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i was looking at the PTR notes and im saddened... they ruined aspect of the viper *sigh* they are making it so you get 100% mana from your damage but your damage is reduced by 50%.... losing that much damage would make the mana you would get back almost useless... so what if you have full mana if your dps goes from 1000 to 500. whats the point?
o and they nerfed the ability (not sure of name off the top of my head) were when your pets special attacks crit you get 2% mana back... now you get 1% mana back *sigh*

so i guess im going to be lookin into surv cause everyone in beta/ptr are saying its the way to go
You can always be like me and have 3 hunters (1 for each spec :D). I doubt I will have my third hunter to 70 before WotLK hits but she will be 80 before the next x-pack hits (or DC Online, which ever comes first).

Also the initial change to Viper was awsome, 0 to 100% mana in 10 sec is unreal mana regen. The new version (regen based on weapon speed, so about 300 mana for a 3.00 weapon) is rediculously low, but Blizzard has already stated that it will be tweaked so that its more useful. Keep in mind that nobody will be able to chug mana potions every 2 min anymore so you will def need Viper for some mana regen even as a surv hunter (though they will probably have the lowest need of it). BM will also still have the lowest mana costs of any spec for a shot rotation so the build wont be that bad.
yeah i dont know its kinda throwing me off.. after hearing some stuff from guys in beta im a bit bla just because they have nerfed stuff in bm which has always been my fav spec
it seems like they are doing to bm what they did to MM in bc
BM still has the highest dps output on the beta atm, but keeping your pet alive will paramount if you want to stay in the top dps. Pet dps for BM hunters seems to have gone up from around 25-30% to +35%, depending on your pet.
i was talking with some hunters on it and they are saying that sv is destorying bm.. my verdict isnt out until i actually see it. personally i dont think bm is really getting nerfed but buffed. i think they are making it so all 3 trees actually have a chance
From what I've been reading on Elitist Jerks is that BM is still out in front dps wise and MM and Surv in a tie for second place. I know our shot rotations are changing in WotLK and I'm not sure yet what the optimal BM rotation is gonna be. I know the goal of both MM and Surv is to get enough haste so that Steady Shot's cast time is down to 1.5 sec so that it matches the GCD. After that rotations become Serpent, Explosive/Chrimera, Steady, Steady, Steady, Steady, Explosive/Chrimera, Steady, Steady, Steady, Steady.

Also Surv was cleaning up at one point cause of Lock & Load which was giving you 3 free Explosive Shots. That is currently been reduced to 1 free, but is supposed to be bossted to 2 free ES. With 2 free ES, Surv should pull slightly ahead of MM but still be behind BM.

Now dont get me wrong I love Surv and my main hunter has been Surv for a long time (aside from going BM to lvl). Thanks to the changes though Surv has some new issues in that some of our cc has been reduced in pve. The new Trap Mastery talent, while very useful in pvp is now virtually useless for pve. I personally loved being able to chain trap forever by hitting Scatter Shot and tthen dropping a trap 3 sec later, even after the whole overlapping trap timers had ended. Now Surv is on the exact same timer as every other spec trap wise (I never see anyone taking Resourcefulness and sacrificing the needed dps). If they made Resoursefulness 1 talent point and put it lower on the talent tree it would be doable but its definately not worth sacrificing 3 talent points for.
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According to the last blue post I read regarding Lock & Load, it is going to get upped to 2 free ES and will also proc off of ticks instead of just the initial hit, making serpent sting much more of a viable shot for us.
yeah im not sure like i said my verdict is still out. i mite be saddened by post and stuff but im not really basing what my build or what im doing off of someone else just because i know we all have different play styles.. kinda like with the whole if you want imp pet and all that fun stuff. I will read over what they do just because there mite be something that im not reading about that talent that really is worth it yeah know?
I must admit that I'm finding BM less and less interesting in WotLK. It was never a complicated spec and never required much in the way of being the top dpser in a raid. The talent additions though just seem blah. Im sure from a straight dps standpoint it is going to win but I just dont know if I will keep Draconalas as BM or switch him to MM. Some might depend on what they finally do with pet leveling. Ferocity pets are already having agro issues in beta and that is when tehy are the same level as the hunter. The idea of lvling a few exotic pets 5 lvls is less than appealing. If they dont change it I might just get 1 pet for both my 70s and then just look for lvl 78 skins of any pet family I also want to get.
Onto the original topic, it does look like AotV did get a small buff on the most recent build, which should help out some, instead of 100% you get 200% back.

Freezing arrow will be interesting, although reports say it needs time to arm just like any other trap, and also has the flight time involved, so a good 3-5 seconds depending on range, etc.

Deterrence is becoming a baseline ability, so a small improvement for hunters in general for both pvp/pve.

Hunting party took a cut in half again, going to a .25% mana instead of .5%, but supposedly all the mana regen stuff took the same 1/2 cut hit. Explosive shot & steady shot both took a hit in damage, and steady shot now went up a 1% in mana cost.

Hunters mark no longer scales in AP, and many of the scaling abilities have been changed talent wise, now more affecting crit then anything else.

Lock & Load did get bumped back to 2 shots, and I believe it will also have a chance to proc on ticks of serpent sting now.
I always thought the scaling Hunters Mark was some kind of stacking bug. I know right now Rank 5 (lvl 76) will give you a 300 RAP buff and if you take the 3 talent points you will get a 30% boost (90 RAP).

AotV is all screwed up, while it may possibly work in pve the concensus for pvp/arenas is that it is useless since with no passive regenwe will be out of mana in no time. I truefully dont know why they ever changed it in the first place. Granted it wasnt great in raids but the fact that it was passive and didnt have that silly damage debuff ment you could sit in it for everything up till boss fights without any issues. It seems they are trying to change it since we wont be able to chug potions every 2 min anymore.
yeah thats what im seeing is that they are trying to give mana regen back but still id rather pop potions.. i dont get why they nerfed that.
and ive heard that they are changing pet lvling to make it alot easier which will be AMAZING
and of course now i get on PTR and find yet ANOTHER nerf WOOT changing steady shot to 2.0 cast from 1.5.... hmmm time to drop all my haste gear
The 2.0 cast time has been up since the beta opened. Also with SS and and the 15% on your quiver you will probably have the cast time down to 1.7 sec (you can use Quartz or some other timer to verify). The goal is to get Steady Shot down to 1.5 sec which is the GCD, from what I understand anything more leaves you with dead space (though I may be wrong on this part). So while it is not likely that any other spec will get it down to 1.5 before WotLK hits BM hunters will prob be able to with just a few haste items.

Once WotLK hits however you will be seeing a ton of haste so reaching that point will be easy. ON Elitist Jerks they are already talking about if you want to truly optimize your gear for dps you will most likely only have 1 or 2 of the set pieces out of Nax, just because of the insane amount of haste on our set pieces.
ah yeah i didnt relize that haste lowered cast time to... more research so yeah
but i really dont like the 2.0 cast time at all
I think it was done cause of the unlinking from Autoshot. Keep in mind that as of 3.0 Autoshot is going to keep firing no matter what you do. The only one of your specials that will affect Autoshot is Aimed Shot. And yes Haste will affect Steady Shot, but as of now it has no effect on Autoshot. Getting it to affect Autoshot would be great it would make the stat more valuable since we would be able to bring our GCD down from 1.5 sec down to 1.0 sec like casters can.
ok so i havent really read much about haste and the new shot mechanics been trying to read up on the current stuff to make sure i know my stuff.
so autoshot will go even if your casting steady shot? so it really doesnt matter if you clip auto cause you cant? or are you saying that you still can?
You cant clip anymore. Autoshot will go off whether you are in the middle of Steady Shot or any other special. It was technically possible (though highly unlikely) that Multishot could also clip Autoshot, since it has a .5 sec cast time. The only thing that will screw up Autoshot is if you are casting Aimed Shot, which will still reset the Autoshot timer and add the GCD.

You can use Haste atm to get autoshot down to the GCD (1.5sec), but you cant use haste to lower the GCD, like mages and other casters can. They are able to use Haste to lower their GCD down to 1.0 sec. If Blizzard were to allow us to use theis tehn Haste would be more valuable to us, since we could use it to lower both Steady Shot and the GCD down to 1.0 sec cast times. Right now it just doesnt pay to get SS below 1.5 sec cause then the GCD becomes a factor. My understanding is that the GCD is hidden behind SS cast time, so going below 1.5 sec just means you will have dead space while the GCD is ticking down.

So we have the worst of both worlds atm. We lost the Mortal Shot damage bonus on Autoshot crits cause no other physical dps class gets a 30% bonus to white damage, but we cant use Haste the way casters can on our GCD which is actually a factor with us, unlike melee white damage.