You often hear that Hunters can be boring to play in Classic WoW, and they’re not wrong, but it’s very subjective and any class can be considered boring to play.
Let’s dive in a bit on the subject.
What Makes Hunters Boring?
Like the famed Paladin, Hunters do a lot of auto attacks – a lot. There’s a few reasons for this.
One, Hunters want their pets to have threat on a mob and by using high damage abilities, like Aimed Shot, you can quickly pull threat off your pet. This often means that most of your fights have you only casting Serpent Sting – a DoT ability.
With that, our combat rotations are very simple. In PVE (since PvP is such a dynamic situation), you’re going to cast Hunter’s Mark, send in your pet, start auto shot, use Serpent Sting, and just keep auto shooting. It’s not the most riveting combat you’re going to see by any stretch of the imagination.
In raids you’ll only really use 2 abilities: Aimed Shot and Multi-Shot. You may use Hunter’s Mark, and also Tranquilizing Shot (if you have it and the boss requires it). Sometimes you even get to use Serpent Sting. Oh, and Rapid Fire when off CD!
So, pretty simple combat in raids, but that’s true of almost every class.
When you put those things together you can see why Hunters aren’t a class everyone enjoys. If you want engaging combat that has you constantly on your toes, then Hunter isn’t going to be your class – at least for PVE content.
So What Makes Hunters Fun to Play?
How can Hunters be fun to play and boring at the same time? Glad you asked!
While it may seem on the surface that Hunters aren’t a lot of fun, that’s not the case at all – of course that’s my opinion.
Ability to Escape Any Situation
There are a lot of tools at a Hunter’s disposal to escape bad situations.
- Wing Clip (60% movement speed reduction)
- Feign Death (drop all aggro)
- Feign Death + Freezing Trap (drops combat and places an immobilizing trap that lasts 20 seconds – PVP-centric)
- Scare Beast (20 second fear on beasts) is great for PVE content and useful in PVP (includes shape-shifted Druids)
- Scatter Shot (4 second disorient – Marksmanship Talent)
- Counter Attack (5 second root – Survival Talent)
- Intimidation (3 second stun – Beast Mastery Talent)
The point being, there’s rarely a situation you’ll find yourself in as a Hunter that you can’t get out of. For PVE, Feign Death will be your go-to ability. In PVP you’ll Feign Death + Freezing Trap a lot to escape nasty situations (like a Rogue jumping you). Scatter Shot is great for this as well.
Good Utility Class
The Hunter, like many other classes, has the ability to aid his/her group and raid. Abilities like Trueshot Aura (+100 attack power) which is a talent, and Hunter’s Mark (+110 ranged attack power on target, more if you spec it), can really help boost the damage of your group/raid.
Not really utility so much, but the Hunter is the only ranged class that doesn’t folk like a wet paper bag when engaged in melee. Having mail armor at 40, and with a few talents in Survival, you can fight and hold your own in melee.
This doesn’t mean the Hunter is a melee class, though some do try, but getting punched by a mob isn’t the end of the world.
Traps can be extremely useful in groups. Freezing Trap will let you take a mob out of combat for 20 seconds, and Frost Trap will slow mobs going through it by 60%, helping you control the flow of some fights. These can be further improved with Survival talents too.
Let’s not forget tracking. Hunters can track pretty much anything, in turn making your life easier in the open world tracking down the various mobs you need to kill, and keeping your team alert in PVP situations.
In the same vein is Flare, which lets you remove stealth from mobs that pass through the Flare. This is invaluable in PVP and makes you the anti-Rogue class.
There’s definitely a few other elements of utility for the Hunter class, but those should cover the high points. A Hunter isn’t the best utility class there is, but it’s a nice bonus to have on a DPS class.
Pets are Fun!
Pets, in my humble opinion, are why you play Hunter over other ranged DPS classes. With a not so exciting rotation in combat, having the meta element of pets is what really keeps me interested in the class.
Warlocks have pets too, however, the Hunter pets are pets that you choose. You decide what pets you enjoy and you go find them. Also, you get to name them, feed them, and train them.
Those elements are unique to a Hunter compared to a Warlock and in turn make your pet feel a part of your class.
Pets, for me, are simply fun. There’s something to be said for spending hours or days tracking down that unique pet you’ve always wanted and finally getting it. You feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you do that, and it also makes you feel like a Hunter.
There’s a lot to be said for pets, but they really are what separates a Hunter from the other ranged DPS classes. If pet management is something that sounds annoying to you, then Hunter probably isn’t the best choice.
Lots of Damage
Hunters do very well on the damage meters. While that’s not how I measure my success with a class I know it’s important to many.
With some moderately decent gear and good pet management you can top damage meters in dungeons and raids. You’ll be competing with Mages and well geared Warriors for the top spot but that’s about it.
Not much to say other than that really!
There’s Always Something to Do
If you’re playing Hunter because you enjoy the class as a whole, then you’ll always find something to do; even when you’re 60.
Pets & Fishing
I routinely try out new pets. It’s like an obsession of mine. Different pet families, different attack speeds, trying different pet abilities, etc. It’s a game in itself honestly.
You can adhere to the masses and listen to what they say the best pet is, or you can spend some time experimenting and finding the perfect pets for you. I recommend the latter.
With those pets comes feeding them. If you’re lucky enough to have pets that eat fish, then you’re going to spend some time fishing. Feeding your pet for free, be it from fishing or farming mobs for meats, will save you a lot of gold in the long run.
Farming & Tribute Runs
Farming for professions and making gold is easy on a Hunter and something I routinely do. All classes find themselves doing this, but I don’t think there’s a class that can do it easier than a Hunter can. I take that back, Mages AOE farming probably has it the easiest.
You can learn to do Dire Maul Tribute runs to make gold and get yourself some nice items. I learned to do this and got myself some great pre-raid BiS items. I also made some gold in the process.
I don’t currently run DM for Tribute runs now though. While the gold is great, it can be a very frustrating experience; especially while you learn the ropes. I decided I’d rather farm other things than run and sell Tribute loot and buffs.
Still, it’s a great way to learn something new, get better with the class, get some loot, and make gold.
It’s a Cohesive Class
Probably my favorite aspect of the Hunter is that it feels like a Hunter and everything is cohesive. Between pet management, traps, class utility, the solo-ability, and class abilities the class feels complete.
I’m not saying other classes don’t feel the same, but I feel the Hunter is spread out a bit more than others, and that wider range lends itself to the feeling I’ve mentioned.
It’s like how the Rogue feels the same with pickpocketing, stealth, lock-picking, poisons, etc. Some classes feel more complete than others.
High Skill Ceiling
It’s very easy to learn the basics of a Hunter and to do well with the class. However, there is a high skill ceiling with the class too. It’s not all auto-shots with the occasional sting woven in.
Where expert Hunters shine is in those situations where things go sideways. Being able to use the full Hunter toolkit to minimize a bad situation is what separates a good Hunter from a great Hunter.
This is a subject all its own however, so I won’t cover it in any depth here. Suffice to say there’s more under the surface to the class than most people give it credit for.
I could no doubt cover more stuff but I’ll leave off there.
Overall, the Hunter is a very fun class that offers a range of abilities and things to do. I’ve leveled a few 60s in my time, and the Hunters is the one I’ve enjoyed the most because I never feel bored when I log on. Of course that’s very subjective and what I find enjoyable you may not.
Still, if you’re considering a Hunter, then I recommend you give it a shot and see how fun it is.