How not to be a huntard.
For how to be a good hunter, please read BRK. Seriously, there are several great posts over there and I am NOT reinventing the wheel. But as I read BBB’s post on Bear Tanking 101, I realized when he said to practice, practice, practice, how much it applies to other classes. Oh and this will be long. And it most likely will require a series of posts.
A small history. I have a level 66 Dwarf Hunter, which was my first main. I also have a level 80 Orc Hunter, which raided with Fire and Blood through Gorefiend in Black Temple. By the way, shout out to a couple bloggers from that guild. Guild Leader and shaman Windfury; Bear Tank and nice guy Think Tank. A couple other little hunters spread out on a couple different servers. So, basically, I’ve played a hunter for a bit.
As many of you might have read here, Slig has a baby hunter, Calysong and I have a baby druid, Naciasto. We are leveling together, with me being bear and her being DPS. We have made it to Arathi Highlands, following Jame’s Guide. I noticed as we were moving from mob to mob that I would see a shot fired by Calysong and her pet racing toward the mob. I asked Slig if she needed a mark/pet attack macro (I didn’t use a ? so I was hoping she didn’t think I was barking at her. She didn’t) and she said she had one and was just being lazy. Well this got me on my soapbox a bit. Before I continue, let me say, Slig is no huntard. Slig knows how to play the game, but she’s new to huntering and she is loving it. Hunters can be very easy to play and it’s very easy to allow bad habits to become just that…habits. Not that firing a low threat shot and letting your pet pick up the mob on the way in is horrible, it’s just that until you get to the point where all your skills as a hunter are second nature, you have to make a constant effort to do everything right. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Let’s examine a couple of scenarios,
OMG you got an add. What do you do, as a hunter?
You see as a hunter you have about 4-5 different options here. And that expands depending on what level you are, what kind of add is it, and how quickly can you down the mob you have your pet on.
Options are, but not limited to:
1) Feign Death.
2) Send pet to grab the new mob.
3) Misdirection on the mob to your pet.
4) Ice Trap/Snake Trap.
5) Melee the new mob
6) Let the new mob hit on you until you are done with the current one.
Now a level 32 raptor in Arathi attacking a level 38 smexy belf hunter in decent gear? Not usually a problem if Calysong picks 5 or 6.
Until she tries that in Heoric Utgarde Keep. And the proto drake roflstomps her in two hits.
Option 1 is good, until she does that in any instance and the healer is standing next to her and is roflstomped by the add.
Now Calysong doesn’t have MD. And Ice Trap and Snake Trap may not work all the time.
The point here is not what Slig did wrong, the point here is learning how to use all your abilities until you can quickly get out of “jams”. I even go so far as putting myself in “jams” to practice. Can you take on 5 mobs with your ferocity pet? (tenacity pet is cheating) A tank needs to know when they need to put up shield wall, or bubble, or when they need to drink a pot. Same skills, different role.
Need to peel off one or two closely place mobs. In several areas there are quests to go into a guarded area, might have 2 guards standing on either side of the path inside. How do you get these two pulled singly. Sending your pet in will get the other one.
But wait Pie, this is exactly what you barked at Slig for doing. Not exactly, but let me differentiate. At the core of this scenario is positioning. The problem with the new pet attack when on defensive mode is how it affects positioning. The issue with Spirit Strike, for me, is positioning. Let’s use the last boss in UK as an example. Normal SOP for us on this is to tank him where he stands, with the tank facing the party and Ingvar facing the end of the platform. This means the party is behind the mob. It allows the ranged DPS and healers to get into a position where they can pole dance the bad stuff. If the tank moves him too far one way or another, it can get folks killed.
So how does Calysong pull those guards away? If she had MD, she could MD the pet and fire away, letting the pet get all the aggro. If not, she can Serpent Sting or Concussive shot the mob and let the pet race up and grab the mob as it is running headlong toward her. Used to be we had a trap macro and had to use it. CC is dead up to Ulduar though, how long has it been that you practiced it?
In the situation with Caly and Naci, why did I speak up? Again, the issue was positioning. Caly’s shot was moving a mob, that is usually stuck in a specific area. In order to avoid too many mobs, you need to maintain those cushions. It won’t kill her, normally, in Arathi, but it would as she goes through the dark portal at 58 or if she moves to Northrend at 68.
The healer in your party has a big nasty mob running right for them. What do you do?
Normally, my response is, nothing. I already have a freezing trap sit at the feet of the healer for just such an emergency, but let’s say that has expired. Having a mob hit a healer is bad. Now, tanks have ranged taunts so they may jump on that mob pretty quick. But if you know your tank, let them know when you see something heading for the healer, you’ll use your taunt. Oh? You didn’t know you had one? Yeah, Distracting Shot is now a ranged Taunt. Then you can pull the mob into you own freshly laid trap. Or more than likely you’re tank will taunt it back off you and you can go back to DPS.
But if you don’t know what to do Right This Second, you’ll lose a healer and usually that’s bad.
If you play golf, most teachers will tell you not to just go to the driving range and hit balls. They will tell you to play holes in your mind. Setting up shots and trying to execute them. Basically, my point in how to end up at 80 and not be a huntard is to put yourself in situations where you can practice your OH NOES plans.
This is not a be all end all guide. It’s been gleaned from a lot of experience and a lot of reading of other blogs. For those of you that put up with me making mistakes (and hopefully learning from them) and those that write the blogs that help us understand this class…I thank you.