I finally had a full evening to sit down and examine the hunter class last night, and see what all the fuss was about. Rather than delve into technical changes and overlap with many other hunter bloggers, I'll instead just direct traffic to Bliky, a new blogger who's been superbly providing 4.0 hunter information. He's got summaries of spell/talent changes, rotations for all three specs, an explanation about reforging, etc, even a chart of when to use different pets for their raid buffs. Go check out his site for any 4.0 Hunter info you may need!
The one technical tip I learned tonight involves our new "Go To" pet command, which lets us send our pets to a specific location. This is a great tool, and it's got a lot of potential. However, I found it clunky to click the Go To button and then swing the target up to find a location, so that means macro time!
/click PetActionButton3 LeftButton
I spent most of the evening fine-tuning addons and starting to slowly rebuild my Power Auras settings. I almost felt sad to delete some Auras or keybindings that had served me well, but they were obsolete and had to go. Farewell, week-old Aspect of the Dragonhawk/Viper quick-switch macro, I hardly knew ye!
One unexpected casualty in 4.0 was the removal of Eyes of the Beast! This caught me off guard and was a little disappointing - even though we never used the ability for fighting, it was nice for sending pets off ledges, scouting, or most commonly simply having fun and hopping around as your wolf, bear, etc. I will miss it.
(Plus, I had a hilarious, but possibly ingenius, Lich King tactic involving Eyes of the Beast that I WILL NOW NEVER GET TO TRY.)
Setting up Power Auras took me quite some time, as not only was I setting up new spell procs & shots, but also reading and learning about these new spells at the same time and trying to figure out how they all came together. I was also quite distracted and entertained to discover a bevy of new fun icons in the latest Power Auras. I really struggled with figuring out my keybindings, and while my eventual result is decent, I don't know if I'm entirely happy with it. It feels awkward...but that might just be because it's unfamiliar. Time will tell!
The goal of my Auras was to be able to raid with minimal looking away from the center of the screen, by using Auras icons to show me when an ability is off (or on) cooldown. I know there's various UI mods that will achieve this, but I don't really know how to use them (yet) and didn't feel like tackling an entirely new interface AND these dramatic hunter changes at the same time.
This was the rough sketch I whipped up at work.
I didn't feel like hammering the dummy endlessly to work out my new rotation, so I decided to do some globetrotting and start building up my stable of raid pets. The first one I decided to go after was the Worm, as there was a specific skin - the Yellow Worm - that the rare pet tamer in me craved. One of the rarer pets in the game, this skin exists only on two mobs in the entire game, and both are rarespawns! These would be Oozeworm in Dustwallow Marsh, and Grubthor in Silithus. Oozeworm was nowhere to be found, but Grubthor was!
Next on my list was a Yellow Silithid (which always reminds me of a banana squash), partially because it was also in Silithus. As I headed across the map, I had a brainstorm - I decided to proudly represent the Horde by building a stable of entirely Red, Orange and Yellow beasts! So far the new additions to the team include:
Of course, the real challenge will be in coming up with distinct, appropriate names for them all. It's like Pokemon all over again! One thing at a time, I suppose. I also need to tame a Core Hound, so I plan on trying to tame The Beast soon, possibly with help.
And finally, an added bonus to this plan? I was able to tame Petite Tam! Which means of course that I will have to tame his orange buddy Dino Tam as well.
One final note, of extreme importance - Engineers can now have their engineering tinker "enchants" AND regular enchants on the same items! THEY STACK. This means Rades now has a Mind Control Cap with the regular Helm Arcanum enchant; Flexweave Underlay with the actual +Agi cloak enchant; Pyro-Mounted Hand Rocket with the +Agi glove enchant; Frag Belt with an Eternal Belt Buckle (this actually already stacked before the patch; and Rocket Boots with Tuskarr's Vitality. This is HUGE! And glorious. Engineering just got even MORE sexy.
Next up - trying to relearn how to actually PLAY my class. I'm nervous.