The recent announcement that talent trees will be significantly revised come Cataclysm is interesting, and makes a lot of sense. I like that we will be getting "core" talents and abilities early on, that makes classes FEEL like what they should be.
One talent I hope they change is Distracting Shot. Or rather, not change the talent itself, but change the level we get it at. I've previously bemoaned the fact that rookie hunters seem destined to become huntards since we get Distracting Shot at level 12. PLEASE CHANGE THIS BLIZZARD.
Getting this ability early on doesn't make ANY sense to me. First of all...a beginning hunter will never, EVER need this shot. Not at level 12, level 22, 32, etc. Oh sure, a veteran hunter leveling a second hunter MAY find some use for it, and use it to pull an angry mob off a healer in Scarlet Monastery or whatnot. But that's knowledgeable/experienced players, and honestly it's hardly necessary in early dungeons.
On the other hand, a rookie player will not only receive no benefit from Distracting Shot, but will actually SUFFER because of it. Why? Because they'll happily cast it along with their regular shots as part of their tiny rotation. Why wouldn't they? It's a new ability! That's exciting! The tooltip doesn't mean much, because that's what the pet and the tanks are for, right? How many players, on their first characters by level 12, had any inkling of what "threat" and "aggro" meant yet?
I've explained to dozens of baby hunters why they shouldn't cast it, and while some immediately get what I'm saying, I get the feeling with others that they stopped using it not because they understood, but just because I asked. And of course there's been those stubborn ones who refuse to stop casting it, or just say the tank should be holding threat better. These ones tend to die a lot and drop group in rage. Jerks, yes - but it's not even really their fault. They don't know any better about threat at this level. They don't understand that the tank CANNOT hold threat against it.
On the flip side, there's an awful lot of "veteran" players leveling alts who will freak out at lowbie mistakes like this, and berate, insult and terrorize the rookie player instead of offering helpful advice. Doesn't do a lot to encourage a new player to ask others for advice, that's for sure.
It also just doesn't make sense when you examine the class. If there's a baby DPS warrior taunting repeatedly? It's easy to correct, by simply telling them they should only do that when they're tanking. But a hunter casting Distracting Shot? It's harder to explain. They can't tank, so why do they have this ability? Obviously experienced players know why, but to a beginner, the answers might not make any sense, or be too complicated since they are new to the game.
It's such a weird ability anyways. I'd honestly like to see it rewarded after doing a Hunter quest. That way casual, non-raiding hunters who will never need it will not cause wipes and inadvertently piss people off, and more serious/skilled hunters can seek it out and learn it because they know how it works and why they need it. The quest should make use our skills to EARN the ability...maybe there's some friendly NPC's with monsters rushing up to attack them, and we have to Distracting Shot the monster if it's rushing at a fragile/squishy target, and leave it alone if it's heading for a warrior-type target. Or aggro-bounce a mob with an NPC hunter with Distracting Shots for a certain amount of time, with neither of us getting hit. Or maybe even pull exploding mobs away from a target point so that they explode a safe distance away. There's many options.
I'd also like to see Call Stabled Pet and Misdirection at earlier levels, but Distracting Shot should be banished until much, much later in a hunter's career, when hunters have the experience and skill to properly use it. Here's hoping Blizzard changes these talents up in Cataclysm!