I wasn't going to blog today, but there has been a big stir around the hunter community with all these tests of the new abilities floating around. A blog was posted over at The Grumpy Elf today highlighting these tests and laying a lot of numbers on the ground. The blog was an interesting read, and I would recommend you take a look at it before continuing with my thoughts on it.
So here it is, we were given about 4 new abilities at any given time, depending on the talents you take, and how you approach using them. The blog breaks it down that these new talents give you about 10% of your total DPS in a given encounter. I can't argue the numbers as I haven't done the testing for myself, but I can definitely see where these numbers come into play. All of our 'new' talents are fairly unattractive, and don't provide us with any new utility we didn't have before. We were basically given all of our original spells and shots, with the addition of 2 new dots, 3 new instant damaging spells, and 2 casted/channeled abilities. When you break down the shots in this manner they become less 'gross' in my opinion.
2 New Dots: Dire Beast and Murder of Crows, both spells that don't add much damage, and have CD's that must be managed throughout the fight. These are no different than dots a warlock, spriest, or Fire Mage must manage throughout their rotation.
What makes these dots so bad for a hunter as compared to these other classes? Focus. It's a pretty simple mechanic that really judges how we play the class. Even with DB costing no focus at all, it's on the GCD and every GCD has to be judged as a hunter. The hunter class is like no other, if anything it's more similar to a a melee class than any other. When a mage misjudges a GCD, they can make up for it immediately with their next. If a hunter misjudges his/her focus KC/Exp/Chim are off CD and we can't cast it, further hurting our DPS output.
My response to this blog is this. Hunters play very uniquely, and each person plays their hunter uniquely. Maybe you are having trouble with all the new things, maybe it does hinder your dps in some way. Yes, you can take actions out of rotation to simplify it, and maybe you can produce on the same level as others who are having trouble. To the casual hunter, I'd say, you don't care about your numbers anyways, click the new spells all you want, how you want, and when you want. To the hunter dedicating time to get better at the class, start small, maybe use one of these macros where you bind Dire Beast in with Arcane Shot till you get use to when the spell is coming of CD and you can push into using a separate bind for it. Use the new abilities off CD, don't worry about lining them up to execute the 100% best strategy. Just use them, as often as you can. Play your hunter, as often as you can. Don't worry about your dps, paint your picture, get use to the feel of the new spells, then worry about lining them to maximize the numbers.
-Divine (Peachy Keen - US Stormreaver)