Note: this is not a guide or FAQ for leveling, don't ask anything having to do with leveling, gearing for leveling, pets for leveling, talents for leveling, or anything that has to do with the game prior to reaching level 80.
Ratings And You
According to this EJ post (as of 2008-11-21), the following ratings are the key measurements hunters are looking at:
To never miss a level 83 boss, hunters need 9% hit. At 32.78998947 hit rating per hit percent, this means:
Other ways to temporarily up your Hit Rating:
: +45 (1 hour - Battle Elixir)
: +40 (1 hour - Well Fed)
Also of note is that all +Hit Rating stats, and +Hit talents will transfer 100% to pets.
There is some debate about the validity of Focused Aim transferring to the pet, and if 9% is actually the hit cap. That discussion is happening in this thread. When that discussion concludes, this thread will get edited as needed.
Haste grants the most DPS per Rating when it is still decreasing the casting time of Steady Shot down to 1.5s (equal to the global cooldown). At this point, you cannot fire SS any faster, so the value of haste lowers. A 2.0s SS fires in 1.739s with the 15% haste of your quiver/ammo pouch. This is what we use at the baseline, with a goal of 1.5s Steady Shot. That means we need 15.942% more haste.
The only talent we have to increase our base haste rating is Serpent's Swiftness, at 5/5 points gives 20% haste. Thus, the BM's Steady Shot (with 5/5 Serpent Swiftness) is already below the 1.5s cast time that we need. Thus: Beast Master hunters need no Haste on their gear to reach the 1.5s Steady Shot minimum threshold.
For everyone else, we need to look at: Haste translates at 32.78998947 rating to 1%.
I = Haste Rating from Items T = Haste Percent from Talents P = Haste Percent from Items (quiver / ammo pouch) Steady Shot Speed = 2.0 / ((1+(I/100)/32.78998947)*(1+(T/100))*(1+(P/100)))So, that's 522.738 Haste Rating Needed for a hunter to reach the SS < GCD threshold.
Ratings And Your Pet
Pet's get a set percentage of some hunter ratings transferred to themselves:
22% Hunter Attack Power -> Pet's Attack Power
100% Hunter Hit -> Pet's Hit (including Talents)
Haste Rating, Armor Penetration, Expertise and Resilience do not transfer.
All macros have one of two points: maximize DPS and minimize buttons needed.
The first macro will allow you to take one of the two aspects off the bar, and just toggle between them.
#showtooltip /castsequence Aspect of the Dragonhawk, Aspect of the Viper
This second macro will fire Kill Shot anytime it can, which always has priority over Steady Shot when the target is below 20% health. The /script lines prevent the error message from displaying when you cannot fire KS. Autoshot is there to turn it on when you start to fire your first SS, so you will get one additional autoshot fired at the beginning of the sequence.
Frequently, players will attack pet special attacks to the end (or beginning) of this macro to ensure they get spammed.
#showtooltip Steady Shot /script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE"); /cast Kill Shot /script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE"); /cast !Auto Shot /cast Steady Shot
Many BM hunters wish to time their Bestial Wrath (3/3 Longevity and Glyph) with Kill Command.
#showtooltip Bestial Wrath /cast Kill Command /cast Bestial Wrath
More coming soon, as macros get fleshed out
Talent Specific Questions:
Improved Tracking: Does not apply to Hunter's Marked targets, only what Tracking ability you currently have available. This means Imp Track can never apply to things like insects.
Additional Questions :
What gear is the best for XXX Spec? The WLK DPS Spreadsheet is the best place to get that question answered. Go and play with it. Additionally, Rawr Model is an excellent application for all classes (hunters, included).
What is the best DPS spec? Initial testing suggests that the BM hunter will top the other specs for any fight that requires little danger to the pet and not much moving (killing Target Dummies). Markmanship seems to provide a close second, while adding more damage while on the move. Survival appears to be a close third, but provides the Replenishment buff to make up this.
What is the highest DPS pet? Early experiments are showing a close tie among the cat, spirit beast, devilsaur, raptor and scorpid. More testing in Heroic level 80 raids (25-mans) is needed before a conclusive decision can be made.
Why does my pet keep turning on or off certain abilities?
It's a known issue, and happens with quite a few pet abilities. These only seem to happen, though, with abilities that are not on the pet bar. Keeping Growl and Cower is usually a good idea if you don't want to worry about macro-ing.
However, if you don't mind another macro or two, you can make ones to turn abilities on and off, using the following commands:
/petautocaston name of ability
/petautocastoff name of ability
Is XX/XX/XX the best DPS spec? See the first question.
How should I gem my gear? See the first question.
Do the Tier-6 4 piece ("Increases the damage dealt by your Steady Shot ability by 10%.") stack with ?
According to Jaffi's Tests (as of 2008-24-11) they do indeed stack.
Does the Serpent Sting in have to be MY Serpent Sting, or does it just have to be anyone's Serpent Sting?
Some definitive testing needs to be done to prove this one way or another.
Suggestions and corrects for what should be added to this initial post are welcome (and encouraged!).