Hunter ammunition used to be much more involved. We had ammo pouches and quivers for "shot" and "arrows". There were leatherworking plans for pouches and quivers. There were epic quests for them and extremely rare mobs with rare drops. We carried stacks and stacks of ammo in these bags (and in normal bags). When we ran out of the ammo our abilities would go red. We'd experience a WTF? moment and then realize we were idiots and hadn't stocked up. We bought ammo from vendors. We got special stuff as drops. We crafted it. We paid good money to engineers with good ammo plans to craft stacks and stacks of it. You see, if you didn't use the best ammo then you didn't do the best damage.
Then one day we didn't need ammo. It comes free with the weapon and the damage is baked in. It is a Good Thing. But with all forms of simplification, we lost some flavor.
Hunter aspects in the past had some variations and utility while in combat. Aspects in early 5.x had Fox, but that was thankfully redesigned. The current state of hunter aspects is poor. A couple weeks ago I suggested how to make Hunter aspects great again. I put plenty of disadvantages to counter-balance the advantages of using a particular aspect. But I wrote it in one sitting so it isn't a work of perfection. I do still absolutely love some of the ideas. The post also has a lot of the background and history of hunter aspects.
This current post takes the concept of aspects and morphs it into a totally different direction. Here's the thinking: "Hunters don't have stances. Hunters don't have forms. Hunters don't have magical aspects. Hunters have different types of ammunition that they can use in different situations."
Manual selection is required. A hunter should be able to flip to a different type of ammo, but there should be a three second cooldown on being able to do that. They shouldn't want to macro it into shots because math says this type of attack should this type of ammo. It takes time to make that swap. "Twisting" should be discouraged.
Each hunter specialization should open up a different type of ammunition that is only usable by that specialization.
Not all hunter abilities use ammunition. Many abilities and talents do not. All abilities which use ammunition require a primary target, including normal hunter AoE abilities. Ammunition is available in all projectile forms: arrows, crossbow bolts, and rifle shot. Each type of ammunition becomes available at different hunter experience levels. Ammunition does not exist as a object to loot, craft, or purchase, but it is selected as if it is an aspect.
Ammunition Type Examples
Below are examples of ammunition with example damage values. Each ability which does use ammunition has a normal damage component and a special ammunition damage/effect component based on the ammunition type in use. For instance, Arcane Shot currently is "an instant shot that causes 125% weapon damage plus 2306 as Arcane damage". In the new world, Arcane Shot would be "an instant shot that causes 100% weapon damage plus...".
Effect: +30% shot damage ("white damage")
Effect: +15% shot damage as poison and applies one poison effect to the targeted creature with 2% shot damage as poison every two seconds for six seconds. Can stack to five. Only affects creatures subject to poison.
Effect: and 20% shot damage to additional creatures within 10 yards of the targeted creature.
Effect: +30% shot damage and a 10% bleed over six seconds, but is 50% less effective against armor. The bleed can stack to five.
Requirement: Beastmaster Hunter
Effect: +25% shot damage that avoids half of all armor.
Requirement: Marksman Hunter
Effect: and 15% fire damage to all targets within 15 yards of the targeted creature over 10 seconds.
Requirement: Survival Hunter
Examples of Ammunition That Don't Work
It is worth mentioning what I do not think should be used as a type of ammunition.
Effect: drain mana on every shot
Why: We had this as a spell in-game long ago. It is more appropriate as a single spell ability. It would be overpowered in PvP.
Effect: reduce a target's ability to hit
Why: We had this as a spell in-game long ago. It is more appropriate as a single spell ability. It would might be overpowered in PvP.
Effect: do little damage but slow with every shot
Why: Shooting bean bags isn't great against monsters. And we have Concussion Shot as a single spell ability already. And it would not be appropriate in PvP.
Effect: damage and apply a mortal strike with every shot
Why: This would be overpowered in PvP.
Effect: damage in an AoE effect or apply a trap on a single target
Why: These would be a lot of fun, but difficult to explain. They do exist in the real world for crossbows and shotguns.
Effect: apply a conical dragon fire effect up to your target and it expodes.
Why: We're hunters not fire mages. And yes, some crazy people have these in the real world.
Examples of Ammunition Glyphs
Major Glyph of Speed Load
Effect: 30% Haste effect but approximately 30% less damaging shots.
Why: Some situations require a fast hunter.
Minor Glyph of Tracer Shots
Effect: Every fifth shot has a trailing tracer; a bright burning tail following the projectile toward its target.
Why: Style and commanding main assist visual surpassing the tame Hunter's Mark. As in real life these can be applied to any form of ammunition.