Sometimes I wear a mask for a while.

There was that warlock that I leveled to 64 or something, and there was the druid who hit 80 and whom I raided with. Then there were all the other druids I promptly rolled. Then there were all those other classes I rolled which never hit 50. I think the closest was a 42(?) rogue.

And you know, it’s fun. And I’d like to think I’m an okay druid.

But then I take off the mask and become a hunter again and I’m in my element, doing something as natural to me as breathing. This is the part of the game that’s in my blood.

Hunters have changed a lot over the last five years. The skill of watching your pet’s aggro when you solo– and your own aggro in a group– is mostly gone. The art of chain trapping is largely gone now that traps last over twice as long as they used to and are rarely used anyway. Ferocious Inspiration, once a Beast Master’s most iconic talent outside of Bestial Wrath, is gone. Steady Shot and Arcane Shot swapped places as the Shot We Liked and then we dumped Steady altogether for Cobra. Shot weaving is gone. Mana is gone.

Blizzard doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing with Aspects. At one point we had a whole bunch of them and it felt like an important part of the class, but now we’re down to “Aspect of the Always Use so It Should Really Just be Baseline”, “Aspect of the Running From the Bank to the Mailbox”, and “Aspect of the PvP Maybe or Something?” and the latter is about to be removed.

Hunters of all specs languish at the bottom of DPS simulations, and Beast Masters are so bursty currently that PvPers are complaining and we’re probably first in line for the traditional x.1 nerfbat.

It’s a tricky business.

So what are people doing? Retiring the hunter until Blizzard figures out what they’re doing with the class? Perhaps. As for me, I couldn’t ever permanently put on another mask. Five and a half years of playing a single class drills instincts and habits into you that you wouldn’t have playing something different, and perhaps it puts a certain mindset into you, as well.

And so I’ll keep doing what hunters have always done. Surviving.

All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies.
And whenever they catch you, they will kill you.
But first, they must catch you. Digger, listener, runner. Prince with a swift warning.
Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

7 Responses to “State of the Hunter Address October 2012”
  1. Kialesse says:

    It should not surprise me that you would quote Watership Down and yet it did anyway.

    Well played, Pike.

  2. It’s never been about topping the meters for me, though I will admit that it’s fun when I do. I’m just happen to be able to be at range and moving. Melee is horrible (IMO) and cast-times are horrible (IMO) so the only viable class is Hunter. Good thing we’re made made of awesome.

  3. [...] But then I take off the mask and become a hunter again and I’m in my element, doing something as natural to me as breathing. This is the part of the game that’s in my blood. . . . Read full article [...]

  4. Omogon says:

    Pike !! you’re back !! I just stumbled on your post in The Hunters’ Hall. I’m slogging through MoP, just hit 90 last week, loving the quests and loving going back to BM as my main spec :) My dps sucks but Harry ( my turtle ) has saved the day three times now when the tank has died and he held the boss for that last few crucial bit of HP for the kill….waaay too many buttons to push…waaay to many dailies….but still really liking MoP

  5. Mister Adequate says:

    But you’re a BM hunter, not a Survival hunter!

    Check and mate.

  6. Repaxan says:

    The WoW team’s design-schizophrenia isn’t confined to the hunter.

  7. Pike says:

    @ Omogon – Yes I am! :D

    @ Repaxan – That’s distressing to hear. Hunter is really the only class I’m familiar with and can comment on!

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