As you know, we are limited by the quantity and quality of the questions we get, and there are only so many answers that we’re willing to provide. We simply don't want to load the community down with a bunch of “We’re not sure” or “We don’t know yet,” responses. There are more paladins than any other class, so it’s not surprising we got a lot of paladin questions. We talked a lot at Blizzcon about how dramatically warlocks were changing, so we got a lot of warlock questions.
Hunters have a lot of damage coming from high values of static nonscaling Attack Power and high base damage, but severely lack longterm scaling, causing them to fall behind by the end of the expansion despite starting very powerful in the first tier. Especially Survival. Are there any ideas or plans to address overall Hunter scaling?
The developers meant to answer this specific question -- they've said so -- but somehow it slipped through the cracks. The answer is that we have tried for some time to keep physical attacks feeling distinct by designing some to be mostly weapon based, and others as mostly (or entirely) attack power based. This applies to most melee characters, as well as hunters. But we have continually been stymied by scaling issues and player confusion, so our plan in 5.0 is to make nearly all of these attacks scale by both weapon damage and attack power (or ranged attack power) to about the same degree.
Our internal 4.3 testing for hunters shows Marksman, Survival, and Beast Mastery very close. This doesn’t always play out in encounters, because players often develop different strategies when encounters go live (than they did during PTR testing). In 4.2 encounters, the three hunter specs were not as far apart in DPS as many players believe, but because the hunters who would get the most DPS out of any spec tend to play Marksmanship, there is a sampling bias towards Marksmanship. We sometimes see DPS averages drop for spec A when we buff spec B (and don't touch spec A), simply because many very-talented players migrate towards spec B.