If hunters were not the easiest class to solo all the way to the level cap with, probably we wouldn't have the reputation of being completely unable to control ourselves, our aggro, or our pets. However, we are the easiest class to level and solo with. And, unfortunately, solo play style and group play style differ wildly.
Here are a few tips to help you to not be a huntard when you're actually in a group.
- Turn Growl Off - Growl is a taunt that your pet uses to keep it high on the hate list of whatever mob you're fighting. This is a good thing if you and your pet are fighting something just the two of you. However, if you've a dedicated tank at your disposal, you don't want your pet taking the majority of the hits. Turning growl off allows the pet to do damage (which can account for a large percentage of your damage) without pulling aggro.
- Use Aspect of the Pack (or Cheetah) only when appropriate - It's great to be able to move quickly (and grant that buff to your party) if you're running back in after a wipe. But don't forget to turn it back off. If anyone under one of these aspects is hit, they'll be dazed for a few seconds. Trying to tank while continuously getting dazed is neither effective nor efficient. Turn on a more reasonable aspect (like Hawk) when you're fighting and not moving quickly to your death point.
- Feign Death - Yes, being able to feign out of a wipe is wonderful for you. But you should almost never feign when you have the aggro. The mob at that point is hellbent on running to you and giving you some chin music. Feigning at this point means you've lost any control over where the mob goes. Rather you should feign as you're getting close to pulling aggro. The feign will remove you from the threat list and the mob will happily stay glued to the tank.
- Learn to Trap and DO IT - I've heard the argument that "trapping is ineffective and DPS is better." This is totally false in almost every case. Having one mob out of commission (cooling his heels in your trap) and fighting one mob is clearly superior to fighting two mobs at once. Yes, keeping something trapped will lower your DPS for those fights, but it will also lower your total repair bill (as well as those of your party) if you're not wiping because two mobs are running amok.
- Carry everything you need - This includes food for you, food for you pet, potions, water, and ammunition. I always carry enough ammunition that if someone else doesn't have the bullets that I can supply them with a stack. Huntards have to hearth back to town after three pulls to buy more of any of the above.
- Know what a "hunter weapon" is - Let's face it, we can use a LOT of different weapons. In fact, I don't think there's a weapon we can't use. Just because we can use it doesn't mean it's best for us. The vast majority of weapons out there are better for other classes than for us. Give the weapons to the classes who benefit from them most. If it's a choice between giving it to you and sharding the weapon, quite often you'll end up with the weapon.
- Stack ZERO damage and healing from magical spells and effects - Very, very few of your abilities benefit from this stat. Some of your traps and special shots can benefit from this stat, but there is much better gear out there. Leave the mail bracers with +28 spell damage for the elemental shamans. You should be stacking attack power over spell damage.
- Never Miss - Granted, this only makes sense at 70. However, 70 is when most huntards come into full bloom. You are the only ranged DPS class that can achieve the never missing goal. Spell casting always has a 1% innate missing chance, but your shots can never miss with enough hit rating. Find out what that number is and gear for it first.
- Avoid Talent Tree Lemons - Each talent tree has some real losers in it. Find out what those are and avoid them.
- Keep your pet under control - Aggressive is almost always a no-no for pets. Defensive is slightly better but takes dedication on your part. Passive is most safe, however you'll have to issue orders for your pet to attack. Also, watch out for your pet chasing "runners." It can easily aggro a whole new group by chasing a fleeing mob.