Back in my day, hunters were the most popular class by far, and for a good reason: we were the easiest to solo. Facerolling was very literally a viable option for hunters. As long as our pet got in there first, we didn't really need to do anything other than auto-shot.
And that's a good thing really, 'cause back then we didn't have a lot more choices. Sure, nowadays you got all yer fancy assortment of shots and misdirects and traps that you can place in the middle of combat. Never enough choices for you kids, eh? Back in my day we'd put up our sting, sit out a 3 second cast time Aimed Shot, maybe fire a Multi-Shot if we were feeling frisky, then sit there and auto-shot for a while until one of our shots came off cooldown 'cause we didn't have anything else.
Yeah I'm serious. You think that whole shoot 'n scoot thing is important to your DPS nowadays? Imagine what is was like when auto-shot was all we had for half of our rotation. You can be darned sure we weren't gonna let one of those precious auto-shots go to waste! Not like hunters these days I can tell you that.
Not only were we easy to solo with, but we hunters were coolest class too, because we had guns and we had pets. Never mind that our pets were much harder to find, train, and level back then. They were also next to useless, not really much more than ornamental. Hunter pets in those days were almost as pointless as feral druids -- running up to their target and unleashing a flurry of gummy nips. Couldn't quite tell if they were attacking or just being friendly.
This is where the stigma of being a "huntard" first came in into parlance. Easy to play and cool are an irresistible lure to the worst of the WoW
players, I'm afraid. In my day and yours kids, this one ain't gonna change.
Bitter priests and hybrids saw how easy hunters were to solo play and assumed that our class was that easy to play in the endgame too, which we certainly were not. Sure, sure, I just got done talking about how we spent half our combat auto-shooting, but you gotta understand that was a different time. You try chain-pulling Molten Core to your tank with no Misdirection or Deterrence or Disengage, just relying on perfect distance, timing, and speed, and on the tank to taunt it off before you got one-shot. You try that and then tell me we had it easy. You kids are the ones that got it easy!
But the stigma was worse than just being easy to solo. There was also the gold farmers.
Because hunters were so easy to solo, the gold farmers were all hunters. And this was back when they actually worked for their gold. Nowadays they just steal it, mostly by tricking gullible people into giving away their login info. Really, I sometimes wonder what they teach you kids while you're leveling these days. Back in my day we didn't need a special tip to tell us not to enter our login info on some website. Lemme give you some advice: no one is giving you a free mount, a free pet, a free prize of any sort. You didn't win any contest or lottery. They aren't giving you an alpha invite or a beta invite anymore than that Nigerian prince is really entrusting you with millions. Sheesh, kids.
It was really easy to identify the gold farmers in those days too. If you saw a level 60 hunter killing something, you'd check to see if he had the Spirit Bond buff -- you couldn't see someone's talents by inspecting back then after all. If he was BM, odds were very good that he was a farmer.
You BM hunters complain today that you aren't a great raiding spec in addition to being a great PVP spec and the best solo spec -- you don't know how good you got it. BM in my time was laughable, good for facerolling and maybe leveling. In fact the only thing more pathetic than a BM hunter was a survival hunter. Back in my day we only had one raiding spec and that was MM. You could tell a veteran MM hunter from his proudly displayed Trueshot Aura. That thing had a duration back then, and it was always falling off at the worst time. Cost a chunk of mana to put it up again too. Now it not only lasts forever, but it's free to boot.
Kids I tell ya -- you give and you give and they just want more and more.
Those gold farming BM hunters are also where the "all loot is hunter loot" stigma came from too. See, back then the only way you were going to get more than one or two epics was to raid -- and by raid, I mean 40-man raiding. Not like today where they outfit you in full epics for nothing just to make you feel good about yourselves. It's like schools that don't want to fail any kids 'cause it'll hurt their feelings. Let me tell you, in my day being outfitted in epics meant
something. It was a testament to your skill and the quality of your guild. It was the kind of thing that had random people standing in awe, sending you tells about how awesome you are just as the sight of an /inspect. We didn't need your silly achievements -- we wore our achievements with us everywhere.
Even blues were tough to come by. I remember standing on the docks at Menethil and inspecting people to pass the time while waiting for another boat to sink and kill me in the ocean -- that's right, even simple ocean travel was dangerous back then. If you inspected someone and they were in all blues -- that was damned impressive! You knew that person had worked a long, long time to get that kind of gear!
But a lot more of the gear was BOE back then, those badass blues, which is where the BM gold farmers come in. Ninjaing loot was a much, much bigger deal in those days. And because hunters were easy to solo, the farmers were hunters. And they are the ones who would roll need on every BOE of any kind that dropped, so they could AH it for the gold.
So you see how it goes now, don't you? Easiest class to solo, and coolest class with nifty pets, so we get every mindless passenger of the short bus playing our class. Some legitimate complaints about the "huntard" mentality there, we had a heck of a lot of horrible players in our class. Add to that the gold farmers stealing loot left and right and our reputation is in the dirt. No amount of chain pulling or kiting or topping the meters would change anyone's mind. Not even combat trapping -- and this was an impressive skill when you couldn't place traps in combat ya know.
And then we get death knights.
By this time the gold farmers are stealing all their money rather than farming it, so those guys are gone. The problem children of our class now are all the idiots... and Blizzard presents them with a badass, overpowered, sexy class that is easier by far to solo with than even hunters. They're undead, they get to slaughter innocents in their intro quests, they have lots of abilities with the word "blood" in them. No siren's song could be so sweet.
Every huntard with pets on aggressive running with no aspect flew like moths to the unhallowed flame of the hero class. Goodbye Leggolass and hello Arthasss. After a few months we weren't hearing the word "huntard" nearly as often.
When you're in your dungeon finder PUG with death knight that's of less use than your pet, you remember what it was like back in my
day. Remember that there's a real person behind the keys of that death knight, and if not for the death knight class, he would likely be sullying the good name of hunters.
So next time you see a death knight, don't complain. Instead thank him for taking on the burden of our unwashed and unwanted. And assure him that he won't have it to bear for long -- they're already moving on to the ret pallies after all.
You want to be a Hunter, eh? Well then you came to the right place. You start with science, then you add some Dwarven Stout, and round it off some elf bashing. The end result is massive dps. Scattered Shots is the WoW.com column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a Hunter. Each week Scattered Shots will cover topics to help you Fix Your DPS, Choosing the Right Spec, Gear Selection, Macros and Pet Selection, Pet Specs and Management.