Echoing what Gonkish said in the UI thread, I'm also horrible at keeping up the proper shot rotation, especially when I'm trying to learn a new weapon (e.g. rhok->larvae) I use the BigTrouble hunter timers in much the same way, but I think there could be some improvements.
With all the changes coming in the 2.0 patch, I think it's going to take some of us a while to get used to all of the new shots and mechanics. One way I've been thinking on how to fix this is to extend on the idea of the Huntertimers or Bigtrouble addons. I like the BigWigs Timers for boss events - maybe that concept could be borrowed so that you have a stack of bars showing you what shot should be next, with its relative time in the chain. If you go over time on a certain shot in the rotation, you could reset the rotation, or display a frenzy timer effect, similar to the SimpleTranqShot beta.
Superfically, it seems like we have the pieces to construct this addon (BigTrouble and Bigwigs could provide the bulk of the code) - the 'hard' part is handling the spec and rotations based on the following variables:
Well there is the problem of timers. Idealy you would would fire an aimed the instant after an autoshot to minimise lost time. You cant use damage messages to determine this since arrows take varibale amounts of time to reach the target depending on target distance. Autoshot starts with a START_AUTOREPEAT_SPELL message, you dont get any SPELL_START messages with autorepeat spells but you do get SPELLCAST_STOP. You could use this to turn a button a different color or otherwise enable it when its the optimal time to fire. With the upcoming changes resetting auto shot timers things will change. The easiest way would be to have a panel of green buttons changing one to red when it should be fired. All the hunter would have to do is hit the currently red button. Having to watch timers is so much harder than reacting to changing colors.
hmm, well if you want to use colors, and not timers (which is proabably a good idea, though you may want to use both) you could have a set of icons, maybe just circles, and have them change red when the shot they represented needed to fire (though you should have the color they change customisable by the user)
that way people with crazy action bar mods can use it easily.
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Couldn't you just come up with a spell chain using the 2.0 macro system?
/castsequence shot1, shot2, shot2, and so on
That wouldn't work, because spell chains like that stop when they hit a spell in the chain which can't be cast due to cool down or situation.
The problem with reacting to changing colours would be that you couldn't anticipate the change, so you are dealing with at minimum human reaction time to click the right button and at worst bad ping too.
As shown previously, Aimed shot is not practical as of patch 2.0.1, so we don't need to worry about spells which reset the autoshot timer. The only thing to be concerned with is the cast time of the various spells you will use, of which Steady Shot with it's 1.5s cast is the longest, and that is only the speed of global cooldown.
With all that in mind, you only need to worry about which spell needs to be fired next, Multi and Arcane don't interrupt or delay Autoshot (although Multi has a 0.5s cast time, I don't think it delays autoshot, but I may be wrong there), so both of those only need to be spammed for when they are available, so any shot sequence indicator would just need to warn the player which shot is next to spam.
The exception is Steady Shot, with 1.5 s cast time which could delay auto shots, this comes back to timing to fire either completely between autoshots, immediately after an autoshot, or to delay an autoshot by the minimum time possible, all of which are a function of weapon speed (after haste effects) so there should be no reason why this couldn't just be on a timer system triggered from the first autoshot, that way you don't need to look for any events related to when autoshot is firing.
It would be alot of work to pull together, but if anyone manages it, I'd use it.
Multi does not interupt auto-shot in anyway, the .5 second cast time is just there to make you stop moving while it casts. TBH the way I read the patch notes hunters are being dumbed down even more to be quite possibly the easiest ranged DPS class to play (I guess pulling takes some brain power but only one hunter does that :-/) Shot rotations used to be the only class specific raid information someone needed to learn to perform well in a raid, now its more of a use stuff whenever cooldowns are up and you have mana :-/
I don't know, I find there are very very few fights where I just settle in to a rotation and don't do anything. Patch is probably the only thing that comes close. A lot of movement orientated fights play havok with your cycle, and for me it's not uncommon to derank and uprank depending on the speed of our kills (e.g. Loatheb), or to clip/unclip my cycle when I'm using cooldowns/not using cooldowns. I suppose I find shot rotations generally more of an art than a precise science.