Thursday, September 20, 2007

That Other Hunter

I've always known that i wasn't going to be the first to make a serious Melee Hunter, and hopefully I won't be the last either.

I started Kakita sometime after mid August. Not too long after the roll over into September I ran across A post about Gweryc, another Melee Hunter on my server. Go Steamwheedle! In his reply to the post I found a link to ... well, here. But his blog, ya see.
Check it out.

Actually it was his space that gave me the itch to tell y'all how my Hunter is coming along. Hopefully it's not too similiar, but as we're going different routes, there should be enough differences to make it interesting.
Besides, he has all the cool numbers and stuff :)

Anywhoo, I think I have one more post after this then I'll be brought back up to speed. I shoulda started this blog back when I started the character, but nothing to do but play catch up. ... Actually make that two more posts, One to say what's happened in my first 60 levels and one for Kakita's RP background.

Thesis and Research

A properly played melee specialized hunter can be an excellent off-tank that still retains DPS and CC capabilities.

Alright, I now have a thesis to base my work on, time to do some research.
Where to start? Why, guildmates of course! One of the reasons that i love my guild can be shown here. When I announced my intention to make a pure melee hunter, there was no "L2P", or "Noob", or even "Yer off the Team!" Nope, The worst I got was from the GM, "Are you gonna use that in this week's raid?"
After I told Him that I didn't plan on doing that with my main, he was all for it. I did get a lot of help in deciding whether to try and how.

First things first, I'm not making my Marks specced main into something she's not. So that means a new toon. Ok. What race?

Considering that only three races can't be Hunters, there seemed to be a lot to look through. Though if Humans could be Hunters that woulda cinched it for me... Some day maybe.

I'll break it down by side, Alliance first. Oh and i'm leaving off the resistances as honestly, I really don't care about them at this point.

Night elves get a 1% bonus to dodge, and shadowmeld...and improved death!
Dwarves get a +5 bonus to guns, treasure finding, and stoneform.
Dreanai get bonus to jewelcrafting, and a heal.
Orcs get a 5% bonus to pet damage, 15% bonus to avaoiding stuns and the like, +5 to axes, and enrage ability.
Trolls get a +5 bonus to bows and thrown weapons, 5% bonus damage to beasts, regeneration, and berzerk ability.
Tauren get a bonus to herbalism, 5% bonus in HP, and Thunderstomp.
Blood Elves get a bonus to enchanting, and the mana tap-silence combo.

... Ok from here it looks like I shoulda been playing Horde a LONG time ago.. Oh well. So many good things to choose from. Well since I can't play em all (at this point), I'll have to get ta prunin'. What finally decided it for me was two things. Character concept (I do play on an RP server) and bloody healers in PVE and PVP. The concept I had goes back to the D&D ranger. Rather than taking all the bow feats, I want the dual wield ones. (and yep i'm speaking 3.5 for some old diehards) Drizzt... fast, lithe, wields two fast weapons of doom, and has an angry cat. Still that coulda been a Night Elf or even a troll, but the Silence effect made the Blood Elf the choice for me.

The second thing was to decide what restrictions to place on myself... and to fit them into some sorta RP sense.

I want to Dual Wield, So that means for the time being I won't bother with any two hander skills. Also no Bow, gun,, or crossbow skill either. Full melee. I did, however, decide to let her use thrown weapons. They don't unlock any of the Hunter ranged abilities, and I really wanted something to go in that ranged slot. And also it saves on needing Dash/Dive/Charge to get the mob to me if need be.
Hunters have the biggest choice of weaponry besides Warriors. I however cut my choices to three weapons, Daggers, Axes, and Swords, and all had to be 1.60 or less on speed. (Though I did later decide to up that to 1.80) Currently, as it stands, I have yet to find an axe that I like that isn't Main Hand only. Makes me glad I didn't choose orc.

Legolas, Tarzan, or Drizzt?

Hunters. I love 'em. Beast, Marks, even bot specced, I love 'em.
My first character was a Dwarven Hunter and years later my main is a Night Elf Hunter. The only problem that I have is that after a while the fighting style never really changes. Sure, the talents add a little spice, but all Hunters pretty much fight the same... either solo (have pet tank the mob while you shoot it to death) or in a group (send your pet in while you shoot the target). So, pretty much all Hunters are seen as fulfilling a single role, Ranged DPS.

I got to thinking about that. To me the Hunter is more than loosely based off of the D&D ranger. And I've always seen three main ways to play that class: Legolas, Tarzan, or Drizzt. Well, I've done both the Legolas Marks build and the Tarzan Beast build before. Now it's time to see if we can get the Drizzt role going. Time for a Melee Hunter.

Truth be told, I've always wanted to do a Melee Hunter, but between seeing what was offered in melee abilities and the general public feeling that hunters just shouldn't melee, I decided to follow the masses. This all changed a few weeks ago. I was getting disillusioned from all the hybrids in my guild being able to change their role to fill in wherever. Sure it'll cost them 50 gold and gear to do so, but they had the option. And I didn't... or did I?

Maybe hunters can do something else besides shoot. So I started tossing thoughts about in my head, and came to this conclusion: A properly played melee specced hunter can be an excellent off-tank that still retains DPS and CC capabilities.