How do I play a Hunter?
There are various opinions on how we play a Hunter…well, here is mine! We are jacks of all trades.
Should we top the damage meters? If the encounter is set for it to be so, then yes. But that is rarely the case. Movement kills our top end dps, and various other responsibilities on the docket can eat into it as well. Kiting mobs on Nefarian will cost us, but kiting parasites on Magmaw won’t.
I am not, nor will I ever be an “It’s all about the DPS” kind of guy. I expect hunters to simply push sustained dps, and thereby carrying the raid.
Old Military adage: NCO’s are the backbone of the fighting force. NCOs make sure stuff gets done!
Hunters are the ultimate NCOs. They ensure things get done. Healers in my PvP days and various raid teams see a mob or player bearing down on them 3 steps away, THEY DO NOT RUN. They stand firm because they KNOW that Q is 2 steps away from tearing the threat apart. Trap, scatter, kite, turn and burn, whatever it takes to protect them. Tanks know I have their back. They drop because of a miss-heal or moment of RNG? I have distracting shot, deterrence, disengage, kite & evasion tank until they come back up.
To me this is a Hunter’s job, and I will never back off that. You are there to give the raid or group whatever it lacks.
You have various skills to memorize and find new and creative ways to incorporate into your game play. Top end DPS is not mythical…that takes repetition, good conditions, and proper gearing. The rotational mechanics we now have in place make that even easier for us to attain. It’s still not “easy” but it’s not mystical in how it is done; however, that dance that some Hunters are capable of performing…that is something entirely different. It is quite special when you see it done.
I will add, playing a Hunter from Vanilla to now I think makes that much easier to recognize and perform that dance. Knowing the evolution we have been through over the last ~7 years is different from EXPERIENCING that evolution directly. It really does matter to have lived through it in understanding where you are and where you are headed.
In summary before I get into the basics of our skills and abilities remember the following:
- You have many hats to wear (Some include: DPS, Tank, Off Tank, CCer, Healer – Pet only folks, Guide, Pace-Setter)
- Each spec allows you to do one of those things good, better, & best
- You can still do ALL OF THE ABOVE no matter which spec you choose
- We are adept and well equipped for the 4 primary game types: PvE (Raiding), PvP, Leveling, Soloing
- If you rolled a hunter, you did the right thing – never second guess it.