As a hunter, I have a basic attack that will use my weapon for low damage every couple of seconds. I know that if I right click on a hostile, it will start, but are there any other ways to activate it?
Any ability you have that does damage to an enemy will also activate your autoattack, unless it specifically states in the tooltip that it "turns off your attack"; such abilities deactivate your autoattack.
If you want to be able to select targets without attacking them, go into your Interface > Controls options and turn off "Interact on Left Click". You can then left click an enemy to select it without attacking.
T key should do it.
What you are referring to is "auto attack"
Using a ability will start your auto attack.
Most of your shots will activate your Autoshot however some of your abilities won't. Especially Pet abilities like A murder of Crows, Stampede and Dire Beast will not start your Autoshot. For some reason Glaive Toss also doesn't start it which makes it an excellent pre-cast ability for Survival Hunters (Glaive Toss has a projectile speed of 18 y/s).
To start attacking a target you have 3 options: You can Right-click it, you can use an ability which triggers your autoshot or you can use a
/startattack macro. To turn off your autoattack simply use a
There's also some weird behavior with the
/stopcasting macros. Examples:
#showtooltip Disengage /stopcasting /cast Disengage
Will simply cause you to finish your cast without disengaging and stops your autoattack
#showtooltip Disengage /stopcasting /stopcasting /cast Disengage
Will instantly interrupt your cast and your will disengage while your autoattack remains active.
I have absolutely no Idea why stopcasting works that way and whether it's intentional or a bug (i guess it's considered a feature now) but it's something many hunters don't know.