Class Tips: Hunter

Shot Rotation

You might have heard this term before, but even if you haven't it ain't a big deal. There is something a hunter must know in order to get the best out of his damage output, and that's when to time your special shots.
As you probably know, hunter damage is comprised of white damage (auto-shot) and yellow damage (special shots). You might have noticed that you deal a bit of both.
The idea of the shot rotation is to maximize the way you deal both white and yellow damage, by delaying auto-shots to a minimum.

I'll explain.
Auto-shots start as soon as you attack, and repeat by your weapon speed. They do have an invisible casting time though - 0.5 seconds - from the moment you attack, stop moving or use a special shot. What this mean is that you must try to stop moving and use special shots at least half a second before your next auto-shot is due, or you'll delay it, thus decreasing your DPS.

Having put the theory aside, let's talk some practice. What must you do ?
The idea is to use special shots between every two auto-shots. Simple.
For example: If your auto-shot timer is 2.5 seconds, you'd like to do something like this:
Auto-shot, start casting Steady Shot, Arcane Shot, Auto-shot.
This way, Steady Shot is 1.5 seconds casting time, and you got a whole second spare after the Arcane Shot (which is instant), so the auto-shot is not delayed. Of course, timing is never exact, so it'll never be really a full second, depending on your lag and reflexes.

Suggested Rotation

For BM: Since BM hunters shoot faster (due to talent), they will normally have just enough time to weave in a single Steady Shot between every two auto-shots. This is probably the most mana-efficient way to deal DPS.
Other specs: Since Arcane Shot got a 5/6 seconds cooldown, you won't be able to use the example above repeatedly. Here's another proposition (Using the terms Auto, Arc, Std and Mult instead of standard names for abbreviation) -
Auto - Std - Arc - Auto - Std - Auto - Std - Mult - Auto. Rinse and repeat.

Of course, if you're running low on mana, stop using any special shots except for Steady Shot, which is your most efficient shot.

Aimed Shot

Your shot with the longest casting time, Aimed Shot is not the shot you'd like to use for high DPS. But the long casting time is actually not the reason. The real reason is that Aimed Shot resets your auto-shot timer. What this means is that once you've actually taken the shot, you'll have to wait another X (depending on your attack speed) seconds before you next white damage attack will land.
In other words, during the time it has taken you to take an Aimed Shot then another auto-shot, you could have taken almost two Steady Shots and two auto-shots! Depending on gear, this is probably much more damage.

Aimed Shot has its uses for pulling into a trap (making sure you take the aggro on the mob), in conjuncture with Misdirection (for the same reason) or against mobs that might heals themselves during the next 10 seconds.

Hunter Macros

Using a macro is in no way needed, but can broaden or even advance your playing experience and let you focus on other things or complete uninteresting button farm duties.

This is a great BM macro for your BB trinket.

/use Bladefist's Breadth
/cast Bestial Wrath
/cast Intimidation

Another useful BB macro with a touch of speed.

/use Bladefist's Breadth
/cast Rapid Fire

Bandage target (if no target is selected you will target yourself) using left click and bandage your pet using right mouse button.

#Show Heavy Netherweave Bandage
/use [help] Heavy Netherweave Bandage; [exists,button:2,target=pet] Heavy Netherweave Bandage; [target=player] Heavy Netherweave Bandage

Hunters favorite spam button macro, very useful to control your shot rotation and gives you time to focus on special shots instead.

#showtooltip Steady Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Hide()
/castsequence reset=3 Steady Shot, Auto Shot
/cast [exists,target=pettarget] Kill Command
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear(); UIErrorsFrame:Show()

Escape macro with a twist

/cast Raptor Strike
/cast Wing Clip

Send your pet into action and cast hunters mark in one gentle push of a button.

/cast Hunter's Mark();

This macro will keep your pet happy, change food name to match your pets diet.

#show Clefthoof Ribs
/cast [nocombat] Feed Pet
/use [nocombat] Clefthoof Ribs

A nice little MD trick to avoid finding your main tank and mess up your MD target.
Just edit "TankName" with the name of your tank or write "Tooltje" if you are not sure.

#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [target=TankName] Misdirection
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