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World of Warcraft Guide: A Quick Look at the Hunter

By Randall Head on August 07, 2009

The World of Warcraft is one of numerous possibilities. Players can take on many roles, including: healing, tanking, and damage. The hunter class is one of the most popular DPS classes in the game. Many new players choose the class because it is the “coolest” in their opinion. Who wouldn’t want to have a gun or bow, and have a badass pet fighting for them? The hunter class offers new players a fun and fairly simple experience for their first character. I’ll admit, my first character was a dwarf hunter, and I played him for about two years. I love the hunter class! However, the main problem is the unfortunately named hunt@#d stereotype.

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Definition of ‘Hunt@#d’ from www.urbandictionary.com: “A derogatory term used to refer to dumbass hunters in the MMORPG ‘World of Warcraft’ who are clueless about their class and how to play.” While not particularly the nicest way of putting it, that just about sums it up. While killing monsters may be simple for hunters due to their high damage shots and help from a pet, playing a hunter efficiently with groups and achieving maximum DPS (damage per second) is much more difficult. However, if you can play the class well, you can do some serious damage.

In group play, inexperienced hunters, or hunt@#ds, can cause major headaches for the other members of the party. Many small mistakes can cause big disasters. It only gets worse in endgame content. I’ve seen hunt@#ds cause 25 man raids to wipe because of a single stupid mistake. /facepalm ! This is why group leaders are often wary of bringing in hunters that they don’t personally know to a raid.

So you have just installed WoW and you think hunters are totally badass? Well they are! But you don’t want to be called a hunt@#d do you? Well, let’s talk about the most basic decisions. Horde vs. Alliance – it’s really up to you. I loved the look of the dwarves, so I chose alliance. Here are the classes that can hunt, and some info about them:

  • Dwarves (Alliance): A solid choice. Dwarves look cool IMO! They also have gun specialization, which gives you an extra 1% crit chance when using guns.
  • Draenei (Alliance): Really have no perks for hunting. Have an instant cast heal that is nice though.
  • Night Elves (Alliance): Most popular choice on alliance. Mainly cosmetic. No real perks for hunting. Shadowmeld ability gives you another threat reducing ability, and you run faster when you are in ghost form.
  • Orcs (Horde): Bloodfury racial gives a damage buff for a few seconds. Pets also do increased damage. Also have stun resistance. A very good choice, especially for PvP.
  • Trolls(Horde): Beserk racial increases attack speed for a few seconds. Additional 1% crit chance with bows. Another good choice.
  • Blood Elves(Horde): Very popular choice on Horde, however BE offers no hunter perks. Purely cosmetic.
  • Tauren(Horde): Increased health. And they are huge. Other than that, no real perks.

With that said, Orcs and trolls make the best choices. Horde seem to have much better racial skills than Alliance, but if you roll Alliance I recommend using a dwarf, but in the end it won’t be that big of a deal. Now that you have that out of the way, you can start to play. When you hit level 10, you will get a questline to complete to be able to tame beasts for pets. For leveling, you should use a pet that does high damage and can keep aggro. I suggest a wolf, cat, or bear. Also, at level 10, you will be able to start using your talent points to increase your skills further. For leveling, you should stick with the Beast Mastery spec. Here is a spec I just threw together to help you. Remember, it’s just a guideline, but adhering to that spec will help you on your journey to max level.

So you have been playing and you think you are hot stuff? You have leveled up quite a bit and are ready to do an instance with a group? Here are some tips for low level group play: Keep your pet on PASSIVE! Don’t question this, just do it. By the way, the ‘attack target’ command for your pet is Shift + T. Use freezing traps to Crowd Control additional monsters, but make sure you coordinate with your group. Get the leader to mark the monster you should freeze with a blue square. Focus damage on a single target. Mark the main target with a skull, and get everyone to attack it. Make sure you keep up serpent sting, and use arcane shot every 6 seconds.

Some advice on gear: You should be in leather until level 40, when you unlock mail armor. Never put on cloth! Your most important stat is Agility. Agi increases attack power as well as crit chance, and armor. You should utilize Agi + Stam armor pieces whenever available. Also try to have two or three Agi + Intellect pieces so you can keep your mana pool in check. Rare(blue) gear with Agi, Stam, and Int is always a good choice. You do NOT need to worry about armor. Stay away from Strength. As for weapons, you will find many different types that are good over your leveling adventure. Use whatever gives you the best stats. Going for looks doesn’t always help.

Profession advice… The best choices are: Alchemy, Jewelcrafting, and Leatherworking. My hunter is 450 Alchemy and 450 Jewelcrafting. Alchemy lets you create potions and elixirs to heal and increase stats, JC lets you cut gems and jewelry to increase stats, and leatherworking lets you make good leather gear, and also lets you add leather armor to increase the power of your gear.

You reached level 80? Congrats! Now the fun begins. However, don’t think you can jump straight into a raid. Well, maybe your guild will carry you, but I’ve been playing for a long time... I remember having to have full epics before I could get into Kara! It was no different in Naxx. I had to get just about full epics from heroic dungeons and crafted gear. Get the AtlasLoot addon and make a list of heroic dungeon gear you need, then go about acquiring it. Also get mats for crafted gear. Make sure you have all of your items enchanted with the lesser quality enchantments, and get some cheap gems. You will want to save your hard earned gold to buy high end enhancements for your raid gear.

Once you have a good set of gear, you can start raiding. I suggest starting in 10 man naxx, but it wouldn’t be too hard to get in a 25 man. Maybe you can get in with your guild, or just PUG it. For raiding, you should definitely be survival. Here is the spec I raid with. This will help you raise your DPS. There are three steps to achieving maximum DPS: Having the right spec, having the right gear, and having the right experience/skill. The gear will come from raiding, but the experience and skill is your job. Read up on your class on the hunter forums at www.wowhead.com. Practice on the target dummies in Ironforge. Raid and learn from your mistakes. Utilize such guides as this one on the forums. You can’t just expect to be the best overnight.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you. Good luck out there, and happy hunting!

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