Friday, June 10, 2011

Beginner Guide to Hunters - Introduction


About this guide
Hunters are arguably the most represented and loved class in not just World of Warcraft, but also the blog-o-sphere. So I have decided to write this guide to give a complete overview of the class, with hints and tips useful for newbies and experts alike.

This guide has been written with all kinds of players in mind. We will start at the beginning of a hunter's lifecycle and finish at the end. If you are looking for boss strategy or questing guides this is not the guide for you. In this guide we will talk about creating a new hunter, hunter attributes,the different talent trees, pets, leveling and raiding builds and so much more. We will look in-depth at the different statistics and their effects on hunters.

This guide will also contain humorous snippets and opinions. Please consider that these are for amusement, and that 95% of the opinions contained within are mine, and not necessarily of other bloggers. So without further adieu, lets dive right in and start at the beginning.

What is a hunter
Before we can dive in and create our hunter we need to find out what a hunter is. The hunter class is what I would call a damage/support class. It is an extremely efficient ranged damage dealer, able to pump out competitive DPS (damage per second). But what is often overlooked is a hunters' incredible versatility, being also a very efficient Crowd Controller (by use of traps and other abilities) and one of only 2 classes proficient at Threat Direction. Recent changes to the hunter class, have now also turned the hunter into a secondary buff/debuff class (buffing means improving friendly targets attributes, debuffing means decreasing enemy attributes).

For all its strengths the hunter class has one glaring weakness - it is extremely weak when in melee range, both from a PvP (Player  vs Player) or PvE (Player vs Environment) point of view. Hunters have a "Minimum Range" requirement which means when in melee range (less then 5 yards away from target) our ranged weapons won't work. But don't despair. The hunter has abilities to gain distance quickly and to to slow targets enough to be able to escape.

ProTip: What to do when stun-locked by a rogue? Die gracefully.....

As mentioned before, the hunter is a ranged class. This means we primarily use ranged weapons to deal our damage, in particular Bows, guns and crossbows. No pistols yet but we are hopeful. A hunter can equip melee weapons, both one-handed and 2-handed (except maces) but these are merely for show or, to use a WoW term, "stat-sticks" which is to say the only benefit a hunter gets is the stats of the weapon.

FunFact: Guns don't kill people. Hunters kill people. Although a gun certainly helps.....

And lastly the hunter is a pet class. That is to say hunters, just like warlocks and certain mage and death knight specs, can summon an ally to help their cause. What sets hunters apart from the other pet classes is that hunter pets are more personal. Hunters have to actually go out into the wild and tame their wild beasts. They can name them, feed them (until recently mandatory to improve pet happiness), make them do tricks (only certain pets), make them fight for you or abandon them if you don't like them anymore. A hunter's pet is almost as much a part of the hunter as the hunter itself. Without it a hunter will do considerably less damage, lose the pet specific buffs and just in general be worse off. I will talk more about hunter pets in another chapter.

FunFact: They say a hunter and his pet share a special bond. How special is at the private discretion of the hunter....

Join me again for Chapter 1 of the Beginner Guide to Hunters.

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