We will soon find out, the 9th, some of the changes they have in store for hunters. I am really worried about the focus turning us into ranged rogues. I only played a rogue for a short time but one thing I learned from that time is that focus sucks. On my kitty druid, on my rogue, I end up focus starved 6 seconds into a fight. There is no management for doing thing because all you do is sit and wait and drop the next part of your rotation. How freaking boring is that. Hit a few buttons... wait... hit a button... wait... hit a button... wait... hit a button... wait. No thank you.
What I want to see is a new role for the hunter and I have the perfect idea for it. Something that has been done for a long time already and something that will help the random dungeon finder tons. Make Beastmastery a pure tanking spec. I even came up with some ideas how they can do that.
First things first. I want them to change the aspects to be like a death knights presence. Persistent. Why the hell do we need to click it every time we die? Why can't we just come back to life with whatever aspect we are in when we die? It is a small thing but it would make life so much easier. Lets hope they fix that one.
Now that our aspects are constant we can talk about the new Beastmastery tanking aspect.
Aspect of the Rhino - Increases the contribution from armor by 200% for you and your pet and reduces the chance that you and your pet will be critically hit by 6%.
New skills in the Beastmastry tree would be something like these.
Aggravated Assault - 1/5 - 5% of all threat you generate is transferred to your pet.
2/5 - 10% of all threat you generate is transferred to your pet.
3/5 - 15% of all threat you generate is transferred to your pet.
4/5 - 20% of all threat you generate is transferred to your pet.
5/5 - 25% of all threat you generate is transferred to your pet.
Bonds of Brotherhood - 1/3 - 2% of all damage you do heals your pet for that amount.
2/3 - 4% of all damage you do heals your pet for that amount.
3/3 - 6% of all damage you do heals your pet for that amount.
Adrenaline Shot - 1/1 - A shot that increases attack power of target by 100% and threat generated from all attacks by 200% for 10 seconds. (This shot may only be used on a member of your party or raid) 1 Minute CD.
Those are just a few ideas on things that could be added. The additional stamina ones would need to be buffed a lot if a pet is going to be tanking as well. We would also need a smarter pet AI added being that the hunter will be basically playing 2 characters at once. The pet, and the hunter. Of course the hunter will not be ruling the DPS charts but that will not be his job any more with this spec.
His job will be basically to be the personal caretaker for the pet. Increased heals for pet only. You will still need a healer for the group as the hunter will only be able to heal the pet and those pet heals will be somewhat limited and not as powerful as a healers would be.
It would allow the hunter to use skills that they basically already have touched on while leveling. What hunter out there has not used their pet to tank before? Doing those elite group quests with your pet tanking solo? Doing some dungeon soloing? Doing some extreme soloing? All hunters have tanked before to some extent even if they would not recognize it as such.
The hunter would be required to use his still to "inspire" the pet to taunt and such. Making a taunting shot that taunts to the pet. Making a taunting multi shot that taunts to the pet. A taunting volley that taunts to the pet.
The only real issue I see is with positioning and that could easily be fixed as well. It would require a ton of skill on the hunters part, but being a good hunter is not easy to begin with even if everyone seems to think they are. A positioning shot. Sort of like the freezing arrow. It would fly and land and the pet would move to that position. Or, what I would like more is a phase option. Where you click the phase button and your hunter becomes immune to everything for 10 seconds and you control your pet for that time. That way, you can leave your body and it would be protected and position the pet where you need it to be.
The pet would also have another option from the Beastmastry tree, not just aggressive, defensive and passive but a tank option. Something where it will not try to get behind the mob like the normal AI does. It would also be a mix of passive, defensive and aggressive. Passive as so it does not go in unless you tell it, defensive as in it will not automatically come back to you after that target is dead if there is another target still alive with a few yards and aggressive in the sense that it will auto taunt anything that is within 20 years that is attacking something that is not itself. (with an on and off option for this)
The hunter would basically be spending most of his time taunting, positioning, healing, dispelling, etc, so his DPS time would be limited lowering his DPS to a range that is normally suitable for a tank and not a DPSer.
Not only would it give us hunters a chance to have a better personal tank then we are used to but it would give another option to the random dungeon finder for tanks, which there are all to few of.
Sure, my ideas might not be perfect or even fleshed out enough but it is too good of an idea to not mention. Sad part is that no matter how good it sounds, it will never happen.