No. They. Weren't. Blizzard uses internal spreadsheets, internal testing done in multiple scenarios, and involves varying gear levels, including gear that we don't even have access to yet.
Patchwerk is what *we* use as a benchmark, and while Blizzard looks at those in part because we ask them too, they don't base their decisions on those alone, and not even it large part because of the various issues with them that they have pointed out.
Patchwerk is merely the easiest battle for us to spot the problems. Because of Patchwerk, we knew a nerf would be coming.
Heroics. Nearly all bosses in Naxx (and all of the ones that are easily accessible to most pugs or entry level raiding guilds), Obsidium Sanctum, etc. In all of these dungeons, we were miles higher than other classes that entered raiding. Even Heroic Archavon, as big of a joke as it is, is just as much reason to nerf us. Every time I've pugged a heroic Archavon, all top dpsers were hunters, and usually by 500-1.5k dps.
It's the puggable battles that I think have really turned the tables on us. From heroics to VoA and Obsidium, the fact of the matter is that raid buffs and base mechanics resulted in us stomping every dpser out of the gate. Had the margin been closer, Blizzard might have been able to wait a month or so more, but the margin isn't close, and they have to do something. Really, it wasn't the top end hunter dpsers that was so concerning to the devs, it was the fact that extremely bad hunters were able to top meters over players and classes they shouldn't have. The rotation was too simple, and its effect was too powerful to let it go any longer.
They know we'll stick around, and in one to three months, they'll revisit us - hopefully, because scaling should start showing its ugly head. Hopefully, Ulduar will drop more gear with ap, crit and agi, rather than haste or armor pen heavy gear. That should help us stay competitive as BM and marks. The item level gear of 230 - 250 will likely tell us just how bad this nerf is going to be (not the current 200-226).
Thanks for the graphs, Selm.
Is that under current live conditions or is that under the proposed nerf? I know you said the rake nerf is not included, but are the BM talent nerfs included?