I was promised a pony!

... and I got like 36 gazillion.  My tauren (not the paladin, and obviously not the warlock) now has access to:
  • Argent Warhorse
  • Black Skeletal Horse
  • Blue Skeletal Horse
  • Brown Skeletal Horse
  • Celestial Steed
  • Fiery Warhorse
  • Forsaken Warhorse
  • Green Skeletal Warhorse
  • Headless Horseman's Mount
  • Hearthsteed
  • Ochre Skeletal Warhorse
  • Purple Skeletal Warhorse
  • Red Skeletal Horse
  • Red Skeletal Warhorse
  • Swift Zhevra
  • Tyrael's Charger
  • White Skeletal Warhorse
Yes, ten of those are technically undead forsaken ponies, but they're still ponies.  That still leaves me seven pony models on a tauren.  Back when WoW first launched, all she could use was kodos and wolves, and for the PVP mounts she could also use the raptor (which I ground for for ages so I could buy it the day it went live).

Not counted:
  • Camels
  • Hippogryphs ("hippo" being for horse... even if they gave them deer features)
  • Talbuks (their horns and skeletal warhorses' horns were confusing me)
  • Windsteed (because... um... I'm really not sure what it is, taxonomically)
  • All the Alliance pony mounts my night elf has access too
There are still ponies I don't have - Invincible, Rivendare's - but I don't think I'm hurting too badly for pony options.


Timeless Armor

The Timeless Isle was an interesting addition to the Siege of Orgrimmar raid patch - non-raid content (mostly) that included parts of the legendary cloak quest, some world bosses with current tier for both PVE and PVP, and a reputation grind for another Pandarian dragon mount.

It also brought us Timeless armor tokens, account-bound tokens that we could use to gear up alts and fill in gaps until we got something better.  Lots and lots of Timeless armor tokens.

And you know what?  That's okay.  Timeless armor tokens have some uses beyond just vendoring once you've kitted out your alts.

New character on a new server?  No cash?  Send them a couple tokens!  Five gold a pop.

Short on sha crystals?  Send your extra tokens of the appropriate armor type to your enchanter, make a piece of gear, crush.

Now I'm working on the Bigger Bag achievement, so I'm getting tokens more again.  I should be able to restock my sha crystals, and I can gear up my death knight when she finally hits 90.  It's going to take a while - I got Huolon's mount on the wrong character.


6.0 Alpha Patch Notes!!

Rather than just repeat everything that's been said already, I'm just gonna link you the patch notes (in case you somehow haven't seen them), and then link you over to all of WoWhead's stuff (and their talent/perks calculator), because Carpnado. There's a lot of cool stuff popping up in the datamining (Glyph of Play Dead!), but since it's thus far contextless, I'm going to look mostly at the patch notes stuff right now.

Since these are alpha patch notes, all of this is subject to (and likely to in some way) change, but here's what affects Marksmanship out of that (gloriously long) patch notes post:

Removed abilities:
  • Aspect of the Hawk
  • Distracting Shot
  • Hunter’s Mark
  • Lynx Rush
  • Rapid Fire
  • Rapid Recuperation
  • Serpent Sting and Improved Serpent Sting
  • Widow Venom
  • Scatter Shot
  • Silencing Shot (but not Counter Shot)
Removed for Marksmanship:
  • Arcane Shot
Moved to talents:
  • Stampede (replaces Lynx Rush)
Changed abilities/talents:
  • Thrill of the Hunt affects Aimed Shot
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk will just reduce damage (not increase attack power)
  • Revive Pet and Mend Pet are one button and switch function based on whether you have a live pet (basically replacing my revive/mend macro)
  • Traps won't need to arm - they can go off as soon as you drop them
  • Traps won't be disarmable (they're taking Disarm Traps away from rogues, anyway)
  • Scare Beast PVP duration will be 6 seconds
  • The aspect bar is being removed and the remaining aspects will be toggles on the GCD:
    • Aspect of the Pack
    • Aspect of the Cheetah
    • Glyph of Aspect of the Beast
    • Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah won't trigger cooldowns on aspects
  • Aimed Shot damage is being buffed and will once again not interrupt Autoshot
  • Dismiss Pet won't need line-of-site
  • Pets will have a 1 second GCD
  • Explosive Trap will put a DOT on anything in range when it goes off, rather than be a fire puddle
Pet abilities removed:
  • Cower
  • Rabid
  • Specific pet abilities:
    • Basilisk: Petrifying Gaze; Bat: Sonic Blast; Bear: Demoralizing Roar; Bird of Prey: Snatch; Carrion Bird: Demoralizing Screech; Core Hound: Lava Breath; Crab: Pin; Crane: Lullaby; Crocolisk: Ankle Crack; Dog: Lock Jaw; Fox: Tailspin; Goat: Trample; Gorilla: Pummel; Hyena: Cackling Howl; Monkey: Bad Manners; Moth: Serenity Dust; Nether Ray: Nether Shock; Porcupine: Paralyzing Quill; Raptor: Tear Armor; Rhino:  Horn Toss; Scorpid: Clench; Serpent: Serpent's Swiftness; Shale Spider: Web Wrap; Silithid: Venom Web Spray; Spider: Web; Sporebat: Spore Cloud; Tallstrider: Dust  Cloud; Wasp: Sting
Changed pet abilities:
  • Sporebat: Energizing Spores now affects both melee and spell haste
Draenor Perks:
  • Enhanced Kill Shot: Bigger Kill Shot window
  • Enhanced Camouflage: Heal while camouflaged
  • Enhanced Chimera Shot: Costs less focus
  • Enhanced Aimed Shot: Crits generate focus
  • Improved Focus: Larger focus pool
  • Improved Aimed Shot: Increased damage
  • Improved Steady Shot: Increased damage
  • Enhanced Shots: Increased range
  • Enhanced Piercing Shots: Multishot crits apply bleeds
Level 100 Talents:
  • Flaming Shots: Autoshot BURNINATES
  • Focusing Shot: Replace Steady Shot with one longer shot that generates focus, but can't be used on the move
  • Lone Wolf: Play without a pet

Okay, so that's the consolidated bits of the infodump that directly affect Marksman specifically (rather than all of us players as a whole, like the stat squishes and whatnot).  What does all of this mean thus far?

Well, I can get rid of my Mend Pet/Revive Pet macro that I've had since... I dunno, 2005?

Toolbar changes (not shown: Hunter's Mark, Widow Venom)

I'm looking at the level 100 talents and thinking, well, I want to play with my pet.  I don't mind pet management, and I like the added flavor and variety.   There may be fights where it's worth it to swap into it, though.  Between Flaming Shots and Focusing Shot, I have a feeling I may change that one frequently for soloing and trash versus boss fights.  Stuff tends to die fast enough on trash and while soloing that a 3-second cast to regenerate focus for Aimed, Chimera, and Multi may be prohibitive.

The Draenor Perks are also a nice addition; they further define the specialization and INCREASED SHOT RANGE I'VE MISSED YOU.  Ahem.  I used to consistently specialize into it when it was in the old talent trees.  Healing while Camouflaged will give us a nice alternative to eating that may not be possible if stuck in combat or if in an area where the odds of getting attacked again are high.

Since the Aspect bar is down to three buttons, and losing one, I'm not going to miss it.  Once upon a time we got as high as what, six buttons?  Aspects are a neat idea, but one that apparently hasn't worked out for the hunter class the way they once thought they would.  This will also move the pet bar back over on top of my active bars and make it faster for me to call my pet off, since it will be less distance for the mouse to travel.

With Murder of Crows and Stampede moving into the same row of talents, they may become situational: Crows for single-target fights since they're a DOT; Stampede for multi-target fights since they can move around.  I'm likely to favor Crows, though, despite the joys of the Army of Sporebats.  I just really enjoy swarming someone with a flock of birds.

I'm expecting haste is still going to be a fairly desirable stat for Marksman, to bring down both the Aimed Shot cast time and that of whichever focus-generator you're using at the time.  Right now Focusing Shot looks like it will generate about double the focus of a pair of Steady Shots, and it might work better for an expensive-shot rotation like Aimed and Chimera.

All in all this just makes me more impatient to be able to get in and play around with all the new stuff!