The Hunter of World of Warcraft
Hunters are one of the funnest classes to play in my opinion.
They have pets that usually do the tanking for them when they are out soloing, while the hunter attacks from a safe distance away.
This class has some of the best Damage per second (DPS)in the game. While also having some of the best crowd controlling (CC) ability's as well. While Melee is not what they want to do they do have some ability to fight up close If they have to, this is not preferred tho. So if your looking for a fun Dps pet class Look no further.
Since This class is a DPS class they have 3 ways to spec to do damage.
Beast mastery - This is all about your pet, making it stronger. This also has some really good group buffs if your pet is alive. This is also the easiest way to Level a hunter. And is the only way to Tame exotic pets in the game.
Marksmanship - This is the Burst damage line, may be the best line over all for damage from the hunter themselves, and almost all hunters no matter what spec line they go in will have a few points in this for the damage skills.
Survival - While this line may not have the burst damage that Marksman (MM) has it still has great damage which is actually sustainable over a longer fight. This line also makes many other things better giving hunter better survivability, traps work better, you have stat modifying talents.
Each of these talents can be pulled from or if you want you can just specialize all in one your choice.
The races you can choose from Are
Alliance -Draenei, Dwarf, Human (In Cataclysm), Night elf, Worgen (In Cataclysm)
Horde - Blood elf, Forsaken (In Cataclysm), Goblin (In Cataclysm), Orc, Tauren, Troll
SO which race should you choose that's up to you each has some very nice racial ability's that come in very handy. We will go over couple so you can see what I mean.
Night Elfs (NE) - Shadowmeld - this skill is very handy makes you invisible as long as you are not moving. Think about the nice surprise you will give a enemy when all of a sudden there you are shooting them, this is particularly fun when you have a stealth pet as well like a panther or tiger (any cat like pet).
They also have Quickness - This makes you harder to hit. very handy when you find your self in a melee situation.
Tauren (cow) - War Stomp - This is a Area of effect (AOE) Stun. Great way to get some distance if needed from a foe that has gotten close to you.
This race also has Endurance - is just a way to say "nananana I get more health than you" yep they actually get a 5% health boost.
As you can see depending on the race You play can really help you out.
There is only one type of Hunter and that is DPS. So your goal in any spec will be to find a way to do as much damage as you can as fast as you can without pulling aggro. Hunters have skills to help not grab aggro, You will normally misdirect to a tank, But sometimes you may forget you will then use Feign - this skill makes it look like you were defeated when you were not.
Weapons and Armor
You can wear up to mail armor. Mail gives you some decent protection from attacks. Also get to Duel Wield .
Weapons is really a matter of preference.
One handed Axes - While often used for chopping wood, it was discovered that a axe makes a good weapon as well. Used mainly by melee classes for Dps and tanking.
Two Handed Axes - Larger and slower but gives you more bang for your buck. here again used by melee classes for Dps and Tanking.
Pole Arm - A very long weapon, used to do lots of damage mainly for tanks.
One handed Sword - Longer than a dagger these weapons are used by by many though mostly Dps and Tanks there are some Swords that are caster based.
Two Handed Sword - While you need 2 hands to even hold this sword in most cases you soon discover that many foes will fall from this deadly weapon. Used by Dps and Tanks.
Staff's - These are a two handed weapon most of these will be geared towards casting and healing.
Dagger - A blade, mostly for casting and dps.
Fist Weapon - Think brass knuckles and you get the idea of a fist weapon. These weapons can be for a tanking, healing, dps, and casting.
Bows /Guns /Cross Bows - While most of these will be Aimed towards a hunter there are a few that will benefit other classes like a warrior or a rogue.
Thrown - these are weapons that are thrown, while you can use these there really is no reason for you too.
Reasons to Play a Hunter
One of the best reasons is the pet. You are never really alone and the pet can tank very well if you are careful not to pull of of it.
There are a variety of pets to choose from each with a special ability.
Easy class to play and do well with, The pet tanks while you dps and often times the pet can handle several mobs, that are a few levels higher than its self, You do need to spec the pets talents to do this sometimes.
It's a fun class.
The Bad Side of Being a Hunter
Your weapons cost money to use you need arrows or bullets (this is changing in cataclysm), which will need to be purchased.
You will need to learn how to control your pet, This is key to being a good hunter. Bad hunters will not watch what there pet is doing when in a group, and then suddenly it has pulled a room when the group wasn't ready. Where a good hunter can use the pet to pull off a healer if a mob somehow bypasses the tank.
In order to get a pet you will need to tame a beast, While you are taming you will not be able to do anything else or you will lose it. This can be tricky at times but normally its not to difficult.
Your pet has a happiness gauge, The happier it is the more damage it will do. To make a pet happy you got to feed it.
There are all types of pets 23 kinds of pets but many different looks. Like say the cat, you could get a tiger, or panther, or lion, there all Cats so they will have the same special skill but depending on what type of look you want will depend on where you get your pet from.
While there are 23 different kinds they all fall into 1 of 3 categorizes.
Tenacity - This is actually the best type to use for tanking. They have the most defensive skill usually that you can spec into and they normally start off with high Hit Points (HP), and armor.
Ferocity - These pets while they can tank they are better used when you are in a group and have a player who is tanking. These pets can do large amounts of dps, they normally have lower Hp but higher attack power making them great for Dps.
Cunning - This one kinda falls in between the 2 above. They don't have the dps the Ferocity has, as well as they can not tank as well as the Tenacity pets could. What this pets best at is normally crowd control, or burst damage. These are often used for Player vs Player (PvP).
Send your pet in to attack first giving it a chance to grab aggro before you DPS.
Play around with the pets see what ones you like, I personally like the turtle for tanking purposes, but some like bears.