Currently this skill rune provides:
After the patch it will do:
Here’s Blizzard’s explanation:
Preparation(Punishment) was creating less than ideal gameplay by encouraging the conversion of Discipline to direct DPS. The byproduct of this was Demon Hunters frequently finding themselves without their defensive or utility skills, often resulting in more frequent character death. To address this, we are reworking this rune to no longer cost Discipline, but have a 20 second cooldown.
While this change may initially seem severe, it has several major benefits we hope players will take the opportunity to explore and experiment with:
* All Discipline is now reserved for defensive and utility skills, encouraging Demon Hunters to take greater advantage of these skills.
* Nightstalker will feel less mandatory in conjunction with Punishment, freeing up a Passive slot in many builds.
* If you choose to keep Preparation (Punishment) in your build, the cooldown corresponds with roughly how long it would take to regenerate the appropriate amount of Discipline (unless you had a large amount of Resource Cost Reduction).
* Cooldown Reduction is now a more attractive stat, and this may open up new CDR-focused builds.
We know this changes builds and the gameplay pattern for some Demon Hunters. We’re also working hard to adjust other skills as well as introduce Legendary items both in this patch and constantly in the future in order to continue opening up new and exciting ways to play.
This change will soon be available on the PTR, and we hope that you will take the opportunity to try it out and let us know how it feels. We’re eager to hear your feedback on this and other changes coming in Patch 2.1.
The main users of this skill were Demon Hunters with CLUSTER BEAR where Hatred was instantly turned into huge damage output. I think Blizzard’s explanation is a little weak, as it stresses “for your own good getting your dumb self killed without Discipline.” That’s true of course, which is why this skill rune is much less popular in Hardcore, and I guess Bliz wanted to avoid the word “nerf!” The point about it incentivizing CDR buids is a good one, though.
Currently there’s little reason for any DH build to care about cooldown reduction, and while this change alone isn’t enough to make that matter, perhaps another unpopular skill or two could get a rune effect that was very powerful and limited by cooldown, to create a viable suite of DH abilities that worked best with something other than +fire skill damage?