Along with all the Sunwell goodness, the 2.4 patch also brought us some mana regeneration issues. Not such a big deal inside instances where I tend to top off my mana anytime I hear another character munching or drinking, but out on the grind I found this to be a little bit annoying.
I haven't tried any PvP since the patch hit, but I imagine that is where it will hit us hunters hardest since burst damage is king in that venue.
In order to adapt we will need to pay a little more attention to our mana usage in the field. Here are a few suggestions for conserving your mana while grinding PvE.
Kick on your Aspect of the Viper; get your mana regeneration going. While grinding we want to build our DPS on a slow curve to avoid pulling aggro off our pets anyway, so switching over from Aspect of the Hawk will be benificial for more than one reason.
Your first shot should be a sting. Personally while grinding I like Serpent Sting. Since I'm sending in my pet Kaylee with a Mend Pet cooking I don't worry about reducing the damage she is taking. The faster the mobs die, the faster I'm grinding. If she comes back low on health I just top her off with another Mend Pet.
Use your Sting's DoT countdown as a timer to apply one Arcane Shot every 14 secs. That's all you really need to do. Your AutoShot will take care of the rest. If you are like me and don't simply spam a macro, feel free to hit Kill Command when that procs, we need to keep those reflexes sharp.
Each PvE fight looks like this for me:
1. Send in the pet via my Pet Attack/Hunter's Mark macro:
/cast Hunter's Mark
2. Let 2 or 3 Growls go by.
3. Open with Serpent Sting and follow with a quick Mend Pet if needed. Here is a spiffy macro for that:
/castsequence reset=5 Serpent Sting, Mend Pet
4. When the the DoT counter shows 5 seconds remaining I pop off an Arcane Shot.
5. I hit my Kill Command hot key when that ability procs. I am currently using the add on Critical Alert which allows you to assign a specific sound to your Crits. When I here "bwoop", I mash button #5 on my Speedpad.
Usually I don't have to re-apply the sting before the fight ends.
When I get a little bored of the routine I will practice various skills. I will lead a mob around with freeze traps. I like to practice my Misdirection pulls, double trapping, jumpshots and kiting too. But the whole time I am really working on my managing my Mana pool.
My goal is to be aware of my mana usage to the point that in a boss fight I will have jut a smidge left as the boss dies. Mana not used is damage not done.
Its kind of a balancing act.
Anyhoo, with the new changes in Patch 2.4 hunters will need to spend a little time relearning some Mana control, but not to worry before long it will all be as rote as it was before the changes.