Survival and beast mastery are where it is at right now and marks seems to have become the forgotten sepc. While there were times in cataclysm when marksman did fantastic it was always second best. This expansion is all about beastmastery.
If anything hunters have it good in terms of seeing all specs have their moment in the sun. BM was tops in BC, marks was the way to go in wrath, survival in cataclysm and beastmastery is back on top in mists. So we get to play it all but it is not really always a good thing. Never in that time were we able to pick and choose which one we wanted to play.
When looking at things, we are never really given a choice, unless we want to be suboptimal, or are needed for something special the other class was capable of bring. We have been close, but not close enough for choice of spec to be unnoticed.
This expansion marks was where BM was last expansion, you only played it if you wanted to be bad. Sure, you could be the best hunter ever but you were never going to get anywhere playing a spec that was not capable of doing well when compared to the others.
But with the new addition of glyph of aimed shot, which allows you to cast aimed shot while moving, perhaps marksman can make a return. One of the largest drawbacks of marksman was the long cast time of aimed shot and it needing to be channeled if you wanted to hard cast it. Basically this meant that the hardest hitting spell in the marks arsenal was left to being only something you used rarely.
I am not theory crafter but just thinking that you can fire it while moving making me think that we could see a return to competitiveness of marksmen. I can't wait to see what numbers they can come up with in theory and more so in practice when we need to keep moving a lot. I think the biggest problem with marks was the movement as the requirement for the double steady and hard cast aimed over 90% meant you either needed to stand still a lot or watch your DPS fall to crap.
With steady on the move and no loss of the hawk buff come 5.1 as well as the longer double steady buff that was added in 5.0 and now aimed shot being able to be cast while moving with the new glyph it should make the starting 10% much easier for marks to handle and the continued double steady buff easier to navigate.
How all those new abilities will add into the mix however could be the telling factor. I have not tried marks since the changes and I know it was the tightest rotation as it was, is there room for all that extra clutter they gave us? I'll have to give it a try and find out.
I, for one, can't wait to see what it can do and I am going to give it a shot when 5.1 comes out. I always liked marks and I would love to have the ability to use it again and not hinder my raid team doing it by being less than optimal.
Do you think the change to steady and glyph for aimed allowing us to move all the time will change the marks rotation and do you think it will impact the ability of marks to be competitive with the other specs?