At this point you can stop reading if you're a Hunter and just assume the worst. But if you want to see how you're getting nerfed to the ground, read on.
The rationale behind the changes is that Blizzard has been doing a lot of internal testing, along with the beta of WotLK, and has determined the other classes have not been able to keep up with the Hunter DPS output.
The list of nerfs is wide ranging. Volley nerfed by 30%. Steady Shot now gains 10% of Attack Power instead of 20%. Kindred Spirits has been nerfed by 25%. Readiness no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.
The list of changes is not exhaustive. Ghostcrawler makes a point to say that these are just the ones they feel are ready for testing. He hopes to see them up on the PTR before they go live.
The full 14 point list of changes after the break.
- Steady Shot – now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).
- Volley – reduced the damage by about 30% for all ranks.
- 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).
- Kindred 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.