It has always caused damage further out than its animation. However, you shouldn't be getting hit by the saturation anyway because it always is fired in the same place at the same time. Good positioning makes the saturation a non-issue.
True, and assuming that we manage to kill everything at the same speed in ever run, we can reliably predict where the saturation is going to be at a given point in the fight. That said, we've far from perfected the fight, and sometimes somebody dies, or something else happens that makes the trando groups or the pulsar droids take longer to kill than normal. When that happens, it throws off the timing.
And yes, I understand that it's a L2P issue to a certain extent, but the purple on the ground is supposed to be a "hey, you need to move now" kind of warning. Would be nice if they fixed the animation to fill the entire area of damage so it doesn't look like people are dying to thin air.