So you've Quested, PVP'd, and PVE'd as a hunter and thought maybe you'd like to give the RP realms a try. Well sir or ma'am, this article should help you get started in the incredibly complex World of Warcraft role playing world. Lucky for you, your class is one of the easiest and most versatile class to RP in, in my humble opinion. With no real formal training (unlike other classes like Warlocks or paladins) and the solitary nature of the hunter and his pet it is the ideal class for truly breaking out of the strict lore of some races. Here are some helpful hints for the first time RP'er.
1. Learn your Lore.
I'm not saying read and memorize everything, just know basic stuff about your class, race, faction and world, or at least have some bookmarks to references. Blizzard has some great material for beginners and from there you can decide on how you'd like to proceed.
2. Choosing Your Name
Name etiquette on RP servers is much more strict than the other servers, for obvious reasons. Do you personally know anyone named Lolfailmage in real life? Even a name like Sureshot, while acceptable to most, isn't very original. Have fun with it, and if you can keep it hunter themed, even better. Also, pick a title (if you have some)that is rare, and fits with your toon. Even old titles are appreciated in the RP world. (I use my Celestial Defender title, very rare and showy, and I'm still getting complimented on it.)
3. Your Characters Back story
Now that you've gotten somewhat familiar with your lore, time to create your back story. My advice to you on this is keep, it simple to start with, and as your character develops it's personality, your story will natural develop with it.
4. Picking the Right Pet
As a hunter, you are generally viewed as a private person who has an unbreakable bound with your pet. Chose carefully, and remember, this isn't for DPS or tanking, it's for show. Pick something that compliments your character, and put some thought behind naming it.
5. Gear and Weapons
Look for rare and/or showy armour, stats aren't too important, and don't be afraid to put on old tier or even leather armour. Weapons present a nice opportunity to really show who you are. Duel weld, 2h axe, pole arm? Gun, bow, even throwing knifes? totally open to your discretion, but put some thought into it. If you're a silent hunter who scouts an area for your raid into Goldshire, a large pole arm or a loud gun might not be the best choice, but if you actually hunt for your group, then that gun might be desirable.
Guilds are great if you're new to RP. Be careful though, some are VERY dedicated to RP and will not put up with anything that is not in character. I suggest looking for a light or medium RP guild at first, get to know whats what. Heavy RP guilds are truly dedicated and often script story lines that might not fit your story, so be careful if you decide to join one.
Like I've mentioned before, hunters offer incredible flexibility when it comes to RP, so be creative and original. Some like the bond with nature they develop, some .like the solitude, I myself am a hunter for reasons of revenge, but that's a story for a later time. Hopefully these tips will help you get started into RP, but don't forget, it's your imagination, use it or lose, it.
AFTERTHOUGHT CORNER: My personal favorite gear for RP is the tier 6 set, because lets face it, when you're deep into Alliance territory, you can use as many eyes as you can! (and eyes can't smell the stench of those drunken Dwarfs)