Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ending Huntardism in our lifetime

The term "huntard" originated in vanilla WoW when all of the gold farmers were hunters.  They leveled in instances and showed little to no real understanding of how to play the class in a group situation.  Use of the term has died down a bit but it still exists. Sometimes these bad players are just teenagers with the attention span of a gnat.  Other times they're lard eating, white trash, Legolas wannabes.

The classic huntard behaviors don't afflict only those with questionable intelligence.  It often infects newer players who just honestly doesn't know any better.  They've received some some crazy and foolish advice and not knowing any better have done their best to follow it.  All is not lost, 90% of huntardism cases are curable.

A mistake here and there isn't an indication that someone is suffering from huntardism.  That is part of what makes this disease so difficult to diagnose.  It's only when we see a pattern of stupidity that we are able to diagnose the condition.

While there are a limited number of ways or styles of playing a hunter correctly, the huntard can find infinite ways to just plain do it wrong.  The classic huntard warning signs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • pet running off and pulling random groups of mobs
  • pet sitting by the hunter's side, unused
  • doesn't even have a pet
  • hunter insisting on pulling groups on his or her own, typically without consulting the tank
  • standing in void zones, usually followed by cursing the healer for his or her death
  • posting damage meters
  • jumping off ledges of all kinds while ignoring the pet pathing ramifications
  • untrained skills
  • at level 80 has not spent talents down to the bottom of any tree
  • bonus points for a tri-spec hybrid
  • gemmed for strength or spell power
  • name is a variant of Legolas

If you suspect a friend or loved one is a huntard you need to talk to him about his problem.  It is not helping him, or anyone else, to let this disease run unchecked.  But the way you go about telling him is very important.  You must be non-confrontational and create a safe, loving atmosphere.

This is where so many people with good intentions miss the mark.  They see someone exhibiting huntard symptoms and, in an awkward attempt to cure them, shout that they are a huntard, a dumbass, a noob, or that they suck.  Huntardism is a disease of the mind, and it reacts negatively to these kinds of direct confrontational approaches.  In extreme cases, it can even aggravate the huntard symptoms and cause an outbreak of dormant ones.

 When doing a huntard intervention take the following steps:
  • Never confront a huntard by assuming that he's knowingly doing something stupid.  Always ask him first why he is doing a certain thing. Every now and then, there will be a reason.  Please note that I said a reason, not a good reason.  Maybe those strength gems are because he lost a bet.  His reason will give you'll get a unique peek at the crazy going on in his brain.  By understanding the thought process you can better understand how to help get him back on track.
  • Once you know why the huntard is doing the strange things he does and you've confirmed that there is no good reason, explain to him the correct way to do whatever he's doing.  It's important at this stage to keep things as simple as possible.  Do not try to explain a lot of different alternatives and do not try to expand into other areas where he probably needs help.  Stick to one problem at a time.  Explain what's wrong with the way he is doing it, and explain how this other way works better.  If there are multiple better ways, just pick the simplest one and get him started on that.
  • If you've done your job well you now have the trust of this young, impressionable huntard.  He's probably experienced a lot of people yelling at him and calling him a noob, but you were different.  You took the time to talk to him, you asked him questions and found out what he was doing and why, and then you patiently explained a better way.  The final step here is to direct this player to your favorite hunter resource site on the web. This is the "teaching a man to fish" stage.  Most likely you don't have time to teach him everything there is to know about being a hunter.  Instead steer him to somewhere he can do his own reading and his own learning at his own pace.  Just be sure you're directing him to someplace kind to the unlearned.  Never ever send a newly recovering huntard to Elitist Jerks.
Not every intervention will work, and not every huntard is ready to change. But with time and patience we can look forward to the day when this disease has been wiped out and is nothing but a footnote in the medical journals.


  1. Hmmm... seems like I have some work to do on my horde hunter.

  2. Was having a bad pug moment on my lock.