With the next season coming up I'm trying to figure out whether or not to continue with Hunter. I've had this mindset before, as I think a lot of people have. I guess the point of this would be "is it worth it to stick with Hunter?" I'm trying to decide between Hunter and Lock, but I'm not going to post something as simple as "tell me what to play." My reason for considering the switch to Lock is based on Hunter maybe not being as viable as I'd like it to be.
I understand that Lock is a tough class to play, and I think that's incredibly evident when you look at even 2200-2400 rated Locks, compared to the best Locks. It's kind of mind blowing to me actually. With that said, I feel like you have to be very, VERY good at Hunter to make it far at all. It seems like so much more focus, precision and effort has to go into Hunter for a player to reach a decent rating (that 2.2k-2.4k).
I could be wrong in that statement, and it may not convey the message I want it to, but I look at other classes and see the damage and CC comparatively. It makes me wonder where Hunter really fits in? My Lock most certainly has worse gear (links below). Yet with that character I do more damage in the long run, and even with my Lock's 3.1k resilience versus my Hunter's 3.5k, I take less damage on my Lock. Not counting Hunter's defensive CD's such as Deterrence, which negate incoming spells/attacks completely, of course.
Basically I see my Lock doing more damage, and taking less with lesser gear. On to CC; I feel more in control with my Warlock. Hunter CC by no means is bad, but there feels like there's this gap. I have scatter/trap, followed up with a silence, then I basically have to wait for those to come off of CD. As we all know, Warlocks have pretty good CC, even without taking their silence into count. It's spamable, and you don't have to worry about it being eaten, or even dispelled for that matter, due to Unstable Affliction.
To be a little more comparative to other ranged classes, let's take a small look at Mages as the two play styles are kind of similar (kiting efficiently, CCing, and bursting). I would consider their roots to be better, snares not quite as good imo due to Conc glyph for Hunters, better CC overall, and better burst. Deep Freeze is basically Freezing trap without the hassle of having to scatter first, and also increases damage on that target. The main upside I see to being a Hunter is having more control over your pet, and that pet's abilities. In terms of arena Mages take the cake even on random stuff such as the two classes variation of stealth.
I know I'm skipping several things with the comparisons, but in the end, Hunter feels like a lesser version of Frost Mage to me, and Lock is, from what I've seen, consistently strong from season to season. I realize I'm tipping the scales in favor of NOT playing Hunter, but I absolutely love the play style. When I got into arena toward the end of last season, I didn't play anything except Hunter no matter what I was doing unless I was messing around with other classes abilities. I got my Lock a few pieces of gear, but other than that I was hooked on how fun Hunter is. I really wish the class was as r1 viable as Lock or even Mage, but unless I'm wrong, it's nowhere near that.
All I want is some insight. I enjoy my Warlock, which I've focused on since the season ended and started playing the character long before Hunter, but every time I see a Hunter jumping around, bringing the pain (... that's right, I said it) in BGs, it reminds me how much more fun it is to be kiting, and how when I'm on my Hunter I'm probably annoying every melee class that tries to kill me even if they manage to succeed (I'm lookin' at you, Douche Knights).
I'm 90% positive that if Hunter gets some love from Blizz and becomes a really solid class with a good amount of comps to run, I'll be right back on my Hunter. In my experience not many people want to take the chance of teaming with a Hunter unless they have some higher rating achieves, and even then there aren't a good chunk of comps that Hunters can run. So, based on the history of WoW, what's the deal? Is this state of Hunters temporary? Should I expect Hunter to get some changes that will make it viable for a good amount of time? Or am I delusional and missing something? My arena experience and knowledge is far below that of high rated players, or even of the players who've been around the arena scene for several years. Thanks, and I hope my wall-o-text wasn't too boring.
tl;dr Hunter seems to be lacking in Arena based on my experience, but I love the class. Locks and Mages are pretty leet, is it worth it to stay focused on my Hunter when I have a Lock?