Hunter Playstyle FAQ
- Are hunters any good?
- How do you play a hunter?
- Guns or Bows?
- Which weapon skills should I take?
- 2H or dual wield?
- What weapon enchants should I take?
- What stats are important?
- What’s with the ‘hunter gear’ jokes?
- What professions should I take?
- Should I play differently in a group?
- How do I use traps?
- How should I spend my talent points?
Yes. The question is are you willing to become a good one?
Hunter’s are possibly the best solo class in warcraft, deadly in PvP, have great crowd control, and deal damage from range where they often don’t get hurt. With so many advantages though, many players become lazy when playing with others. To the point that they don’t pull their own weight in groups, and brand everyone that plays a hunter: ‘Huntards.’
To play a hunter well, takes more skill than possibly any other class.
A hunter’s most powerful spells are done from ranged distance which is considered by the game to be greater than 8 yards. The few that can be used in close are mainly used to get away from the opponent to resume ranged damage. One of the main purposes of having a pet is for the pet to keep a mob’s attention while you kill it from far away.
A typical fight goes like this. Send in the pet to attack and wait for the first hit. Begin using auto shot and ranged spells to kill the mob. If the mob should run towards you, you can try to kill him with your melee weapons if he is low on health, or you should try to get away to ranged distance again.
When I first started, I thought this was a major issue. It’s not. Dwarves get a bonus to their gun skill, and trolls to their bow, but neither is a reason to pass up a better weapon. I recommend spending the 10 silver to buy both by level 15, and crossbows by level 20. Sooner if you happen to find an upgrade.
Again I originally thought this was a big deal, but it’s not. Repeat this line “My melee weapon is a Stats Stick.” You’re looking for stats on your weapons, not damage. Extra agility on an axe helps your bow, extra damage does not. And you are spending most of your time firing your bow right?
Anything that says “chance on hit” does not apply to you and is a waste.
Train in every possible weapon type available. If you need to level up a skill, fight a lower level mob in melee range and use the lowest rank of Wing Clip as much as possible. A mage’s int buff does help a bit too.
This doesn’t matter too much. For leveling, I recommend buying 2H weapons to save money. Upgrading 2 weapons from the auction house costs twice as much especially if you’re buying rares. Again, you’re looking at stats, though. Two axes with +5Agi each are better than one +9Agi 2H axe. The other advantage to dual wield is that you can enchant each. There again though, you’re going to be paying for 2 enchants instead of 1.
Again, do not buy ‘chance on hit’ melee weapons. They do not affect ranged damage at all, and are too infrequent for the amount of time you should be in melee range.
The main enchants hunters look for are +Agi and +AP. You’re looking for stats instead of ‘chance on hit’ procs.
For leveling, your main stats are Agility, Attack Power, Stamina, and as you get into your 50s, Crit Rating and Hit Rating. When you start raiding, you will also want to pay attention to Intelligence, Mana per 5 seconds (MP5), and just a dash of spirit.
As you can see from the above, there are very few stats that are not advantageous to a hunter. It often happens that although that dagger will boost your current Agi by 5, the rogue that is also in your party gets a 5DPS bonus in addition to the Agi. There’s nothing wrong with rolling need on any gear that’s an upgrade, but when it’s more of an upgrade for someone else… Well to quote ‘The Dude‘ “You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an a-hole.” Thats ok sometimes too. Especially, if its a pick-up group.
If this is your first character, I highly, highly, really, really truly recommend taking 2 gathering skills, and one of them should be skinning. Both mining and herbalism will force a choice between tracking mobs and tracking stuff to gather, but taking just one of them shouldn’t hinder you too much. By taking a crafting tradeskill, you not only have to spend money buying patterns and materials, you also lose all the money you could have made selling those materials.
I don’t know anyone that has made more money on trade skills than they have spent on them. On my latest alt, I had enough to buy my first mount at level 30 (10 levels early), and that’s with buying some nice rare weapons to help level.
If you really want that crafted chest piece, gather the mats yourself and take advantage of that poor (unhappy), poor (no money) sucker thats been trying to level up leatherworking. He’ll even be happy you paid him more than a vendor for the item.
Now once you hit 70 and have bought both your regular and epic mount as soon as you dinged (and sent a nice ‘thank you’ to me for the advice), you can drop one of those skills and THEN become the leatherworker you’ve always wanted to be.
You still want to take a crafting tradeskill? /headdesk. Engineering has some goodies for hunters with guns and bullets (feigning death and then using jumper-cables has made many hunters heroes). Leatherworkers craft the types of armor we use. Even blacksmithing can craft some nice weapons for us in the end-game at 70. Alchemy’s potions can help any class.
Yes, yes double yes. First of all, you have 2 jobs to do in a group. The first is to kill things as normal, second is to keep things occupied. The hunter is unique in that as one person you can crowd control 2 mobs while dealing damage. How? Well you’ve been doing one all along. Your pet can do a great job keeping a mob occupied while the rest of the group kills his friend. Also you may notice that eventually, your freeze traps can last almost as long as their cooldown. If you plan ahead and place a trap before the fight starts, you can keep a mob frozen for quite awhile. Some big no-nos:
- Do not use multi-shot or volley unless you know (Not think, KNOW) it will not break someone else’s crowd control.
- Turn off growl. Your pet should never cause the mob to attack it instead of the tank. Healers still seem to ignore pets too, so it will save you some food.
- Know what’s behind you. Every hunter has backed up a bit to get to ranged distance and gotten too close to the next group of mobs. Delay this humiliation as long as possible.
- Do not pull until the caster’s are ready.
- Do not pull until the tank is ready.
- Do not pull just because that impatient rogue says ‘Lets hurry it up buddy!’
Solo, you really shouldn’t need to. A freeze trap can help out a lot to make a quick exit when there’s too many mobs or someone jumps you in PvP. Later on, they become a good source of crowd control while in groups, and fun in PvP.
I highly recommend Beast Mastery for leveling. It’s much less gear dependent, and great for soloing. Survival will give you more survivability (you don’t die as much or as quickly), but then I didn’t die much anyway. I’ve found it generally just makes fights longer. Marksman does kill things faster, but I found that most times the mob will end up running towards me, and then I’m back to melee.