A helpful guide on being a hunter.
As a hunter, I know the reputation that hunters get for being "huntards" because people don't think that we play our class correctly. Problem is...
They are right most of the time :)
I have decided to write up some of the things that I have found to be most useful in making the most of your abilities.
Now, a hunter is selected to be in a group for the three most important traits that they have:
Most hunters know how to do effective DPS but there are some ways to tweak this and turn it up a notch. Before reaching lvl 60, there are only several things to consider when DPSing. As most hunters know, max DPS is achieved by just spamming arcane shot and multi-shot, but take care when you use multi-shot. As a hunter you have to be completely aware of the environment because we are the only ranged class that has a minimum distance requirement for us to deal damage and CC effectively. Never, ever, use multi-shot if there is even the slightest possibility of a stray shot landing on a CC or unaggro'd mob.
I have found that serpent sting is not the most effective use of mana when used to up your damage. Most mobs in an instance will not live through the full duration of the sting and some of your mana will be wasted. Secondly, a serpent sting is also a DOT, a DOT that could potentially prevent a CC effect from being established/reestablished should some unexpected trouble arise. I generally find SS to just be a source of trouble and avoid it as much as possible.
Sometime after venturing into Outlands, you get steady shot, your best friend for the rest of the game. After acquiring this spell, you can make a macro to help maximize your DPS potential. For a discussion of different Steady Shot macros and which to use, see hunter macros and shot rotation.
Once you reach 70, remember to use Misdirect as much as possible. It allows the threat from the next three shots fired to be placed on a friendly party member. Use it at the beginning of a fight or if someone pulls aggro; it can save lives! For a good Misdireciton macro, see hunter macros.
Every hunter knows that Feign Death is their ultimate ability, their one Ace in the hole when things get sticky. However, this ability also comes with repercussions. Usually on my mage, I see hunters use this ability when they pull aggro. WRONG! As a hunter, you should NEVER pull aggro. If you happen to have an aggro problem I'd suggest the Omen threat meter.
Chances are, unless you have a super duper tank that has 5 times the amount of aggro that everyone else has, the mob you just pulled off the tank will go straight for a clothie and that's not good. As I understand it, when you pull aggro from the tank, the threat generated from the tank stop while the healers/DPS continues to rise. As a hunter you'll probably stand a good ways away and feign at the last second so you can get off that last arcane/auto shot so by the time that the tank catches up and you feign death, the other party members might catch up in threat. To pull aggro in this game as a ranged DPS, a player needs to generate 130% of the threat that the current target has on the mob. So it's even harder to get the mob off the others. You might say that the tank will generally have a taunt ready right? But what if there are multiple mobs? What if the mob is untauntable? What if you're running a heroic and the healer gets 1 shotted for 10k? None of this is good, so don't pull aggro!
One of the most potent forms of CC possible, the hunter Freezing Trap is the only thing that can trap Demons, Undead, Humanoids, Beasts. Critters, and anything else that the game throws at you (except possibly Water elementals and such :p). In fact this might be the most important thing you can do in a group, some consider a hunter's ability to CC more important that his DPS!
You must be aware of your surroundings. That is essential in CCing with a hunter. First of all, look at places that are out of LOS. Chances are, that you'll be grouped sometime with a tank that doesn't know the limitations of Ice trap and mark a spellcaster/archer to be ice trapped. When that happens place the ice trap out of LOS. First of all it helps pull the mob to you if it ranges and second of all, it can also prevent accidental Multishots from breaking your traps. Also inform the tank that ice trap works more effectively on melee mobs so that he can better learn to mark targets in case there are no LOS barriers available. It also conserves your Silencing shot (if you have it) for more crucial moments.
Secondly, place your traps before the tank pulls!!!! This allows you to chain trap easily. All traps are on a 30 second Cooldown and last for up to a minute. If timed properly, you can have the trap completely cooled down before the pull even occurs. Lead the mob into the trap, strafe to a position where you can DPS the main target and lay a trap between you and the mob. If done correctly, the healer should be sufficiently far away not to build aggro on the trapped mob and it should come after you and get trapped again. Rinse and repeat. Note that if healer is dangerously close to a mob or if you have FD'd while a trap is up, you might want to administer a distracting shot to the trapped mob to build more aggro or use casting timers to find out when your mob is going to pop and administer a highly damaging shot right before, preferably both. Distracting shot will not break the trap but it will turn on auto shot so beware.
Sometimes, a trap might break and it might come after you when you have no traps readily available. This is where you must stave off your mob by yourself. Concussive shot immediately and start to move towards the tank, just in case. If it gets too close, scatter shot if you have it. This can usually buy you around 12 seconds to get another trap up. If your cooldown is too long for any of that to work, don't FD. When the tank asks you trap, he doesn't build any aggro and the mob will WTFPWN your healers. You can either Misdirect or run towards to the tank, preferably both.
I hope that this little section helps and that some people might benefit from this advice :)