Why is Hunter the most-played class?
I've always wondered about this, and have never really gotten a coherent answer in /glff. I have played a hunter in the past, and I was never really impressed with 1). solo ability, 2). leveling speed, 3). survivability on a hunter. I see it always touted as "the most newbie-friendly class", and I just don't understand why. It's as complex as all the others, and squishier than most as well.
The convenience of ports and tracking is nice, but nice enough to make hunter the most popular class? As far as I'm concerned, the convenience stops there.
Is it because no one wants to tank or heal? Is it because a large portion of the playerbase is too lazy do do anything besides stand still and pew pew? Is it because Orlando Bloom is dreamy?
Please don't misinterpret this as me slamming the class. It's obviously doing something right. But I honestly don't know what that "something" might be. All I know is I've leveled faster with a minstrel without the hassle of laying traps and playing battle tactician on every pull, and quite frankly with less downtime.
Surely I'm missing something here. What is it about the hunter class that makes it so darn popular? This is an honest question, and I'm very curious for some input. Thanks.
Ranged DPS classes are always popular
I've played SWTOR, WoW, and LOTRO. My personal experience with all of those MMOs is that ranged DPS classes in general are very popular because they have the illusion of being overpowered. Meaning, if I can do lots of damage from far away, nothing will ever hit me. Ranged classes also typically have some sort of CC ability to make keeping enemies at bay easier, a huge bonus for anyone who enjoys PvP (PvMP) content. Also, it is pretty lazy boy in raids when all you have to do is rotate your skills and move if a puddle pops up underneath your feet. The role of ranged DPS is not challenged very much in most MMOs as far as forcing them to be mobile (with the exception of some T2 content).
I've always played melee classes until I rolled a minstrel, and I admit being able to kite and kill enemies from afar before they even touch me is really nice. I imagine many other players feel the same. Also, the RP community in LOTRO is quite impressive, and there are many reasons a role-player would like an elf hunter to go on adventures with. Obviously there's a lot of popular lore attached to it, just like Gondorian captains and hobbit burglars.
Hope that answered your question somewhat.