WoW Classic and the Hunter’s Path

I am in no hurry to get through things in WoW Classic.  As tends to be my approach, I want to cover a lot of ground without wearing myself out.  And wandering every side path has already paid off.  This was the era of random quest givers stuck in the middle of nowhere.

The exception so far has been with my hunter.

The hunter was probably the most distinctive class of early WoW; strange, complicated, and always pressed for inventory space, both because hunters lose a bag slot to hold ammo and because you have to carry food for your pet.

But a hunter without a pet is practically no hunter at all… and all the more so where your still running around with the 1 dps newbie hand axe because you haven’t gotten a fortunate drop yet.  Three gun upgrades, but no melee,  and without a pet every encounter gets resolved at knife range… or axe range, as the case may be.

So I was in a bit of a hurry to get to level 10 with Tistann so he could get a pet going.

I was out in grinding that last bit of experience by taking down leper gnomes past Brewnall Village, itself a quest destination.  I had already done the Operation Recombobulation quest there… another one of those quests you might miss if you don’t wander in the right building… but leper gnomes were good exp and drop coins, cloth, and the occasional green quality item.  I finally got my axe upgraded hitting them.

Battling a leper gnome, just a few xp to go

That got me to level 10, at which point I started to trot on back to Kharanos where the hunter trainer with the class quest hangs out.  I had forgotten that class quests were a thing really, except for hunters.  But SynCaine reminded me that they are there for everybody and do require a bit of class knowledge.

I passed through Brewnall Village to sell some drops and saw that I had a quest waiting for me there.  And it wasn’t just any quest, but the lead-in quest for the hunter class quest.

Hunter quest for you

This wasn’t the best assumption on the part of Blizzard I suppose.  I had already finished up the quests in the area by the time I was into level 9, and this quest only goes live when you hit level 10.  I could have easily left the area, hit level 10, and never have seen it.  I don’t think it blocks you from getting the actual level 10 hunter class quest, but I would have missed out all the same.  These days a quest just appears for you in the UI to keep you from missing such things.  But back in the day some game designer just assumed that of course all dwarven hunters would be passing through Brewnall Village after hitting level 10.

I took the quest and kept on trucking to the hunter trainer, where I got a little extra xp for having the lead-in quests I suppose.  And then it was on to the real deal.

The Hunter’s Path

The Hunter’s Path is in a few stages.  You run out and tame a crag boar, a snow leopard, and an ice claw bear as samples of the pets you can tame.

Taming the bear

You have to spend ten minutes with them, which I used to go hunt some more skinnable animals.  I had picked up skinning and leather working with Tistann.  And while the auction house was saturated with light leather (and we’re all too poor to buy anything still anyway) I was quite active in skinning everything I could find, so those stacks of light leather could be sold to a vendor for 3 silver each if I was short of coin.

After the three runs, you are given the ability to tame a pet of your own, as the three each disappear as you finish up each quest.  Then the next step is to run up to Ironforge and find the pet trainer… the trainer with skills for your pets.  You also get some of the follow-on skills, like pet feeding, dismissing, calling, and reviving.  I had to sell a couple of those stacks of light leather to load up on everything.

And then it was time to go out and find a pet of my own.  My gut said I should get a bear, and not just any bear, but a bear from Elwyn Forest in the human starter area.  There was a reason to get that particular bear, but I couldn’t recall why.  I just knew I did that back in the day for a reason, and my hunter on WoW live still has that pet from way back in the day, even though any advantage has long since been ironed out by changes to the game.

Fortunately Petopia, the long standing hunter pet reference site, had opened up a Petopia Classic page for those of us playing WoW Classic.

That brought me back up to speed on bears as pets.  Some of it I knew, like the fact that bears are good tanks.  I had forgotten they were pretty omnivorous, which is handy since you have to keep pets fed to keep them happy.  And the bears in Elwyn Forest come with a rank 2 version of the Claw skill, which other bears don’t get until later.

So I took the tram from Ironforge to Stormwind then ran down the hill to find a bear.  I was able to tame a nice level 9 specimen.  Level is kind of important, both for what skills they can learn and because your pets level up independently of you, capped only by your own level.  I was nearly level 11 at that point, so wanted a pet that wasn’t too far behind.

Pet tamed, then fed until he was happy, I used my hearthstone to get back to Ironforge.  Fortunately I remember to set it at the inn there.  So my hunter now has his first pet.  I ran around and killed some mobs with him, which got both of us a level.

A bear named Barstow

I just have to keep him fed.  A fed pet is a happy pet.

Happy Barstow

I’ve never had a pet run away on me, though it has been said that an unhappy pet can lose enough loyalty that they will take off.  Now my hunter can get on with actually being a hunter… though I need some more silver so I can stable Barstow at some point, because to learn some skills you have to tame a an animal that has the skill, the work with them until you learn it.  Then you abandon them, unstable your own pet, then hunt with them until they pick up the skill.

Being a hunter can be a job at times, but there are few classes so fun and flexible… in WoW Classic at least.

13 thoughts on “WoW Classic and the Hunter’s Path

  1. Kronick

    I also decided to go with a hunter :) I think its one of the most involved classes in game. You almost need to live the life of a hunter to succeed! my favorite part about WoW classic is all the little things you needed to do.

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  2. bhagpuss

    That’s almost a step-by-step write up of how i spent the last three hours. I literally just logged out in Ironforge (so as my bear wouldn’t get hungry and start moping) to take a break and see what was new in blogland and your post was the first thing i saw. Saves me doing exactly the same post tomorrow!

    The main differences were that I didn’t go to Elwynn. I just temed a level 8 Ice Bear and took him on a long hunting trip around Don Morogh until he dinged 11, which is my hunter’s level. I also did the leper gnomes, but with the pet and I got invited to group in the Snow Troll cave, my first drive-by group invite. I accepted and we slaughtered a bunch of trolls then everyone said BYe and left because i guess they were on the quest which I soloed yesterday. Someone opened a trade window before they left and gave me two healing potions, which was nice of them.

    Oh, one small correction: the three quest tames do last ten minutes but you don’t have to wait. I ran straight back to the trainer and he gave me the next quest straight away. Then I dismissed the pet and tamed the next one. Don’t think I had any of them for longer than five minutes althopugh finding the next one to tame took longer than that due to a surplus of hunters doing the same quest.

    I think the hunter looks like a fascinating class. Very complicated. Maybe not on the scale of an EQ enchanter but possibly up there with an EQ Magician of the period. Looking forward to gettign to grips with how it all works.

    And the bear is a heck of a tank, with good DPS, too. I was taking three level 9 and 10 mobs at a time on occasions and I only once went under half health. No deaths at all. Solo it would have been suicide. The bear hardly seemed to take damage at all. He easily soloed his mob while I held up the others til he joined me. Bodes well for the future.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I think at one point there was a penalty or something that kept you to the 10 minutes, like it you turned it in early your pet would turn on you and attack. But it has been a long, long time since I did that hunter quest, and I am pretty sure I did it long before version 1.12 was out, so things likely changed. And I just killed mobs to skin during the quest, so it was time spent on something.

    I’ve kept the same bear all these years because, when in doubt, I know he’ll get through where other pets might fall down. For groups I have had a few different DPS focused pets though, like the bear, a wolf from Dun Morogh has stayed in my stable all these years too. He eventually got a howl that was an AOE buff for the group if I recall right.

    I’ve tamed cats before, including The Rake, one time most coveted early hunter pet, but I never worked as well with them as with the bear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. zaphod6502

    Hunter was one of the premier classes of the old vanilla game. It was complex, interesting, and the pet became a true companion to be cared for. Absolute shame it was simplified to oblivion in modern WoW.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shintar

    It’s funny to see all this talk about the complexity of hunters. Not because it’s not true, but I still remember hunters having the reputation of being for dummies back in the day, because technically, you could bother with never training your pet any skills except taunt (which comes from the trainer) and still be pretty OP while soloing. Plus there was the fact that they could use most weapons and had a reputation for being greedy in groups I guess…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shintar – Hunters were also over-represented in the population, which speaks to how powerful/fun the class could be. As for everything being a hunter weapon, well my mind goes back to this parody video:

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Archey

    I recall having a pet abandon me in the early game. It definitely taught me not to let my pet get hungry, especially if it was rare.

    I don’t know if this love of complexity is representative of the population, but I miss it too and wonder if they misstepped by oversimplifying things later.

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  8. SynCaine

    Hunters had a bad rep in Vanilla for two reasons. One, a lot of people never maxed out the pet or chased the rare pets, which wasn’t optimal. Two, in dungeons and especially raids, the pet was more of an agro magnet than a help, and without the pet, hunter dps is lacking compared to other ranged classes.

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  9. Pendan (got cutoff to Pe in last message)

    Yea they are quite good solo and small group questing. That second site lumps all PvE into the same category and I think over emphasizes raiding in the PvE ranking. In does give them proper PvP consideration that the first site missed.

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  10. Pingback: Quantic Foundry Gamer Motivation Profile – Backlog Crusader

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