Since I am at present staying at my in-laws house, I am playing on a rather low end machine - I get around 30fps at minimum settings ( /sigh ) . It also has a wierd keyboard ( HCL Office 8500 ) and for some reason I am not able to get screenshots to help in this guide. Anyways here goes.
Once you hit level 80 - the max level in WoW, the options open up to you for Heroic Dungeons and Raids . These enable you to vanquish tougher bosses and get some nice loot , apart from the Badges of Heroism. However, as a DPS unit ( Hunter, Warlock, Mage , cat/moonkin druid, rogue, Enh/Ele shaman, Fury Warrior etc), your role in the group is to burn down the Boss fast. That means that you need to do massive amounts of damage. Therein lies the problem. Up till now, you have been working hard at levelling your character , and things like increasing dps was not something that you have worked on really. So, suddenly you are doing a Dungeon run, and while others show a 2000+ dps, you are stuck at around 1000dps. How embarrasing. And you have no idea what to do.
I am in the same boat. And I hope my experiments help you to. Keep in mind, I am a n00b raider - and it will show :)
The first thing was that after multiple wipes at EoE , and having dps lower than even the Tank, I started to look at how to do up my DPS. Off I went to IronForge ( if you are Horde, go to Orig or any city) and started to work on the target dummies to check how much is my dps. As the mana bar depleted , the values shown in Recount was approx 1300 ( which reads - just below 1300). Not bad, but not good either.
The first thing I did after this was to change my spec from a BeastMaster hunter to a Survival Hunter. I used the spec which BigRedKitty uses.
2nd round at the dummies. Woah ! Crossed the 1500 barrier - just about .
Next I headed over to Elitist Jerks. These guys do a lot of number crunching on almost each class and spec and try to figure out whats the best way to go forward. Also I did an audit on my character using Be Imba , a website which checks your gear and tells you the most common things missing. In my case it is the jewels missing from a few sockets , and enchants. Looked up EJ for what gems I needed. Spent a small fortune at the Auction House and got all the sockets gemmed , including the socket created using an Eternal Belt Buckle ( which adds a socket to the belt item - I did not even knew this happened !) . Also a quick trip to Dalaran and I exchanged the badges I had got by running UK and Nexus for a Hand slot item ( I had 61 badges! ) .
Back to IF. change in shot rotation. Started killing the target dummy.
Woah ! Spiked to 1900 before averaging out at 1700 dps !
A 400 dps jump in a Day ! Wonderful.
Decided to jump in and test it with a heroic. Today's daily was HoL and pugged it with other guys. Sure we had a couple of wipes, but in the end, got Loken with 2 achievements under the belt :