many fights, all that and more thanks to our pets.

Your pets bring us even more utility for a group, something that can not just be written off either.  Need a stats buff, we got it.  Need a bleed debuff, we got it.  Need a spell haste buff, we got it.  Some might be limited by the spec we are in but we can offer up everything a group needs that it does not have already.  That is one utility that no class in the game can even come close to offering.  Should this be filed under pets or should this be filed under utility.  Perhaps both, but either way, it is filed under one of the things that make hunters awesome.

While thinking of one aspect that I would love best aggro management came to mind but quickly left.  Aggro management is not quite what it used to be.  You needed to be very cautious of what you did and aggro management was a huge part of the damage dealers game play.  I even still say it is when someone is in a random and they complain about the tank not being able to hold aggro I tell them the job of a good damage dealer is to not only put out as much damage as possible but to do so within the ability of the tank.  If the tank can not hold aggro with you doing 100K, you do 80K instead.  As a damage dealer it is your job to not take aggro as much as it is to do damage.  While it is not as important as it used to be because of vengeance and ramped up threat generation from tanks you still have to love that with only two abilities, feign death and misdirection, a hunter has the greatest arrgo management tools in the game hands down.

I would be hard pressed to think of which one thing I loved the most about being a hunter.  It would even change from situation to situation.  I love the control in player vs player more than anything else.  I love the utility in most group situations.  I love my pet for questing and it is the reason that hunters are the best questing class in the game.  In the end I think if I were hard pressed to make a choice of the one thing I love the most it would be the one thing that I use in every aspect of game play.  Solo, group, PvP, raid, and it is even a utility in a way and part of aggro management.  I guess it goes back to what I said at the start, feign death.  So if I had to choose the one thing I love most about being a hunter it would be that.  Or my pet.  Or my utility.  Or... oh screw it.  I can't choose.  There is just so much to love about being a hunter.

How about you. what is the one thing you love most about being a hunter?


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    1. That is one of the biggest things about being a hunter, at least being a good one, there is so much you need to do to master it. People always say hunters are the easiest class but I can't help but believe those are people that have not ever played one. Yes, they are easy to play to some extent, but if you want to play them well they are far from it.

  3. Pet. Hands down, full stop, no doubts, period, exclamation point. Pet.

    That's why I picked BM when I started my hunter in Wrath and stuck with it even though BM sucked at the time. That's why I have 24 pets in my stable and keep hoping that Blizz will give us more stable slots.

    Baltas the white lion and I have been on many adventures together throughout Azeroth and beyond. Vrachos the rock turtle and I have killed shit that normally takes teams of support classes. Hymenoptra the silithid and I have chased many a dirty orc out of Stormwind. Shishi the quilen (a new addition to the team) and I have brought allies back from the brink of death to defeat our foes. Sarramantis the fen strider (another new addition) and I have fished the coasts of Pandaria. Plus the plethora of other pets who have aided our raid team, bringing key buffs or debuffs that allowed us to kill Deathwing. Hell, I even tamed Ghostcrawler; now, if only I could get him to simplify our rotation and stop hitting us with the nerf bat...

    1. Or to get him to keep his nerfbat ability after you tame him. Now that would be OP.

      I must admit I hold what I call an unhealthy connection to my pet. I have the first pet I leveled with and even if I have other cats he will always keep a spot in my stable. We have been through so much together I can never just let him go because another cat look cooler. See, a little unhealthy don't you think.

  4. Probably not what you intended with this post but it made me think of writing one for my main class, paladin of course. It would be a good shared topic, really interesting to see what the blogsphere thinks of the most loved aspect of certain classes. However, I think I'd likely have just as much trouble as you choosing one ability.

    Anyway, I really loved this post because I could feel how much you do love your hunter, how much fun you have and the enthusiasm for the class. It makes me want to go and play my hunter so I could maybe feel, for a moment, the way that you do. I like my hunter well enough and I did think at one point it would be my range dps class. I think warlock has taken that spot, though I haven't actually levelled a ranged class to 90 yet.

    I do love the pets part of hunters. I like naming them and I remember when I swapped pets in 4.3, when I was levelling from 80-85 that my dps jumped 5k just from changing pets. I was survival as well so I'm really surprised it made that much of a difference. I've played it briefly in Mists, while killing virmen/birds for farming, and thankfully I don't have as many focus issues, I used to have to do steady shot all the time.

    Anyway this post is inspiring in a number of ways. 1) you make me want to go play my hunter. 2) you've made me think of my next blog post. I'll of course link to credit you with the idea

    1. Can't wait to see it from a paladin point of view. Let me know when you post it.

      I do really love being a hunter. You might not find the same joys I do with it as each person is different. But for me, it fits. I feel comfortable with it. Could be because the first character I ever rolled was a hunter. When I quit and came back years later, it was a hunter again. So it was my first character, twice. Perhaps my love comes from being familiar with it or it could be because I have played all 10 (soon 11) classes and found that none of them are capable of doing as many things as well as my hunter can. A hunter really is a jack of all trades, and so are his pets. There is always a pet for everything. Now if only we had a serviceable heal I would be super happy.

    2. Well here's what I wrote - - I hope it's ok to put the link here. I'm not self-publicising for readers or anything, you just said you were interested.

      First character I ever rolled was a mage, got it to max, but if I'd never rolled an alt, never tried a paladin I likely would have quit the game a long time ago. I didn't really love the game until I played my paladin. It was like suddenly I realised this game could be fun. I've got 3 paladins now. My main, a horde, and a little baby one that I'm levelling glacially when time allows. I never really understood the duplicate class thing before, but with a class you love it can make sense.

      I've got an alt of every class as well. While there are aspects of them that I appreciate, the whole package is not as good as my paladin. Though as I said in my post if that wasn't the case the classes wouldn't be our mains, and we wouldn't love them so much.

    3. Link away. :) Your name does not lead to your blog so I never read it before. Will have to give some older posts a read.

      I feel most people will find something that just clicks for them and as long as they love playing it they will love playing the game. A fair deal of people that quit the game quit because they fell out of love with the character, not so much they fell out of love with the game. Just a theory.

  5. Well, I actually shelved my Hunter at the moment. All the things you listed are accurate to the bone, but some are the reason for me not playing it anymore.

    The pet is indeed awesome. Makes everything sp easy. But a bit to easy/boring for me. Not to mention the crappy AI at times ... grr ... frustrating.

    Ranged is awesome, as is all ranged in this game. But again, playing as a hunter in dungeons is for me again so boring. You can fall asleep while DPSing and still do good.

    PvP (normal BGs) is also easy mode. Stand at the back, nuke things, BM pet kills everything for you. Jesus ...

    Don't get me wrong, playing is hunter is easy, playing a hunter well is a lot harder.

    One of the (dis)advantages of playing a lot of alts is you get to see the differences between all the classes. And I have a lot of characters/classes at the moment.

    And at the moment the Hunter, Warrior are messed up. BM Hunter because your pet is like a second character you have along with you, making things incredibly OP, and Warrior because they made them tank/DPS hybrid with all the super cooldowns.

    Actually your post here inspired me to make one of my own.

    I hope you (Hunters) don't hold it against me for not agreeing with you (kinda) on the Hunter awesome part.

    1. Would like to see yours when you make it. I'll pop over later to see if you posted something, just catching up on comments now.

      You stated it perfectly why some people have this misconception about hunters. It is possible to be almost decent, even without proper skill. But people always forget there is a huge difference from being decent and being good. I know what you mean about falling asleep in dungeons, but that just does not happen any more with the number of buttons hunters have. That is, if you want to do it right. They can spam multi shot and do respectable.

      Example of the difference, I did LFR the other day, there were 3 other hunters there, 2 better geared than I, one by a hell of a lot, and one in roughly the same gear. Hunters are horrible at AoE unless they are survival, so I will use AoE as an example because it is the perfect example of skill, one button, or doing it right.

      I was doing over 200K AoE, they were doing around 100K. 100K is respectable, yes, all 4 hunters where in the top 6 easily with those numbers, but I was doing it right, they were spamming multi shot.

      So to outsiders looking in, they see hunters doing 100K using only multi shot on AoE and being top DPS and think hunters are easy. I do 200K in the same fight and wonder, how can so many hunters be so bad and just use one button.

      It is all about perspective. Hunters might seem easy, they aren't if you care about how you do. Of course that is only my opinion and I am a tiny bit bias. ;)

  6. Chain trapping!

    Granted this isn't a big deal anymore but back in Burning Crusade that was how to tell a good hunter from an average one!

    1. That is a skill long lost like the stutter step and the jump shot. It does make me miss being able to have two things trapped however.

  7. For me, it is all about the pets. It is the reason I chose a hunter to begin with. It is why I was always choosing a Ranger in D&D.

    The only thing I want more is a Melee Hunter! Weilding double shortswords, while you and your pet mix it up with the baddy!!! Woot!



    1. I think survival was originally supposed to be the melee spec. Would be nice being they can now do more than 3 specs (see druid) if new specs of other classes eventually make it into the game, like a melee hunter.