Hunter role in a party/PvPParty Role
This is a very important thing to know, mostly because when playing a Hunter, you tend to solo most of the time and then when you hit up groups you often find yourself wondering, "ok... now what?" To put it simply, your role is that of the "puller." Meaning you are the one that "pulls" the target to the group. Sure, other people can play this role but you, as a Hunter, play this role better than others for one simple reason: Traps. We touched on this a little bit earlier and now we're going to clarify.
This is how it works. Your party waits in a predesignated "safe area". You then head out, find a target and Mark it (hunters mark). Put down your trap right in front of you and fire a shot at your intended target (preferably a DoT). Wait for him to get to you about half way and start walking backwards allowing him to follow you into the Trap that you placed. Once the trap is set that's when you send your pet in to grab aggro and the other "Tanks" of the group (the guys that are meant to take damage) jump in and start pounding on him. Once aggro is pulled off of you, then you start chiming in with your rifle. Do NOT shoot before hand otherwise you'll never get the aggro off of you. Once the kill is done, repeat the process. If the guy your attacking is especially tough you might want to hold your pet back and wait for the tanks to pull aggro first so that your pet doesn't constantly die. It's important to make sure your pet "Stays" with the group and is ! set to "Docile" so that he doesn't start charging ahead preventing your trap from going off. You'll see what I mean if it ever happens to you. It's not fun!
When it comes to PvP, things get a bit more complicated. Hunters aren't built very well for PvP solo'ing. We may be the kings of Solo but we aren't for PvP. If you're going up against a mage, you'll win more often than not. Reason being is that the mage has to worry about both you AND your pet. Not only that but with the combined incomming damage of both you and your pet it takes a mage much longer to get a spell off then normal. So you're going to win quite a bit when it comes to mages. But the problem is, in PvP, you don't always get what you want. Your going to find yourself finding quite a bit of truth in Murphy's Law. Which states, "What can go wrong, WILL go wrong." For instance, Warriors don't need to worry about your pet. To a well suited Warrior your pet is nothing more then an annoyance. So what he's going to do is Charge your butt and take you down as quick as possible to get this filthy little bug off of its tail. Soon as you go down, your pet "despawns" so your going to notice that most people aren't going to worry about your pet. They're going to worry about YOU.
Now if someone is going to try to duke it out with you ranged style (like a mage), then you're going to win. But most people know better then to do that. They're going to get up close so you can't use your rifle/bow and bring it home via melee. Something you're not as good at as others. But when you're in a party well things are quite different. Toss your pet on the mage to try to keep interrupting his casting, Hunters Mark the first Rogue you see (so that everyone knows where he's at) and start plinking away at whatever moves. In a party, you're pretty versatile and valuable. Especially with your tracking abilities. In short, if you're going to PvP make sure you do it in a party atmosphere. If not, then make sure you're very careful of what fights you pick and try to keep as much distance between you and your opponent as possible, because when it get's close to home, you're nowhere near as good as you could be.