So patch 4.1 brought us a solution to some of our auto-targeting problems — and they did it by removing auto-targeting entirely. Even if you sit there with a hundred murlocs gibbering toward you and spam shots non-stop, your gun won’t fire until you manually acquire a target — either by clicking on them, tabbing, or assisting someone who is attacking.

Personally, I think this is fantastic. You should have to make a conscious decision about what you’re attacking. In most situations you should not want to smash keys and let shots fire at whatever the heck random target the game picks. And frankly, if you do want to, just hit tab and you’ll get a random nearby (usually) target.

But… a lot of hunters are unhappy about it. They want to just spam their buttons to acquire a random target — often in aoe situations — and often just in general to keep up with the Jonses in heroics.

So fair enough — if you want to mash buttons and auto-acquire targets, you can still do that, with a simple macro.

It appears that the /startattack command will auto-acquire a target for you, just like the pre-4.1 button mashing did. The first time you press it you get a target, the second time it turns on your auto-shot. So if you want to get the old behavior of our shots back (only without the mob dying mid-cast bug) you can just macro /startattack to your shots. Thus instead of Arcane Shot you’d have the macro:

/cast Arcane Shot

With that in your macro, when you push a shot and have no target, the game will automatically pick a target (in theory the closest) and immediately fire your Arcane Shot and turn on your auto-shot.

But use this power wisely! The moment you macro this into your shots, you are not allowed to ever blame the game ever again for breaking CC or pulling extra mobs. They fixed all those auto-targeting issues, and you’re deliberately circumventing it. So be careful with it.

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  1. Mysomed says:

    Extremely usable macro for low HP mobs like Lava parasites (Magmaw adds) using Multishot..

    • faignz says:

      If you are worried about mobs like Magmaw parasites, and of a higher priority, Blood of the Old God and Vile Swill , you should setup a specific macro for the job at hand:
      /targetexact [mobname]
      /cast Multi-shot

      This way you are tight on what you are going to kill and you aren’t going to waste a focus heavy Multi-shot on a non-important mob or the boss..

    • ironthumbs says:

      Absolutely Agree, i can’t think how much time i have wasted trying to kill them parasites on Heroic mode since this change.

  2. Shortpants says:

    This has been a problem with me only on aoe situations, especially when the mobs die very quickly, so I’ve only attached a macro to my multi-shot. Even if I’m in the cobra/steady part of my rotation, without enough focus to fire multi-shot, it helps to get a new target.
    But to avoid pulling outside mobs, I target my focus’s target (i.e. my tank’s target), unless they’ve not got something targeted, in which case I just get the closest enemy. It’s not perfect, but it avoids having to put something else into my muscle memory. I based it on what was mentioned in the HPP, but this goes a little further.

    #showtooltip Multi-Shot
    /target [@focustarget, nodead, exists]
    /targetenemy [noexists,dead]
    /use Multi-Shot

    I’m not going to explain it further, that’s what is for

    • Osmin says:

      Does spamming /startattack reset your auto-attack timer? That’s my only worry with a macro like this. It would be nice to have that functionality back while spamming multishot, that’s really the only instance when I miss it at all, I’m just a little worried about that.

      • Frostheim says:

        When I was testing this, it did not appear to affect the auto-shot timer at all. I specifically tried to get it to affect my auto-shots by firing at various times, but it seemed good.

  3. Robotshark says:

    Thanks for the tip – this will be a huge help on the Magmaw/Cho’gall adds. I kept getting stuck without a target and was wondering what the heck was going on.

    • Darkbrew says:

      I’m right there with you. I’ll probably do this for multi-shot, and may only use this macro on those specific encounters for now.

    • Zyphir says:

      Ditto, the only time this fix bothers me is when dealing with adds, it’s not terribly difficult to tab target, but it really caught me off guard the first time. This macro to Multi shot will help a lot.

    • Nuadormrac says:

      What’s bad about this, is the effect this has had in those AoE like situations (Firelands also has a boss where you’re pretty much on add duty) on damage meter. Having to consciously select targets like this, will lower one’s DPS, especially with mobs that die too quickly. Of course melee has their auto-terget in place and never had this taken from them but that’s another matter entirely. At least there’s something, but I’ve cursed this change time and again since 4.1.

  4. Kalven and Hobs says:

    Is /startattack still necessary to trigger autoshot at the key press, instead of at the end of casting?

  5. Valacia says:

    It’s funny, I already have /startattack macro’d to all of my abilities on my druid because I would rather be more conscientious of when I am pressing my buttons than have to manually target something in AoE situations.

    I will say that it kinda bummed me out after I logged on to do my JC daily on my hunter and couldn’t just insta-rain-death on those elementals without having to manually target. Using my mouse for anything other than movement annoys me, lol. ahh well, such is life. /startattack as a ranged with so many instant cast abilities isn’t really an option either for the very reason you mention Frost, then I would have zero excuse if I screw up, lol.

  6. Kayko says:

    IMO, worst blog entry ever. Frost, you sound like all those people on the forums with the “your lazy” junk.
    I never had problems with the so called issue, so by reading posts like this basically claims that I am a bad hunter cause I didn’t click.
    I’m a bad hunter cause I didn’t spam keybinds.
    I’m a bad hunter cause I don’t click.
    I’m a bad hunter cause I could control my targeting.
    I’m a bad hunter cause I could pay attention to a dieing target.
    I’m a bad hunter cause I don’t feel the need to have to create macro for every single keybind I use.
    The people that don’t like the targeting are asking for the option.. aka A REAL FIX! Then you have the ones that like the change and say, “use macros” or “click”, nothing about having what the issue was fixed.

    Auto shot was the problem, not casted shots. If anyone says it was a casted shot that hit a new target, then I wish I knew your trick. I’d give up my ability to mouse turn in order to start a casted shot on one target and have it hit another. If you really had a steady/cobra hit a new target, YOUR FAULT! Casted shots did not carry over meaning you have plenty of time to stop spamming and cancle your shot.

    All that was needed was to fix the auto shot on target switch, which they did not do or appear to even attempt it.

    This change is crap, you say manually select my target? I have no choice but to say, learn to Hunter and turn towards the target you want to select.

    And you PvPers should be even more upset, welcome to hunter, the ONLY class that has no way (without a macro) to pull a stealthed player out if they are close enough to get that little glimpse. Any class that can not auto target, has an instant AE attack that needs no target, all others can hit any attack to target said stealthed player. Hunter, have fun clicking your screen.

    I envy you that can play on 13″ screens were getting your mouse into place is as simple as making a loud noise so your mouse moves from the sound waves itself.

    We want the real fix, not a work-around, give the option, not forc,e a solution!.

    • Lewelyen says:

      I absolutely agree.
      Blizzard provided us with a workaround, not a fix for the real problem.
      They just took auto-targeting instead of fixing the bug.

      But @Kayco… i can not see a passage in this blog entry where Frost mentions that hunters who use a specific play style are bad hunters.
      In contrary, he gives a solution for all hunters who prefer the auto-target option.

    • Clarrook says:


    • Kaeleb says:

      It would definitely be nice if there were a simple check box that turned on or off auto targeting (like we used to have, indirectly), but at least now there is the option to control this behavior. Prior, there was no way to reliably turn off auto targeting.

    • Taira says:

      Kayko, check the attitude at the door. Frost isn’t calling anyone out for being a baddie. He said that the solution implemented by Blizzard was acceptable because it places accountability on us as players for targeting. If you’re shooting what you’re targeting, then you’re fine. If you can’t be bothered to target what you want to shoot, and want the game to pick for you, then you use a macro for the shots you want this behavior applied to.

      The issue that was addressed was that a new target would be selected simply by pressing an attack button (pick a shot, any shot). Auto Shot was a problem because it was engaged by pressing another button, such as Cobra Shot, and fired immediately without waiting for the Cobra Shot to finish casing.

      Auto Shot was not firing on target change unless you were already in combat. Target changing was happening because players pushed an attack button on a target that was dead or died in the process of pushing the button.

      Ranting on Frost’s blog, in the face of a known problem, and requesting (see: demanding) a “Real” fix is useless. Take this behavior to the official forum with the rest of it, and let someone who is paid to deal with your nonsense (read: ignore or patronize).

      • Kayko says:

        Tiara, from my POV, this was not an acceptable solution to whatever issue players were having, I did not have an issue myself.
        Posts created by people that like the new targeting give the solution of adding macros or clicking, yet the ones that never had the claimed issue are asking for an option. Why isn’t an option to choose targeting type a possibilty by the people who like the change?
        Macros and tab targeting tend to choose between your nearest two targets within yhour field of view. On the other end, the auto attack part had a much narrower choice field of target. With a slight shift in character facing, a new target could be selected as your current target died. This is the same with all other physical classes.

        A fix to the way auto shot works in its either shooting upon an instant ability, or going through its full attack time when combat starts along with fixing the stop attack on new target option would have solved the problem. If Hunters were still pulling a random mob, then the issue was with the player, not the auto target option.

        If I am to choose a target as a caster does, then I feel we should be able to cast abilities with longer cast time and does consistantly high damage repeatedly useing a larger resource that allows the repeated uninturrupted use of that ability, IE, mana.

        The issue simply was not fixed, it was rewritten to remove a player caused error. If it was really a bug, then everyone would have had a problem, not just some people.

      • Kaeleb says:

        I’m not sure that some, like Kayko, are understanding that for many of us, having our shots auto target at all was undesired behavior, and it was a behavior that was forced upon us by the removal of the old Autoshot/auto attack switch in the interface menu.

        Those who understand the history of this issue, will know that having our shots auto target was not the way it worked for hunters originally. Just like any other ranged class, if we tried to shoot without a target we got a “You don’t have a target” error and nothing happened.

        When the ability to auto switch between ranged and melee attacks was implemented (sometime in BC if I recall), a side effect of our shots auto targeting at range was also introduced. A switch was added that allowed us to enable or disable this auto ranged/auto melee behavior and although not obvious by its description, it would also would toggle the on or off the auto-targeting shot side effect. Not long ago, in a recent patch (I forget which), we lost that option, and thus the choice to turn off such behavior.

        Again, my point isn’t to say that one way is better than another. Simply to clarify that, for many of us, auto-targeting of any shot was undesired and was the problem to be fixed.

        I also understand that others liked this behavior and if there is a more elegant way to accommodate both preferences, I’d be all for it.

      • Taira says:

        Despite what you think about the issue or the fix applied by Blizzard, this is not the place to start that argument. Blizzard may recognize Frost’s work for the community, but that doesn’t mean you should come ranting on a related post about how they seemingly screwed up.

        Frost is trying to offer a suitable work-around for Blizzard’s change, to help people who aren’t satisfied with the change. Don’t fault him for his personal acceptance of the change . Take it to the official forums to air your grievance and/or dissatisfaction.

      • Nuadormrac says:

        Actually, given cobra and steady are non-instant castes, there was a 1.5 sec or so window in which if one noticed that a bad target was being picked up, one could move, jump, do something to interupt the caste (which I had done), before it completed. It was only the instant shots like explosive where this didn’t exist. Now slightl modifications on one’s orientation was able to effect how it selected targets, it was a bit wonky, but one could roughly (albeit imprefectly) control it to some degree.

        Now for those times where an accidental instant did go off, often times it came to what one did next. Hunters do have a fair number of oh-sh*** at their disposal, which allowed for the handling of the situation, rather then just blaming the game and oh crap. For the agro of course there’s feign, and if one wasn’t having to trap a target, one can freeze trap it, which gives whoever was CCing it time to get back to it. Depending on the situation, it’s also possible to range tank a mob for a short time till the situation was dealt with. Though on the auto-acquriring, (which still does apply on death knights and enh shamies for instance as noticed when switching characters), a lot of groups 1, 2, and 3 priority is damage meter; so anything which gets one having to do an extra step before attacking does hurt one to some small degree on just that, now vs then. And it in in that regard one can be left unhappy; as one is wanting the same numbers they got pre-4.1, etc….

    • Brekke says:

      Taira said what I wanted to say. The issue was fixed. I personally love that I have to select my target now.

    • Frostheim says:

      You understand that I don’t have the ability to fix the auto target acquisition thing, right? The best I can do is suggest a work-around.

      On the other hand, I think that the auto-targeting caused more problems than zero auto-target will cause. I think there will be less CC-breaking and less accidental pulling by removing the ability to automatically attack a random target by default.

      I too never had problems with targets dying, but I know it was a problem for many hunters. I too had no problems with auto target acquisition (though I almost never used it), but I know that it causes a lot of problems with many hunters out there in the PUG world.

      So for all those crummy puggers, it’ll be harder for them to screw up. For those who don’t want to set an assist, tab, or click, you have a workaround that is close to as good as the old way (better or worse depending on your circumstances, since you fire with once click instead of two).

      • Nuadormrac says:

        Here’s my take, and as to the problem which was/is being faced in PuGs, a bit of my view on “duming down the software” so people can’t get into trouble And mind you, when facing many PuGs, the thing that has really bothered me isn’t so much the person auto-acquiring “the cc’d target”, but is something more fundamental then that, for which no word short of blatant stupidity can be applied.

        In this, I mean go back to a ZG PuG, when it was still a raid, and at lvl 70 and 80, I had seen more problems then I ever saw when it was raided for real at 60. And for this, there is no fix. Get to the tiger boss, tell people the priests must die together, and they’d single target attack the priests down in phase 1, and constantly complain that they kept resing each other. After 15 minutes, I finally got blue in the face, and grew tired of trying to explain the mechanic. I honestly couldn’t believe I was in a 20 minute wipe in ZG of all places, at a level that didn’t even exist in vanilla :rofl The only “fix” would be to remove all mechanics, and make everything a patchwerk type fight, but that would make the game extremely boring for the rest of us.

        Another, and today more common problem (certainly in 5 man PuGs) is the dreaded “DPS tank”, who thinks that by wearing full dps gear, and not going with a tanking spec, he’ll hold better agro. Some of these also love to post damage meters while patting themselves on the back for being such a high damaging tank. Unfortunately, for the DPS, the experience can be quite different, as we’re left unable to so much as sneeze (even with a single target) without pulling agro. And as they’re carrying on about how “good they are”, the damage is cringing as they’re having to hold back to such an extreme degree, it doesn’t even feel natural to have to hold back, to that extreme degree. Healers that can’t dispel, is another example of this, and on this one I remember this one h vp where the DK tank was having to try to explain dispel to the pally healer, who mid fight even had to ask what skill his dispel is, where it is in his spell book, etc. It ended with everyone, including himself dieing from a static cling, except the dk tank who had to self heal the rest of the boss fight :o

        The basic problem is this, stupidity can’t entirely be programmed for. And I do understand that a software “fix” isn’t entirely possible because of one basic thing. Computers are essentially dumb, and will only do what they’re told to do. They don’t have a faculty of a human intellect, which can analyze a given situation, and adapt. We can, and that’s where the person SHOULD come in. They should use the one thing our brain has, which a computer doesn’t, and in fact never could. They’re great at calculating things very fast, great at following a pre-programmed set of instructions, but not very capeable at UNDERSTANDING a situation, and giving meaning to it, adapting/adjusting, etc.

        Now, as I had said, and looking at the “dps tank” (and on the issue of bad PuGs, the removal of the kick cooldown from randoms, would IMO be a far more effective solution), the truth is, that as I mentioned, hunters do have a lot of oh sh***. It’s actually at the point (and in this it helps that in having played Aion, they don’t have combat pets on their rangers, so one DOES learn to range tank, just to keep range and survive in that MMO, I’ve certainly become a bit adept at being able to “play with mobs” /rofl Needless to say, what one learns there in playing Aion on their ranger class, one can bring back to the hunter class in WoW :d

        So, when facing the rather cocky dps tank that won’t do much threat, and keeps linking the meter, I’ve come to do just that, and play with the mobs some, rather then hold back. At which, they ironically stop linking the meter /rofl but I’m hopeful a few of them will figure it out, and figure out why getting good threat rather then trying to handicap the DPS and pat themselves on the back is a good thing. All classes can’t get away with it (though a dps DK could, well now it’s blood presence in a pinch, and take the mob, then back to frost presence), but on a hunter it’s trivial to MD, if one pulls mob, play with it a bit, range tank a lil, get it’s hp down, keep range, use a frost trap if needed to regain range, and after a bit FD, and MD it back onto them. One doesn’t have to hold back, and oh look one’s sitting at the top of damage meter, with (well some are smart enough to get “hmm someone here can DPS, I guess I best tank for real”, and others don’t seem to get it, but I’m hopeful one day they will. Until then, well in 5 mans (raids one woudl want to be more careful), one can have a little fun playing with mobs and getting away with it /rofl It looks even funnier, if the bragging DPS tank, is left seeing that the hunter got 40-45% of the damage done by meter, for the whole 5 man, and they can’t quite brag anymore as they were to start :p

        But when all is said and done, this removal of auto-targeting, does in practice reduce damage done to some degree, and depending on the situation (AoE and encounters with a lot of target switching, to a greater extent) enough, to feel like a nerf. It also isn’t just trash as some have said, as certain specific boss encounters (magmaw, cho’gal, and firelands introduces at least one such boss) add control can be very much a part. And when one’s trying to rush to get all down, one’s left clicking their skill, it’s not doing anything (lost DPS time, mobs move closer to attacking the raid), one then has to specifically target a low health add (more time lost) only to have to do it again and again where kill order doesn’t matter, but they better all be dead. It’s been a source of extreme frustration, and it was after one such encounter in firelands last night, that I suspecting a change like this from bliz, went to investigate what’s been bothering me a bit in such encounters.

        Of course this also gives issue in doing dailies, where the game seems to be playing who can tag the mobs first, when on high population realms there’s more players then mobs /rofl Enter more frustration, and of course frustration that melee having a fully functioning auto-attack still doesn’t enjoy. But what this really feels like, is a software fix to some other people’s inabilities/troubles, which has a very determined effect on one’s damage dealing (which in the end is what everyone cares about). Though some might have complained about getting the wrong target, this isn’t a change all have welcomed, encountering it. And the truth is, not everything can be fixed in software. But in any case, yeah I’ll be looking at the macro. I’m displeased enough in certain encounters, I’ve got to. Having add trouble because target acquiring ceased functioning for AoE isn’t great; and of course having to manually select on an older/slower computer does effect one with such a dated computer, more then perhaps people with new computers experience.

        But this isn’t a change all have welcomed, largely because many had figured out how to deal with the old system, wonky as it was; but in specific encoutners now, the simple removal is not trouble free. CC, though used more then in wraith, is still not anywehere near where it was in vanilla. My experience has been still using aoe and mass pulls, but just needing to be more careful on the pulls (aka no running to end of instance grabbing everything), and using tank assists (like MD/multi-shot) to get them all on the tank… Course I also (as much as I had run into the dreaded DPS tank in PuGs, have also played with some rather good tanks, who could still AOE tank in cata better then many on the opposite end of things, well dif peeps there).

    • Maerddab says:

      Wow Kayko. Are you for real? Defensive much? IMHO that defensiveness from an interpretation of comments that were not made is rather telling :) I know I am not adding to the content however your post just completely rubbed me the wrong way. Frost, keep up the good work. I have been reading and enjoying your site for years and I can honestly say you have made me a much better hunter than I would have been without this site.

      Anyhow, accepting reality for what it is I will adjust and continue to enjoy my hunter and the challenges of playing a hunter well. Those challenges are the reason I still enjoy my hunter and am bored with many of my other toons. Personally I have come to a point where don’t care if I am at the top of the meter during AOE type fights. IMHO the power of a hunter is with the multiple cc abilities and the ability to smash bosses. Not shave a few seconds off a trash pull!

  7. Playboom says:

    I suggest that employing the targetenemy instruction is generally better than the startattack instruction, since targetenemy only set the target, and does not initiate auto attack.

    I am using the following macro pattern (this one for Arcane Shot):
    /targetenemy [noexists][noharm][dead]
    /cast Arcane Shot

    This will stop any cast shots in progress (for pants situations).
    Then it sets the next visible enemy as my target if one of the following is true: my current target does not exist (is not set), or else if the current target is not an enemy, or else if the current target is dead.
    Then it casts Arcane Shot.

    The ‘noexists’ conditional allows one to either manually set a target (for example, by clicking on the raid mob) or to let the macro set the next visible target (equivalent to tab-targeting). This should satisfy both the “kinetic action” and “God knows his own” play styles.

    The ‘noharm’ conditional appears to prevent auto selection of neutral mobs. This behavior is very dependent on how Blizzard defines harmful mobs, and I expect that this behavior is likely to change as they get player feedback.

    I have seen and tested the instruction pattern:
    /targetenemy [noexists,noharm,dead]

    This is problematic, since this says to set the next visible enemy as my target if my current target does not exist AND the current target is not an enemy AND the current target is dead.

    This second pattern may work in some cases, but I have found that it causes automatic retargeting with each key press, if two or more targets are visible (for example, if I am close to two training dummies). This retargeting may not be obvious with mutli-target casts like Multi-Shot.

    • Shortpants says:

      @Playboom – my mistake with the macro i worte. Since we’re in maintenance time – I did it from memory.
      changing the “AND” of [noexists,noharm,dead]
      to “OR” as [noexists] [noharm] [dead]
      should work
      (again, this is from memory though)

  8. Glee says:

    Kayko is right,
    this fix is not a fix, Bli² just removed auto-targetting on all our instant-shot,” that’s all, thank you for playing, and see you at the next patch… !”

    Hey ! I would have preferred that they do not touch anything until they find a real solution.

    However, until something better, a simply macro like this will definitely help me for multishot in PvE (magmaw, Cho’gall ..), and for more in PvP ( because yes, spamming Tab+CS to firstattack the stealthy player that lurks dangerously around me… that sucks ^^ )

    Thank you Frost for the tip :)

    • Kaeleb says:

      To be fair though, for some of us the auto targetting instant shots were part of the problem. I’ve never had any desire for my shots to auto target anything and prior to the removal of the Auto shot/auto attack checkbox in the combat menu, it was possible to control that.

      I’m not saying that wanting your shots to auto target is in any way incorrect, just trying to clarify that being able to turn off auto targeting completely (even on instants) was something that was desired by some players, not just a side effect of preventing cast time shots from switching targets.

      Personally, I’d just like to see a reimplementation of a checkbox similar to what we used to have, so players can choose which behavior they prefer without having to use macros.

  9. Spleet says:

    I am not a big proponent of macros…all that thinking about typing slash something, something, parentheses, insert name, etc… makes my head hurt so I just move from target to target as they die and shoot em.

    On AOE’ing down low health junk I usually take that opportunity to pour myself a vodka and let the dress wearing Mages and Warlocks drop hell from above.

  10. layzie_the_kid99 says:

    At first i didn’t like the whole, “pick your own target on your own time…” But now I am getting used to it and the one macro Playboom set up i am definitely going ti add to my list, because as of now i only use my

    /cast arcane shot


    But as always, Thanks for bringing this up frost. We HAVE been bitching about it for too long. More than likely the ONLY thing we had to whine and cry about, so some people can’t resist…

  11. Fugitivelama says:

    Hmmm I noticed the fix to this as well , at first I was extremely happy about it, but the more I ran five mans and lower end game content I realized that I had grown accustomed to being able to just keep firing without targeting when the situation called for it , anymore the tanks and heals I run with are so geared it is not necessary to be CCing on most any pull. I actually got very good at not firing off extra shots and pulling packs mobs, aka pulling a “huntard”(yeah I hate the H word too, sorry). One question about the macro, it won’t acquire a closer target or even a different target when I already have someone targeted will it? I probably won’t bother with it anyway it is not difficult to click on a different name plate or tab target when the current target is at or near death. I agree I wanna be specific in who I target in a raid situation so the raid impact is pretty much zero.

    • Roa says:

      I almost did a Misdirect pull to the healer and dropped group for a healer and tank both calling me a “huntard” the other day… Ooooo, that gets under my skin!

  12. boomerang says:

    First off, for those in the comments behaving inappropriately or attacking Frost, knock it off. The man has done more for hunters with his little pinky than any of the rest of you have done. Show some respect.

    Thanks for the article on this. I was not a big proponent of removing auto targeting, specifically because of the AOE situation. I’m also the RL, so I have enough on my plate calling things out and directing the raid to worry about how much health that particular parasite has before firing off my mutlishot (oh crap, it died again). This really screwed me up on adds until I macroed a solution for it.

    I may be the only one, but I sure miss volley at times.

    • Crossfire says:

      I use mouseover macros for Multi-shot, which solves this problem another way. I can generally just hover the mouse in an area over the offending trash mobs and spam multishot and it’ll shoot just fine. I don’t mind selecting bosses with a click, but trash/multiple adds…no thanks.

      Going after Frostheim is pretty rude, I think the guys above have probably said enough on the topic, but I mean, really, you’re going to insult the guy writing the best hunter blog out there?

    • Gandyy says:

      Well stated Boom .
      Nobody said you HAVE to use any of the macros posted , it is nice to have the option though .
      As far as Frost (and WHU ) in general go , I have referred numerous hunters that were having issues with just about anything “hunter related ” to this site and have only recieved thanks for doing so . Personally I have derived great benefit from the info gathered on this site as well .

      • Gandyy says:

        I will definitely add this macro to my extremely small list , especially on multishot.

    • Karabelle says:

      I SO miss volley too. It’s not that I don’t like multi-shot …. I just don’t like that the “aoe” shot requires a single target. Given you’re using the shot in mobs that have low health and can, and usually do, die and make the shot fail, needing a single target rather than targeting an area (the way volley worked) is problematic. I would love to see the need for a single target to go away. Thankfully, however, the tab button is conveniently just in reach of my pinky.
      I do not miss auto-target, not one bit. No, it wasn’t causing me problems all the time but I would be fibbing if I said it never did. There were a few times I was in aspect of the fox and couldn’t move to interrupt a steady shot or I hit arcane twice too quickly and boom, stray shot on something I had no intentions of targeting. No it didn’t happen a lot, but once is once too many when you have 4 other people in your group.

  13. Kirk says:

    Thanks for the macro, Frost. I’ll add it to my button bar for those situations where I do want to resume autoshooting.

  14. Tee says:

    I’m a long time hunter and reader of this site and I’ve benefited greatly from the info Frost provides. However I also enjoy the comments both in favor and against what Frost writes in his blog entries. I’m sure Frost is a big boy and he can defend himself or delete the posts if he finds them offensive or over the top. But I see another readers attacking Kayko for expressing what I’m sure many other people agree with. Frost does come across as an “elitist” (kind of) in his post and blizzard did NOT fix the issue at hand. I also think this site is way better than the official blizzard forums and hunters come here to see this kind of arguments that imo help everyone.

    Frost you are great and I listen to your podcasts and hate when you are not there.

  15. Myethia says:

    Has anyone else noticed that it feels like tab targeting has a shorter range than the pre 4.1 autotarget?

  16. Brad Botanel says:

    Thanks for the solution Frost, but I have no more macro slots on my main hunter anymore. For my play-style, I had to create NINE new macros for all my base shots for SV and MM. Honestly, that’s downright ridiculous.

  17. Brad Botanel says:

    Okay, I just reread your post and I have to counter something. You say “auto-targeting problems” as if there was more than one problem. Well, there was only ever one auto-targeting problem and it was that the game would select a new target for us when our current target died in the middle of a cobra/steady shot cast. This bug in-itself isn’t too bad. It’s the addition of an auto-shot bug layered on top that causes the most grief. See, even though the cobra/steady wouldn’t fire on the new target our auto-shot would even if we have Stop Auto-attack selected in the Combat Options.

    Hmm.. As it stands right now, the Stop Auto-attack option does absolutely nothing now that we have to deliberately select our target, but I wonder how that setting affects the /startattack section of the macro you suggest Frost. Maybe some testing is in order.

    • Frostheim says:

      There were two problems… and you listed them both : )

      1. When target died mid-cast, the game auto-targeted and fired at a new mob.
      2. When a mob died and you were spamming shots, the game auto-targeted a new mob and kept your auto-shot turned on.

      These were the two problems we had. The second one affected more people; however, was also *somewhat* solved by the turn off auto-attack (not entirely, ’cause some people hit a shot twice in their spamming, which then fired.

  18. 13thirtyone says:

    after reading all the comments, i can’t help but think that people are knit-picking this post.

    What matters to me is the auto targeting change helps me from pulling mobs inadvertently. This is a FIX, not a BUG. Because we do have a real problem with this before, even though if you’re careful, you won’t be in this situation.

    But some people say, I want to be able to play like I can before the change.
    Now, with the simple macro suggested by Frostheim (HAIL!!), we can go back to where we are with more controls because we can assign the macro ONLY to shots that we want to behave that way (cue: multishot for lava parasites and fested blood)

    case closed.

    Thanks again to Frostheim for posting this information.

    • sheppo says:

      “Because we do have a real problem with this before”

      that’s subjective. I know it was a problem for a lot of hunters, but i genuinely think it was a case of the vocal minority that saw this change pushed through. However, since the patch, un-macro’d it was very frustrating trying to AoE on certain encounters, nigh on impossible in fact.

      What troubles me is that this seems to counter the recent blizzard stance of making the game simpler and more intuitive, not more complex to the point where the only way to return to a similar behaviour – and therefore be as effective a hunter as pre 4.1 would be to use macros. Up until this point i was macro-free, because i prided myself in my ability. Sadly, i’ve had to give in to the dark side to be as effective in raids.

      A toggle option would have been nice, and welcomed by as many people that welcomed the actual 4.1 auto-targeting change

  19. GTyoungblood says:

    LMAO… ah, yes. So it seems I be somewha’ in two camps. I was early on, in with the bunch crying, ‘OI! Why do I keep pulling unwanted mobs’? And searched nare an far for a macro solution, found it, and all was bunny again.

    Then come the patch. ‘WTF? Why canna I use multi-shot? Wha’s goin on?’ Of course multi-shot no longer aquired its target on its own. I did find that very frustrating.

    So I do see both sides of this. I just think its better that WE HUNTERS should pick our targets ourselves, and not leave it to random chance. After all, if ya’ saying I should be paying more attention to my target, and knowin when its gonna die to hold off on that long cast shot, so as to avoid this issue, then by that same logic someone can pay enough attention to the same mob, and know when its about to die, and hit TAB when it does so you DO ACQUIRE a new target when it dies. Who knows? Maybe you TAB targeting could target a better target than the auto select feature?

  20. GTyoungblood says:


    I don’t know how many times the auto targeting put me on a target that was about to die soon too. Leaving me with maybe getting one shot in as it dies (most often, would hve dies 1 second later without me anyway), getting another target, only to do the same thing. When TAB cycling through the available targets would allow me to land on a target that REALLY needed my attention. I could get there several seconds faster on my own. (I hate having mobs health bars showing above their heads. The default game graphic for that is huge, obstructive, and ugly. Any addon suggestions to show all targets health, in a sublime way?)

  21. Yuii says:

    First of all, hi to everyone, and excuse me for my writing errors, but english is not my native language. I’ve visiting this site since long ago, but never had the need to register, as all my questions and doubts where perfectly answered for all of you, but everything comes sooner or latter, so let me joing you to this great site.

    And here my doubt/question goes: Is there a way to change this macro or a new one to avoid attaking with the first click? I mean, with the first click, set an objetctive, and with the second, attack it.

    I never had too many issues with the old way “autotarget” worked, but I can not say I NEVER had one, because I did. I’ve trying the macro Frost suggest, and I’m afraid I could now have much more problems in dungeons and other specific situations, and that’s the “why” for my question.

    Thanks beforehand to all of you, and have a nice day.

    • Yuii says:

      I’ve been visiting**

    • BabbaLouie says:

      If you just want to spam a button to target something, you can add the macro to Hunter’s Mark.

      • Yuii says:

        Thanks for your answer. If I wanted so, I would have said so. What I would like, is to have a button for each atack (arcane, chimera, multi…) that allowed me to first, get a target, and second, once I’m shure is the target I want to attack, click it again and attack it, like it worked before the patch (I think, at least for me and the way I play, it’s the fastest way to get a target and then, attack it). For your proposition, I think it would be enought a macro like /targetenemy, because maybe, like you say it, it just would put hunter’s mark, and instantly, attack the target seleccted, giving you not choice to not attack the target. Thanks anyway.

  22. hillbillyhatfield says:

    You know it’s ok to be mad and not bend over and let bliz have it’s way every time they frig something up. I know you can not fix it frost, but you are heard more than any other hunter out there. I bet if bliz took all the pet attacks away except for there special, you would be praising them that it is a great idea. cuts down on managing the pet. Being a fan boy is one thing, but on everything and every change. It’s getting real old real fast.

    You might as well add pet attack to that micro. Since most of my shots have that micro already. They should have added a switch in interface to turn off auto attack and fixed the problem. Instead, I have to fix the problem that bliz made with a macro.

    • Frostheim says:

      I think we also disagree on whether they messed something up. I think that removing auto-targeting as a default will help more than it will hurt. I think too many hunters don’t pay attention to what they’re targeting, and the few who use attack auto-targeting with precision facing to target exactly what they intended are a small minority.

      So by default you have to target what you’re going to shoot. If you don’t want to, there’s a macro workaround that lets you still autotarget. To me, this is a good move.

      Honestly, I wonder if maybe it’s not a sign of how improved our class is that these are the things people are complaining about these days. Though… we still have minimum range, and pet debuff auto-cast issues, and no pet collars or dual-wielded pistols.

      • Tee says:

        “I think too many hunters don’t pay attention to what they’re targeting, and the few who use attack auto-targeting with precision facing to target exactly what they intended are a small minority.”

        I think the exact opposite. I believe most people used the attack auto-targeting correctly and a the few were the facerollers.

  23. Gzr says:

    As long As I’ve been playing the game, autotarget was active and didn’t inadvertently fire at other mobs when the target died.
    Cataclysm broke/fixed that mechanic depending upon your viewpoint.

    It seems like the discussions are oriented towards either having the initial Cataclysm mechanic or the recently patched mechanic.

    Why aren’t we talking about reverting it to the way it worked in Vanilla, BC, and WotLK?

  24. Armin says:

    It is indeed the other way around: Because people wanted to mash buttons and auto-acquire targets, they introduced this fix.

    In the past (before somewheer in cata) it would autoselect BUT NOT ATTACK, untill you asked it to attack again. I’ve used this feature for years with great joy.

    Only later they broke this. The current patch is a patch needed for facerollers, and only then because they broke the old behaviour.

    Then at least have the old behaviour back: autoselect the target.

  25. Sneslegend says:

    New to the site. Already a big fan.

    During Lich I was a Utility Spec, who stayed on the Tank’s tail through dungeons (I was told by so many players they thought I was a rogue), misdirecting, letting off explosive traps and spamming volley, even on Bosses.

    With the release of Cata, It forced me to learn a rotation. I never had any issues with pulling outside mobs from the group because I still misdirect on the tank and focus his/her target. The Autoshot/Targeting with Facerolling over your shots should have only gone wrong (acquiring out of combat mobs) if you continue to spam after the targets dead.

    I miss the old way. But getting used to this new one. Haven’t used macros yet.

    For your Multishot issues, why not hit tab, click Multi, repeat etc etc. It’s not like you have enough Focus to cast Multi more then a couple times anyway unless you have rapid killing and get some.

  26. Garlass says:

    I’ve tested this macro on multishot last night and its working just fine. AOE dps is back to where it was. even added it to my cobra to make sure I could cast my regen focus shot all the time.
    Many thanks Frost to have publish this.

  27. SillySam says:

    I can only see macroing this into multishot as being useful. I relied heavy on the spamming of my keys to acquire a new target. Not only was that dangerous but super sloppy. I am finally getting my fingers trained to use tab and I love it! I have much more control over who I target and now that tab is in my rotation so to speak I have a lot less broken steady shots and much better dps. Oh and I have yet to accidentally pull a mob which is awesome, because zg/za are so very unforgiving!!

  28. Nami says:

    Here’s a macro closer to how it worked before the patch. Pressing the button once will acquire a new target (if you have none or if the current one is dead) and pressing it again will cast the shot.

    #showtooltip Arcane Shot
    /cast [harm] Arcane Shot
    /targetenemy [noharm][dead][noexists]

    Hopefully this will help some people :)

  29. wastheretellinu says:

    As I didn’t liked autotargeting changes after last patch I writed macros for all shots as follow:
    /targetenemy [noharm]
    /cast Arcane Shot

    Very nice and usefull. Happy hunting. (: