Sometimes I still wonder how WoW might be different for me if I had chosen another class. If I were a tank or healer I would never have a problem getting groups, that’s for sure. With the implementation of WotLK, there has been a much stronger reliance on DPS in boss fights. I actually find it kind of satisfying every time I see someone spam “LFM DPS Ulduar 25”. Suffice it to say, long gone are the days of sitting in trade for hours LFG for anything. We are DPS, but what separates us from the rest of the DPS classes and hybrids in the game?
Hunters are one of 4 pure DPS classes in the game. The rogue, mage, and warlock are the other three. What makes us different? What makes us unique and fun to play? For starters, we are the only ranged physical damage class of the 4. Secondly, we have the best threat redirection and reduction abilities. With Misdirection, Distracting Shot, and Feign Death we can control mobs like no other class. The ability to completely drop threat every 30 seconds for minimal mana means we can always pour on our heaviest damage and never gain threat over a tank. Even today, I still have the “WTF?” moment when the boss decides to turn on me, only to realize that the tank actually died and thankfully I didn’t get us wiped. Even if I had pulled threat, it means I forgot to Feign Death and if I am quick I can still mitigate my mistake. Show me another class that can do that consistently.
Our primary role in early, pre-TBC WoW, was pulling mobs to the tank. This was done mostly with trash mobs so the group wouldn’t aggro more than it could handle at any one time. Pulling more than one group in UBRS at level 60 would mean a wipe almost every time. Things are considerably different now, since doing pulls are far from required. They can be helpful from time to time, but mostly tanks just charge in from group to group. This is also aided by the dungeon design that Blizzard has changed to, with less trash mobs in general. Chain pulling Molten Core for a less than 3 hour completion was hella-fun.
One boss pull that was always fun for me:
The group starts on the opposite side of the room facing the General. The fight opens with the tank and off-tank charging the two adds, and the hunter grabbing aggro on the General. Immediately the hunter starts running back out the entrance towards the room where The Beast slumbered. General Drakkisath moved very slow and did no ranged damage past 30 yds, so it was easy to keep him kited as long as you kept popping arcane shots and left serpent sting up to keep threat. The trick to it was staying over 30 yards away, but within shooting range. He casts conflagration, which essentially meant you got killed if he got it on you. Once the group gave you the ok that the two adds were down, you feign death and run back in to finish him off. It was always a blast, and every once in a while I did get conflagrated. 🙁 This was also possible with another ranged class, but since we have Distracting Shot it made it a lot easier for us. Plus, at the time when 60 was the max level, no other class had a FD-like ability.
One role that we have, while limited, is crowd control. Primarily we are only asked to do this in 5 man pug groups and occasionally in 10-mans (but very limited). With our ability to freeze something for 20 seconds untalented which works on any mob type, we have one of the best CC abilities in the game. The only problem is they have to walk onto our trap, while the other classes can do it from a distance. This was changed slightly with a ranged version, but too little too late to be honest. Still though, in lower level dungeons, having every bit of CC you can is key to a successful run.
Another role we play is the “enrage dispeller”, for lack of a better term. Tranquilizing Shot was added solely for the purpose of one boss in Molten Core. Whether it was an excuse to bring Hunters, or just a perk thrown in, it made for a fun time on an already chaotic boss fight. For those that don’t know what I’m referring to, you should go into MC and fight against Magmadar. Sadly, with the changes they have made to Tranquilizing Shot, it actually no longer works on the fight, but it still brings back great memories.
There are also miscellaneous tasks here and there that you might be asked to do. One in particular, I was called upon to do last night. In the Trial of the Crusader, the final boss is Anub’arak; a giant undead beetle who summons other undead spawn and large beetles. During one of the phases in the fight he burrows and sends spikes in the ground to chase people. When they hit, they hurt everyone in the area for a good amount of damage. The one thing that halts his spikes is something on the ground called Permafrost. Permafrost is created from floating orbs. The orbs, when killed, drop to the ground and create the patch of Permafrost. My job in the fight was to kill the orbs to make the Permafrost appear. A second perk to having these on the ground is that the undead that are summoned can’t burrow while on them, which causes them to return to full health. If it weren’t for me and my orb killing, we wouldn’t have been able to take Anub down (that’s me kneeling in the front on the left, btw).
It was something more than just standing and shooting for me, which is always a plus. Secondly, it was our first kill of this boss and it made it all that more important.
This should provide you up and coming hunters with what to expect when you hit the end-game scene, or if you just like to tinker with dungeons once in a while. For those veterans out there, I hope I brought back some good memories of fights long past.