The current state of Hunter aspects is meager. There is not a clear need for them. We have our Hawk/Iron hawk attack aspect and we have travel aspects that are not normally of any use during PvE or PvP encounters. We also have an aspect we can glyph for: Aspect of the Beast. It would be a fairly simple matter to get rid of aspects; Hawk could be our default baked-in state and the remaining travel "aspects" could just be spells. There isn't a need to toggle off Hawk while in a travel state. This makes me sad.
In the past, we had other aspects which made choosing an aspect meaningful. We had Aspect of the Fox. We had Aspect of the Wild. And long ago, we had Aspect of the Monkey. Aspect of the Wild provided a large amount of Nature resistance as an aura and had a PvE use in about 1/5th of boss encounters. Aspect of the Fox was short-lived. It allowed for casting many cast time spells on the move and provided greater focus regen. Aspect of the Fox wasn't successful as a design because people macro'd it into Steady Shot or Cobra Shot and then macro'd in a switch to Aspect of the Hawk before signature shots. This was a predictable automated form of "aspect twisting" and not in any way desirable, so it was retired and SS/CS were redesigned. Aspect of the Monkey was an early defensive CD hunters got long ago. You could flip to Monkey mode and it greatly increased your Dodge percentage.
I believe hunter aspects are an interesting part of being a hunter, but they should be meaningful again. I believe aspects should allow a hunter to make a choice in their gameplay that doesn't require a re-spec or re-glyph, and which can be chosen while in combat. I believe aspects shouldn't be something that is switched to often and should be a manual effort, such that they don't make sense to do within any form of rotation or regular activity. Generally, I believe hunters should want to be in their normal Hawk aspect because when they are not, they should not be able to do as much damage. Each hunter specialization should provide access to one unique aspect to increase specialization identity. Glyphs affecting aspects should be changed. Level 45 talents should be tailored to improve a particular aspect. Only one aspect can be active at any time. And finally to reduce aspect twisting, there should be a minimum three second cooldown on changing aspects.
Kheldul's New Hunter Aspect Dream Lineup
Hunter aspects can be great. Below, I start with the basics and work my way up to the specialization-specific aspects. Your comments and ideas are definitely welcome.
Aspect of the Pack
Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a pack of cheetahs, increasing movement speed by 30%. (No daze effect exists anymore.) Imposes a 3 second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Cheetah
Removed. (A personal travel aspect is no longer required.)
Aspect of the Hawk
The hunter takes on the aspects of a hawk, increasing ranged attack power by 35%. (Not being in this aspect will greatly diminish your damage output.) Imposes a 3 second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Prowl
The hunter takes on the aspects of a stealthy cat and becomes untrackable. (Previously known as the rarely used Aspect of the Beast.) Movement speed is reduced by 40%. If the hunter is under the effects of Camouflage, their movement is in stealth. (Folds a Glyph-for-only ability into a situational ability.) Imposes a 3 second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Spirit
The hunter takes on the aspects of the natural interdependent web of life, increasing his and his pet's health regeneration by an additional 2% every 2 seconds. Imposes a 3 second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Protector
Party and raid members within 15 yards of the hunter take on the protective aspects of the turtle, reducing damage taken by 20% but also reducing movement speed by 40%. This aspect may be used until canceled, but has an activation cooldown of two minutes and imposes a 3 second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Monkey
Available only to Survival hunters. The hunter takes on the aspects of a monkey, reducing the cooldown of Counter Shot by 12 seconds, increasing agility by 10%, and increasing dodge by a total of 10%. (The agility increase should always be worse than the Aspect of the Hawk RAP increase, including when under most proc effects.) Imposes a ten second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Beast
Available only to Beast Mastery hunters. The hunter loses themselves in their pet acting as one, taking on all aspects of the current pet, improving all forms of pet damage by 40%, and increasing run speed by 30%. If the pet dies, the hunter is stunned for five seconds. (The hunter mounts the pet like a vehicle and controls all pet abilities similar to the old spell Eyes of the Beast. Tenacity pet abilities like Taunt should work on bosses.) Imposes a ten second aspect-wide cooldown.
Aspect of the Eagle
Available only to Marksmanship hunters. The hunter takes on the aspects of an eagle, increasing ranged attack power by 50% but increasing all damage taken by 10%. (A glass cannon that will irritate theory-crafters.) Imposes a ten second aspect-wide cooldown.
Comments and ideas welcome!