1) Trap Launcher is a very cool idea and something we would love to do. However, it requires a lot of tech and may end up beyond the scope of what we can do for patch 3.1. We don't want to give hunters a buggy, half-baked ability. If you are going on the PTR to test Ulduar or just mess around with numbers, I wouldn't worry about this ability, at least for now.
2) Black Arrow is on the trap cooldown timer, and we assume largely for PvE. Black Arrow is your ability to proc things normally caused by traps (like LnL) in PvE situations when using a trap is a pain or the target is immune.
3) Think of Lock and Load triggering from traps (esp. Frost Trap) as a PvP mechanic. Think of Lock and Load triggering from periodic ticks (esp. Black Arrow) as a PvE mechanic. In PvE, you may want to use traps on trash or group pulls however. In PvP, nothing is stopping you from using Black Arrow if it works for you.
So far the good news...
Looks like blizzard wants us to use the new Black Arrow instead of the Serpent Sting. Although it's not clear in which category Immolation trap is located: PvP'ish traps or PvE'ish DoT.
Now some less good news...
- Explosive Shot: Base damage lowered by 10%. Attack power scaling reduced by 12.5%
Noes! This is no good... It's feels like a flashback to the Steady nerf.
When taken into account that Viper Sting will actually return 300% of the drained mana to you in the current build of the PTR, it looks like our mana problems are over. And since we don't HAVE to use serpent anymore, this will be popular in fights were mana regen is a bit of a pain, KT for example.
I have no clue if the nice and shiny new Black Arrow DoT will make up for the lost damage from ES. But since I'm not on the PTR I can't test it. We'll have to wait and see for the final notes, I guess.
Here's the formula for Black Arrow as it is on the PTR: [RAP * 0.1 + 2765] over 15s, with a cooldown of 30 seconds (It's on the trap CD! Go specc resourcefulness!) + 6% more damage from all your attacks on the target.
Here's the current ES formula:
(RAP x 0.16 + 428) – (RAP x 0.16 + 516) damage. And of course this happens three times over 3 sec.
PTR one: [RAP * 0.14 + 385.5] - [RAP * 0.14 + 464.4] *3 over three seconds.
Now some math: Let's say I got 4300 RAP (which is about true, unbuffed).
The old one does: 1116 - 1204
The new does: 987.5 - 1066
That's roughly a 11.5% nerf.
Now let's see what more DPS we are losing:
Noxious Stings: -3% (I don't see the point in speccing this anymore...)
TNT: -9% crit
ES: -11.5% damage
Total: -14.5% damage and -9% crit
What we gain in 3.1 (conerning ES):
Black Arrow: +6%, 5/8 of the time so: 3.75%
Glyphed ES: 4% extra crit.
TNT: +6% damage.
Total: 9.75% damage and 4% crit
Grand Total: -4.75% damage and -5% crit
Now with this comparison I'm assuming that you are on max range every time so you gain Sniper. I'm guessing that the Sniper uptime will be higher with 3.1.
I think this is the Spec I'll be going with if the hunters stay the way they are on PTR atm.
I hope this was more or less correct... I'll stay in touch with MMO-Champion for new updates.
PS: My Source on this was WoWhead and MMO-champion, the new ES formula is my own however and could be slightly incorrect...