I was reading a post, well many really, on the forums about how OP hunters are in PvP and how they need nerfs. I contend just as I always have that those words are about as far from the truth as if I were to tell you 2 plus 2 is 17. There is no basis in fact, not even loosely interpreted, that would make anyone believe that hunters are OP in PvP in the hands of anyone outside of the most expert of player.
So the real question is this. Should hunters continue to be nerfed if the best of the best players are capable of getting a lot out of them?
Your average hunter in PvP is not going to be dominating any group quickly as they are one button wonders at best. The lesser than average skilled PvP, like myself, might be able to take some classes one on one if we can gain some sense of control but would never win against any class as long as they have at least minimal PvP skills even with a one button burst macro.
There was a phrase first started a long time ago in reference to hunters in PvP. Easy to play, hard to master. And that is exactly the case. Are all these people crying on the forums about how OP hunters just unlucky and running into the few, extremely few, good hunters?
Lets take a look at a post Cynwise made on June 1st of this year, only a few days ago, before the recent span of nerfs. I will remind you these forum posts I am talking about are all after these huge PvP nerfs to hunters. So the numbers posted in Cynwise's post are actually better than what they would be now after the nerfs.
I am going to share one image from the post to follow and I suggest people take a look at the post before just automatically assuming hunters are OP because one beat you in PvP.
Image taken from Cynwise's post : Class Distribution Data from Path 5.3.
Please take a moment to read the post I linked above, the one that the image came from.
Now lets take a moment to take a quick look at that image and see what information we can gather from it.
There are more hunters in the game than another other class. Only paladins have more of their class at max level percentage wise and that is only by a scant .02% more.
So with this data we can say with absolute certainty that there are more level 90 hunters than their are of every other class basically. Looking at hunter usage in heroic raiding you will see that they are middle of the pack really with mages, DKs, locks near their same representation and warriors monks and rogues being considerably less. You can even consider that hunters need a buff in PvE considering that. How could a class have so many more than other classes at max level and not seeing at least an equal representation in raiding when comparing how many of them more there are percentage wise? But now to to topic, PvP, and hunter representation there.
I will quote a deduction Cynwise made in that post which while only one line basically echos what I am saying here. "Hunters: Underrepresented in PvE, dramatically underrepresented in PvP."
Hunters have the absolute lowest representation in PvP at a higher skill level than any other class in the game excluding one, the newly introduced monk.
Now to ask people that are crying a serious question.
If the better PvP players, the ones that play to win and play for rank are not playing the most widely played class in the game and the most widely leveled class in the game, how OP can they really be?
When the people that play to win do not play them they are not OP. If they were OP then the people that play to win would surely play them wouldn't they? Hunters represent a dismal 6.3%, nearly a full point behind rogues and only above the newly added monks which sit at 3%.
Let me explain basic math and logic to the people that might have issues understanding it. In a world of pure balance percentage wise things would remain consistent throughout all aspects of the game. Only druids seem to maintain what could loosely be considered a balance at all levels according to those numbers.
If one class was over powered you would see a large percentage boost in that area. This is because people play to win and if they have that class they will play it. Looking at those numbers and comparing the at 90 percentages with the 1800 rating ones you will clearly see that priests are amazingly over powered. So much so that they are almost to the point where they double up. Shaman are the next highest increased representation class. Saying priest are OP in PvP has some numbers to back it up.
Where are those OP hunters one might ask? Dead last (outside of monks). For a class that basically has more at max level than any other class to have such a minor showing in end game PvP is about as close to proof that they are not as OP as people might try to lead you to believe.
So why is there all this crying on the forums that hunters are OP?
I can tell you exactly where that comes from. Beastmastery burst damage. It makes them one button wonders. So why does that not translate to the 1800+ numbers? Because the better players know how to counteract that burst. If it was not capable of being countered those people that play to win at a higher bracket would surely be taking advantage of that to win.
The only people that are complaining about hunters being OP are, please excuse me if this sounds elitist, bad players. The people complaining just do not have the skills that better players do to counteract the issues with the burst. They are either caught by surprise, forced to use their defensive abilities earlier so they are incapable of countering it, or are not skilled enough to handle it. That is it.
The basic fact that at the high end the representation of hunters is so low proves that using that one button wonder approach does not work against the good players. Feel free to correct my if I am wrong as I am not a PvP player but looking at the numbers, actual numbers, it is the only conclusion I can come to as to why there are so few end game hunters. It is because they are not OP in PvP, not even in the slightest.
So am I trying to say that hunters need a buff? Yes and no actually.
Yes, they do need a PvP (and PvE) buff because as the numbers show they really are lacking. And no, because in the hands of a truly skilled player hunters are amazing in PvP already as it is and it has absolutely nothing to do with their burst.
Yes, you heard it hear first. Hunters can be extremely over powered in PvP in the hands of a very skilled player and it is not because of the burst. It is not because of the one thing everyone is complaining about. It is because they have a huge toolbox for control, a fair amount of movement cooldowns, the ability to move all the time while continuing pressure and an unlimited resource as well as a built in distraction that functions as an active DoT affectionately known as fluffy or spot or whatever you decide to call your flesh hungry instrument of death.
But OP? Not even close to OP. Not in the hands of the average player, not even in the hands of a good player. The skill cap for a hunter is insane. You would have a better chance trying to three box a boomkin arena team to any measure of success than you would being able to play a hunter at the top skill level. Triboxing would be easier.
The reason they can not buff hunters is because of that huge skill cap required to be truly great. The few great hunters in the game would become unstoppable killing machines if they buffed hunters so the lesser skilled, like me, or the no skilled, like the people crying on the forums, could actually become effectively good.
Basically the only time hunters are OP at max level is at the absolute lowest skill level. It works for me because if I ever decide to PvP that is where I fit. The lower skill level. But once I run into better players it becomes a matter of I need to learn to play better or get my ass handed to me. And that is exactly what I have to say to those people crying on the forums that hunters are OP. They are not, it is just a case of you need to get better or you will keep getting your ass handed to you.
Lets face it, if you are letting a hunter beat you with one button the problem is not them being over powered, the problem is you needing to learn how to play better.
Now if you run into a hunter that is chain CCing a group of three all at once while he picks you off, that is an extremely skilled hunter. Just sit back and relax and watch the poetry in motion as you watch them play the hardest class in the game to master in PvP at a level that 99% of the player base could not even dream to attain. Don't cry for them to be nerfed, admire the fact that you got to watch how awesome hunters are in the hands of a great player because you will rarely if ever get to see that because they are so hard to play at that skill level.
In the hands of the extremely skilled hunters can be OP but those are few and far between. But please, stop with the stampede makes them OP BS, it is wrong, just flat out wrong. Hunters are not OP. Just look at the numbers if you don't believe me. Do those numbers show a class as being OP? Not in a million years. If anything they show a class in desperate need of some serious buffs not nerfs.
So to answer the question, are hunters OP in PvP? Yes, and 2 plus 2 is 17.