Arrows, Whistles and one big, bad Dummy—A guide to Hunter PVE grinding.
Good Evening, fellow Hunters! Welcome to one of the least played classes in Royal Quest (2nd only to Thief, if my observations are correct). We’re not as sexy as our Sniper brothers (they’ve got the whole James Bond vibe going for them) and, like all other classes in the game, we’re sub-par on all levels when compared to either of the Mages. That said we can still muddle through the PVE grind with some small level of efficiency if we slot our talent points correctly. This guide is meant to help with that very thing—helping you get the most out of your talent points so that you can PVE grind effectively.
First, a disclaimer.
DISCLAIMER: This guide is meant to suggest solid Talent build ideas for PVE Grinding ONLY! This is not meant to be a pvp spec discussion. This is not meant to be a PvPvE area grinding spec (obviously, you want a more pvp-friendly spec to grind PVE mobs in the PVP areas). Likewise, if you’re in a guild that’s involved with wars all the time you’re not going to want to use this spec as it will leave you far less powerful in PVP than the Hunter can be with a PVP-oriented talent spec.
Second, a note on pets.
PETS: If you’re like me, you looked at the class descriptions and got excited for Hunter when you saw that they could charm mobs and use them as pets. Images of pet classes from other MMOs danced in your head and you thought that this class would be your typical “pet class” from any other MMO. Like me, you probably now realize how wrong you were and how utterly useless and buggy Hunter pets actually are. You will notice that this spec pretends that Hunter pets do not even exist. I skip the talents that either buff pets or buff the hunter if he/she has a pet. I don’t mess with pets and don’t expect other hunters to rely on them either.
Third, an assumption.
This spec assumes you’ve actually made it to Hunter. Most people are going to respec once they hit 20 and select either Hunter or Sniper—I’m assuming you’re starting off as a Hunter with a respec at your disposal so you can get rid of all that stuff you put into Shooting when that was your only choice.
Without further delay—the Dummy o’ Doom AOE PVE Grinding spec:
From the Shooting Line:
From the Traps Line:
From the Survival Line:
From the Hunting Line
Wild Wild West
This is my spec at level 40 and what you can do with it is amazing (not mage amazing, but amazing for our class). To be fair, the spec doesn’t really start to shine until level 35 or so. Don't worry, levels come fast up to about level 35 thanks to quests and the areas where you can grind (ants/snails, specifically) to get to level 35. Things started to drag for me at level 35 which is when I started spending tens of millions of gold on Mandrake Flowers to try different specs in search of an efficient AOE grinding spec. This is what I settled on as the most effective for pure AOE grinding in a strictly PVE environment.
How It Works
Step 1: Find a grind area with mobs that are your level to +3 or +4 above your level. Much below your level and you’re losing out on xp/kill. Too much above your level and your ability to hit the mobs goes so far down that you risk dying. Dying is a major setback to your exp/hour ratio and is to be avoided at all costs. Plus, you gain optimum xp when your level and the mob level are closer.
Step 2: Apply Wound Dressing.
Step 3: Run around the area aggroing mobs. Try to get 10 or more if you can. Find a spot to stop running that has other enemies in view (even better if they’re in arrow range). Drop your Dummy.
Step 4: Drop Arrow Shower on your dummy.
Step 5: Take a step away from the dummy (this seems to help mobs target the Dummy faster and get off of targeting you).
Step 6: Start shooting mobs that are not currently attacking your dummy to draw them in to your dummy’s agro range. Your Dummy is hard at work killing the first wave of mobs you already dragged to it--at this point you are just trying to feed it more. You sometimes need to move around your dummy to get newly pulled mobs to stop hitting you and start hitting your dummy.
Step 7: Refresh Arrow Shower as needed. Use Hunter’s Whistle and Battle Whistle as you earn Focus. Nothing is more satisfying than getting a Hunter's Whistle bomb dropped right on the mass of mobs attacking your dummy!
Step 8: Repeats steps 2-4 without the Dummy while you wait on the Dummy cooldown to refresh. Pull smaller groups of mobs that you can handle with your Arrow Shower + Battle Whistle + Single Target attacks.
Step 9: When Dummy is ready again start over with Step 2.
You basically rely on your Dummy and your Arrow Shower (buffed by the Fire Shower talent) to kill large groups of mobs. Your dummy should last roughly 10-15 seconds—probably enough for one big round of mobs and a smaller round of mobs. This leaves you with 45-50 seconds of “downtime” while you wait for the dummy cool down to expire. During that time you run around and agro smaller groups of mobs (3-4) and use your Arrow Shower plus your single target attacks/bomb whistles to kill them off. If you are using Hunters Whistle like you should be (ie, all the time) then you should be steadily killing. You have no need to wait on health/energy restoring foods and you have no need to carry large amounts of instant health/energy potions (see first note below).
Some important things to note:
If you look at your single target shots you’ll see that most of them can be buffed by using a Focus point. 30% extra damage sounds great, right? For boss battles and PVP I’m sure it is. For AOE PVE Grinding, however, it’s an utter waste of your focus to use it on buffing single target skills. Using Focus on Hunters Whistles gets you health/energy potions that, if nothing else, reduce your downtime and save you from using costly consumables (no waiting on health/energy bars to fill up). Using Focus on Battle Whistles gets bombs dropped on mobs you’re fighting (helps your kill them faster) or sometimes on mobs you’re not fighting (free pulls—yay!). You’ll notice that this spec buffs both the Hunter and Battle whistle. You will notice the difference-trust me!
What about Beastly Temper?:
I know, I know—Beastly Temper looks amazing, doesn’t it? Since it’s easy to get your crit chance up to 30%+ with little effort why not go for an extra 20% crit damage? You’d be a lean, mean, crit damage machine with this talent, right?! Like I said before, since pets are so buggy and useless I’ve avoided all talents that help pets or require a pet to work—including Beastly Temper. The 20% bonus crit damage is not worth having a pet that will often pick up loot that you need for a quest. The 20% bonus crit damage is not worth having a pet that will turn on you mid-fight because it took a hit or two from a mob. The 20% bonus crit damage is not worth having a bet that will pull random mobs when you’re not ready to handle them. I could go on but any Hunter who’s messed with charming pets knows all the issues they have—pets hurt hunters and should be avoided if the hunter’s goal is speedy PVE grinding.
What order should I get the talents?:
I’d say your goal is to get Fire Shower and Thorny Lure as soon as you can. Obviously, low level hunters won’t have Dummy and Arrow Shower right away but once you have those skills you want the associated talent buffs to those skills in place. Those two skills are the bread and butter of AOE grinding for Hunters. Get them buffed as soon as you can. After that, I'd say that the buffs to the whistles should be next (Rescue Operations and Bombardment). I'd grab Healing Brew early as well. The last three talents I grabbed in the Hunting Line (Acidic Ammunition, Wild Wild West and Poisoned Ammunition) are really just personal preference talents and not "must have". You can put those 3 points into anything else and be fine. IMO, Acidic Ammunition (a debuff) and Poisoned Ammuntion (a DoT chance) are nice to have for the times you are dealing with single targets (or players in Alpha), but they aren't crucial to the AOE Grind spec by any means.
Why not Exploding Lure?:
Exploding Lure actually is a really nice talent. It does HUGE damage to mobs surrounding your Dummy once your dummy dies. From my personal observations, the Dummy doesn’t die to the initial, large group of mobs you pull. It usually dies after it kills off that big group and you’ve now started to lure a 2nd, smaller group to it. In the end, I felt like this talent point is better spent on something like Poisoned Ammunition. It’s probably more of a personal preference and if you decide you love this talent and want to have it you’re not doing yourself any harm.
Why not Handful of Burs?:
I've tried handful of Burs and was not impressed. It seems like you're getting another AOE Damage + Slow when you take this talent but the damage just wasn't there. Perhaps with Deadly Traps it'd be worth it but you have to sacrifice so much other stuff to get both of those.
What about the Shotgun buffs?:
The lack of decent guns for Hunters made me want to avoid these talents (Shotgun Hunt, Stormtrooper and Thug). I did try using Pellet Shot+Dummy on groups of mobs in my mid-30's but was not impressed. You still need Arrow Shower (buffed with Fire Shower) which means you have to switch mid-fight from your bow to your gun. It's doable on your hotbar but it's just another button press that, imo, didn't provide the AOE damage output to make it worthwile. Plus, in the late 30's/early 40's I'm noticing a distinct lack of good shotguns--all the good guns are Sniper only.
What about Leader of the Pack?:
Honestly, it boggles my mind that I see so many hunters running around as wolves. You literally can do nothing but autoattack, drop traps/dummy and use your whistles. All for movement speed and a 25% increase in your attack power (which really only helps your autoattack while you're in the form)? I see people in the spec that duo alot and I guess it can be useful then. As for solo PVE grinding I don't see the attraction. If anyone can offer a brief outline on how they use Leader of the Pack to successfully AOE PVE Grind I'd love to read it!
Anything to add?:
Does anyone out there have anything to add? What tweaks/changes would you make and why? I've pretty much tried every talent out there (much to the detriment of my gold balance--Mandrake Flower's aren't cheap) but if someone's doing something in a way I haven't thought of or tried I'd like to hear about it!
This game quickly becomes a PVE grind once the quests stop being as plentiful or as useful (level 35ish for me, so far at least). We'll never AOE grind like some of the other classes (*cough* OP Mage *cough*) but we, as a community of Hunters, should strive to share the secrets we've learned that help us do the best we can with the talents/skills we have to work with.
Remember, this isn't a PVP spec or Raid spec discussion. I know the arguments for Parasite (it's fun to watch mages kill themselves with heals, I get it). I know the arguments for Field Ammunition (if you play in groups alot). I know the advatages of buffing single target skills for Boss killing and such. At this stage in the game I'd say that most Hunters are just trying to level as fast as they can and many are doing it solo. Since grinding is the harsh reality of leveling in Royal Quest, the goal here is for Hunters to help each other with ideas of how to solo grind effectively. If you have input then please share!!