No longer will abilities like bestial wrath be reset. I've used to to double dip while in survival as well for an extra explosive, beast and glaive toss or to apply a second black arrow to another target, even fishing for the triple kill shot if it so worked out that way.
Readiness now finishes the cooldowns on Rapid Fire, Feign Death, Deterrence, Disengage, and Camouflage when activated (was all Hunter abilities with a base cooldown of less than 5 minutes).
Not matter how you look at it, readiness gave us more buttons to press and probably one of the reasons for the bloat feeling was the readiness issue. Not only did we have a huge array of abilities we must hit in order to get to our maximum potential but with all the priorities and timing concerns made the use of readiness part of the reason we felt extremely bloated at the front end of our rotation. More so for beast mastery than any other spec but it did effect them all in some way.
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying the change by itself is great because on paper if you think of that change alone it is not only a nerf but it is huge nerf. One of monumental proportions. For beast mastery it could be the difference between bursting for 600K or 400K. That is a 1/3 damage difference and if you do not consider that huge you probably aren't one of the people that was using readiness correctly. I do think this is more of PvP change once again but this is a change this PvE player can embrace.
I can embrace it with conditions of course. Not just straight out. Like I said, straight out it is a major nerf. As in enough of a nerf that I could see many hunters riding the bench if this is not balanced elsewhere by buffing some other abilities.
And that is why I ask if this is really a blessing in disguise. Without readiness it could be a little easier to balance the three specs. Beast mastery got the most of out readiness, survival much less so but still some and marksmen got the least out of it. It could be a blessing as it could be easier to get all three specs in line with one another.
It could also be a blessing in disguise because now that it does not reset offensive cooldowns (with the exception of rapid fire) it means that they can adjust our signature abilities a little higher upwards to compensate for the loss of that ability. This would greatly boost the concept that these are indeed signature abilities. One of the largest complaints, and rightfully so, of hunters is that our signature shots do not feel powerful enough to feel like signature shots. However, the effect was not so huge that we would see any major boost to the signature shots, but it should mean we do seem some boost to them.
Now to see how blizzard chooses to follow this up and how long it takes them to make the appropriate adjustments.
Lets hope that the people at blizzard are not as clueless about hunters as it seems Taepsilum on the UK forums is when he says...
We just need to make sure that this isn’t one of those cases where something was so overpowered that its removal means we have to buff it somewhere else to keep everything in balance.
Is being clueless a requirement to work for blizzard? Let me explain to him.
Yes, readiness was extremely over powered and was huge for beast mastery and helped somewhat as well with the other specs even if not as much. Yes, removing anything that was a solid DPS boost will require adjusting something else unless you are just trying to lower over all DPS.
How could you think that removing something overpowered, your words, would not need compensation elsewhere? Of course it would need compensation else where. There is nothing to "make sure" about.
If you removed ascendance from a shaman don't you think you would need to compensate for it if you want to keep overall damage roughly the same? If you doubled the rage cost of execute for a warrior don't you think you would have to compensate for it elsewhere to keep overall damage roughly the same? If you remove something that effects DPS in a negative manner don't you think you would need to compensate for it elsewhere?
The only thing blizzard needs to "make sure" about is that they "make sure" to give some sort of adjustment to hunters elsewhere to cover for the loss. Like I said, it would be minimal, maybe even as low as a 2% boss to our signature shots, but if they want to keep things the same, they need to adjust for the loss of an offensive cooldown.
Losing readiness for a beast master hunter would be akin to losing tigers fury or berserk to a feral druid, losing vendetta to a assassination rogue, losing arcane power to an arcane mage, losing a solid DPS boosting ability for any DPS class.
I do believe it will be a blessing in disguise because we will no longer have that moment after hitting it where we feel like "OMG! I must hit everything as fast as possible". As long as we are compensated for the loss. Then it is a solid change. It is not a "must see" if we need to be adjusted. It is a "must do" some sort of adjustment. Don't listen to the blues that obviously do not understand that losing a DPS boosting ability might actually effect DPS.
There were a few other changes that deserve mentioning like black arrow and explosive trap no longer being on the same cooldown but explosive trap no longer triggering lock and load. That could have a big impact on how we play. I know it will change my survival AoE significantly. Will I fire a black arrow now instead of an extra multi shot? I had always fired a trap and used procs on my main focus during AoE. Will it be worth doing a black arrow? That is a reasonable question.
The spirit bond change is interesting as well. While it was my skill of choice while out questing and soloing by default mostly for a long time the change from 2% to 3% per 2 seconds is actually pretty large when compared to the loss of 5% damage reduction from ironhawk. Depending on the fights in SoO it is quite possible it also becomes my raid option of choice by default where ironhawk previously was.
Then there are some quality of life changes that I like. No longer needing line of sight to revive a dead pet is nice. Glyph of mend pet now having a 100% chance to cleanse our pet of anything is another nice little tidbit should you need it while soloing but has me wondering if that change was because we might be needing it or was it them just being nice to us with a little quality of life change. Wyvern sting being increased to 40 yards, like the rest of our spells, is also another nice change. Not like anyone would use it, but now that we lost our silencing shot option some might choose it and it is nice to see it in line with our other ranged abilities now.
Over all, as it has been since they started announcing 5.4 PTR stuff, there really isn't anything for hunters to be happy about. But there is one bright side to that. It is still early in the PTR and there will be a lot more changes to come and after being let down and felt nerfed, each and every time they announce anything, there is no place to go but up from here right? Nah, they will find a way to nerf us even more. I am sure of it.