However, there's been a notable chirping cricket sound in regards to runekeepers ... to the point where the RK forums have reached the flopsweat paranoia stage of speculation on the subject. The general consensus seems to be "They're not telling us anything because it's gonna be a HUGE NERF!!!" *dramatic chipmunk clip here*
Now, some of this is no doubt the usual forum QQ that goes with any MMO release. But it's also true that there sometimes seems to be a big disconnect in what the devs want out of a class and what the people who play it actually want (just go to the warden forums for evidence of that), and that communication between the devs and players isn't always the best. I can't imagine Turbine wanting to screw over the players of any class (I mean rally, why even include a class in the game if you hate it, right?), but I can (and have) seen them effectively do just that without meaning to. So a certain amount of concern is natural.
Insofar as I've just started playing the RK and she's not even level 50 yet, major changes in the class are not likely to have a lot of impact on me unless they make it hard to get the character into a group. My warden already has to put up with a lot of being treated as a second-class citizen by people in the kinship who seem to think the game should pretty much have stopped at Hunter + Minstrel + Guardian, I really don't want to have to put up with that junk about another character.
On the other hand, from what I've seen, I really can't see any justification for a nerf in the class. As a dual-role class, it is true that they can stand in for a hunter or a minstrel, but it's not like they can fill both roles at once -- nor are they obviously superior than any other classes in either role. And given the way the captain is being buffed to give them more flexibility in their role, I don't see how the RK's ability to switch-hit is any kind of a problem. I'm told that RKs are perceived as less-effective healers than minstrels anyway, but about on-par with hunters for ranged DPS. Well, that's working as intended, isn't it? If anything, it sounds to me like the RK should get a healing buff, not a nerf.
As I say, though, this is all rumor, apparently based on a) the assumption that "they aren't saying anything = they're going to smack us" and b) some NDA-breaking stuff that was leaked from the beta and immediately yanked before it could be analyzed properly.
Now, I may or may not have been invited to the beta, I won't say, but I don't have time to participate in it either way if I'm going to get my lil' RK up to par on the live server before the actual release anyway. So it's not like I can just go and find out for myself. And so I find myself watching, waiting, and wondering just like the rest of the RK forum folk. I'm hoping that it's not a disaster -- I like my RK and don't want to end up shelving her because she's been rendered unplayable -- but until Turbine actually says something all I've got to go on is the hope that it will be fine, which given the track record of past releases, is a twitchy hope at best.