Most of this week I have been recovering from whatever flu like respiratory crap I managed to catch along side my wife’s flu. So now that it is Friday, I have to say I am more than ready for it. I have been crashing suspiciously early each night, or at least early for me. Last night it was around 10 pm, and the night before closer to 9. Granted some of that time was laying in bed watching Netflix, but resting nonetheless. So when I realized I was heading straight for a three day weekend, I was absolutely pumped. Not that we have any major plans, but just stringing three days in a row is a pretty glorious thing.
Yesterday during a back and forth on twitter with MMOGC, we both talked about our proclivity for playing melee characters. For me at least if there is a melee option, I will be playing whatever it is. My 90s to date… Blood/Frost Deathknight, Protection/Arms Warrior, Protection/Retribution Paladin, Enhancement Shaman (second spec doesn’t really matter here), Combat Rogue, and the icing on the cake… Feral/Guardian Druid. Hell I even consider my Discipline Priest to be “tanky”. Essentially if there is a tank option I will be doing that, and if there is not I will at least be doing melee in some form of another. I am woefully predictable in my likes and dislikes when it comes to games.
Myth of Melee Hunter
I have made this admission before in the past, but I was a melee hunter. Granted at the time I didn’t realize that survival was NOT a viable melee spec… since back in vanilla it did actually boost your melee damage. More than that however it was a thing I WANTED to work. Something about ranged dps just bores me, and on the converse something about standing toe to toe against the boss exhilarates me. The above is a picture of me playing Lodin, my first real main in World of Warcraft. My love of the WoW Hunter… initially started as my love of the D&D Ranger. In D&D I played two things the Dual Wield Melee Ranger, and the Mace and Board Melee Cleric. When I came into wow I tried to create both of these with limited success in the form of a Survival Hunter and a Protection Paladin.
I love the mechanics of the hunter when it comes to taming pets. This was the real thing that kept me playing the class for most of vanilla… that and I got sucked into a raid group that needed hunters. As some point I tired of standing back and firing at things, so midway through Vanilla I began transitioning to Belghast my tanky warrior. But I never really gave up hope that someday, somehow being a dual wield hunter would be a viable thing. While leveling and raiding… I was always far more interested in a nifty polearm or twohanded weapon dropping that could viably be identified as “for hunters” than any of the available ranged options. However I still count getting my Dragonbreath Hand Cannon as one of my greatest raiding moments. Thanks to getting this awesome drop… I never actually finished the hunter epic.
Funny thing is… there is a game that has a melee pet class that could in theory be termed the “melee hunter”. The Beastmaster soul in Rift for the Warrior class was essentially a pure melee dps class that also had a pet. It was one of those specs that I really used to enjoy dpsing in, when the pet was actually behaving. The problem is that Rift pets are boring. As a beastmaster you got a large cat… and despite them changing the graphic of it… it is still the same boring pet every single time. The piece of the hunter that I always found interesting was the ability to switch between pets depending on the situation and your present mood. If you got bored of a pet, you could run off into the world and tame a new favorite.
So static pet is a major strike against the Beastmaster soul, but in Storm Legion they took another big one. They essentially transitioned the spec from being a very soloable melee dps, to being pure support. If you have only played World of Warcraft, then you are used to the holy trinity Tank, DPS, and Healer. However several other games like City of Heroes, Everquest and Rift to name a few off the top of my head… had a fourth role of Support. These classes buffed the party in some way or provided some critical crowd control mechanic that overall made the fights go smoother. With Storm Legion they moved the Beastmaster into one of these roles, and while it is probably my favorite support class next to the Rogue’s Bard soul… it became something that you just really could not solo as.
Yes I Know I’m Crazy
Yup the sub heading says it all… I realize that this request is crazy. I realize that Blizzard will never give me a melee hunter. All that said it doesn’t make me want it any less. While I am not going to go to the lengths that some players have gone… when I play Lodin I still want to get up close and melee things down. Initially I think I thought it was just my way of keeping from paying for bullets, but now that bullets are a thing of the past… I realize I just wanted to get up close and person with the mobs. For the most part I know that each and every one of my ranged characters will be something I did just to say I had one at 90. Once I have finished with my Discipline Priest I will likely cycle back around to Lodin and finish leveling him to 90. However it won’t ever be a beloved character until I can bash stuff in the face with a mighty hunter polearm.