Meet Wrasam, Night Elf Hunter.
My attempt to level this hunter with a large amount of cash or heirlooms from my level 80’s begins now. As I progress through this guide, the goal is to not tell you how to play each level, or to complete quests, or even go into a lot of detail on certain hunter skills. Quite simply, why invent the wheel. I will link you to the spells you get, through Wowhead. In addition, any tips I might have for doing the things hunter do best, or ways to avoid being a huntard if possible, will be given when the spell or ability is attained. For example, I won’t talk about kiting until you have the shots and abilities needed to actually kite a mob.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Level 1, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, you enter the world of Azeroth with a few things. As a hunter, you get a 2 handed axe, a bow/gun (I suspect Dwarves get guns, perhaps Draenei), 200 arrows/bullets, a backpack, a 4 slot quiver and a hearthstone. To be honest, hunters get it good here, the quiver provides you one more slot that other folks don’t get. Keep this quiver until you get enough bags, I would suggest until you can step up to 10 slot or bigger bags.
Sadly, Hunters have to melee for the first 10 levels, without a pet. Yes, you get to shoot things, using your ranged weapon, but most times that mob is going to end up in melee and you are going to end up flailing at it with your melee weapon. This, in my not so humble opinion (and others too), establishes bad habits in the beginning hunter, that must be unlearned when you get your pet at level 10. More on that later.
At level 1, you have auto-attack (now called Attack) which is the melee attack and Auto Shot, which is your ranged attack. In addition, you get Raptor Strike, which is your only mana using ability until level 4.
Level 2 brings you Track Beasts, which allows your mini-map to show dots that represent beasts. Green dots are friendly, yellow are neutral and red dots represent aggressive beasts. In the starter area, you should have no red dots, unless the opposite faction is in the area and has a beast present.
Until you get Serpent Sting at level 4, you should pretty much follow this attack pattern. Click mob you want to kill, get to the max range you can attack using your Auto Shot ability (35 yards at this point in your WOW life). Start firing by either right mouse clicking the mob (if you have the setting selected) or by hitting the button Auto Shot is assigned to, or by left clicking the ability. When the mob closes to melee, activate Raptor Strike. If necessary, if it comes off it’s cooldown, activate it again. Rinse…repeat. Depending on your hits, crits and damage, the mob may not make it to melee.
You think this is bad, go read the paladin guide, when it get’s posted.
At level 4, you get Serpent Sting and Aspect of the Monkey. You will be in Aspect of the Monkey (Aspects are referred to by just the part after the, e.g. Monkey) until you get the next aspect at level 10. Aspects are like warrior stances or paladin auras, in that they serve roles for you. Monkey is your melee damage reducer by buffing your ability to dodge. Serpent Sting will now be the shot you open with on the mob. This will put a DoT on the mob. It’s not really that mana efficient, but at this stage you aren’t using mana a lot, and the mana regen at the lower levels is incredible, so use it. It will help for those mobs that take off and run when their health drops to 20%.
At level 5, you can train professions. I recommend training First Aid and Cooking and working on them, so that you can max them when you have time and money and mats. For the primary professions, I would recommend Herbalism and Skinning, if this is your first character and whatever you want, if you have the bank of an 80 backing you up. Why? Herbalism gives you a healing spell, that unless you are Draenei, hunters don’t have. Skinning gives you crit rating and crit is always welcome. Plus skinning doesn’t require tracking. Fishing is up to you. Seriously, my 80 hunter is maxed, and I fish a lot, for mats for food buffs that all my characters use, but I can understand why folks wouldn’t want to do it.
At level 6, you get Hunter’s Mark and Arcane Shot. Congrats, you can now effectively kite the mob if you’d like. While moving, your Auto Shot will not work. So you’ll be left with only 2 shots, Serpent Sting and Arcane Shot. You may find it quicker not to kite mobs at this point, but to continue letting them run toward you why you put bullets or arrows in their mug.
I won’t go over how to kite a mob. Quite simply, BRK has put out the best example on how to do so in this video and this, it involves jump shooting and to be honest, while I can do it, I am not great at it. If you click the BRK link, you’ll find all of his “guide” posts. Most of that stuff still applies, but I want to update the changes that have been made.
Hunter’s Mark each mob? You can. The bonus isn’t great and it does use mana and you may find it’s not really helpful. Either way, not a big deal at this point in your life.
At level 8, you get Concussive Shot and Rank 2 of Raptor Strike. Not really going to spend a lot of time on new ranks, unless they add something to the mix. Concussive shot….when do I use in my rotation? Well, I’ve found that I open with Serpent Sting, then Concussive Shot, then Arcane. This usually makes the mob die or really close, that if they run, they still have the slowing debuff and I can keep them from running away too far.
Congratulations, you’ve made it past the worst part of being a hunter, after a few quests and a lot of running, you’ll be able to tame a pet of your choice and your leveling speed and ability to burn through mobs will increase exponentially.
First, when you level, you get a talent point to spend. Quite simply, my advice is to put a point in Endurance Training. I know you can realistically level as any of the specs, but I think your downtime and ability to survive is just better, especially at the lower levels, with Beastmastery.
When you get to your trainer, and I would advise getting there quickly, you learn Parry, a passive skill, Rank 2 of Serpent Sting and Track Humanoids, which like Track Beasts will cause Humanoid mobs to show up on your mini-map, if you are tracking them. A note here, apparently abilities are being added to you bars automatically. You can remove the Tracking as their is a button on your mini-map you can use to access the tracking abilities.
Your trainer also has a quest chain for you to start. Start it. No really, stop reading and go do it. It’s the chain that gets you to learn how to tame pets. First you get a rod and you go train 3 mobs. After the 3rd mob is trained and you return you learn the following abilities: Call Pet, Dismiss Pet, Tame Beast and a quest to run to your major city. There you will learn Feed Pet and Revive Pet.
The pet you choose to tame is entirely up to you. A Tenacity pet is really nice because it provides a bit more health and armor and tends to hold aggro better. A Ferocity pet is good because it does more damage and a Cunning pet has some abilities that make them useful in places like PvP. Try out many different types and visit Petopia for more information on pets.
Next time we’ll go through levels 11-20.