All classes have their secrets -- their little tricks of the trade that are passed from player to player in the hidden hangouts of the class. I can imagine the warlocks in their lush boudoirs explaining to eager-faced new 'locks about the real benefits to the succubus. Or mages in their mirrored enclaves admiring dresses and explaining to stricken young mages the real benefits to sheep.
Hunters are no different. When we gather in the wild, high places of Azeroth, we pass our own tricks around the campfire, the secrets that let us survive to see another boss.
Many of these tips are not specific to hunters, and every class could benefit from what we have learned the hard way. These are deeper truths and mechanical tips we've learned through the specific roles hunters often fill or through the hardships of our class design. In the interest of inter-class cooperation, we now share five of these secrets with you.
1. Kiting Pro Tip: Just run away.
Since the vanilla days of General Drakkisath, hunters have been the go-to class for kiting situations, and we have perfected this delicate art. To be sure, we have some tools to enhance our ability. We have a slow trap and a slow shot that works on most non-boss mobs. We have a speed boost that dazes us if we take a single point of damage and thus is usually impractical.
But here's a secret to hunter kiting: Most of the time, all we do is run away from the bad buy. Really. We're flattered that you always ask us to do it, but really, in most cases anyone could manage it. We don't really understand why you don't feel like you can do it yourself. Just keep some DoTs up on the target or fire off an instant or two while you're running (jump-shot is also just as simple as it sounds), and run away from the bad guy.
2. Damage reduction Pro Tip: Use the secret damage reduction ability with no cooldown.
When it comes to damage reduction in raids and dungeons, common wisdom holds that hunters have the worst damage reduction abilities. This is not true. In point of fact, we have access to the very best one.
On the surface, it looks like the only damage reduction ability we have is Deterrence, and half the raid damage mechanics these days just ignore Deterrence. But we actually have become incredibly skilled at using a much better ability that has no cooldown at all: the movement button.
Whether it's your mouse or the keyboard of a voice-activated "GTFO of the fire!" command, the most powerful damage reduction ability in the game is to suck it up and just move out of the way, even if that means interrupting a cast (which, admittedly, we don't have to do -- ever).
Certainly there is unavoidable damage, and we're jealous as all heck about all of your awesome damage reduction talents and abilities that actually work -- but we think that too often you lean on those abilities when you really should be using the move-out-of-the-way ability instead. When the basics are all you got, you learn to appreciate them a lot more.
3. Petiquette Pro Tip: Pets are people, too.
There are other pet classes in the game, but they are but mere shadows of the awesomeness that our pets are. Our pets are not just extensions of ourselves; they are not just a wee bonus damage. Our pets are valuable, contributing members of the party. They do significant DPS. They bring raid buffs for everyone to benefit from. They do this selflessly, out of loyalty and affection. Heck, they do so much, and they don't even ask for any loot. It's a shame how badly pets get treated (and I'm looking at you, healers).
When a pet dies, we lose thousands of DPS. We lose a raid buff that benefits the whole raid. And an angel loses his wings and crashes horribly into the Arizona desert.
You just need to remember that a hunter pet is not a vanity pet. To be honest, when we get together, we hunters scoff at your vanity pets and think you're just desperately trying to be a little cooler, a little more hunter-like. We don't need vanity pets, because we have the real thing. And sometimes we have a vanity pet too, especially if it looks like a mini-version of our real pet, because that's just adorable.
4. Community Pro Tip: Solidarity leads to awesomeness.
One area in which every class could benefit emulating the hunters a little bit is our sense of community. The hunter community is really unparalleled in WoW. We have a combination of lots hunter-dedicated sites and really, really good information sources.
We are not dependent on just EJ or Simulationcraft. We have multiple voices bringing in different perspectives and constantly trying different things. And on the player end, hunters are generally more welcoming and helpful to young hunters than any other class. We grew our sense of community the hard way -- by having old-school vanilla gold farmers and ninja looters always rolling hunters and giving us a bad name. Over the years, we've worked and worked to improve our name, and the result is a thriving, helpful, informative, and ridiculously awesome sense of community.
Seriously – put yourself in the place of a newly 85 and look around online for everything you need to know to get started with your class, from the hit cap to builds and rotations to reforging and class-specific boss guides. If you're an expert on your class, maybe you'd care to consider starting a site to share that knowledge? We hunters even have a series of guides on how to start a WoW blog.
One of the most common questions I get asked is from hunters with alts in another class who cannot find really good or comprehensive sources of information for their class and want to know where they can find anything like what we hunters have. Step up, guys!
5. The greater good Pro Tip: All of us are more important than you.
If a wipe is called, die quickly. Don't drag it out, don't see how long you can last, and whatever you do, don't kite the boss and his AoE over the hunter who's responsibly feigning death in the corner.
We're doing our job here, and if you'll just hurry up and die before the AoE in this place kills us, we can hop up and try to use our jumper cables on a rezzer (or mas rez!), thus letting the entire raid get started sooner. See, we're not doing this just to get out of repair bills; we got your back. Now die, dammit.
These are just five of the ways that other classes could improve their game by learning from hunters. So what should hunters be learning from you?