Hunters, five years later

WoW Insider’s fairly new feature known as WoW Archivist posted a very interesting article recently. It covered beta patch 0.9 which was the patch that introduced the greatest and most good-looking class to the game; Hunter!

I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see how much of what they wrote about the Hunter class when it was originally introduced was still applicable today, so I took the liberty of adjusting the below notes a bit. If you wanna see the original un-edited notes then please refer to the Wow Insider blog post.

The Hunter Class is now available to test! Hunters track, tame, and slay all manner of (Still trying to tame those elks!) animals and beasts found in the wild. Whether they rely on bows or firearms, Hunters consider their weapons and pets to be their only true friends. Races allowed to become Hunters are the Night Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Tauren, and Troll …all of them (except gnomes).

Hunters are great for pulling monsters as they are able to set traps that hinder monsters that the Hunters pull to attack. Hunters are also able to use various beast-related special abilities, take on a bestial trait that gives them a supernatural powers (you mean Bestial Wrath right?…), control and tame beasts, and use a wide variety of ranged attacks complimented by a very few melee abilities.

Hunters are closely related to their pets and must remember to always keep their pet’s happiness in mind. When using a pet, Hunters will notice an icon in the top left corner of their screen that depicts their pet’s happiness. The more Hunters use their pets, the lower their pet’s level of happiness will become. Hunters should always remember to feed their pets to raise their pet’s level of happiness or worry about their pet abandoning them or even attacking the Hunter! Hunters are also the only class able to name their pets.

The Hunter can use the following weapons: Axes, Daggers, Guns or Bows, Crossbows (with training), Fist Weapons (with training), Spears (with training), Staves (with training), Swords, (with training), Thrown (with training), Two-Handed Axes (with training), Two-Handed Swords (with training) . The Hunter can use the following armor: Cloth, Leather, Shields, and Mail (at level 40, with training).

General Changes:

  • Hunters and Rogues gain attack power based on AGI and STR. All other classes gain attack power based on STR.
  • With the addition of the Hunter class, Tracking has been removed from general trainers in the world. It is now available to Hunters only; they may train in it at Hunter class trainers (Haha! Suck it everyone else!).
  • […]
  • A new “Ammo Slot” has been added to the character screen. Ammo must be placed in this slot in order to use a ranged weapon (bow, gun, and crossbow). Only ammo placed in this slot, and any like it in your bags, will be used. Other types of ammo will not be used.
  • Ammo will be fired from a quiver, ammo pouch, or any other bag. Quivers and ammo pouches are no longer required.
  • When you right-click ammo in your bag/quiver, it will place the ammo in the “Ammo Slot.”

As you can see, a lot has changed since then. While it is true that we still can pull mobs for the benefit of a dungeon, it’s not really something you ever see anyone doing anymore and therefor isn’t really all that relevant. Same thing with the weapons and armor, while we can equip those other types of weapons armor we rarely (pretty much never) will want to do so.

The original (gangsta?) Hunter class

I feel I have a pretty good idea of Blizzard’s original vision of the Hunter class. They wanted us to be a class that was very, very closely tied in with out pet. It was supposed to feel like a symbiotic relationship. You take good care of your pet and it rewards you with it’s loyalty, increased damage and granting you bestial powers. Choosing a pet was meant to be a commitment and you’d have to stick to your guns for a long time if you were to ever get a reward out of the relationship (leveling it up from the mob’s original level to 60).

There’s also this idea of how Hunters are supposed to be the “prepared” class. As a Hunter you will be a powerful and dangerous enemy to your enemies, but only if you come prepared with:

  • A painstakingly tamed and leveled pet, that you feed several times a day and therefor also hunt food for.
  • Quivers or Ammo pouches full of ammunition. No ammo? No pain!
  • Pre-set traps. If you don’t lure your enemies in your traps then they are very likely to get to you and if they get to you, you’ll be defenseless.
  • The first shot. You should always be the one attacking first, from afar. If you let yourself be caught off-guard you’ll most likely be dead within seconds.

Hunters and pets in Cataclysm

In Cataclysm, several years later. Are we anything like the original hunter class?

Well, the idea of having a symbiotic relationship with our pets has definitely taken some hits over the years. For Survival and Marksman hunters pets are a lot more like mobile totems that also provide you with a sizeable DoT rather than true companions you really care about.

For Beast Mastery hunters however, things are a bit different. BM hunters care more about their pet than ever before, not only do they need to worry about picking the right pet (just like MM and SV) but they will also see almost half their dps coming from their pets! And this high amount of dps will only be achieved if you do your part and command your pet to kill those foul enemies of yours.

Other than Kill Command, BM hunters also have Bestial Wrath, Spirit Bond and Spirit Mend abilities to increase the feeling of a symbiotic relationship between the hunter and the pet.

Why Camouflage fits hunters like a glove

Are hunters still a class that needs to be prepared for every situation to be able to come out of it victorious?

The answer to that is; No, but it helps. If we’re being ambused by a rogue or sneaky feral or have some mob bum rush while our tenacity pet is cooling off in the stables, then yeah, we’ll be in trouble. But we have more tools now to face unexpected situations. We can disengage, deterrence, summon several different pets on the fly, etc.

We don’t need to prepare by bringing ammo anymore, in fact we just don’t have any ammo. I miss you ammo, won’t you come back? I still have my quiver ready for you. Please come back? AMMO!!…. Where was I? Oh yes, we don’t need ammo anymore, which is a great quality of life improvement but certainly takes away a bit of the feeling of “being a hunter”.
We also don’t need to prepare by bringing our pets any food and we don’t need to worry about happiness or loyalty and we don’t even need to level our pets anymore! (I’m already living patch 4.1, can you tell?)

We still have traps and we still use some of them, ice trap and freezing trap have many great uses in raids, dungeons and battlegrounds but unfortunately our other traps rarely used.

There’s one new thing which reinforces the whole prepared-state of hunters though; Camouflage! This widely believed to be pointless ability is actually one of the things that makes us more huntery than anything else. It enables us to sneak up on our prey and to load up a carefully Aimed Shot to neutralize that prey. It enables us to sneak away from situations we know we can’t handle (if we spot it before we enter it) and it enables us to trap in a very strategic manner before any mobs move anywhere.

Long story short

Yes I think hunters are fairly close to the original idea of the class. The class has definitely become a lot less painful to play and doesn’t require nearly as much time investment as it used to but all the basic concepts are still there, in new fancy clothing.

Interesting reading



About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
This entry was posted in General, Hunter, Hunter Pets, Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hunters, five years later

  1. Sensazione says:

    I had 1 ghost cat pet from darkshore for a very long time. Since releveling something else was too much of a ballache at the time i would never do it. Then they switched it and i wanted a tenacity pet.. But i accidentically abandoned my ghost cat! (Not put in stable but really.. send to wild!). It took me 10 minutes to realise what i had done.
    I went back to catch a new ghost cat.. But it wasnt the same anymore :'(..
    Im such a geek. Can you tell 😉

  2. Gavendo says:

    I know what you mean… that’s why I still have my WotLK wolf “Grey” in the stables (which I never use since I have “BP” now). I just know that retaming it wouldn’t be the same…

  3. megapull says:

    Hehe yeah, I also wrote a lookback post on 0.9 earlier on… also Senza, I had the Ghost Saber aswell back then… good times, good times.

    Nice post.

  4. Pingback: Patch 4.1.0: 20 Weeks Post-Cataclysm « 35 Yards Out

  5. beczkowozy says:

    Phenomenal website! Cool breakdown of the topic! Your posts are very interesing! Nice work.

  6. Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Friday.

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