Friday, February 21, 2014

10 Reasons *NOT* to Use Your Boost to 90 on a Hunter

In the scattered shots article over at wow insider Adam wrote about 10 reasons to use your level 90 boost on a hunter.  You can see the article here.  While the fact remains I agree with everything he says, except for one of his points, because that shows how great hunters are as a choice to play I also believe that his post shows more so why you should not use your boost to 90 on a hunter.  Almost as if he could convince someone not to use the boost on a hunter in his effort to convince them too.

So as a rebuttal of sorts I decided to make a post telling the reasons you should actually level a hunter and not skip the experience.  You will notice that a lot of my bullet points are the same as his, this is why I said his points, while valid, show why leveling a hunter is so dam awesome and you should never consider skipping out on the experience.

10 Reasons *NOT* to use your boost to 90 on a hunter

1) Feign Death

Just like his #1 ability feign death hits number one on my list.  It is the single ability I wish I could carry on to all my characters.  You get this ability at level 32 which means you will be having it for most of your leveling experience (unlike MD which we get at an ungodly high level, can someone explain why to me please).  It is a great ability and while some people in his comments mentioned that rogues can do the same thing with vanish they can not.  Sorry rogues but vanish is just a poor mans feign death.  Vanish removes you from battle, feign death removes you from dying, there is a bit of a difference.  You can feign death and let your pet finish off that mob that was just about to die.  Vanish resets the mob and you are back to square one and still have to kill it but now it is at full health again.  Not saying vanish is bad, I love that ability when on my rogue, but it is nothing even close to being compared to feign death.

Feign death allows you to drop battle.  It allows you to dump aggro.  It allows you to skip all sorts of things, just get a nice run, even if there is a chain of mobs following you, when they start to get close just FD and lose them all. It can even fool an inexperienced player in PvP allowing you to escape certain death or turn the tide of battle.  Feign death has a lot of uses and when leveling you will find a million and one times where you can use it to make your life easier.  Ever have someone dump aggro on you, run on top of them and feign death and dump it back, dismiss your pet too for good measure, and then laugh as they die after they tried to get you killed.  I love doing that to people on the island that try to make me kill their mobs for them.  Does that make me evil?

2) Gathering

Many people leveling alts are doing what I do lately.  I pick mining and herbalism and then when I reach max level I switch to the professions I want for the character and power level them.  Low level ore and herbs always sell well, better than current level ore and herbs some times.  So if you are selling every single thing you collect while leveling you will have more than ample gold to power level any profession of your choice when you reach max level.  All that and doing both of these gathering professions gives you experience, which in turn helps you level.

But any class can pick those two gathering professions right?  Sure, but none can do it as well as a hunter.  Mob on an herb, send your pet on it while you pick it.  Kill quest mobs at the same time as you are mining that node.  Having a pet, and more so having one that can hold aggro, is such a boon to gathering, even more so in those preflight levels where you often need to fight your way to a node.  Ever been facing someone else running to a node and you get there first only to be hit and the other person comes a split second later and takes the node?  Not going to happen to a hunter.  With a hunter is it not the node, it is your node.

3) Disengage

The same number three as Adam listed and basically the same reasons he listed it for.  You get this ability early, extreme early, as in level 14.  Why skip 76 levels of fun using it?  All the examples he gave show why this ability is so awesome, but is also shows why it is so awesome when leveling.

You can use disengage to negate fall damage completely.  When questing there is no need to run all the way down the mountain and then back around.  Just jump off the edge and hit disengage before you land.  No fall damage, quicker travel.

You can use it to skip areas completely too.  Ever been in one of those caves that you see the quest mob and as you are running up you notice there is a gap because you were supposed to go around and not the way you did?  Well with a little jump in the air and a well timed disengage you jump over the entire gap and you are killing your quest mob ASAP instead of having to run your way through the whole cave.  Sometimes you might wish you had more distance but with the glyph of disengage your wish is granted.

Once you master the jump, turn, disengage you can use it as a blink just like a mage but twice as sexy like.  Ever since they removed the need to be in battle to disengage it has turned this always useful ability into an ability I sometimes wonder how you could live without.

4) Rare Tames

Same number four, different way of looking at it.  When leveling you will not need to hunt those rare spawns, you will come across them as you level if you are lucky.  Nothing is better than questing in an area and seeing a skin you have never seen before and being able to pick it up on the fly.

Sure you can go online to see what skins you like and then go get them, but that is not playing in the spirit of a hunter.  A hunter is out in the wild killing mobs and completing quests and when they see such a wonderful beast, one that they would love to have fight by their side, they go and tame it.

As you level up the tames will get more interesting, you will find spirit beasts, you will find challenging tames, you will find some hard to find mobs and even some easy to find ones that are just the look you wanted but never noticed them before.

Taming as you level is what being a hunter is about.  Picking up your first spore bat as you get to zanger marsh is much more satisfying than going back at 90 to grab it because your raid needs it.  Sure a tame is a tame, but taming a 60 at 60 just feels right.

Not to mention, what do you think would be more fun, standing there waiting on a spawn point for hours or days or weeks trying to get a cool tame or just coming across it while you are questing?  Trust me, nothing is more exciting than seeing that spirit beast while questing and you drop everything, dismiss pet mid battle, feign death to drop what you are doing and run over to it at top speed hoping you can get to it before someone else.

I don't know about you, but it is a lot more exciting for me then having some addon go off when I am tabbed out and come back into game to land and tame it when I know even if I ended up with 3 or 4 mobs on me they can not hurt me.  Rare taming while leveling is fun, give it a try and tame as you go.  Maybe you will get lucky and run across a spirit beast, just make sure you are beast mastery when you level through northrend if you want one, because there might not even be time to switch specs now that cross realm server garbage they added which made everything harder to get.

5) Leveleing

One of the the absolute best reasons to level as a hunter is because hunters are the champions of leveling hands down.  No other class can even come close to how quickly a hunter can level.  They can grab quest items while killing a mob along with their gathering previously mentioned.  They can pull multiple mobs, CC, slow, stun, kite.  If you ever say that leveling as a hunter is boring you are apparently not pulling enough, or as the saying goes, you are doing it wrong.

Hunters have so much control, complete movement, ranged combat, pets, and are pretty damn powerful at low levels there is no reason not to take advantage of it and run through a zone tagging all 12 mobs you need to kill for a quest at the same time.

One of the other reasons that hunters rule for fast leveling is that you never need to stop killing.  No mana to worry about, no energy to wait on, no resource worries what so ever if you do it right.  When running from quest to quest you can keep killing while on the move getting your shots off on the target while you are running at it and then looting it when you get to it and keep moving forward as if moving in one fluid motion of non stop action.  The concept of leveling a hunter and leveling one fast is as easy as kill everything.  Each mob you kill gives you experience and not only is experience good, killing is fun.

While some classes might want to wait a little bit to move to the next zone, hunters do not need to.  As soon as you can pick up quests for the next zone, move on to it.  Abandon any quests left undone and head to the next zone, oh, and kill everything on your way for added experience.  This will maximize experience and be a lot more fun than staying in an area where the mobs are already starting to turn gray because you are just not quite ready for the next zone yet.

And speaking of questing there is another thing that makes hunters great for questing and that is #6.

6) Soloing

End quest mobs, no problem.  Those quests labeled 5 players should be labeled 5 players or one hunter.  Even since cataclysm removed all the heart from the leveling game and made all the end quest line mobs easier and removed most of the elite quest mobs so they isn't much of a challenge for any class any longer, there are still a few tough ones out there.  When you do run across one of those rare 5 player quests you can still tackle them just like they were any other quest.

That giant core hound in shadowmoon valley, the one labeled for five players and one of the last remaining elite quests in the game might say five players and it might need five players when they are all of the support class variety, but when you are a hunter just head there and land and make that core hound your bitch.

With a pet, movement, and every tool you will ever need, a hunter has never met a quest mob that could do him in and if you did die, use this as an opportunity to learn the class and get better at it because unlike all the other classes, you should be able to solo it.  Just look at your abilties and begin to learn how to play a hunter because this kill is yours and you will not be denied.  Let the other classes say it is too hard and move along or spam general asking for help but you won't because nothing is too hard for a hunter.

7) Movement

Also the same as the post by Adam and another one of his reasons that I think support not making your free 90 a hunter.  The ability to do everything on the move helps in so many ways.  In questing, like I mentioned you can keep killing 24/7 because there is no reason for a hunter to ever stop.  It is part of what makes soloing so easy.  It is awesome for PvP when kiting all those pesky melee too.  Laugh at them while they run in circles trying to catch you and never can.

Once you play a class where you can do everything while moving and at range you will never want to go back to one of the other classes and I can't say I blame you.  Movement is huge and can be a great deal of fun.  But doing all that movement while doing all your abilities can take practice, so might as well start at the beginning so you can get good at it.

Sure the movement matters at all levels but it isn't nearly as awesome at later levels when things actually take a few seconds, or even minutes, to die and you will usually be standing in one place during that time anyway.  When leveling with things dying in 2 or 3 shots you can go at them full on with a vicious killing spree and running circles in a zone killing everything without ever needing to stop.

It is when leveling where the constant movement can actually be used to its maximum potential and then you will realize how freaking awesome it is to be a hunter and being able to do everything on the move.  What use is that awesome power when questing at a high level?  Sure you can move from the bad faster, you can kite better than other classes, but you will still spend 90% of your time standing still.  Try leveling with a hunter when you will start moving at level 1 and not even need to consider standing still for even a second until you get to the 50s where, maybe, you might meet the first challenge that lasts for more than 5 seconds and makes you stop moving.

8) Low Level PvP

This is the one point I strongly disagree with that post on.  He states that boosting a hunter to 90 is great for PvP.  Apparently I play in a different PvP world because when I see a hunter in a battle ground when I am on any of my characters my eyes pop out of my head like a cartoon character and the words free kill appear in my pupils.

Hunters have all the best skills in the game to rule at PvP, even more so in battle grounds, but the bar between good and bad is so high that you would need to have exceptional skills, over 100 key binds, and fighter pilot reflexes to be a good hunter at 90 in PvP and if you are using your instant 90 on a hunter I have some bad news for you, that player will not be you.  You will be one of those hunters that I see in a battle ground that make my eyes light up with free kill happiness.

Hunters have the highest skill cap in PvP at max level but at a low level that is a completely different story.  While hunters still have many skills they need learn how to use to be good at PvP like masters call, scare beast, traps, concussive, scatter, counter, venom and the list goes on, at low levels they can get away without using any of those things and still be beastly.

Not just can low level battle grounds as a hunter be fun because you run around like a god but you can completely change the flow of a battle.  Zone in with your team down, go on a hunter rampage thanks to being able to do everything on the move, and turn the flow of the battle from a loss to a win.

For every bit as much as a level 90 hunter is a free kill unless they are extremely skilled, a level 20 or level 30 or level 40 or level 50 hunter is a god, even if they are not skilled.  Why would anyone, even if they are not a PvPer, want to skip a point of the game where the class you play is so over powered just because of the design of that class?  Enjoy being over powered, do not skip it.

If you intend to PvP, absolutely, positively, do not use your boost to 90 on a hunter.  Go enjoy the pure power, or over power if you will, of being a low level hunter in low level battle grounds.  You will thank me later.

9) Leveling Teaches

Hunters have a bad reputation for doing things wrong and if you play one it is easy to see how some of that happened over the years.  Hunters create more aggro than any class in the game but they also have the best aggro management tools in the game, better than any other class.  They have pets that like to taunt if they are not instructed not to.  One stray arrow can bring along additional friends.  All things that have lead hunters to have a bad reputation.

Sure you can use your instant 90 on a hunter and be an intelligent player and read up on how to make a misdirect macro, a masters call mouse over, turn off your growl, and all the other little things that can help you look like one of the more informed hunter, but there is no better teacher than experience.  So while you do not need to level to learn if you are a intelligent player that is willing to read everything at max level you have to realize that the same intelligent player that reads everything will easily make max level in less than two days /played anyway.  So why not enjoy the fun of leveling and maybe learn something that all those articles didn't teach you.

Hunters have so many abilties and I am not just talking about the rotational bloat, I am talking about situational abilties, special abilties, tricks you can do, that the only true way to learn all these things is to use them.  Nothing you read will ever have them all no matter how many hunters there are out there sharing information.

While it is true that the leveling process was completely gutted with the changes in cataclysm that does not mean you can not learn while leveling.  Quite the contrary.  If you level like I mentioned, kill everything, keep moving, kill some more, you will often find yourself in situations where you will need to kite, need to CC, need to use abilties you might not even realize you had.  You will fall in love with things like concussive shot to slow a mob and masters call to get you out of a sticky situation.  You will find out that sometimes bouncing aggro between your pet and yourself is necessary and learn how to do it so the mob hits neither of you.

You will learn how to pull to get only one mob.  You will learn how to not pull from a mistake because of the horrible in game tab target system.  You will learn how to line of sight a group of casters so they will collapse and you can AoE them down.  You will learn what hunters say when they say easy to play and hard to master when you start adding binds to all those abilties, and you will have a much longer time to learn where everything is bound if you are adding them over time and using them often as compared to just throwing 100 abilties on your bars all at once.

While many might say otherwise, leveling can teach, and hunters need to learn because we have more to learn about than any other class in the game.  Because of the stigma attached to hunters you can not just be good, you need to be great just to be considered good.  It is no surprise so many hunters got labeled huntards.  With so much to learn I wonder how the other classes would have managed if they had that much on their plate all at once.  The last thing you want to be is another level 90 huntard, why not level yourself and be another elite level 90 hunter.

10)  Community

While the hunter community has taken some hard hits over the past year with the loss of our long running pod cast and the closing of the warcraft hunters union the hunter community is still alive and kicking with dozens of active bloggers that live to help hunters and not just write about their hunter and what they have done but share how they did it.  The community is larger and more inclusive than any other classes community I have ever seen.

Hunters have their own DPS analyzer specifically made for them courtesy of Zaherah at female dwarf, they have a pet database to see what new tames there are and what skins we might like that are out there in petopia.  We have some excellent hunters doing some outstanding soloing that I would have not even thought was possible and they are always willing to share how they did it.  We even have a wow insider weekly article written by Adam where most classes don't because even that site realized that the population of hunters are a rabid fan base always looking for more information and looking to get better.

So while the community has lost a fair deal of its biggest and best this last year there are always new hunters coming along and contributing to what is the biggest and best community in the game, the hunter community.

11)  Transmog

Yes, a number 11 of 10.  But this one might only applys to some people.  Anyone that likes to transmog knows that some of the best looking gear in the games comes from quests.  So why not quest your way up and check out all the gear and collect some awesome pieces while questing.  This really goes for all classes, not just hunters.

PS:  Sorry Adam, I loved your article, but I loved it so much it made me want to level another hunter, not just make an instant 90 to get one.  Your article shows how awesome hunters are to level.  Why would anyone want to skip that?

So have some fun and level yourself a hunter, do not waste your free 90 on one.  You will thank me later.


  1. nice article, but one point - I have leveled too many hunters, why would I not want to fast level one. But no, I would probably use mine (if I can understand what you are writting about) for a paly.

    and hey, were you picking on me for getting a spore bat at level 90?

    got'cha again


    1. Nope, most people never got a spore bat when leveling. For the longest time it sucked.

  2. I agree with most of your points, and going back and leveling a hunter from scratch now that I know how to play one better has been an awesome experience. I learned the 'kill everything as you move' method doing this and find it annoying I can't do it on others. And low level pvp does make you feel like a god, go in at min level for a tier and out damage, out kill, etc all of the max level for the tier toons. Then go laughing back to leveling, never pausing to stop killing things. Too much fun.

    My one quibble is about gathering, prior to flight, hunters would be awesome, but after flight, druids are in my opinion, the best bar none. Not needing to leave flight to gather is one of the best abilities ever, its super useful for questing too. You can hover over and gather, never aggroing the mobs all about the node, and fly off, never spending a second waiting to mount or even deal with mobs. Its the most time efficient method of gathering I can imagine.

    1. I did make the note pre flight on the gathering thing but still think a hunter makes for a very capable farmer. Also, when there is a mob near a node it still beats out a druid (if it isn't herbing that is).

      It is nice to not aggro anything, but as a hunter you want to aggro it while picking up stuff because you get experience and your pet will be killing it for you anyway while you gather. ;)

    2. If you have the Sky Golem, then all classes are as good as a druid at herb gathering, though for mining Druids still have the instant cast flight form.

    3. Instant cast flight from is great for beating people. Instant case seal form was also awesome for mining and herb under water in the one zone in cata. I had my druid farm there all the time and because everyone hated that zone I always had a massive amount of materials.

  3. I'm choosing not to boost my hunter because there are quest zones in Northrend I never did Hordeside the first time around.

    1. That is a great reason too. It made me forget one of the things I wanted to mention in my post. Going back up to edit. Thanks for reminding me. And don't ask me how you saying that reminded me of trasnmog gear.

  4. 12) Anyone who doesn't already have one should be using the instant 90 for a Monk.

  5. @ OP, I dont see any motive not to INSTANT boost my hunter, right now im gonna do that, i hit 60 and free proff boost to go too. Your post seems irrelevant to me and most other hunters that already did this in the past, maybe to new scrubs it might be relevant.

  6. Is there a way to undo the boost?