@Caecus: Good points all around, and I agree with most of what you said. However, I do have to respectfully disagree with you on one point. With the combination of the status effect update and the stat cap increase, anything other than pure builds have been severely nerfed, and I would say crippled.
In the PSA: Dexterity thread, there has been some talk of this already. But basically, the staff want to change DEX because right now it's pretty much required for all builds, unlike any other stat, due to it being the main source of accuracy and defense. I know that the stat cap thing is unrelated to that, but the fact that the rolled out the cap increase without giving us more stat point effectively forces everyone to go with MainStat+DEX at 250 for maximum effectiveness. That only leaves one remaining stat to put points into, whereas before we could max out three and still have a fourth at 3/4 effectiveness. So yes, Beasmasters are now forced to go MainStat/DEX/CHA rather than MainStat/DEX/CHA+LUK or END for extra damage/initiative or survivability. So yes, Beastmasters have been severely nerfed. They now have no LUK, so they cannot go first and deal way less damage, and they can't even take the extra HP to make up for that fact. You can no longer play what was termed the "annihilator" build in the build guides at all. You could go FD Beastmaster, but you won't have the extra HP to help you with tanking. You could try to go MainStat/CHA/LUK, but you'll never hit anything and you won't be able to block anymore. So yes, all the Beastmaster builds have been ruined with these updates. This basically applies to all hybrids and pretty much any non-pure build at the moment.
In my humble and very respectful opinion, I really do think that the stat cap increase was a bad idea. At the very least, if they were planning on changing how stats work in general, they should have waited until they figured that out before changing how everyone has to play the game. To be fair, Kaelin seemed to be listening to feedback in the PSA thread, and even said at one point that they might balance the monsters without expecting everyone to have three stats at 250. But their explanations for why the staff did what they did boiled down to "we just think that three stats are better than four, no one liked that fourth stat anyway," and "Having three stats instead of four will somehow increase build options." I'm heavily paraphrasing here, of course. But you can go and read the thread to get the full view of the conversation. Needless to say, I strongly disagree with both of those points. Yes, booster pet players may have viewed having to pick CHA or END as a "dump stat" as annoying, but those "dump stats" were the reason builds like beastmasters were popular alternatives to booster builds in the first place.
I don't understand why that staff doesn't seem to get that the game does NOT need to be balanced entirely around the use of Poe/Dun/Thern! They're premium items, they're SUPPOSED to be powerful. Everyone complaining that the players who choose to use them kill stuff faster just needs to stop. As long as there are other viable, fun, and effective alternative builds out there, I DO NOT CARE if a Poe mage can kill something a turn or two faster than my BeastMage. The only time I can see such complaints becoming more valid are during wars, where booster builds dominate the top warmonger lists and everyone else wishes they could get those sweet rewards for the top 25. But that's another conversation entirely. I've played a BeastMage for a long time, and it is quite frustrating to see all these changes get rolled out seemingly with little thought as to what would actually happen as a result. IMR's statement of "Monsters often have 275 in a stat, and your 250 cap is closer to that now" seems to be the only explanation as to how the staff seemed to think that these changes would be good for the players. But what's actually happened is that only pure builds have been buffed, all other builds have been hamstrung.
So yes, all in all I do think that Beasmasters have been taken out of the picture for now, along with anything other than pure warrior/mage/ranger. I do think that the stat cap thing should be rolled back and a serious conversation take place on what type of changes would actually be good for the players. And I do think that if we bring these issues to the attention of the staff, they will listen and try to work things out for the best. 2018 was one of the best years in AQ history for staff/player cooperation, so I have faith that we can resolve this problem.