PvP/WvW centric take on Sword Changes:
Sword has always been a utility weapon, chosen for mobility and evades. The upcoming balance changes nerf both of these properties and leave sword in exactly the same position but with decreased effectiveness.
Increasing the cooldown on HS means that sword offers less evade time, and less mobility, cornerstones of why sword is selected at all.
Putting SS behind Monarch's makes the skill almost useless for the two reasons:
Since release, there has never been a serious build that relied on mainhand sword to do damage. Sword has always been taken for its utility in mobility and evades, and paired with a warhorn to assist damage in the other weaponset, or dagger to increase overall defence.
Therefore, given that these changes:
I would argue that these changes are a direct nerf to mainhand sword.
In the patch notes, Anet states their intentions are "to increase the flow of sword in combat and make the skills easier to understand" however I fail to see how these changes achieve that.
After these changes, sword will remain a utility weapon, albeit with far less utility than it has now. It will have mobility abilities split across two buttons, and Rangers will be forced to Monarch's Leap at suboptimal times purely to get access to an important evade.
What these changes will achieve is increasing the uptake in greatsword (and by extension longbow), and harming the already almost non-existent Ranger build diversity.
For these reasons, I'd like Anet to reconsider pushing these changes or at least provide some sort of additional change to offset the loss if utility in the weapon (adding a short evade frame to Monarch's, or changing the cooldown of HS to a more manageable 10 seconds)
I'd be very interested in hearing what you ladies and gents think of these changes in the context of PvP/WvW roaming, and whether you think these changes will achieve Anet's intentions.