Rangers have exceptional access to cripple and pretty solid access to chill for a reason. It’s not difficult to build yourself to be able to maintain permanent cripple or chill, along with other snaring effects like Muddy Terrain and Entangle that can force your opponent to stand still. Not to mention that many of our pets have their own control effects attached to them.
So we do have the tools we need to make sure the pet is landing it’s (Apparently the s and h being too close together upsets Anet) hits somewhat reliably. They could still be improved though, I definitely agree with that.
We could use more cleaving pets. Bears and porcine pets get my vote. That way you get heavy armor pets that can be used in dungeons without crippling your DPS. Giving the devourers piercing could also be a big benefit.
I also feel pets should naturally move faster than they do as a baseline. Even a simple 10% speed increase would ensure they hit moving targets reliably, short of opponents using Swiftness which would just be counterplay to avoid the pet easier.
Pet AI is handled by the same program used for every other NPC in the game. Unfortunately this means pets are mechanically incapable of hitting while moving. Anet would have to give them an entirely different program set up, and they aren’t willing to put in that effort. So the best way to make sure the pet can at least occasionally hit a moving target is to give it a small speed boost so it can catch up to the opponent, hit them, fall behind and have to catch up again before landing another hit. Cripple and chill will still increase the amount of times a pet can hit though, so there’d still be a role for the ranger to play.
As for that trait, unfortunately it’s in the Skirmishing line and competes with Pet Prowess. If you’re running a beastmaster ranger like I often do you kind of need both of these traits but only have the trait points for one, since you need 6 in BM and 3 in Nature Magic to maximize your pet’s damage output. You COULD get guild wars 2 gold , but then you’d be hard up on condition cleansing and have to run with Signet of Renewal, which… Literally kills your pet as it’s main form of condition cleansing.