Why can't I play a melee hunter?

| Friday, December 18, 2009
Bear with me on this.

One of the nice things about WoW is that you can, to some extent, customize your character or even pick a different class to get what you want. Plan to sneak around? Rogue. Plan to be really good at sneaking? Subtlety.

But there are limits. These limits limit our ability to role-play. I don't mean it in an acting sort of sense. We're free to make our backstories and wear costumes and talk however we want. But actually playing a role, this is limited. The mechanics of WoW limit what we can do.

What I saw in my mind was a hunter who preferred melee. He would use his gun/bow to cripple the target; poison it, snare it, and draw it closer. Closer, to his trap. Once the mob was caught, he'd close in to finish it off by hand. He's still a hunter, he still uses a bow, but he's not the type to stand way back shooting away. He gets in there.

Could I do this in WoW? Sure. Concussive shot, close in and get up a wingclip, drop a trap. It could work. Except that it would be pretty ineffective, even in soloing. Let's not even imagine a melee hunter in raids.

It would be fun to see more flexibility in WoW classes. Imagine a warrior who uses his brute strength not to swing a weapon, but to throw stuff; a personal catapult. Or imagine a caster who focuses his magic through his weapon and acts as magical melee; throwing fireballs with his weapon swings.

This could make for interesting changes to the strengths and weaknesses of a class. The warrior would be amazing for ranged AoE, but melee could be a problem. Likewise the mage would be immune to interrupts and could potentially do more damage by combining attack types, but he'd be bringing cloth into a melee fight. The hunter would ironically be vulnerable to kiting, but in this case enemies might have extremely dangerous traps to watch out for.

This would make it necessary to add melee/ranged to LFG. Currently we can tell just by class if they are melee or ranged. Balance would likely be more difficult. The community wouldn't react too well either. Okay maybe the majority would like the flexibility, but think of the close-minded backwards assholes. Think of the warriors who demanded that druids and paladins be inferior tanks because for years warriors were the tanks. Can you imagine the conflicts about whether melee hunters should keep up with rogues or if they should have lower damage because they have more utility and the option to shift to range if there's a melee AoE? It would be a big mess.

But what change doesn't trigger flame wars? After all, Blizzard mailed us pets and people got mad. Free penguins killed WoW!


Unknown said...

I always wanted to play a 'ranged rogue'. A rogue who uses ranged weapons like a hunter but instead of a pet uses all of the rogue skills to try and maintain distance. I always thought that this would have made a fasinating and quite tactical sort of spec to play.
Barbed arrows for bleeds, poisons and all the rest.

Unfortunately though....

G-Rebel said...

You are just tinkering with all classes this week, aren't you? How fun! Ok, I'll give it a go:

A Paladin healer who would draw out his sword, be lifted up into the air, spin around in a whirlwind healing everyone within range and dealing massive AoE damage; all the while his perky pug pet ran around barking at all the trash, taunting them back to the Warrior tank who, in a fit of jealous rage of the perky dog ("only I can taunt"), throws your pet against the wall, exploding for even more massive AoE damage.

Now the Priest is upset (because all Priests are P.E.T.A lovers) and victory rushes the little dog, rezzing it only to become a giant core hound now bound to the will of the Priest and becomes an all-powerful pet who fires flames from his eyes and bites the boss in the...

I might have digressed a bit, but oh what fun. Good ideas. Greater versatility would be wonderful.

Klepsacovic said...

@steve.rimmer: I actually made my hunter a bit like this for the level 60 epic chain. Since he couldn't use his pet, he made a spec focused on pure kiting ability, getting daze on just about everything he did.

@G-Rebel: I tinkered some classes. I tinkered some gnomes... er.

Merry Christmas!

Darraxus said...

There was actually a blog about a melee hunter once upon a time. I will see if I can locate it.

Darraxus said...

Found it


Darraxus said...

And another one. These really disgust me.


Stabs said...

It's one of the things that used to be fun in Diablo 2 - deliberately making underpowered characters.

Irene, the Infirm, Tales of a sickly punching sorceress

Klepsacovic said...

I guess I should establish a policy: No offensive links. I won't delete what is already here, but moving forward, let's try to keep things civil, okay?

@Stabs: I used to do that in this space trader game I played called Escape Velocity. By some exploitation of some of the customized NPC ships and their loadout I would stick hangars on luxury liners. Terrible ship, but I laughed every time I'd get into a fight and pop out a pair of heavy fighters.

Stabs said...

"No offensive links"

Was this directed at me? If so, sorry.

Klepsacovic said...

@Stabs: It was about all the melee hunter links.

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