Hunters of all specs, and particularly Beastmaster, are doing too much damage in PvE.
We tested this a lot internally in beta and knew hunters were high but we hoped other classes would be able to catch up in a way they have as yet been unable to do. We want to be careful not to hurt hunter dps too much in PvP, so we’re taking most of the damage out of Steady Shot and Volley. Beastmaster hunters are in addition losing some of their pet dps. We still want BMs to have the best pets, but pet dps numbers are a little high at the moment. We are also still concerned about hunter survivability in PvP and taking the opportunity to jazz up Deterrence into something that looks and plays a little more interesting.
These are not all of the changes we are working on for hunters, but those changes we feel are ready for testing. We hope to get these changes up on the PTR so players will have a chance to test them out and respond before they go live.
Steady Shot – now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).
Volley – reduced the damage by about 30% for all ranks. Note that AE damage from many classes is very high right now and we are looking at all of them. Volley in particular had reached the point where some hunters were using it to the exclusion of most other attacks.
Readiness – no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.
Deterrence – has been completely overhauled. It now allows you to deflect 100% of incoming melee or spell damage for 5 seconds, but prevents you from attacking while active. You still must be facing the attacker to deflect the damage (this is a limitation we are trying and might end up removing). 60 sec cooldown.
Kill Shot – cooldown reduced to 15 sec (from 35 sec).
Kindrid Spirits – now only grants 3/6/9/12/15% pet damage.
Serpent’s Swiftness – now only grants 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to pet.
All hunter pet abilities with a cooldown longer than 30 sec have been moved off the global cooldown.
Growl— threat generation increased by 20% (same for Voidwalker Torment).
Call of the Wild – now benefits only the hunter and his or her pet.
Rake and Scorpid Poison – slightly nerfed to bring them into line with other pet abilities.
Spirit Strike – reduced the period on the dot so it will work better with Longevity.
Improved Tracking – now benefits damage to all included creature types as long as you are tracking one of them. You don’t have to swap around what you are tracking as much.
Aspect of the Wild – now raid-wide.
I did say these are not all the hunter changes we're working on. Some we haven't quite worked out yet and others (one exciting one in particular concerning ammo) won't be ready until Ulduar or so.
We think MM was too high and BM was way too high. Survival is probably a little low. We are looking at buffing Survival, possibly through Explosive Shot, but we haven't finalized that yet.
The Deterrence change is defintely something we'll need to see in action on the PTR.
I don't want to do a disservice to all the good PvP feedback by attempting to boil it down too much. However, in general a lot of hunters were concerned about being able to do damage as much as they were concerned about being able to survive damage. We don't expect the Deterrence change to solve the former problem obviously. We're still working on that one, but we wanted to go ahead and announce what changes we have now so that you guys can be chewing on them.
Nerfing classes is never fun. It means that our initial tests and estimates didn't play out in the real world, which is a failing on our part, not anything the players did wrong. While buffing is a lot more fun, we think we'd get to crazy land too quickly by trying to make current BM dps the new benchmark. That would mean touching virtually every other class and spec as well as many encounters. While it might produce more positive PR in the short-term, it's a ton more work in the long-term that we would rather spend on new content or other problem areas.
Also, the sky is not falling. We're posting here so we can get feedback. Threats of rerolling or that sort of melodrama aren't really giving us any information we need. I can understand while you might want to vent a little bit, but posts with nothing but QQ aren't helpful.