I know I have a tendency to go inactive for awhile – both here on the site (obviously) and in-game – but it’s for no other reason than time management. I still really enjoy playing this game.
Sure, some of the changes in recent years have diluted the experience a bit, but I’m still getting a lot of enjoyment from the things that have always turned me on — PvP and pets.
I’m currently leveling up that sexy dwarf that’s featured in the new site header. At one time, back in Vanilla, he was actually my main. The first toon I ever rolled was Garwulf. The second toon I rolled was another hunter, who I called Thorgren. Seems crazy to some of you, I’m sure…making my first alt the same class as my main, but I honestly couldn’t think of another class to play that would be as much fun.
Also, keep in mind that back then then you only had a couple of stable slots (3 or 4…I can’t remember exactly) and one stable slot always had to be free in order to tame new pets for their skills. So, the only way to tame more pets was to have more hunters! Plus, there was no such thing as a dual spec back then. You had one specialization which you could reset, as needed, but it got really expensive to do so after awhile.
There were other reasons I decided to roll another hunter, including:
- Try out a new race. Dwarf was the obvious choice, as I wasn’t really amenable to going Horde back then, and Dwarf was the only other Alliance race that could be a hunter, apart from NE. I also liked how the Dwarf class lent itself to huntering by bringing with it the cool gun racial. Yes, I was learning about DPS about this time as well.
- Level on a new continent. I wanted to try out all of the starting quests in the Eastern Kingdoms, but…as a hunter, of course.
- Experience the hunter class as an engineer. After playing for a few months I was realizing how cool engineering was, and thinking I’d love to have all of those gadgets at my disposal, but I didn’t want to reroll either of my professions on Garwulf. Only logical choice was to make a new hunter! And man was it fun! I used to love raining down death from above as I’d parachute down to attack the gold mine in Arathi Basin, blasting dirty hordies as I descended upon them. Of course, often times I’d be die from caster DoTs just about the time I’d hit the ground.
- Learn a new hunter spec. Garwulf was my beast master, but I really wanted to try out Marksmanship full-time. I didn’t want to keep flip-flopping my specs, due to the hassle and expensive gold sink, plus I just identified Garwulf with the Beast Mastery spec. I’ve since switched him up over the years, but I guess I was a little bit of a role player in my early days.
- No dishonorable kills! Garwulf had earned some dishonorable kills during a raid on The Sepulcher one evening. Vanilla was a great time for me because world PvP actually existed and was really damn fun, but…there was always the danger of a dishonorable kill. I have no idea if this was something that was frowned upon by the community as a whole, as I never even knew the WoW forums existed back then, but in my guild it was like, “oh no…you got a dishonorable kill…Ouch!” Garwulf had been forever tainted after some innocent vendor had been slain during that raid. I know it sounds silly, but that kinda bothered me. Later on, dishonorable kills were stricken from the game, which cleaned Garwulf’s record of all wrong-doings. At this point I was able to resume play on him with no shame whatsoever.
- Create the über-hunter. After playing the game for a few months, and actually (mistakenly) thinking I was getting pretty good at it, I thought it would be really fun to re-level a hunter and own everything in my path on the way up. When I was playing Garwulf, I don’t really think I was even moderately skillful until about level 40. This desire to return to PvP at the lower levels was my first experience with twinking, I suppose – even though I wasn’t really aware of it at the time.
- Play anonymously. By the time I’d rolled Thorgren I’d grown disenchanted with a few of the folks in my guild, then eventually left. Rather than join a new guild, I just thought it’d be fun to play WoW anonymously and solo…as a hunter, of course. I kept the toon a secret to all but my closest of WoW-mates. In fact, for years this guy remained guildless – making him a nice choice for playing during those times I just wanted some “me time” — no guild drama, no whispers, just quiet solitary huntering.
So, there ya go. That’s how Thorgren came to be.
I leveled him up to around 57, then the pre-TBC patch hit and boosted BM to new heights. This newfound power within the BM tree, coupled with my cleansed honor slate, made me want to return to playing Garwulf and, well, I never really looked back after that. I’ve dinked around on Thorgren here and there over the years, and I’ve even re-rolled one of his profs – picking up Enchanting – as I thought he’d make an awesome toon for farming enchanting mats. In the 6.5 years since I abandoned him as my main, I’ve gained about 20 levels – mostly through PvP experience gains, plus the occasional instance.
He’s now sitting at 77 and he just tamed his first Spirit Beast!
I’ve spent the past couple of days casually looking for Arcturis and/or Loque’nahak and I’m happy to say, they are both still quite popular. Even at this stage of the game, and on my quiet server, Spirit Beast taming is still quite a popular endeavor. I’d usually see at least 3-5 hunters in Sholazar Basin and seldom was there a time that Amberpine Lodge was not being camped. Made me wonder if any of those hunters had come to this site looking for taming tips or spawn locations. I hope so.
By the way, I’ve decided to give all of my pets people names on this guy. Arcturis is now “Carl”. I’m going with kind of a Despicable Me thing.
I’m playing Thorgren as BM right now, but I’ll likely switch him back to MM pretty soon. I’ve not played MM since Wrath, I think, so I’m due for a change. Ya know…shake things up a bit. I have a few alts, including a Druid, DK and Rogue, but they all pale in comparison to my hunters. If I already have enough trouble finding time to play, then why not maximize my enjoyment by playing the ultimate class when I do have a chance to get on. Spending time on my other toons is just cheating myself, right?!
Alright, so none of this is really important other than it demonstrates how I see this game and how I feel about hunters. I don’t get all caught up in the end-game biz, daily quest grinding, raid scheduling, etc, etc… I just like to get on and have some fun. Obviously…because not only do I have 4 hunters, but 2 of them I put enough time into to have them both decked in Field Marshal’s transmog sets! I thought about going a different route with my transmog for the dwarf, but then I decided I gotta go with the old school PvP look because I can!
I guess that’s why I still love this game after all of these years. Although I became way too consumed by it in the beginning, I’ve never taken it too seriously. I do what I like and shy away from a lot of what others engage in that I consider “work”.
Anyhow…if you’re by chance leveling a healer through the 70s, and you happen to be in a random BG with a gun toting dwarf who has tortoise shells on his shoulders, toss him an occasional heal, will ya!