Back in the lead-up to Wrath, I’d suggested that one of the Hunter class’s biggest problems was the stable system. In my experiences over the last few days with Al, I hold this opinion more firmly than ever.
Every class has the option of carrying a second set of equipment around for different circumstances in instances. A cat druid might carry healing eq for certain boss fights where the extra hot is needed, any warrior worth two beans is going to have a shield somewhere on his person, etc…
Hunters and warlocks are both already heavily penalized in the inventory department, though to be fair they really don’t have much need to switch gear between fights. Hunters permanently sacrifice a bag slot to ammunition, and warlocks need to carry lots of shards – for which they can optionally choose to employ custom bags.
After spending only 17 points in demonology, a warlock can cycle through 3 different pets in ~6 seconds. They can adapt for different fights as necessary. To them, changing pets is roughly as difficult as changing weapons. A warlock’s pet (or often their lack thereof) is simply a buff like that granted by another class’s stances and auras.
If a hunter wants to switch pets, they have to run to the nearest town. No switching gear or rebuffing between fights for them.
Aspects aren’t big enough to warrant this discrepancy. They are essentially:
- I am shooting things
- I am out of mana because I was shooting things
- I am corpse running after my group just wiped
- I am fighting a boss that does nature damage
- I am not running out of melee range for some bizarre reason
So in normal practice, a hunter has two states – killing and in-combat downtime. Aspect of the viper is a complete joke since 3.0. Requiring players to alternate between the two is a big design flaw, IMO.
So if aspects aren’t a hunter’s “stances”, pets are the big candidate for the role.
Just like a paladin can strap on his shield to tank or put on a dress to heal, a hunter can use a gorilla to tank or a chimera to crowd control or a dinosaur to eat things… as long as he returns to town first.
Please, Blizzard. Just put hunter pets in the spellbook already.
Of course, my nefarious reasoning behind ALL of this is just so I can carry a set of 5 pets into a boss fight and resummon a new one when the old ones melt under his AoE aura – allowing me to actually have a pet out for the entire fight and waiting until after the fight to rez them 😉