Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hunter success in the Arena

One of the things that there is always a steady background noise of crying about in the Hunter forum, is the Hunter's degree of representation in the Arena. Ordinarily this is a topic that I would not comment on, due to the fact that most would consider me unqualified to comment on it. I do not play in the Arena, and it is not, generally speaking, my area of focus.

However, a thread in the forum that came up just a few minutes ago caused me to think about it.

Bandet made Gladiator in season 2 because he understands what our class is for. Most people do not, and sadly that includes the majority of Hunters. Although they certainly are not the majority, the very fact that Hunters like Bandet exist proves conclusively that it can be done; but it requires a degree of intimacy with the class and its' real function which most do not have.

The Hunter is not, truthfully, primarily a DPS class; as Bandet writes, we're tactical co-ordination (fight control) and support. The only real reason why so much confusion has developed surrounding that issue is because of the fact that in this game, we have traditionally virtually never been allowed to serve in that role, even though it genuinely is what we're really for.

Because of that, we have to fall back on pure DPS in order to convince people we're not entirely redundant and worthless.

However, stop and think for a minute. What's the very last skill we get, at level 70?

Misdirection. What does that talent do?

It epitomises the role of this class.

Every single class/spec combination in this game has to be able to do some damage; from Holy Priests onward. Also, as BRK says, BM is a damage tree, obviously.

Think, however, about what Misdirection does. It assists in controlling the flow of a fight. It determines which character in a group becomes the focus of a mob's attention. In other words, how the fight is conducted.

Then start looking at some of our other abilities. Traps, Feign Death, Disengage, Distracting Shot. What do all these abilities do?

They're not about doing damage directly, at all. They're about choreography. Sequencing. Deciding what happens when.

Do I fight this mob directly myself, or do I Feign or Misdirect (two different ways of accomplishing the same thing) and pass it to someone else in the group?

Once I've set the kill order for this next pull in an instance, am I going to use CC to enforce said kill order, and make sure the other mobs can't hurt us while the one I've chosen to be the first is killed, possibly even with someone else doing the killing?

In AB earlier, I was being attacked by two different classes, a Warrior and a Priest. I often can't kill a Warrior myself, and I certainly can't alone; so I froze the Warrior, and killed the Priest, which thus bought me time until a friendly Druid arrived and healed me until I eventually kited the Warrior to death.

Other people often do more damage. We decide who lives and who dies.

There are often times in battlegrounds where I will have a higher number of kills (and killing blows) than some others, yet they will have a higher overall amount of damage done.

Read the Sun Tzu quote on my sidebar again, and think about that paradox.

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