Almost a year ago during the Classic WoW Beta, a hidden 0.5 second timer was discovered to affect the Classic Hunter gameplay. This was outlined by Blizzard in their blue post below:
The above quote at the time was specifically referring to a hunter kiting a mob or moving when the auto shot is ready to fire. This causes the retry timer to wait 0.5 seconds before trying to auto shot again. Over the past few months I and many others have experienced this hidden delay in more ways than just movement. This has begun to pose an increasing problem with playing a Hunter at a high level.
Let me just highlight the most important part of this before I go any further. Unresponsive gameplay is insanely frustrating.
I appreciate Blizzard and their effort to maintain a true “1.12” feel to the game, and I understand that while the above was specific to moving and kiting the pure existence of the retry timer suggests that it has always been like this as well. However, I don’t feel that in this version of the game it has a place the way it does now.
Below I will outline several of the possible ways the retry timer adds unwanted/undesired delays purely by the way the player or the game handles Auto Shot. Then I’ll propose some slight adjustments or removal all together. I realize it is a big ask, but if you knew a thing or two about Hunters in Classic you would know that “Clipping” also known as “Delay” is very bad in most contexts (except where desired). These examples show simple ways that the average player will have the delay without even knowing it and they will wonder “Why is my auto shot not going off?” Ask any hunter and they’ve experienced it in one way or another.
the above. Moving while Auto Shot is toggled on will cause the retry timer start when Auto Shot is ready to start casting. This is most notable when kiting a mob or repositioning in PvP or raids and you stop to shoot. If you stopped to shoot just after the retry timer happened, you will have to wait almost 1 second before your auto shot will fire. This feels absolutely awful when you’re not aware of it and you end up either not shooting at all because a mob got too close or you started moving again thinking your auto shot would have fired. There are ways around it, such as turning your Auto Shot off or tracking it with a timer for that event that triggers the retry. This was the beginning of Auto Shot feeling unresponsive.
I would venture to guess a majority of Hunters don’t even know about this one. Casting Aimed Shot, Multi-Shot, Volley, or any other ability with a cast time will start the retry timer in the background during the cast. This means that any Auto Shot that follows the use of these abilities can be delayed by up to 0.5 seconds before even starting to cast Auto Shot. So for example if you were to cast Aimed Shot, then depending on haste and your attack speed Auto Shot can take almost an entire second after Aimed Shot casts. This delays PvP burst, delays PvE DPS, etc. Most people don’t even know they have it until I watch a video or see a log and they ask “how can I improve.” This simple 0.5 second timer can be the difference in a 60 second fight of getting 21 auto shots out or getting 22-23 auto shots. Simply losing an Auto Shot because of this retry timer playing while you’re clearly doing something that it Shouldn’t even be “trying” to shoot during is simply frustrating. You can work around this by toggling Auto Shot off during any cast, but unfortunately even doing this means that when you toggle Auto Shot back on if it’s not ready to cast the moment you try to toggle it back on it will take another 0.5 seconds before it even tries again.
following the use of Feign Death your swing timers are reset. If you start Auto Shot before it is ready to shoot while being Feigned or after standing up to move, the retry timer will continue to trigger while waiting for your swing timer to reset. Once it is reset, if you happened to press Auto Shot at the wrong time then you could be waiting a full swing reset plus 0.5 seconds plus the cast time! This makes Feign Death feel insanely unresponsive not even considering the other rather annoying delays that we have to deal with because of Feign Death. There is no current known workaround aside from just laying still and waiting until well after Auto Shot is ready. It’s bad enough that we have to wait a full swing reset.
probably the most common that people encounter and they don’t even know it. If you attempt to turn on Auto Shot while it is ALREADY on, the retry timer will start trying every 0.5 seconds until it can shoot again. This means if you had a simple /cast Auto Shot macro on your bar and you press that twice with Auto Shot already on (once if you have !Auto Shot instead) then you can delay the next Auto Shot by up to 0.5 seconds. This also means ANY macro with /cast !Auto Shot in it before /cast Multi-Shot or /cast Arcane Shot, etc etc, will START the retry timer in the background that will continue to try casting Auto Shot until it is ready to shoot.
something that most likely won’t be noticed but I happened to stumble upon. If you have Raptor Strike toggled on (and possibly melee too) then when you go to start Auto Shot it will “try” for a split second. Since it has to toggle Raptor Strike off and can’t start Auto Shot at that instant it will start a retry timer. Therefore if you happened to have Raptor Strike toggled on for whatever reason but then decide to go for an Auto Shot, you have to wait almost a full second before your Auto Shot will fire. The only way around this is to force Raptor Strike to toggle off first with /stopattack or something similar.
this is specifically for melee weaving but it can happen during natural gameplay for the average player too and kinda ties into the fourth one. If you toggle Auto Shot off or use a melee ability/melee hit, then toggle Auto Shot back on before the Auto Shot is ready to start casting, it will cause a retry timer. This means that for example if you were to move into melee just after shooting an Auto Shot with Ashjre’thul, you have a 15% quiver equipped, and you hit with a melee and run back out, if you toggled Auto Shot back on within 2.5~ seconds or faster, you will start the retry timer and cause an auto to take up to 3.4 seconds instead of the expected 2.96 seconds. The only workaround to this is to just simply wait until your Auto Shot is ready to shoot before starting it again.
The above are the examples that I know of and I’m sure there are more that I haven’t encountered or aren’t as obvious. I shouldn’t have to make macros to remove a delay that shouldn’t be there to begin with. Why does this retry timer happen even when it physically can’t shoot? Why is this retry timer happening during a cast of another ability entirely? Why am I being punished with a delay because I attempted to start my Auto Shot between the expected “Cooldown” of Auto Shots?
My suggestion for fixing it: Keep it for kiting if you insist on keeping it, but remove it from the other scenarios or at least make it smarter. If my Auto Shot is already toggled on I shouldn’t ever get the retry timer by pressing Auto Shot again. If I’m casting an ability I shouldn’t ever get the retry timer. If I retoggled Auto Shot on before my Auto Shot is ready, it should KNOW that my Auto Shot isn’t ready because of the attack speed and not start a retry timer. The other option would be just remove it completely because ultimately it doesn’t feel like something that should be in vanilla.
Like I said before, I understand why it was kept in for the spirit of vanilla. I know this might fall on deaf ears but it’s frustrating to deal with, it’s frustrating to have to workaround it. Please voice your opinions below and let me know what you think. Are you a hunter that has experienced this annoying retry timer? Are you a non-Hunter that thinks we should just “deal” with it because either you don’t have to or because it was in vanilla?