Another year of hunting is almost at an end, and that means it's time to dig into the vast past of December 2010, when Cataclysm was fresh and shiny and new and SV hunters were dominating every DPS chart, a time before aspect dancing and when pets still had a happiness system (kind of). That's right, it's time to dust off my 2011 hunter predictions and see how I did. It's also time to make new predictions for the state of hunters going forward in 2012 and take some guesses at what's going to happen with the class in the tumultuous year ahead.
Looking back at some of the changes, it's interesting to see the patterns and similarities in the class over time. SV is again the top DPS spec as it was a year ago -- only now instead of blowing away all comers with pretty demonstrably overpowered DPS, SV is at best middle of the pack. In practice, the hunter class is one of the poorest DPSers this tier.
SV got nuked to death in patch 4.0.6, much as an overpowered BM spec got over-nerfed into oblivion in patch 3.0.8 in early Wrath, except that while overnerfed, SV got it much gentler than BM did back in the day. The nerf bat is hitting a bit softer these days. Let's hope that's a trend that continues.