For me it was the ability to move through the game quickly while soloing. I don't get to play very often, and when I do it is in spurts, so I want to get as much out of it as I can in the time I have. I have a few other toons, but I play the hunter most often for that reason. As far as soloing, I have never had much of a problem with my hunter. Mine is built up to the point that most on-level mobs die before reaching me and groups are dispatched with a combination of crowd controls/evade/parries/self heals.
That and the fact that my favorite characters from Tolken lore were Rangers.
I'm pretty sure each class has the same amount of skills; or nearly so. So, because since many of the hunter's skills are ports, they have fewer actual skills to use in combat. Fewer skills means they have to be more potent, and fewer skills mean shorter rotations and less likely to screw up. So in that sense it's easier.
2nd, how many of us grew up loving Robin Hood? Legolas? Even Aragorn used a bow and was basically a hunter in eriador. So you got those connections too.
3rd, its a ranged class. That's something in and of itself that will attract people. That it's a ranged class that doesn't require lore-fudging "magic" will also attract a large number of players.
4th, it's a primary dps class and people love that role.
Easy to learn, kill at range, kill with big numbers, and you can pretend your robin hood or legolas? = popular class.
I hadn't even considered Robin Hood. Time to go redo my hunter's cosmetic outfit....
Hunters are just an enjoyable class to play, plain and simple. They are also a fairly simple class, yet take skill through its simplicity to get its full potential, which makes it fun. The solo ability, leveling aspect, etc. as the OP stated as well. You can also look at a lore aspect for those who play man/elf hunters. Men hunters prob like to roleplay as rangers from Ithilien being from Gondor, or Elves like to roleplay as the mysterious warriors of Mirkwood and like to say they know Legolas. A lot of cool things can be drawn from this.
This being said, hunter and champion are my favorite classes, hunter edging out champion barely. As much as I love my guardian, I regret not making a hunter first, though I started off as one, but deleted it because I wanted to be more like Boromir in my earlier youth, even though he is more of a champion heh.
Hunters have access to every skill in every stance. Most classes just have useless skills or skills that can't be used in certain stances.
Originally Posted by ColorSpecs
Hunters skills not including improved or ports - 41
Minstrel skills in Warspeech that provide some use- 35
I saw it mentioned somewhere "the legolas effect"
basically all games, players pre-judge classes, race and specs on what they've seen before. archers on films are almost always badass. this effect is the same for "choose between good or evil" chances are people will choose evil. why? because we all love bad characters, even more when there good characters who act bad. on adverts for the game its self you will make prejudgements.
I'll link a huge example from a newly released mmo
from that footage alone. which class would you rather play?
- guardian fighter
- control wizard
- trickster rouge
- great weapon fighter
- devoted cleric
takes little time in-game to see trickster rouge are loved there above all else. and gaurdian fighter (which isn't shown in the footage) the least played.
the same situation happends in so many games. designers are actively trying to not cause this social imbalance now by not calling them "hunters" but instead rangers, archers or even bow master I've seen.
this type of imbalance can even have serious implications. valve released a video of each class (and the sandvich to make people love heavy more) so people felt attached to them all. it's easier to develop a class or write stories about something you can relate too. the god of all gaming fan bases, nintendo's "earthbound" is probably one of the best designed games of all time. the main writer Shigesato Itoi who spent over 6years writing the quirky text and designing completely funny fight to destract from the very grindy game play (an enemy crow can steal your cookie, so happy with it's cookie, the game will tell you the crow is laughing at you and can't attack back). thats an NES game ffs, absolutely amazing.
what I'm blabbering on about, try and write a story about an alien who plays the harpsicord... thats hard... surely you can't relate to that? but write a story about lost in a cave and feel homesick, I'm sure you'd find that easier (sorry for assuming you might have felt homesick at any point). same goes for devs, the rouge on Neverwinter is so much better than other classes, playing the class it feels much better game.
sorry wall of text :D
Out of curiosity, other than milestone skills, how many skills do minstrels have altogether (assuming improved is merged with original) and not including instrument learning.
Originally Posted by Kizunas
...best explanation ever why 80% of ppl in all mmo´s play hunter (like) classes :)
Originally Posted by banhorn
the only reason for me to play hunter was the travelling skills, makes it much easier to have a good gaming experience as a f2p player, even though some of the other classes might be more fun to play
Originally Posted by Flixxer
how true....the travelling skills are priceless , especially for the epic questlines
I have 4 Hunters at this point and other than Minstrel (only 3 of those) it is by far my favorite class to play. These are the reasons why:
1. Hunters are like a caster that can melee really well in a pinch.
They're not just a DPS caster either, they have crowd-control capabilities that are better than any other class once you take crafted traps into account. They're like everything but a tank and a healer all rolled up in one package.
2. They can tank also.
Almost anything that is not epic and a few things that are. DPS is half of the tanking equation and Hunters bring enough DPS that they can reliably kill things with 3x their morale. They can unreliably kill things with far more morale than that with the aid of a few pots and a little kiting now and then.
3. The ports are divine and make Hunters level much faster than any other class in the game.
With a little forethought you can use the camps in the Trollshaws and Moria to rip through areas that normally have a lot of travel time built into the leveling process.
4. The DPS that a Hunter puts out makes killing landscape mobs trivial unless they are named elites.
The ability to DPS at 40 meters is a real part of this. Hunters kill things while standing still on the ground that they choose. RK's and Mini's kite in circles. Champs kill things where they stand, starting about 3 seconds after a Hunter and generally finishing the same 3 seconds after a Hunter. The 3 seconds is the amount of time it takes the Champ to run up to the mob and start whacking. Nobody kills mobs faster than a Hunter because often the Hunter doesn't even need to change position between pulls. He just pivots and starts on the next target.
5. There needs to be a 5?
love my hunter
I have been a gamer since before computers were used for gaming and have almost always played some kind of ranged DPS character, starting with a ranger in table-top D&D and AD&D. I've tried a few of the other classes (my second main is a warden) but always come back to my hunter. I admit, part of the reason in LOTRO is the travel skills, but by no means is it the biggest reason I like hunters. Mainly, I like the thought of being able to stand back from the main part of the fight but still killing mobs. And lets face it, who doesn't like being able to hit or root multiple mobs all at once (Rain of Arrows/Thorns). I like the ability to lay traps.
Someone mentioned removing poison and fearing animals. those are skills I use frequently, both solo and in groups. Very handy skills to have.
I think it's popular because of that sweet sensation you get, when you can kill something without having your face leave the keyboard. Everyone enjoys that! :D
A lot of new players join through word-of-mouth and are advised to pick hunter as their first class because they are nab and easy to play
Originally Posted by psalm8818
I would agree with that as you get to the higher levels of a hunter. Me personally, I chose to be an elf hunter after trying out all the other classes first (I also have a level 30 woman minstrel). My elf hunter is a level 51 and with all of the skills I have (heart seeker, quick shot, etc.) I really have to watch my vitals as well as the people in my fellowship (see if they need ranged help) and my enemy's vital to know when to use the right skill. Don't get me wrong. I have died in combat A LOT. At level 51 I only have one healing ability that takes 5 minutes to regen (not much help if you are farming or in a skirmish) and one stun skill that lasts 5 seconds and has a 100% break chance if you cause damage. Every time I get a new skill, I test it out (either sparring a fellow kin member of equal level or using it on easy enemies with almost 1k morale) before I use it is actual combat. It gives me a feel for exactly how long it takes for the skill to work, how much damage it does, and at what point in combat it is useful.
Originally Posted by Kajil
As for your question, I would say its the fact the people seem to think its an easy starter class and a bit overpowered after they have been playing on a hunter for a while. I wouldn't necessarily say that a hunter is overpowered until they reach around level 35-40. Hope this helps!
My observation from many years of playing MUDs and MMORPGs is that people *tend* to gravitate towards:
- 'fair' races over 'diminutive' or 'ugly' ones. In LotRO that would be humans and elves over dwarves and hobbits.
- Familiar archetypes to which they identify: The "knight in shiny armour", the mage that rains pyrotechnic death. Since the LotRO movies, the "cool kick ### ranger" is kind of up there too I believe.
- Classes that are "better" in PvP. The "stealthy assassin" is always a popular pick. LotRO not being much of a PvP game though, that probably doesn't really apply here.
- Straight DPS classes over support or versatile or 'tricky' classes.
The only two no nonsense DPS classes in LotRO originally were the hunter, and the champion, the champion would double up as "knight in shiny armour", while the hunter would fill the shoes of the "kick ### ranger" so they naturally became quite popular.
Had the lore-master been designed as a DPS class with flashy lightning bolts and fireballs, it would likely have been much more popular too.
Orlando Bloom is dreamy. So is Aidan Turner.
That and everything you said. I have a Hunter, but yeah, it's kind of a PITA to play compared to my Minstrel. I don't get it.
I have played a number of MMORPGs, although only significant amounts on WoW. Usually I gravitate toward ranged DPS classes for three reasons:
1) Usually they are easier for soloing - I just started playing LOTRO and my main is a ranger and I started it up before I even realized it had the porting abilities. But beyond that, ranged DPS usually can kill things while taking less damage, gather mats faster, and are more agile (whether it's sneak abilities or just speed)
2) They are usually easier in the sense of less complexity needed to play the class "sufficiently". It is harder, in most MMORPGs to play melee DPS or especially healer and sometimes tank, whether solo, group, or PVP, because the skill set required just to be sufficient is usually slightly higher. This is not to say that good hunters can't be really good at raids, but that it is just easier to do ranged DPS mindlessly but still effectively. As others have stated, it's easiest to play after a long day of work and when you just have an hour here or there.
3) A couple of posts mentioned this already: I usually don't want to tank or heal. This is not because I don't like doing those activities per se, but that if a DPS player in a raid or instance doesn't perform well the group can still move on, but the tank or healer not performing at high levels is an instant wipe. This becomes even more problematic when you are joining random groups. I tried (on WoW) to heal and tank and just got so sick of the verbal abuse I received because I wasn't doing everything perfectly that I stopped doing it. I usually alt-level a tank or healer for fun, but don't like them as a main.
This is pretty interesting, assuming a Hunter is easy in a raid and with less obligations than everyone else. I'm not saying that is your opinion lol! Its more like a general consensus among many players that all Hunters need to do is pew pew. Probably true if all you do is dps. But being RAT in raid (a job usually given to a Hunter) can be a lot more challenging than both healing and tanking. At least in certain raids where focus fire on the right thing, in the right order, is everything if you want to succeed.
Originally Posted by flyingtable83
Flight T2 is one of many raids where RAT comes with responsibilities and that job will probably be given to a Hunter. You need to know how many mobs to keep alive, what each waves brings, have a strict killing order etc, that or the group will probably fail. You can't just listen to the raid leader and hope he will hand out instructions on every single wave and add, that would be to slow. You actually have to learn all these things yourself. I find healing Flight T2 a lot easier than being a Hunter on RAT-duty, because as healer I only have to watch health bars and positioning.
I actually think slightly less people would make Hunters if they knew about always being RAT ^_^
Yep! Main reasons why I pick rangers or other ranged dps(dps in general) when I play mmos. I dont have to watch positioning as much on my hunter as opposed to my burg where I sometimes die after huntering too long. Ive played tanks and heals before as well but its certainly more responsibility. Plus I like watching the fight from a distance. Though I prefer melee for pvp because its more up close and personal.
Originally Posted by flyingtable83
Though being RAT takes effort too as someone mentioned but nowhere near tanking/healing where peoples lives are in ur hands.
Though hunters and dps in general isnt hard to be decent, it gets increasingly harder at the top level. Goes with all classes though.
So really when most start up, they pick dps anyway, hunters just have that biased " rangers must be OP" feeling. When I saw a ranger class, I didnt even read the other classes as I had just come.from another game as a scout(range class)
As far back as I can remember, archers or ranged DPS have had the reputation of being easier than melee DPS due to a lack of a need for positioning. You don't have to think about the boss' position, or running out of melee range to avoid cleaves, and there's only the fire/poison/void/whatever to stand in. Two steps to the right and you're back to pew-pew.
That said, for me personally, I've always been a fan of archery from when I was a teenager. My first exposure to fantasy was a silly teen/youth fiction book about a "sword daughter" (Shield-maiden :p) and her encounter with an enchanting young elf-prince archer. I became enamoured with archery, and I've played an archer-type in every MMO that's made them available (and there were a lot!). My first D&D character was also my most memorable, a high elf archer-ranger bad-### named Sapphire, who endeared herself to the group within five minutes of joining them when she pickpocketed the rogue that kept threatening to steal something of hers :p But I ramble.
In LOTRO specifically, I believe the ports do have a lot to do with it. I know I have trouble going back to my Minstrel after zipping around Middle Earth on my Hunter, collecting wood and hides. :)
Answers to your points:
Originally Posted by psalm8818
1. Solo ability is great compared with other classes. I mostly solo and hunter is easy mode.
2. Leveling speed...seriously? My hunter is the fastest leveling toon I have. Quick moving and hard hitting=fast.
It is NOT complex, play a warden for complex. If you want a challenge, do slo-mo leveling with a bore master (LM):p
Six years ago I rolled a hunter and I still have him. I personally always liked the creeping through the woods and spotting an Orc etc. and just unleashing that first volley of arrows at maximum range (almost as satisfying as that instant blender like opener of a burglar).
I played a hunter in the well known "World of Wotsit" for many years and even with the removal of pets in Lotro I still enjoy the class. The Same goes for most other types of games, Snipers are always cool in every game/film, so I do tend to pick the class in Red Orchestra 2, Battlefield and Call of Duty games.
It also helps that I am a member of a field archery club and enjoy the sport. But they do tend to get a bit annoyed with the whole flaming arrows and bear traps.
I leveled a Burglar first, and played him until Moria hit, then I rolled a Warden. When I realized how much easier it is to get around, I rolled a hunter after the Warden hit level cap and did the same to him. I took a good year+ off and came back again at the start of RoR, and the thought of having to relearn all my gambits again made me cringe, whereas the hunter also had all the ports and no gambits to worry about. I'm sure I'll go back to the warden at some point, maybe. I assume a lot of people like the hunter because of his ports and DPS, which lets you level quickly and efficiently, especially if you're a completionist and you actually do zones like the Trollshaws or book 7.
I came to LOTRO from other MMOs where landscape mob farming was a huge part of gaining better gear and becoming more wealthy. When I read that hunters were generally considered the best class for moving around quickly, mass killing large amounts of farm mobs and didn't involve wearing heavy armor while mindlessly beating on things (my view of melee DPS classes at the time), I chose then and there to have a hunter.
I do not regret it. They level super fast and are a great class to use for farming various materials. Their run speed buff (there were no wardens when I started), hunter ports, camp fire ports, ability to farm hides quickly with ranged attacks makes them a wonderful toon to level up first. It makes crafting go faster with later toons. My captain armorer loved letting my hunter prospect ore for him. My guardian forester and warden tailor loved having my hunter gather hides for them. All of my toons like having my hunter having finished Hytbold because it so fast to port around and finish Hytbold dailies.
Basically, I don't look at the hunter as a great grouping toon but rather an awesome support toon for your other alts. They're great for solo stuff too, I never really had any trouble leveling it as my first toon.