Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A reminder about Hunter melee

This was something I just wrote on the forum in response to a level 34 Hunter expressing sadness at people telling him he couldn't main tank instances.


Linix, I used to tank at your level as well. I loved doing it, too.

Then I got to Outland, and I tried doing it in Hellfire Ramparts. I died on the first pull, and so did my group. Very rapidly, and very messily.

Hunters on our forum who tell us not to tank are doing so for a reason. I couldn't be told, and I had to learn what that reason was for myself...but I did learn.

I've never liked dying, and so that's why, ever since coming to Outland, I haven't tried it.

Azeroth was designed with being a lot more Hunter friendly in general, and Survival friendly specifically, in mind.

I love my spec, and so I've tried to learn as much as I can about it, including its' history. During the beta of this game, Survival was originally intended to be the melee tree for Hunters.

Back then we had both melee weapon specialization talents and dual wield talents which buffed our offhand when dual wielding. We would have been like the Assassin's traps tree in Diablo 2.

I don't know entirely why, but those talents got removed before the game was commercially released, and so now we're the only class in the game with dual wield melee, who also don't get any buff to the offhand. We were also never given any buff to our damage mitigation from armor other than Thick Hide, which we would need if we were going to be a serious option for tanking.

Because some of those parts of Azeroth were already in the game during the beta, and also I think because up until TBC at least, most of the same people were still designing the game, most of the instances in Azeroth genuinely are Hunter tank friendly. It's still something that takes some doing, and you need a good healer and good dps backing you up, but it is doable...I know because I've done it.

However sadly, that is not true in Outland. Believe me when I say that there is nobody more unhappy about this than me; the trapping Assassin was my favourite class and spec in Diablo 2, and I very much would have liked to play that class in this game...but for whatever reason, Blizzard decided that it was not to be.

Fortunately I've been able to adapt, which I was forced, extremely reluctantly, to do at around level 62, and I still find range and limited melee enjoyable. Survival never was quite the tree I wanted it to be, but it's still good.

You might not be able to adapt to more pure range once you hit Outland though, and if that is true, I urge you to spare yourself some pain and reroll early. We are very short on Protection spec Warriors, now more than ever. I have an alt Prot Warrior that I love to play, and he is far more adequately suited to tanking than Survival could hope to be; and the best part is, Warriors stay able to tank in Outland as well.

Survival can play a critical role behind a dedicated main tank when it comes to keeping a party alive; I've always believed that and I still do. However, we need the Warrior and can benefit from his presence just as much as he can benefit from ours.

As much as it saddens me to admit it, I have had to learn myself that the Hunter is not a true tanking class. It was not intended for that.

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