WoW Hunter Impressions

I hit level 20 with my Hunter in World of Warcraft over the weekend so I thought it would be a good moment to write up my initial impressions of the class. I use the word “initial” because my total time played is just over 10 hours or so which really isn’t much at all. Ah, I remember the days when it used to take 10 hours to get to level 5 in Everquest. Just goes to show how much the speed of leveling has increased in MMOs over the years. Anyway, I digress. But you liked it.

I wasn’t totally sure about the Hunter at first because I usually prefer direct, close-up melee classes and I wasn’t sure how much I’d like having a pet hanging around me plus the Hunter seemed to have a bit of a bad reputation for being “lame” (that’s actually a scientific word). Still, I soon found myself really enjoy the class, much to my surprise.

Maybe it’s because I’m using a gun but I found ranged combat a lot more satisfying than I imagined and soon abandoned my idea of going full-on melee. The pet also turned out to be a lot more engaging than I thought and I became pretty attached to the little Ravager I tamed (I named it after my wife, much to her annoyance). It’s like having your own little Tamagotchi. I’m impressed with the depth that Blizzard have gone to to make the whole pet mechanic like a little meta-game within Warcraft. Various pet talent trees and unique abilities per pet family add a whole new level of thought and strategy to the class that I’m finding quite rewarding.

Leveling the Hunter has been super-easy. I know it’s only early days but I breezed through the first 20 levels without breaking a sweat and since I got Aspect of the Viper, I barely have any downtime. This is big contrast to when I leveled up my Priest which I found particularly clunky. With the Priest, I felt like I didn’t get to truly become the class until level 40 whereas I feel like I’m a full on Hunter since I got my first pet. PvP is also good fun and, without even being twinked, I can tell the Hunter is particularly good at low level battlegrounds.

Perhaps the thing I like most about the Hunter are the talent trees. I like the fact that Blizzard often uses talent trees to offer class flexibility but I gotta admit that I find it takes a lot of choice out of the game. Take the Paladin for instance: it’s fantastic being able to fulfill the roles of a tank, healer or DPS yet your only have one path to take for each. The Hunter is only DPS and whilst that limits the roles they can perform in a group, it does give way more interest and variety with talent selection. I’m enjoying the fact that each tree is different and yet perfectly viable for PvE or PvP. It gives the choice back to the player and that’s refreshing.

Overall, I’m digging the Hunter. Yea, I know, nothing you’ve not heard before but I’m glad that I gave the class I shot. It’s certainly Blizzard’s most unique and original class and I’m delighted to find that it’s not a disappointment. Now if only there was some new content to play…

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12 Comments

  1. Tesh says:

    I’m a fan of Hunters and Druids. In my mind, they offer the player the most choices and the most varied utility, and I value that in game design.

    And yes, the pets definitely have a Tamagotchi/Pokemon vibe going. I’ve actually wondered why they don’t have a zoo function (like the Zaishen Zoo in Guild Wars) to scratch that collector’s itch more effectively. Three (now five, I think) pet slots just aren’t enough to satisfy a real pet addict.

    • Gordon says:

      The choice is fantastic and I admire Blizzard for going to so much trouble for just one class. It would’ve been easy to allow them to tame pets and stop there but the pet talent trees and differences between them all add a lot of strategy and fun to the class.

  2. Yeah, hunters are fun. It’s fascinating how no other MMO has gotten the pet mechanic right. The key thing in WoW is you have to select your pet, go out and find him and train him and feed him and name him. Becomes much more personal than the pet classes in LotRO, Warhammer, etc.

    BTW, early on you should learn to put your pet on passive at all times and bind “pet attack”, ” come back”, and “stay” to keys. (I use ZXC). The #1 reason lame hunters are lame is they can’t control their pets. It’s a bit more work, but you’ll quickly enjoy the hunter privilege of sitting around doing nothing while your pet kills things for you.

    Try out a gorilla when you reach your 30s. Unless they nerfed Thunderstomp, it’s like having your own little paladin tank following you around.

    • Gordon says:

      The Beastmaster in Everquest was good although a lot more basic. In that, each race got their own pet from level 1 and it leveled up and grew with them. I quite liked the fact that it got bigger and learnt more abilities although it’s still pretty basic compared to the Hunter’s pets in WoW.

  3. Rob says:

    While hunters have a reputation in WoW for being “easy mode” they are probably the class I have had the most fun with. I loved the abilities they have, and the concept of having a pet(s) that grow along with you just rocks my socks off.

  4. I always used that flying beast around Silvermoon as my pet with a Hunter! Nice dmg they do and I liked the fire breath! Woooo fire! :P
    BTW nice hint of Nelson how to handle a pet! Used that passive mode too and worked out well…

  5. All Tenacity pets (tanking pets) have thunderstomp now so it makes picking your choice of solo tanking pet (bear, crab, turtle, etc.) a lot more fun. I still retain that of all of my characters that my hunter is the most fun to level. I’m sure it has something to do with the synergy of the pets.

    They certainly have made a lot of advances in streamlining pets and making them more interesting.

    • Gordon says:

      The Cataclysm patch sounds interesting too. Hunter’s will get focus instead of mana and pets will no longer belong to a specific talent group – instead you’ll be able to pick the group you want. I’m looking forward to getting a cunning gorilla :)

  6. SmakenDahed says:

    I liked it when you actually had to capture pets, learn the higher ranked abilities from them then train your chosen pet with it… but that’s just me. The current system is okay, but it minimalizes the need to manage a pet.

    I also named a hunter pet after my wife, it was a blue crab. What can I say? She was being crabby at the time…

  7. luvy duvy says:

    i love my hunter (dwarf with a bear) i like the look and the feel that i can just send my pet to bite you and when you turn around to hit it i shoot you in the @ss. this is why it is the most simple and one of the most popular class to play. however i think what they should do is completely remove the survival talent tree since nobody hardly uses it anyway. and make a tree that you can litteraly make your pet a Tank. i know beastmaster tree does make your pet powerfull to tank no but im talking about a TANK TANK like it could tank like a warrior for dungeons and even raids then you will have more of a varaiety with the hunter make it that like the hunter can litterly buy armor and weopons for there pets while the hunter instead of shooting it does spells to keep it alive and hold aggro that would be pretty awesome

    ex Cobalt razor neck collar does xx amount of damage and has xx armor

    swift fire paw braclet has xx damage and causes to make the target to additionly bleed for xx% and adds xx% threat to any attack

    blade tail armor occasionaly knocks the target stunning him for xx% and causing xx additional threat *only works on scorpions, dinosaurs, tigers

    Fang cap causes your pets bite to cause additional xx damage * works on tigers, wolfs, spiders

    blizz can do so much with this class with a better talent tree other then servival and if you think about how the world of azeroth would be if you were a hunter and had a bear or a tiger wouldnt you give it some sort of armor wether it be to protect your pet or be able to cause more damage

  8. mary-li says:

    I am a new comer in wow , and my class is hunter too.
    Your article helps me with pet choose,weapon choose,etc.
    I can’t wait to try.

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