This is unexpected! Kalgan says that Blizzard intends to … well, I’ll just let him say it:
We’re planning to shrink the min range on ranged attacks to reduce or eliminate the “dead zone”. The only point to the dead zone was to ensure the min range on ranged weapons was enough such that ranged weapon attacks wouldn’t be used while also being melee’d (at least by mobs… players have a bit of slush built in).
In other news, I’m having to do actual work today (for money and everything!), but I should be able to get more time on the PTR tonight.