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Among the host of new things patch 4.0.1 brought us hunters -- including new talents and rotations, new pet abilities and lower DPS -- was built-in spell alerts. Power Auras became such an integral part of so many people's gameplay that Blizzard finally gave us its own non-customizable version to warn us when proc-type abilities become ready.
Interestingly, this helpful addition has a lot of hunters confused. I've been getting a steady stream of emails and comments asking what certain icons mean or why they appear when they do (such as when an ability isn't ready). It seems a spell alert guide is in order.
Join me after the cut for a list of all the hunter spell alerts, what they're for and why they appear when they do. If you're totally familiar with all of them, then I have included the epic hunter video above for your day's entertainment.
Spell alert features
Spell alerts usually do four things when they trigger:
- You hear some kind of sound effect, letting you know that something is going on.
- Green text appears, letting you know what the alert is for. The text appears at your feet, floats up toward your head, then quickly fades away.
- An icon of some sort appears around your character. This remains until the spell alert goes away (either because you've done what it was notifying you about, or you waited too long and missed your chance).
- The button on our action bars associated with the spell alert lights up and remains lit up until you use or lose the ability the alert is notifying you about.
Focus Fire -- beast mastery
The Focus Fire spell alert triggers as soon as your pet has five stacks of Frenzy and the Focus Fire ability is off cooldown. The spell alert displays the text "Focus Fire!" as well as the icon, and it lights up the Focus Fire button on your UI. The text quickly fades, but the icon and lit-up button remain until you hit it.
Killing Streak -- beast mastery
Killing Streak is triggered when your pet gets two Kill Command crits in a row. You see the "Killing Streak" text as well as the icon, and the Kill Command button on your UI lights up.
This is another very useful spell alert, but it's also a bit annoying because when the Kill Command button is lit up on your UI it can be very difficult to actually see how much of the cooldown is left. Fortunately, BM hunters know to use Kill Command every fourth button press anyway, so hitting it at the right time shouldn't be difficult.
Improved Steady Shot -- marksmanship
The Improved Steady Shot spell alert is just letting you know that you got the Improved Steady Shot 15 percent haste buff.
Master Marksman -- marskmanship
The Fire! alert indicates that your Master Marksman talent has reached five stacks and has now triggered a free Aimed Shot. In addition to the icon and "Fire!" text, your Aimed Shot button will light up.
Resistance is Futile -- marksmanship
Interestingly, this spell alert seems to be the only one that doesn't include a text alert to let you know what's proccing; however, your Kill Command button will light up.
Lock and Load -- survival
The Lock and Load spell alert is letting you know that your Lock and Load has procced and you can now get your two free, non-cooldown Explosive Shots or Arcane Shots. In addition to the text and icon, both your Explosive Shot and Arcane Shot buttons will light up.
Kill Shot -- all specs
The only hunter spell alert without an icon, the Kill Shot alert is letting you know that your opponent is now at or below 20 percent health and ready for you to unload some nice, focus-free Kill Shots in his general direction. The alert is only warning you about where your enemy's health is -- it is possible to have the alert while Kill Shot is on cooldown.
Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. Our Scattered Shots Resource Guide takes aim at everything from improving your heroic DPS, understanding the impact of skill vs. gear, and getting started with Beast Mastery 101 and Marksman 101.