So I’ve had Tori, my worryingly-emaciated Blood Elf Hunter, hanging around on the Dunemaul realm for some time now and today I got a hankering to feel that most joyous of tasks: Levelling a hunter! I am sure that during their teenage years in the Hunter wing of Azeroth University, the students spend their time practising archery, hanging out with their cute pets and generally being told not to worry ’bout a thing (baby).

For example, the quest text for Wanted: Knucklerot and Luzran suggests three players at about level 21 to get the job done safely. I didn’t even notice that the huge bag of elite bones wandering up and down the Dead Scar was part of a quest until after I’d decided that I just flat out wanted to kill him. Luzran fell, looking like a proper berk having just been thoroughly beaten up by a tiny girl who doesn’t even eat enough food. That done, I went in search of Knucklerot and he fell in much the same way. Job done, give me my prize and I’ll be on my way, Horde people.

And so I started thinking about how easy Hunters have it, being able to go one on one with same level elites and emerge victorious. Of course it’s not a certainty, I’ve seen with my own eyes Hunters that charge in where angels fear to tread and end up dead in a puddle, this is why the term “huntard” exists. But with great power comes great responsibilty and, yes, Hunter levelling is easy but that ease becomes a wet, heavy albatross around our collective necks when battleground time comes up.

The way I see it, it works like this: Hunters are easy to level, PvE is seen to take no real skill (even though it does, if done right) and therefore, your average untankable, untauntable, Real Life(TM) player in a battleground seems to automatically see us as a free kill. So therefore it is safe to say that the gap between an average and a great Hunter is wa-a-a-ay wider than any other class. I’m not saying I fully bridge that gap yet but I’m happy to admit I’m definitely (probably?) into the higher half of the scale.

This was made so clear to me yesterday when I was boosting a couple of guild members through Zul’Farrak and the hunter was treating his class like some kind of warrior! And it bugged me on so many levels that I wanted to shout “No no no no stop getting Hunters wrong! The skill is staying well out of arm’s reach!”. He’s currently being schooled and being told in no uncertain terms that the fancy new fist weapon he got from the instance is mainly there to look good (which, granted, it does) and not be used quite so often, even though it has a Chance On Hit bonus rather than tasty, tasty +stats making it pretty much pure Rogue-fodder.

So take pride in your Hunter status! Don’t listen to the people that assume you’re a “huntard” straight off the bat! Just, you know, whatever you do, don’t be one.

In the meantime, my dislike of Blood Elves isn’t getting in the way of my enjoyment of going through the levels again only, this time with different quests, different towns and different routes through the game. I’ll just keep stuffing food down her mouth and hope she puts a little bit of weight on.

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