Friday, June 10, 2011

Beginner Guide to Hunters - Chapter 1: Factions and Races

Factions and Races
We now understand enough about the role of hunters to dive into creating one. When rolling (term given to the process of character creation) a new hunter, the first choice we must make is which side to choose: Will you choose the Alliance, or will you fight for the Horde. If you have never played any Warcraft games then this choice becomes trivial as there is no good or evil side from a gameplay point of view, although anyone who has played will probably argue that point.

Once we've decided on a faction we must choose a race. All but the gnomes of the Alliance can be hunters. The choice of race can be based on two factors: The look of the character and the racial bonuses the race provides. THis is to say that if you don't care about which race gives which bonus then go ahead and pick the one that looks the coolest to you. But if you are interested in racial bonuses and which race may statistically do more damage than the other in a given situation, then read on as we go through each race one by one and look at the racials that really benefit a hunters' DPS. I will not discuss racials that improve professions or give defensive bonuses (such as resistances). Note that the list of racials posted below the discussion was directly taken from, so please if any info is wrong let me know and I shall correct it.

Alliance - Worgen
Worgens were only introduced with the release of Cataclysm. They are a race of Werewolves who hail from the kingdom of Gilneas. Worgens have by far the best racial DPS bonus on the side of the Alliance, increasing a characters critical strike rating by 1%. On top of that they also gain a racial ability called Darkflight, which increases their movement speed by 15% for 10 seconds. This is extremely handy for hunters interested in Raiding or PvP allowing players to quickly move away from enemies or out of bad stuff on the ground.

[Darkflight] : Activates your true form, increasing movement speed by 40% for 10 sec. 3 minute cooldown.

[Viciousness] : Increases critical strike chance by 1%.

[Aberration] : Shadow and Nature Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

[Flayer]  : Skinning skill increased by 15 and increases skinning speed.

[Two Forms] : Turn into your currently inactive form. 1.5 sec cooldown.

[Running Wild] : Drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal. Serves as the worgen "mount".

Alliance - Dwarf
The dwarves of Ironforge and Dun Morogh were for a long time considered the best choice for hunters from a DPS point of view, that was until Worgens came around. Those stunty little buggers now have to settle for no.2 (or arguably no.3) on the list. Their racial DPS bonus is also a 1% increase to Critical strike rating, but only whilst having a gun equipped. They get nada, zip, zilch, null,zero, nothing (you get the picture) when equipping bows or crossbows. Their second useful racial is Stoneform which is a self-debuff remover (but not all), which can be useful in raids and PvP.

[Stoneform] : Activate to remove poison, disease, and bleed effects; +10% Armor; Lasts 8 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

[Gun Specialization] : increases chance to critically hit with Guns by 1%.

 [Mace Specialization] : Increases expertise with maces and two-handed maces by 3.

[Frost Resistance] : Frost Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

 [Explorer] : 15 point skill bonus to Archaeology and allows faster surveying of sites.

Alliance - Draenei
The Draenei (often termed Spacegoats or Tentacleface for their appearance) were once the second best choice (if not the best) for a hunter race, all due to their 1% hit rating provided not only to themselves but anyone else in their group. This was because Hit Rating is a hunters second best friend (behind Agility), and was once not as easy to obtain as it is now. But with the introduction of Worgens and Reforging (explained in a later chapter), the Draenei have lost a little of their shine. The only other racial ability of note is a heal over time spell (HoT) called Gift of the Naaru, which can be useful in both PvP and PvE.

[Gift of the Naaru] : Heals the target for 20% of their total health over 15 sec. 3 minute cooldown.

[Heroic Presence] : Increases chance to hit with all spells and attacks by 1%. No longer affects nearby allies as of Cataclysm.

[Gemcutting] : 5 point skill bonus to Jewelcrafting (note, this also raises the cap by 5 at each level of jewelcrafting).

[Shadow Resistance] : Shadow Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

Tip: If you decide to roll a Draenei hunter, you may want to consider rolling a female as they are much more pleasant to the eye. Although that tail......

Alliance - Human
The unimpressive and quite average humans have no DPS increasing racials in terms of hunters. The only desirable racials are "Every Man for himself", a Crowd Control Breaker useful mostly in PvP and the odd Raid situation, and Diplomacy (how ironic), the ability to gain Reputation faster than other races, which comes in handy for leveling and questing.

[Every Man for Himself] : Removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character. This effect shares a cooldown with other similar effects, 2 minute cooldown.

[Diplomacy] : Reputation gains increased by 10%.

[The Human Spirit]  : Increase spirit by 3%.

[Mace Specialization] : Increases expertise with maces and two-handed maces by 3.

[Sword Specialization] : Increases expertise with swords and two-handed swords by 3.

Alliance - Night Elves
Like humans, the Night elves of Teldrassil have no DPS increasing racials, as much as fantasy history would have suggested otherwise. Their only racial of use for hunters is the ability to Shadowmeld, which is enter a state of stealth where the hunter will lose all aggro from the target he's killing. This has some use in Raids and whilst questing to avoid certain death.

[Shadowmeld] : Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect, 2 minute cooldown.

[Quickness] : Reduces the chance that melee and ranged attackers will hit you by 2%.

[Wisp Spirit] : Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing speed by 75%. (As opposed to 50% increase of other races)

[Elusivesness] : Reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while Shadowmelded or Stealthed and increases your speed while stealthed by 5%. Faster stealthed speed added in Cataclysm. (Rogue and Druid only)

[Nature Resistance] : Reduces the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%. Changed to Nature Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

Fun Fact: Dwarven and Night elf hunters hate each other. This hatred is caused by Dwarven jealousy of Night Elf grace and height. Dwarves have been very vocal about their dislike of Night elves, suggesting they should join the Horde and claiming overall Dwarven superiority in all aspects of huntering. Night Elves have responded by turning Worgen and actually becoming better than Dwarves but also causing a near extinction of Night Elf hunters. The Draenei have claimed Neutrality in this squabble. And human hunters? Well you have to find one first.

Horde - Orc
Orcs are the king of all hunters (how that happened I don't know). They have two racial abilities to entice you to play an Orc hunter. Firstly is Blood Fury, an enrage that temporarily increases your damage output. Second is the racial that increases pet damage output, in other words, an Orc pet will do more damage than other pets. These two racials make orcs the highest DPS hunters in the game. Lucky buggers!

[Blood Fury] : Activate to increase attack power and spell damage by an amount based on level/class for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

[Hardiness] : Reduces duration of stun effects by 15%.

[Command] : Damage done by Death Knight, Hunter, Shaman and Warlock pets increased by 5%.

[Axe Specialization] : Expertise with Fist Weapons, One- and Two-handed Axes increased by 5.

Horde - Troll
Trolls also have two DPS increasing racials. Their first is a 1% critical strike rating increase when using a Bow. This is slightly better than the Dwarf bonus to guns, but only because there are currently more endgame Bows than guns in current content. Their second racial is Berserk, which provides a temporary increase to attack and cast speed. These two talents make trolls still considered the second best hunters in terms of DPS output behind Orcs.

[Berserking] : Activate to increase attack and casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.

[Regeneration] : Increase health regeneration bonus by 10%. Also allows 10% of normal health regen during combat.

[Beast Slaying] : 5% damage bonus when fighting against Beasts.

[Throwing Specialization] : Increases chance to critically hit with Throwing Weapon by 1%.

[Bow Specialization] : Increase Bow critical strike chance by 1%.

[Da Voodoo Shuffle] : Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%.

Horde - Goblin
Like Trolls and Orcs, Goblins have 2 racials that increase DPS. The first and most important is a permanent 1% increase to haste. The second is the ability to, on occasion, fire a rocket. The DPS increase from this ability is minimal but a DPS increase nonetheless. Goblins also have a Rocketjump ability, which can have some usefullness in certain Raid, questing and PvP situations.

[Rocket Jump] : Activates your rocket belt to jump forward. 2 minute cooldown, shared with Rocket Barrage.

[Rocket Barrage] : Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing X-Y fire damage. (24-30 at level 1; 1654-2020 at level 80). 2 min. cooldown.

[Time is Money]  : Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.

[Best Deals Anywhere]  : Always receive the best discount regardless of faction standing.

[Pack Hobgoblin] : Calls in your personal servant, allowing you bank access for 1 min. 30 minute cooldown.

[Better Living through Chemistry]  : Alchemy skill increased by 15 (and you gain bonuses for healing/mana potions you made; 25% more mana/hp from potions).

Horde - Blood Elf
The first of the not-so-good Horde hunters. Besides claiming to be really, really, ridiculously good looking, Blood elves have the ability to instantly restore some of their resources (mana, energy, focus, etc). This provides a minor increase to DPS. The same talent also provides a Silence, which has some uses on Raid trash and in PvP.

[Arcane Torrent] : Activate to silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. In addition, you gain 15 Energy, 15 Runic Power or 6% Mana. 2 min. cooldown.

[Arcane Affinity] : 10 point skill bonus to Enchanting (note, this also raises the cap by 10 at each level of enchanting).

[Magic Resistance] : Arcane Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

Horde - Tauren
Tauren have a minor AoE stun ability in War stomp, plus a minor health increase. From a hunter's point of view, that is it. I mean seriously, what did you expect? They are 2-legged cows.

[War Stomp] : Activate to stun opponents - Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

[Endurance] : Base health increased by 5%.

[Cultivation] : Adds a 15 point skill bonus to Herbalism as well as increases the speed you can gather herbs. (Note, this also raises the cap by 15 at each level of herbalism). Faster gathering speed added in Cataclysm.

[Nature Resistance] : Nature Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

Horde - Undead
The newest member of the Horde hunter family unfortunately has no DPS increasing talents. Their only racial of note is the ability to cleanse themselves of certain debuffs and Crowd controls, but not all.

[Will of the Forsaken] : Removes any Charm, Fear and Sleep effect. 2 minute cooldown.

[Cannibalize] : When activated, regenerates 7% of total health and mana every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yards. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect. (Mana aspect added in Cataclysm.)

[Underwater Breathing] : Underwater breath lasts 233% longer than normal.

[Shadow Resistance] : Shadow Resistance (1 point per level) since Cataclysm.

Fun Fact: Blizzard decided to give Horde races better racials to entice players to play Horde due to numerous other racial defficiencies. Blizzard realised that no one would want to play a race of hideous creatures suffering from slight retardation (Orc), a race of smelly, decomposing matter, with various Body parts missing (Undead),  a  bunch of sexually disoriented self-proclaimed pretty boys (blood elves), a magically transformed group of formerly domesticated farm animals (Taurens) and a shamanistic race of skinny hunchbacks with teething problems and a severe speech impediment (Trolls). Goblins are the only respected Horde race, their allegiance to the Horde often questioned. It is believed they only joined the Horde to avoid a beating from the Orcs.

A new baby hunter
Once we have decided on a faction, a race, a look and a name we can now create our baby hunter. The area in the world that you start your adventures in will depend on the race you chose. The starting areas are designed to guide you through the world with ease and familiarise yourself with the game mechanics, the world and your chosen class. When leveling, I would suggest to read every new ability you or your pet learn and try it out to see its effects in the game world. This, I believe is the only way to truly familiarise yourself with all that is available to you.

From level 1-10 you will learn about the basics of World of Warcraft and your class. Then things become slightly more interesting and complex with the introduction of Talents and talent trees at level 10, which we will discuss in the next chapter.

ProTip: Gnomes are perfect target practice for hunters...

No comments:

Post a Comment