The extensive nerfs for minions and minion builds in this update are to be expected, there aren't many new options and builds for characters and players. It's just that there are fewer features and a more limited variety of builds.
The general reduction in defense overall isn't particularly surprising, nor is it particularly popular, and the removal of the passive mastery of mana efficiency will also effectively weaken quite a few builds, players need to be aware of getting an impact from their gear. Inevitably spending POE Chaos Orbs.
Path of Exile's upcoming changes, low-cost builds will become less effective and less powerful, while more expensive builds that require more investment will function similarly or gain smaller gains. But most PoE players don't have time to accumulate a lot of Currency, even for an entire league.
Some fans are happy that overpowered skills and builds are getting the nerfs they deserve, even though the nerfs that were issued are okay, it's been a while since playing Path of Exile with the same meta, just with fewer options and the functionality is usually Less powerful builds don't sound particularly interesting.
Are these changes that bad?
More powerful than normal versions, especially very cheap ones, are being nerfed. Generally speaking, if a particular build takes advantage of unexpected mechanical synergies that you can only find through the build guide, it's going to outweigh everyone else who doesn't play this.
This is a particularly bad problem when you have cheap builds that can outperform more expensive builds, as it detracts from the player's time and doesn't incentivize the player to get better gear because they can cleverly use scaling instead. That's not particularly healthy for a game about gear and loot.
While players generally want balance because they want most builds to have roughly similar power levels if you're building a character in a reasonably intelligent way, they don't want the average build standard to be where one character is weak. Everything can be weak, which will still leave players unhappy with the balance of the game.
In general, players want builds to be balanced, but players also want to be able to create characters with a lot of build variety that they can use at the end of the game without having to spend countless hours polishing and crafting multiple characters.
What is the future of Path of Exile 3.19?
What if GGG lowered mob damage to compensate, adding a bunch of powerful new melee skill gems in 3.19 to revive the build? These are all possibilities for the upcoming update. Especially in maps and later game content.
It's also entirely possible that alliance mechanics are actually involved and very powerful, so these buffs are necessary to make players feel powerful but not game-breaking. Path of Exile 3.19 hasn't been released yet, so we can't be sure. But if you don't want to invest too much time, then keep an eye on RPGStash and Buy POE Chaos Orbs here to complete the build.