They meant to reduce the amount of power of instant CC in the game, but in standard blizzard fashion they took a good idea and executed it sporadically and arbitrarily and seemingly gave up halfway through. For some reason they decided to allow melee classes to have these long range instant cast undispellable long duration stuns.
There was a time when powerful "chain-starter" CCs like that had serious drawbacks. For example, howl of terror has always been excellent for starting a fear chain on a pillar humping healer. But it has the major disadvantage of being melee range, and therefore counterable (it also used to be shorter duration than a casted fear). If they don't want you to push in for a howl, they can switch to you and slow you and you are fucked. But, they've now left free whatever target they were on before, and he might go try to CC the healer. That give and take is the essence of strategy.
Now look at warrior. In cata, they got throwdown, a 45 second (?) cd kidney shot. If he wanted to use this to off-cc, he had to charge the off-target, use it on him, then charge back to the dps target, consuming 3 GCDs and almost all of his mobility, which opens the dps target to escape. Give and take. Now? Focus stormbolt. Continue raping target. These abilities seriously need to be looked at. Obviously warriors are nowhere near overpowered and storm bolt isn't even as dumb as asphyxiate/hoj, but the contrast between then and now is nicely illustrated by this.
Plus of course hunters are just making everything worse. They play off all these zero-skill chain starters and just run away with it, extending the CC chain multiple times over. If it wasn't for these few things, the game would probably feel a lot better to play.