From 2004 to 2009, I've played a hunter in World of Warcraft. Not only that, I've played the same hunter I rolled on day one. I did not play in the beta where hunters did not have mana. For some reason they couldn't seem to make it work right and they launched hunters with mana. So for five years, I've balanced the need to dps with the need to manage mana while weaving shots and watching cool downs.
Hunters are what we are. We are sustained ranged dps. I almost said "sustained ranged physical dps". Damage type is beside the point. Or at least it should be. We are not ranged rogues any more than rogues are melee hunters.
Rogues don't manage mana or watch cooldowns (at least like we watch our cooldowns). We don't have combo points or even watch our pet focus. Skipping the stigma of a melee hunter, why are we being made into ranged rogues instead of rogues being made into melee hunters?
So we are headed for a massive re-design from the ground up. It's not clear what it is based on. Maybe it's based on a failed initial effort five years ago to have hunters not use mana. But we know that everything about us will change. I'm not talking about every stat on our gear. I'm not talking about set bonuses. I'm not talking about the glyphs. I'm not even talking about every talent in all three talent trees. I'm talking about how we fundamentally go about dealing damage with our hunters.
Can Blizzard pull it off? Is this a good and exciting idea? That's the easy question to answer. Everyone knows that they can not make it work and it probably isn't the best use of Blizzard's time. Well, everyone except those at wow.com. I doubt they can do hunters in a year given that; a) they couldn't figure out how make ammo no longer consumed, b) they spent six months balancing and re-balancing hunter talent trees, c) they couldn't figure out how to make it work when things were much simplier back in the beta.
If Blizzard wants to re-invent a nicely balanced perfectly functional existing class from the ground up, why wouldn't they want to instead spend their time inventing a new class from the ground up?.. their second hero class. The thing everyone wants. The Bard? The Demon Hunter? The "fun" healer. There are many forum threads since DKs came out with lists of possible hero classes. Why fix something that doesn't need fixing when they can make something brand new with the same effort?
EDITED TO ADD:
I wrote the above other day and queued it for release this morning. Of course last night Blizzard fell on their face again. Half our guild spent 30mins in vent complaining that our realm was listed as "offline" after login. The other half was online in our realm. Fun eh?
Well, add to that some people having 2500ms+ latency (myself included until I zoned into an instance where it returned to normal). So we had to call the raid.
Then I join a heroic daily and what should happen? I DC. I try to log back in and I can't even get past the "Connecting" part of the login.
I went to their support forums and they were down. (Although advertisements on their main site worked fine.)
Ah! This inspires confidence.