World of Warcraft

Hunter class fantasy ramblings from a Hunter main since TBC

wow10 - Hunter class fantasy ramblings from a Hunter main since TBC
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  • What is the Hunter fantasy? Maybe I'm alone here, but I don't play the Hunter class out of a desire to do magical things like shoot people with Arcane bolts or blast them away with magical explosions. I play them because I want to do cool shit with a bow/crossbow/gun. Whether that be blotting out the sun with a hail of arrows, or sniping a lone target from across a field, I just want more ways of doing regular marksman things, albeit in an epic way. Granted, pets are also an important part of the class fantasy, and Survival Hunters have their own thing going on too, but I'll get to those in a minute.

  • Lack of unique animations. When each class got unique animations for their abilities during Legion, Hunters got some cool stuff in the form of new melee visuals for Survival and Bestial Wrath/Kill Command animations for Beast Mastery, but nothing that actually amplified the fantasy of a ranged weapon user. Where's the iconic "kneeling down to take a shot" pose for Aimed Shot? How about an animation where we aim our weapons to the sky and then fire rapidly for Volley? Maybe have us visibly nock multiple arrows onto our bows for Multi-Shot, or recoil noticeably from the blasts for gun users?

  • Pets need more unique animations. Unlike Warlocks and their demonic counterparts, Hunter pet animations are extremely limited, making them feel less like the wild companions they're supposed to be and more like mindless auto-attack bots. While this would certainly be a much larger project to tackle that could span several expansions, I think giving each pet family a unique spell and animation akin to Warlock demons would do wonders to make Hunters more visually appealing. Imagine a falcon swooping up into the sky and then dive-bombing an area, for example, or a stag charging headfirst into an enemy with its antlers!

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  • Lack of visual cohesiveness. I think Hunters need a major pass on what their shots are actually supposed to look like in game. It's always been jarring to me that our shots will look like a bright, heavenly gold barrage one minute and a dark red rapid fire the next with very little consistency in between. When you look at the spells for other classes like Mages and Warlocks for example, there's a clear visual identity there – Frost Mages will always have snowy blue ice, and Demonology Warlocks will always have wispy purple effects, even though each spell is unique in its own way. It would be nice to see Hunter VFX unified also.

  • Survival Hunters need to be reexamined thematically. They're meant to be lone rangers surviving on the fringes of civilization, armed only with the most basic of melee weapons and an animal companion to fight with… yet they have gadgets, gizmos, and explosions; not to mention their two-handed weapon restriction keeps them from fighting like the character that the entire spec seems to be based off of (Rexxar). Why?

  • Movies, TV shows, and other video games could be a great source of reference. Finally, I think Hunters could be vastly improved if Blizzard looked to other fantasy media for inspiration, be it for visuals or actual spell mechanics. For example, Lord of the Rings has an archer character named Legolas who uses arrows as impromptu melee weapons to stab at oncoming enemies, and Susan Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia uses her bow as a blunt object to knock foes away when she's not using her arrows as throwing knives. Lots of cool stuff there that could make the class both more visually and mechanically interesting!

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