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If you are a Hunter, you will want this morning firstly to read this forum post a few times and then not overreact. I had my moment, but unsurprisingly it has passed.

They’re going to ‘move past’ the thing I love most about Beast Mastery hunters. I’m however going to be able to do the exact same thing with more pets, and more variety, and honestly it will not be important that they took away that one thing that was cool. This is how it goes down with every class, at some point in the game’s existence. The crucial ability or feel that matters most to a particularly high-profile, vocal commentator or lover of the game are severed, and suddenly nothing is the same anymore. Normally this is followed by an angst-ridden treatise on how unfair life has become before the commentator summarily quits the game.

We refer to this around these parts as Class Disconnect Syndrome.

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If all of what is being proposed does indeed come to pass, Hunters as a class become a portable buff-stick for raids. They will be the class everyone wants, and which Mythic teams will welcome with open arms, assuming, of course, they are prepared to pick all the pets the Guides and Theorycrafters pronounce are the best ones for DPS, healing and tanking. There also has to be a hunter or two prepared to do what will amount to a staggering amount of Theorycraft to ascertain this, and a canny soul could become a high-profile member of the Community if they were prepared to do just that.

Of course, I’m not supposed to see past that first paragraph and fixate on the stuff that’s about to be lost.

There’s a very good reason why one spec has to go: Hunters aren’t tanks, and never have been. Like Warlocks, they’re meant to dps in raids, the tanking was never supposed to ever be an option. If the game is going to proceed to a point where new players understand there needs to be a clear distinction between class roles and utility? You can’t have people like me turning up and fucking the whole system to Hell and beyond. It’s okay, I’m smart enough to grasp no one commentator is ever bigger than the game. There will be no thrashing or moaning here, and I sincerely hope that this plan also addresses the more pressing issues that Hunters are facing.

If every pet has a distinct utility, I’d need a 60 slot stable at minimum, which automatically increases every time they stick in a new vanity skin. In fact, Hunters would require a stable that allows them to collect every rare skin in the game. Let’s see if that comes to pass, and if they do increase the current storage, we’re on the right track.

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As to everything else? I’ll cope. I’m not playing a Hunter main come BfA anyway, because Hati’s gone, and I said before that whatever they introduced as a ‘fix’ would be substandard, and it is. It’s a really poor means by which Hunters will have to front-load five mobile pet slots which now will be at a premium for doing damage, and not tanking mobs. It’s no wonder there’s a portable stable toy in the works because the top DPS-ers will demand nothing less.

For the rest of us? I’ll be using a Warlock pet to level with.

3 thoughts on “Broken Wings

  1. With the collection mini game they’re probably onto something.

    I’m probably a bad hunter (well, I’m no hunter at all) but an underlyinng fault in WoW’s hunter design might be the assumption that the meaning of a hunter could get conveyed in a combat system (hence my earlier tweet that its combat system is the games greatest weakness). Maybe in a boss fight you simply can’t mimick prowling through a thicket (unless you design part of the encounter or raid instance that way), and maybe you and your pet don’t bond over an endless and calculated cycle of death and ressurection.

    Part of the respective class fantasies I have of (Demonolgy) warlocks and (Beast Mastery) hunters are them studying their craft, binding demons, and taming pets. In my mind hunters in particular interact with their world, which is at odds with WoW’s current non-interactive philosophy. They learn survival skills, following traces (love that part of Halls of Valor, by the way), sneaking through underwood, making fire under variable circumstances. There’s nothing you can do in combat that would convey the message that a hunter would sleep, guarded by their pet.

    I’m not really interested in rare pets (because if I can have them, they’re not rare, and if I can’t have them that realisation is almost all their existence amounts to) or special combat abilities. I’d want a hunter pet that represented my alt’s world-weariness and the memories I have exploring this game, or that were a challenge to my skills as a hunter. And I would like to have my pets because I bonded with them.

    The narrow-minded people in this case are those who try to fit the class into one tiny and particular combat system. Those of them who design it, and those who play with that expectation in mind.

    I still think we need to start from scratch. But Legion was a success, I was satisfied, too. I may be wrong.

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  2. My interpretation was that now all pets can tank so I won’t need to switch to a tank pet for that tough mob. This feels like a good change. I could still switch to my rhino, gorilla, etc. for the fantasy, but I wouldn’t have to.

    This is what resonates for me “…the Hunter who has grown attached to their spider named Fluffy should feel effective across the game.” I am that hunter. Her name is Emmeline, not Fluffy, but she is my friend and it always felt a bit like a betrayal to put her away in favour of a tank pet or whatever. I tamed Emmeline back when hunters still had to tame their fist pet. A lot of thought went into her selection. Now it’s back to Em and I vs. the world!

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  3. Prediction: Hunters to get transmog style wardrobes to reskin into any other previously captured pet of that family. This would be the best and worst thing to ever happen to hunters.

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