Hunters Are Not Great
I love hunters. I love the current 5.3 mechanics and feel. It's the best feel in the past eight years. But we need to face it; Hunters are a stingy lot. We don't give back to the raid. We just take. I was on the Hunting Party Podcast yesterday and brought it up. I don't think I adequately or perhaps eloquently stated how I saw things. So this is my second shot in long form.
Healers and tanks are self-less. We know this. Sometimes it goes to their head and they become premadanas. But there wouldn't be a raid without them though. They have boat-loads of many nice raid cooldowns and personal cooldowns.
The other not-so-lesser DPSers also have very nice raid utility. They can either do very important things that you need for a raid to work or can even change the nature of a boss encounter or make a particular phase much much easier. They generally have one or two raid cooldowns, bring buffs, and may also do something special.
Given that we're stingy, self-centered, and non-generous I want to make sure we're not ignorant as well. Let's get educated so we know that a raid leader of a progressive guild is only taking us for our good looks ... and not what we bring to the raid.
Defining Raid Cooldowns
A raid cooldown is something that an individual uses which helps not just them, but directly helps others in the raid. It might be a defensive cooldown to help others take less damage. It might be offensive to help them do more damage. It might restore mana. It might help them move fast. Or it might simply be something that is not easy to pigeonhole but greatly helps the raid.
Buffing the Raid
In advance of a raid, or as part of an aura, all classes bring a buff or two. Hunters are neat here in that they can bring any buff. If they are willing to run as BM. What should be recognized is that most all 25man raids have every buff they need (and boss debuff and special ability) without asking a hunter to bring a particular pet. This is also the case with well-balanced 10mans. If the raid is skewed and doesn't have a Warlock or Priest or Warrior for fortitude, then a BM hunter can bring a fortitude pet, or the raid can use some scrolls and get almost the same thing. For these reasons, I don't give pet buffs more than a footnote-mention when discussing raid utility.
If you aren't convinced, play with this buff/debuff tool over at wowhead. Take pets out of it, and three different classes generally bring a buff. The special ones are supplied by two different classes. As far as debuffs go, it's between two and five different classes bring a debuff. Now quite often it's in a certain role. But as debuffs go, if you have two tanks of different classes then you usually have all debuffs covered and they're already doing them.
Listing of DPS Raid Cooldowns
This is the meat. This is probably not the whole list. Raid cooldowns give DPSers a chance to help others and possibly save the raid.
Fundamental DPS Raid Cooldowns
Smoke Bomb (Rogues)
Rallying Cry (DPS Warriors)
Demoralizing Banner (DPS Warriors)
Skull Banner (DPS Warriors)
Healing Tide Totem (DPS Shaman)
Ancestral Guidance (DPS Shaman)
Tremor Totem (DPS Shaman)
Windwalk Totem (DPS Shaman)
Stormlash Totem (DPS Shaman)
Zen Meditation (DPS Monks)Chi Wave (DPS Monks)
Ring of Peace (DPS Monks)
Vampiric Embrace (DPS Priests)
Mass Dispel (DPS Priests)
Hymn of Hope (DPS Priests)
Halo or Cascade or Divine Star (DPS Priests)
Tranquility (DPS Druids)
Nature's Vigil (DPS Druids)
Devotion Aura (DPS Paladins)
Anti-Magic Zone (DPS Death Knights)
Often Even More Valued DPS Raid Cooldowns and Abilities
Stampeding Roar (DPS Druids) - can trivialize parts of encounters
Symbiosis (DPS Druids) - can give someone a vital ability
Healthstones (Warlocks) - often good for two uses in a fight
Demonic Gateway (Warlocks) - can change the nature of some boss fights
Hand of Protection (DPS Paladin) - can make it so you only need one tank when everyone else needs two
Heroism/Bloodlust (DPS Shaman) or Time Warp (Mage) (or yes BM Hunters)
Battle rezing someone to full health and mana
Fearing, stunning, knocking back, slowing, chilling, rooting, and/or attracting adds.
Interrupting enemies like mad twice as well as hunters.
Cleansing/Dispelling fellow raiders.
Healing fellow raiders as DPS.
Tricks of the Trade (Rogues) - MD and buffs a person for +15% damage
Fear Ward (DPS Priests) - could make a comeback but not valuable now
Angelic Feather (DPS Priests) - timely to put out
Shroud of Concealment (Rogues) - can position a raid better at a pull
Path of Frost (DPS Death Knights) - fails with damageAspect of the Pack (Hunters) - fails with damage
Misdirection (Hunters) - not needed with tank range abilities and threat generation
What's So Important?
Hunters bring very little to the table. Our DPS is mediocre. If we're not BM with the right pet, our raid cooldowns are non-existent. Non.Exist.Tent. But what we can do is not special or usable. For instance a mage or shaman is fine doing heroism/bloodlust and it can only be done once. Battle rezes are terrible with pets, often don't work, and when they do the person isn't rezed with full resources. And that's the list. This is not close to parity.
Ghostcrawler Hunter Tweet:
We are pretty happy with raid utility for all specs. Every class asks for more to guarantee a raid spot.
This is NOT what we are asking for. We do not want a guaranteed raid spot because of some ability. We want an ability so that we can be justified in getting a raid spot based on skill. We want skill to be looked at as the determining factor when choosing between raiders -- not that other classes have multiple raid cooldowns and hunters have none.
I don't want to bum you hunters out. Hunters will be okay. We just have to realize what the scene is like and how much other classes bring to the table.
You can ask @Ghostcrawler why hunters don't have a raid cooldown. If you don't have a twitter account it takes two minutes. If you don't want to pollute your real twitter account, a new one is easy.
Be polite and well-reasoned and of course concise (under 140 characters). He wants to do right by us. We can help him by telling him what we need.