With regards to your points:
1) Ranger longbow isn't really made any weaker/stronger by the MM change, and you can still access the new longbow set by building a Hunter style ranger/Arcane Archer hybrid - something like a hunter style Ranger 26/Scout3/Bard1/AA10 for example. Perhaps this could represent your longbow-focused archer build with sneak and prey knowledge? Pure ranger longbow is a lot more flexible build-wise in stacking other classes compared to a MM build.
Moreover, the longbow simply does not mesh well with the ranger's hunter playstyle due to lack of finishing stroke damage (archery style is not very good at all, and I doubt people would take it). Darts and Spears are far superior from a pure mechanics standpoint for a hunter-type ranger.
2) With regards to animal companions, I think it's a bit of a waste if one of a ranger's key features is left by the wayside.
A ranger who takes marksman already gives up a class slot (pure rangers with longbows can add 3 more classes), loses his favored enemy progression, ranger levelling goodies (HIPs, Tracking, Evasion), sneak progression (MM does not award sneak dice even with the scout feats), and combat style bonuses (Prey Knowledge, Improved Evasion, Defensive Roll). So I think there is already a fair tradeoff in taking the MM class, as the previous advantage of having rapid casting progression is gone due to rangers being made full CL at baseline.
With the MM change, I'm looking to make the longbow ranger + pet style viable. AA has far stronger AB/Dmg advancement and much more potent special shots if you're looking for a longbow focused build that does not involve pets.
4) Updating it to +12. Minor issue, as rangers or arcane archers should have access to the Animalistic Power spell which grants 12 Str at ER5.
With regards to MM and the archery or hunter style, I don't really mind either way. I designed the MM abilities to scale with MM level, so there's a tradeoff between primary ranger benefits (favored enemies and sneak dice are huge for hunter style rangers - which are lost by going too heavy into MM. Moreover, longbow doesn't work great with prey as mentioned earlier). This means that it probably won't be game-breaking or anything to allow hunter rangers into MM.
Last edited by kc2345
on Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.