The last month or so has seen a massive increase in hunters beginning to take notice at the amount of abilities we have, mainly after reading Ghostcrawlers opinion on the matter. After playing my hunter for so long, I find it weird that some people are all of a sudden bringing up that we have too many buttons.
To a point I can concede that we have a fair few abilities, however what makes it to the point that it is ‘too many’. I feel with the proper practice within the game, as well as a good understanding of keybinds and macros, the daunting task of finding a home for all of your abilities shrinks drastically.
I use shift as a button modifier, and cannot recommend it highly enough. I use control as well, but not as frequently. Having things like multishot (which quite frankly, even though being our main aoe, is a situational ability that depends on the amount of adds present*) bound to a shift-modified button can drastically lower the rent space of your keyboard. I have mine bound to Shift+2, and find that it is perfect for maintaining a tight switch between aoe and single target. I find R, T, F, and G to be great locations for some of your instant cast abilities – although it is all about being comfortable with your own play and keybinds. No matter what anyone says, at the end of the day there is no ‘right’ way to bind your keys (however spreading them far in hard to quickly reach spots is obviously a no-no..), everyone is different.
*obviously you would use multishot a lot in heroic dungeons, yet in a raiding environment you don’t need to multishot on every fight)
Macros can be your friend. Some abilities can be placed on the same bind (such as Bestial Wrath with a number of other abilities, depending on what you prefer. I macro mine with A Murder of Crows to compliment the damage increase). A widely accepted notion is to macro all of your ‘large CDs’ together – and that is fine for anyone starting off. Some macros in particular will work better than others, and I suggest looking into the various guides found around the interwebs (try searching through the WoW forums as a starting point).
The last point I have towards the influx of abilities refers to your hardware- I don’t think you should go out and spend copious amounts of cash to play this class to the maximum, yet I could see how having these can present a quality of life improvement. I personally use a basic keyboard, and a cheap mouse that has 2 extra buttons – one on either side. These are far from top of the line (gaming wise), yet I seem to be able to maintain a decent level of play. The mouse alone is something that I find a godsend – the extra two buttons allows for 2 extra macro/keybind homes, taking the total number of abilities I facilitate with my mouse to about 9 (if memory serves me right). It is possible to have more or less, but I find having certain abilities literally at my fingertips as a bonus. One example of a bind to my mouse is Disengage. Considering most progressed players steer their character with their mouse, having disengage bound to the mouse in particular helps me to use it more accurately as a movement ability.
As they look into some abilities, hopefully they will tweak as necessary, but don’t go overboard culling our tools just because some people are carrying on about the massive amount of buttons (predominantly after one developers comment).
Stay classy (mainly hunter-classed)