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  1. #1

    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.

  2. #2
    From what I've seen it's because people don't want to tank or heal. They think they'll still get asked to tank or heal if they play a champ or DPS RK, so they play hunters. That's the only thing I'm aware of that can explain why it's more popular.

  3. #3
    I agree that one reason is people not wanting to tank/heal. Another thing I would say is that the class description and general knowledge about hunters makes them seem attractive to new players. Hunters can track things, port around, do a lot of damage, etc. I know a lot of people, who were new to MMOs and LOTRO, who made a hunter as their first character and it just never stopped being their main.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisli View Post
    I agree that one reason is people not wanting to tank/heal. Another thing I would say is that the class description and general knowledge about hunters makes them seem attractive to new players. Hunters can track things, port around, do a lot of damage, etc. I know a lot of people, who were new to MMOs and LOTRO, who made a hunter as their first character and it just never stopped being their main.
    That would be me, then. I enjoy cappy and champ, play a bit of minstrel and burg, and use warden as a crafting alt (he has so many Rs it's unreal) but hunter is and always has been my main.

    Hunters do have a bad rep, as it is deceptively easy not to use all your skills; I still get strange looks from PUG 3-mans when I do things like remove poisons in school, or fear wolfhounds in Stoneheight off the healer with Cry of the Predator...

    There are skills I don't use a lot but that's because they're &&&&: Scourging Blow, Merciful Shot, Hunter's Art, Camouflage (though it's fun to use for fishslapping kinnies and then hiding...)
    105s: Aedfrith (HN), Aldnoth (CP), Brai (RK), Hrolfdan (MN), Aeldfryd (WD), Morriarty (CH), Aednoth (LM), Mishhar (BR), Hraldan (GR), Rummbold (BG). Tinies - Rumbelina (MN), Aenghus (CP)
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  5. #5
    My habit of playing archers on MMOs started as a joke: when a bunch of guildmates of mine migrated from one MMO to another and expected me to show up with my usual heavy armored dwarf, I showed up with a female elf archer to everyone's mirth. And it sort of stuck since then.

    I realized that those types of classes fit my impatient personality better: kill fast, move fast, farm mats fast. And I would trade my wayfarer skills for nothing in the world. Especially before I got VIP, those interminable horse travels would have driven me insane.

    But the fact that tanks and healers have more pressure and responsibility (and get blamed more easily?) in groups might also factor into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by banhorn View Post
    Plus, fire arrows! OMG. I go through gallons of fire oil when I play a hunter just because foosh-foosh is so much more entertaining than pew-pew.
    Oh sweet jesus yes. Whenever it runs out, my icons feel... naked, or wrong somehow.
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  6. #6
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    Hmm. Hunter was the first class I tried, back in oh-I don't-want-to-think-how-long-ago. Why? Because the concept and portrayal sounded awesome.
    Concept: I kill you before you can reach me. Woot. Why this concept? Oh boy, big question. Well, let's go back to what the bow is. The bow is the weapon of quick, efficient execution over the slow, stupid, melee soldiers (see Agincourt). It represented a stage of technological advancement. So, culturally, bows became symbols of the cool, the clever, and the nimble.
    There's a lot of evidence to back up this idea. Legolas, anyone? Robin Hood? I think someone mentioned Hawkeye earlier.
    These aren't bulky, strong, muscular classes. Manly, to be sure, but not in the sense of brute strength. Rather, applied and directed force than just RaWRR manliness.
    So when we read a description like: "Nuker - The Hunter is proficient at dealing out damage to single foes at both range and melee. When the Hunter is at range, he can unleash devastating arrow shots that do high damage to single targets. When the solo enemy finally manages to close into melee range, the Hunter is well-equipped to deal the finishing blow with some of their melee skills" (lotro wiki), we get a sense of "oh boy! Deadliness here we come!."
    Sadly/happily, to bring in the ("real") effectiveness of a bowman would be, in a word, overpowered. Still, a quick and fun class, with a good number of convenience skills.
    Last edited by Beast_of_War; May 07 2013 at 04:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Part of it is the skill mechanics are simple; Hunters have fewer combat skills, focus is more straightforward than other systems like ballads or attunement, and most of the skills are direct use unlike a Guardian's response skills. I've played one of every class to at least Level 40, and the Hunter is probably the easiest to go back to and pick up at nearly full effectiveness because it's so straight-forward.

    Plus, fire arrows! OMG. I go through gallons of fire oil when I play a hunter just because foosh-foosh is so much more entertaining than pew-pew.

    What are you basing your "most played" class on? I'd be curious to see if there's a correlation at the class complexity level. There should also be some factoring-in of class popularity before and after the last big update the class had; e.g., Minstrels after Update 6. Finally, it's harder to judge for rune-keeprers and wardens since they require an additional purchase.

    [Update]

    One more thing: Even when I dps as a rune-keeper, I always keep an eye on the fellowship. I can still throw down support and healing when fully dagor-attuned. Hunters don't have many support skills, so there's less need (and therefore little habit) to watch the rest of the fellowship. I think this is where hunter "bad behavior" comes from. There's no mechanic to encourage hunters to watch the state of the fellowship. Adding some skills to encourage hunters to pay more attention to their peers would be a great improvement in the coming revamp.
    Last edited by banhorn; May 05 2013 at 04:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by banhorn View Post
    .... I play a hunter just because foosh-foosh is so much more entertaining than pew-pew.
    ...best explanation ever why 80% of ppl in all mmo´s play hunter (like) classes
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  9. #9
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    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
    Flixxer - Hunter - Imladris - 100 R7 ---- Danielleth - Minstrel - Imladris - 22
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flixxer View Post
    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

    how true....the travelling skills are priceless , especially for the epic questlines
    [FONT=courier new][B][I]Duraniel - LM | Duranium - RK | Durania - HNT | Yodomir - BG | Yodowyn - CPT | Durawyn - WD[/I][/B][/FONT]

  11. #11
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    I'm speaking only for myself here.

    I have always liked archery. I was on the Archery Team when I was in Jr College (and made it to the National Intercollegiate Championship one year ). So for me, it just felt natural to choose the Hunter for my first character.

    I also have an 85 Champion and am often asked to off-tank with her. I can tank LLG Dailies with a good Healer.

    I have a 66 RK and a 33 Guardian I am also leveling, to try other rolls in Fellowships besides DPS.
    [B][COLOR=#ff0000]Loriandrel 85 Elf Hunter[/COLOR]--[/B][B][COLOR=#0000ff]Loriandra 85 Woman Champion[/COLOR][/B][B]--[/B][B][COLOR=#ffd700]Lorrawyn 68 Elf Rune-keeper[/COLOR][/B][B]--
    [COLOR=#ff8c00]Lorrell 55 Woman Warden [/COLOR][COLOR=#800080]Lorieth 53 Woman Lore-master[/COLOR]--[COLOR=#008000]Lorifindel 33 Elf Guardian---[/COLOR]Dwarrowdelf[/B]

  12. #12
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    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.
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  13. #13
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    I think it's because it's just got that reputation of being the 'starter class'. Hunter seems like a 'cool' class to pick and the class description honestly makes it sound kind of overpowered if you've never played the game before. And at one time, hunter was a bit overpowered (Shadows of Angmar, anyways). We could practically off-tank back then. Now, not so much.

    I don't know about it being 'simple' to play though, maybe only solo. Hunter is a more complex class than many, tbh. It requires a lot of self-buffing, cooldown and focus management, and knowing when to use certain skills for maximum effect. Hunter skill rotation is typically not as simple as other classes (see; Champ, two button wonder). You have to make decisions on what to do so you don't completely throw your DPS out of whack, due to the focus mechanic and also the thin-skinned nature of the class. On my champ, I literally press about four buttons at all during a single-target fight (unless I pull aggro and have to bubble/BA), and even guard tanking rotation is laughably simple and easy to do.
    Last edited by Kajil; May 06 2013 at 12:17 AM.
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  14. #14
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    I presume many people who rolled an Elven Hunter was probably thinking of Legolas and/or the movies. Comparing Legolas skateboarding in Helm's Deep or one-shotting the bird-beast-dinosaur-thingy the Nazgûl rode, and the LotRO version of Hunters and "You cannot do that while moving." or at least, the LotRO version of Legolas (eg: The Unmarked Trail) no doubt many people would be disappointed.

    As for myself, I kinda prefer the archer over a warrior in the midst of battle.
    [COLOR="#669966"][center][size=1]Mildford - R9 Hunter • Support - R7 LM
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  15. #15
    Because hunter is the best class!

    The ports made them much faster than others to level. That isn't as true now that the game has a lot more travel options. The tracking was also a huge advantage before they started putting enemies on everyones radar. A lot of hunters started when these were still big advantages. On top of the travel skills, they also get an out of combat run speed buff.

    People also like dps. There was a time when hunters were the OP class. That is why hunters were by far the most popular class when I started. Now they aren't OP but still have top single target dps. They also are one of the best at many target dps. They fall behind on dps when there are 2-5ish targets. So good dps is one of the biggest reasons.

    Then there is the range. I love learning new raids with my hunter. I can sit back and see what everyone is doing. The range also gives much more survivability and allows us to be lazy. On landscape mobs, most die before they are able to get to us.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kajil View Post
    I don't know about it being 'simple' to play though, maybe only solo. Hunter is a more complex class than many, tbh. It requires a lot of self-buffing, cooldown and focus management, and knowing when to use certain skills for maximum effect. Hunter skill rotation is typically not as simple as other classes (see; Champ, two button wonder). You have to make decisions on what to do so you don't completely throw your DPS out of whack, due to the focus mechanic and also the thin-skinned nature of the class.
    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.

    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!

  17. #17
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    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.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by psalm8818 View Post
    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.
    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

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm8818 View Post
    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.
    Answers to your points:

    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)
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