Pretty long wall of text, so I cut it in half, rest is below the link. There are some parts what sound just funny to me…sigh. Since when do aspects trigger the GCD? God. I’ve pointed out the flaws in the bluepost, forgive me for that if you do not agree.
Recent hunter hotfixes
That’s mostly on target, but there’s a little more to it. We actually had a few different goals with these hotfixes. While it’s true that we wanted to reduce Marksmanship burst in PvP (Rofl, warrior burst, anyone?), that’s only part of the story; we equally wanted to make Survival and Beast mastery more attractive choices in PvE. That involved bringing Marksmanship damage down a bit in fights where little or no movement is required, and reducing the amount of Aimed Shot spam once mobs drop below 80%. (We’ll still spam it under 80%. Aimed > 2 Arcane aswell as 1 Chimera)
Marksmanship’s burst damage in PvP was indeed higher than we wanted, and we felt that Aimed Shot was the best place to bring burst back into line, so we’ve reduced its damage, including the Aimed Shot! generated by the Master Marksman proc, by about 20%. To help compensate for the loss of dps and improve Survival and Beast Mastery output, Aspect of the Hawk should now provide 2000 attack power at level 85. This will also make the talent One with Nature more powerful as well. The net effect of the change to Aspect of the Hawk should result in a buff to Survival and Beast Mastery in PvE and (in combination with the Aimed Shot nerf) a slight reduction to PvE Marksmanship dps (O_o). The changes should also make Aimed Shot less attractive once a target drops below 80% health and Careful Aim no longer applies.
This is also good time to clear up some of the confusion about hunter shot cast times. Essentially, ranged attacks in World of Warcraft have always had a built in 0.5 second delay to their cast time. Since this does not apply to instant attacks, for hunters it only really applies to Aimed Shot, Steady Shot and Cobra Shot. Prior to the 4.0.6 changes, Aimed Shot was listed with a 3.0 cast time, but due to the delay, in reality it had a cast time that amounted to 3.5 seconds. Now that it is listed at 2.4 seconds, the actual cast time is now closer to 2.9, which is where we want it to be. We realize this caused some confusion (even for us), and we’re going to see if we can make the 0.5 second delay more visible in the future. (The only damn shot what had a 0.5 sec invisible cast time was the Multi-Shot back then. That was because they did not want us to shoot that on the move, which was OK.)
Finally, we also wanted to let you know that Deterrence is functioning properly: Deterrence now provides 100% miss chance rather than 100% parry chance and remains in effect even if the hunter’s weapon is disarmed, but it’s still possible to temporarily delay a hunter’s use of Deterrence with the judicious use of disarm effects. In combination with some of the recent adjustments to melee mobility, Deterrence should still be more effective overall. We’ll continue to keep an eye on it. (Mhm, dualwield-disarm-deterrence doesn’t work now, also, same deal here as it was with Master’s Call. Change almost nothing and call it a fix.)
Aspect of the Hawk change and stance dancing
Changing aspects appropriate to what you’re doing isn’t necessarily a problem. With the old Aspect of the Monkey, hunters would swap only when being attacked until they could make some space again. Ideally, a hunter who changes Aspects intends to stay in that Aspect for a little while, at least. Aspects cost a global cooldown (No they aren’t, they have their own 1 sec CD.), so using an aspect for only a very brief period of time, then that may not be the best decision.
We’re okay with players making a tactical decision between a high damage, but less mobile Aspect, and an Aspect that offers mobile damage and focus generation.