Today on Scattered Shots, Frostheim offhandedly mentions "...a handful of hunters who'd like to do away with pets entirely". I despise this idea with a passion. I'm not a dedicated Beastmaster Hunter by any means, and it's my least played spec, but merely the idea of removing pets, even just for Marksman Hunters, puts a bitter taste in my mouth.
I think I understand where Hunters who don't care about their pets are coming from. The archer/marksman archetype is a wonderful one, but these Hunters are forgetting that the Hunter in WoW is a combination of three archetypes. Ignoring any one of them gimps us.
Hunters should know their pets, what buffs or abilities they bring, how to keep their time-on-target high, and how to keep them alive.
Hunters should know how to assess a battlefield, position and reposition themselves tactically, choose and mark targets quickly and accurately, and bring the pain.
Hunters should use traps and defensive abilities effectively, to survive and maintain tactical initiative.
I think what I don't like about the statement "I don't care about pets" is the refusal to accept the current reality of what it means to be a Hunter. There was a time when pet DPS didn't matter as much as not clipping autoshots, but those times are already grey in memory. Pets are a fundamental part of our class, right along side our weapon and our traps. Just look at the character creation:
- Emphasis on ranged damage and traps
- Gains beasts of your choice as lifelong companions.
Hunters are at home in the wilderness and have a special affinity for beasts. They use ranged weapons, such as bows or guns, and their pet, to deal damage. They can use traps to deal damage or keep an enemy at bay.
Here's what I consider to be the first and most important thing to know about being a Hunter: Every Hunter is a Beastmaster, a Marksman, a Survivalist.