Everything was up a little after 8PM EST so it was a little earlier then the 10PM I expected but a lot later then the 3PM they originally said it would be. Even if it was 5 hours later then their original time I consider it a job well done. For a patch this huge with as many changes as there were 5 extra hours is not really a long time.
My over all impressions on Hunter things so far.
First thing I did was log on to my main, my Hunter. I speced him for BM and MM, just like he used to be. Having to check around for specs was not needed. With each spec there really are not enough options for anyone to really be different. Everyone will have the same exact spec even if they never looked at anything online. Hunters do not have a great deal of option, nor does any other class really.
After I speced out my Hunter I went and redesigned my tool bars. Missing where some lost talents like freezing arrow, volley, aspect of the viper, etc. Funny thing is, freezing arrow was not actually missing. It was still on my bar, just not clickable. Having a new aspect bar cleared up a little space for me. Trueshot Aura always being on automatically also freed up a space. Kill Command having a cooldown now frees up a ton of keybind combos for me and Aimed Shot being all but useless unless you get the proc freed up a prime spot for my keybinds (used to be my 3, now my arcane will take that spot). It seems I have some free space now. That is a nice change.
Beastmaster Spec 31/2/3
Marksman Spec 2/31/3
Like I said, not really much different you can do with specs there. I bet everyone is using the same one or damn near close to it. Odd how they said they changed things to make it so people did not all have the same spec and yet there is no way anyone would have a different spec (by much) being there really are no other decent options in either tree.
I went to to get some items reforged after my bars and specs where all done. I basically turned every little bit of critical I could into Mastery. Got myself 12.5% extra mastery while still having 50% critical.
After that I hit the dummies in Darn, have to love Darn, it was me and a mage, both with our own target, for quite some time. People forget that Darn even has dummies.
My first impression on our new rotation.
Apply Hunters Mark while waiting on the tank before battle.
1) Serpent Sting
2) Chimera Shot
3) Steady Shot
4) Steady Shot
5) Aimed Shot (only if free from proc)
6) Rapid Fire (if you did not just do an Aimed)
7) Arcane Shot
8) Arcane Shot (if over 60 focus and you did not just do an Aimed or Rapid)
9) Steady Shot
10) Steady Shot
11) Kill Shot (if under 20%)
12) Kill Shot (if you are glyphed for it)
13) Back to 2 and repeat unless Serpent Sting somehow fell off, if so, back to 1.
Yeap, that is what it looks like for now as far as I see it. Welcome to to world of a Mage. Just a few buttons to manage. No macros needed. Boring, we are now mages without burst damage.
Readiness seems to have lost its huge power for burst being we are limited by focus now. Before I would burn a Rapid Fire, Kill Shot, Aimed macro with Kill Command and Silence Shot in it and Chimera then drop my Readiness to refresh them all and do them all again except for Rapid Fire, which I would do again when it expired.
Now without KC being off the GCD and not as much an option due to focus concerns and Silence having no damaging aspect to it any more those two shots are useless to refresh faster and add to that the fact that Aimed is now completely useless unless it is proced all readiness is good for is Rapid/Chimera/Kill Shot. Still useful but not as useful as it used to be and basically useless for burst damage toward the end of the battle.
The initial impression I get is that Hutners DPS will drop, possibly drastically, and we no longer have any serious burst capabilities but we will be steady damage the whole way through. What we start at is what we will end at. I guess there is something good about that. Converting my Critical into Mastery seemed to be a good thing. My Wild Quiver ended up being 16.1% of my total damage because of my high mastery for the level do to the conversion. Not bad over all.
I noticed a few things that I am a bit concerned with. My piercing shots where way below what they normally are but maybe that is because I am using arcane and not aimed. Time will tell. Another thing was my deathbringers will. In 15 minutes of dummy time it never proced even once. Is it broken or did it proc and it just did not shape shift me? I can't say I noticed the proc being I always noticed it by the shape shift but I didn't even think about it until just now while writing this.
One good thing you will notice there is that I said 15 minutes. There is no way with the old mana system that I would have been able to pound away for 15 minutes without any problems. I am just concerned that I was only running 5800-6200 DPS unbuffed when I hear other people telling me they are doing 12000-14000 DPS unbuffed in similar gear. I can't see how my rotation could be much different then what I mentioned above. With focus restraints and the limited options we have now there is not much else that can be done. There is no way I am that bad compared to everyone else is there? I'm going to guess they are either 1) lying or 2) buffed or have the target debuffed.
I can't wait to get it into practice. If we have enough people in the guild that did their homework and are ready to roll we will test out our new specs on the weekly tonight. I can't wait to see what it is like in practice.
I also speced out my Druid (bear/tree) and my Priest (disc/holy) and fixed up their bars as well. I did not do much testing on either of them so I do not have a great deal to say on them at the moment. I did do power word barrier a few times because it was fun and tested the tree form for the few seconds you stay in tree but that is about it.
I also made a metric buttload of glyphs and even with my huge stash of inks I am out of some now and have not even come close to making all the ones I need. Looks like I will have to do some serious flower picking this weekend.
All in all the uptime and the changes all seem to be better then expected and a lot smoother then they were on PTR.