Turhine are completely dropping ALL PRETENSE of lore appropriateness and the concept that RKs are masters of word and sign, using these tools to invoke the very real sensations of things that aren't physically happening except to those affected... which is a lore-friendly and completely sound concept, and which has always been the reasoning underneath what we see....
... In favour of saying that RKs are now -LITERALLY- more magically overt and potent than Gandalf ever was. Good going Turbine. Considering that Middle-earth Enterprises have withdrawn permissions from pretty much every other video-game in existence based on lore-breach and lore disrespect, and that LotRO is now, in fact, the only video-game that has active licence. Turbine has it until 2014 now, yes, but if THESE are the changes that are being made, it seems highly unlikely that middle-earth enterprises will renew it come that time, if they don't withdraw it beforehand. They're now owned by Warner... Warner, who say no problems with Battle for middle Earth, or Conquest, and happily allowed Ea and New Line (both of whom it owns) to trample the lore until they had their respective licenses denied.
Turbine is now the ONLY video-game company that still has permission to work in this domain, and they have it because they have always been very good and highly respectful with the lore. Warner, on the other hand, clearly couldn't give two figs... and have, in fact, been heavily warned by Middle-earth Enterprises in the past. This is just another franchise for them, and they'll happily run it into the ground for a good squeeze of cash, and then move on, and then No-One will have permission to work in this domain.
What I've seen and read of this update so far, what you've told us, reeks progressively more of non-turbine influence geared towards fast money and player movement, with absolute disregard to setting and lore as an important thing. It might generate a highly successful player turn over and margin for a while, but that doesn't mean it won't ultimately cause the death of the game. Having the license pulled over lore trampling will do that no matter how much profit you're making.
But I was responding the the RK Diary... where was I...
Let's move on to attunement. The concept that the play of words and atmosphere requires proper build-up to really take effect and be potent; the concept that the more into rhythm and flow the word-smith gets the more fierce or powerful effects they can truly evoke... the idea that, when fully invested into the atmospherics of harsh words, the arts of soothing are not going to come easily, and that the rk must balance out and re-steep themselves into a different manner and telling-cant to do that... this is the concept of what attunement represents. And you've just turned it into focus. Skills that can be used at any time, while attunement is built up and -spent- goes fiercely against the grain of the entire concept of attunement itself.
Keeping the swing intact: The swing is supposed to BE a choice, and an investment. That's the whole point. It doesn't sound like you've kept the swing intact at all; it sounds like you've abolished it entirely, because swinging itself will take less than a second or two, and have no consequence or required investment. Then, there's the problem of available skills: there seems little point in trying to swing one way or the other when you won't have enough skills to be even marginally useful in that other role any way. You say, "Oh, but you can fix that by investing in the other tree too!" Except that's a very flawed supposition to being with. For a levelling RK to be able to dps at an appropriate level to other main dps, they are, presumably, going to need to specialise just as much, which means, while levelling, no room for divergence. Same for healing; if they are to be able to primary heal at the same level as another main healer, while levelling, that same problem occurs. They might be able to swing their attunement in a heartbeat, but there'll be no point since they likely won't have any of the major attunement-affected skills available on the other side, by the sounds of what I'm reading.. and attunement itself, aside from those special effects, sounds like it only really can have an affect at all on the direction you picked for specialising.
So, lore-appropriateness pretences, ditched - check
The very basic CONCEPT of what attunement is and represents, ditched - check
The choices inherent in possessing mid-combat flexibility, ditched - check
Actual mid-combat flexibility, more or less ditched -check
So... exactly in what way are RKs Benefiting?
[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=white]Rider, Fighter, Virgin, Lover; Watcher, Chaser, Bearer of Pain.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=white]Victim tormented, Abused and Broken; Rise from the ashes and Hunt once again.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=white]And Vengeance Be Thy Oath. [/COLOR][/FONT]