Welcome to Scattered Shots, written by Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast. Each week, Frostheim uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven Stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Got hunter questions? Feel free to email Frostheim.
We talk a lot about optimizing our hunters here in Scattered Shots, and then spend almost as much time stressing that skill is more important than gear -- and in fact, more important than those last several degrees of optimization. I've found in the hundreds of emails I get every month that the number one cause of low DPS is lost or delayed shots -- people just failing to execute their rotations correctly. But close on its heels in number two is poor movement management.
One of the greatest movement tools in the hunter arsenal is Disengage, and it is also one of the least used in raids. Just like jump-shot, you can use jump-Disengage to Disengage in the direction you're running without slowing your forward momentum. It takes some practice, but once it's habit, jump-Disengage becomes a fantastic tool to let you get where you need to go faster. I believe this is a key hunter movement skill.
Rather than trying to explain it in writing, I put together this little tutorial video so you can see how it's done. I even dug a couple bits of old raid footage so you can see it in action. Engineers can have even more fun and more distance by macroing in their Flexweave Underlay with Disengage. One final word on jump-Disengage: the game doesn't seem to track you while you're in the air. This means that it thinks you're still in your starting place until you land. In other words: Disengage is not a way to get out of void zones!
You want to be a hunter, eh? You start with science, then you add some Dwarven Stout, and round it off some elf-bashing. The end result is massive DPS. Scattered Shots is the WoW.com column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. See the Scattered Shots Resource Guide for a full listing of vital and entertaining hunter guides, including how to improve your heroic DPS, understand the impact of skill vs. gear, get started with Beast Mastery 101 and Marksman 101 and even solo bosses with some extreme soloing.