As I was showering today, I got thinking about the current problems with the hunter class in WoW. This is a perennial topic for any class, of course, even when there aren’t any major problems.
And as you know, I am not much of a power player, so my notion of problems is rather more limited in scope than many hunters, despite the frequent attempts by my loyal commenters here to enlighten me.
At any rate, I decided that I am personally pretty satisfied with hunters right now — as I usually am — with one exception. And that exception is the Spirit Beast family.
Now let’s be very clear here: I don’t think that spirit beasts are awful. I just think they could be better. And so I started plotting out ways that I personally would be happier with spirit beasts. Here’s what I came up with …
No More Spirit Beasts
First, let’s get rid of the Spirit Beast family. It’s such a weird mashup. I think it would make a lot more sense to move each of the existing spirit beasts into the corresponding normal family. So Loque’nahak and Gondria become cats, Skoll becomes a wolf, and Artcuris becomes a bear. That changes their skills, of course. (And changes Arcturis’ talent tree from Ferocity to Tenacity.)
But I don’t think the spirit beasts should be normal beasts, either. So let’s leave them as exotics. Yes, that gives us individual exotic beasts within a generally non-exotic family. And I think that’s okay. Even more, I think it helps restore a sane measure of individual variation within pet families. Some cats are normal cats; some cats are exotics with slightly better stats.
Of course, it would be annoying as a new hunter to have your heart set on a particular wolf and then find out when you go to tame it that it’s exotic. So we should really move the Beast Lore talent to level 10. (Indeed, it should have been moved there when they removed Pet Training.)
More ‘Spirit-y’ Pinnacle Pets
Spirit beasts are currently the pinnacle of Beast Mastery — and an outward sign that you are a serious pet collector. But cats, wolves, and bears shouldn’t be the only families pinnacle pets like this. So we’ll need to add more — one to each non-exotic family at least, and preferably one to the exotics as well. Like the current spirit beasts, these should be high level (70+ if possible), rare, and somehow spirit-y.
Skoll is an excellent example of how to have a very special look without going transparent, and I am sure that there are some really cool looks that the Blizzard artists could come up with. I imagine the artists are a little overworked right now, but I think that if we hunters knew we’d get two or three a month until they were all implemented, we’d be content enough to wait.
More Individual Exotics
But I don’t think that pinnacle pets should be the only exotics in non-exotic families. For one thing, even with one per family their rarity may still make them quite annoying for some hunters, especially with the more popular families. And lower level hunters should be able to have some fun also.
So let’s add a handful of non-spirit-y exotics to the non-exotics families as well. This gives us a great opportunity to introduce some of the currently unused or untameable beast skins, like a green carrion bird, a red warp stalker, or a blue dragonhawk.
For hunters in the know, these looks are immediately obvious and different. For non-hunters and hunters without our focus on pets, they aren’t any more confusing than learning that (currently) Gondria isn’t really a cat.
So anyway, that’s what I was thinking about in the shower today.