So, my hunter finally hit level 70.
It's a momentous occasion not just because it means I've crossed into the realm of people with three or more level-capped characters, but also because my hunter was the very first character I rolled in WoW.
We were in a small guild on Stormreaver at the time, and while the people were nice, there just weren't enough of them on at a time for it to have any real atmosphere. So a few weeks before my last round of college finals, at level 46, I quit. The game had lost its luster, and I couldn't see myself coming back. (Little did I know I'd be rolling a mage within four months, but that's a story for another day.)
I took my hunter out of storage about year ago, bought him a character transfer and stuck him in my current guild. Examining his gear, I realized I'd had no idea what I was doing. He was wearing green "of the Gorilla" shoulderpads, and while I'd had some concept that agility was a good stat, I seem not to have grasped that spirit gear was not worth my time. My pet was Ol' Smokey, a decent choice at the time, but it took me two levels of wondering why he couldn't hold aggro before I realized what was wrong.
I'd quit my hunter before the very first hunter class review, back when there was no pet training, and pet attack speeds hadn't been normalized. The talk of the day was why no one wanted hunters in "end game" (read: Stratholme) groups, and justifying our existence vis-à-vis the Perfect Zone of Ultimate Safety. So when I started playing him again nearly two years later, I wasn't just out of practice. I was behind the times. I hauled my bear in to see one of these newfangled "pet trainers," and wondered how much more noobish I could be.
I came into Outlands wearing a level 37 cape, ZF blues, and some extra pieces of Giantstalker's that were sitting in the guild bank.
I've killed my pet over and over, often unintentionally.
I was all the way to the Bone Wastes before I realized I'd never trained bows.
At times, meleeing my way out of combat because I'd run out of ammo (. . . again), the only thing that kept me going was stubborn completionism, but in the past three or four levels, the class has really grown on me. Not enough that I'm ready to volunteer to pull Shattered Halls just yet, but enough that I feel... well, competent as a hunter.
And that's definitely a first.