Kinetic ward was buffed... it was made free, procs an absorb buff, it just has slightly a longer cool down, not to mention the wonderful change to shield they've made.
There is some question as to whether the KW change was actually a full buff or a pseudo-stealth nerf that breaks even with the explicit buffs, mainly because you lose those KW stacks *so friggin fast* now that it works on all K/E damage attacks. The functional increase in the speed wherein you lose KW stacks combined with the 25% increase in the CD makes it so that you're actually going to end up with less KW uptime than you had before by a pretty substantial margin.
As has been said numerous times, if the developers are going to consider KW a constant buff, which they seem to have done in virtually all survivability calcs since the start of the game, it should simply be made one outright. The drop off in survivability when you lose KW immediately is *way* too big, considering. The only reason we don't notice it as much any more is because we've overgeared everything. I remember back at release, it was a major point of contention that only faded whenever gear started outstripping everything else. Now that gear is undergoing another reset, it's going to be a big issue once again.