Last week, we talked about the community's ideas for the future of hunters. This week, on the eve of BlizzCon, we're going to look in the other direction at the nine year history of hunters. Recently, I was browsing through some ancient screenshots (which you'll find peppered through this article) and I was struck with some mixed emotions. I was extremely nostalgic for vanilla, but at the same time I would never want to go back to how it was. You veteran hunters can put on your rose-tinted glasses as I dive back into the era of pet happiness and mongoose bites, and the rest of you can find out just how much our class has changed over the years.
Our story begins in beta patch 0.9, released on August 17, 2004. This was a very special patch because it's when hunters were added to World of Warcraft -- the last class to be added, in fact. Things were different back then. The survival specialization was known as "outdoorsmanship" and marksmanship was known as "ranged combat" because it was the only specialization actually focused on ranged combat. Prior to this patch, all classes were able to learn tracking but now it was made exclusive to hunters (and rightfully so). Feign Death was a rogue and druid ability before the hunters came and took it over. To this day, the name of the Feign Death icon is "ability_rogue_feigndeath."