I have been very critical to NCWest so I want to say I greatly appreciate this change.
I realize some players are upset. They will lose their gear advantage, their elite market supply game, their feeling of achievement over most others.
They are less likely to quit the game than players who feel completely blocked from advancing as their complaints are weaker. They aren't being blocked from content.
Bringing more players up to higher gear levels will increase the number of players in the higher dungeons. It will help make runs of the lower daily grind dungeons faster. It will help players who want to run Battleground but fear getting stomped for little reward due to gear imbalance. It offers encouragement to players who have been feeling locked out and frustrated but still hopefully clung on and can encourage many who left to return.
Yes, there will be a new gear wall. It will be at a place beyond what's needed for current content (like SSP loot and 4 mans). "Elite" players will still demand outrageous AP for dungeons but more players will be at that AP level. But no one at the new wall will be locked out of content as they are now.
And honestly, there is no benefit for this game or it's dev or publishing company to have so many average players effectively locked out of content or unable to reasonably get loot. And most players are NOT like the player on my server recently complaining about being so far left behind AP wise when he's sitting on 675.
NCWest has been very slow to respond and very reluctant and timid to make changes. I have felt that the Producer's letter was a beginning of a response but progress has been slow in them giving the impression that they see the magnitude of the problems. This change is a very solid step which is a permanent improvement for all players and goes beyond the "relief through special events but if you miss it, too bad" band-aid NCWest has been reliant on.
Thank you, NCWest. You give me a glimmer of hope. I may spend a little bit of money on the game again. For the record, I believe in spending money on my entertainment and usually sub every game I play. I'd like to feel that BnS premium is worth the cost but it's not quite worth it to pay for a clothes closet. The costume/stamp system feels like an absolute scam. But I'd be more forgiving and willing to spend anyway if the team weren't being so timid about addressing the issues players keep having and quitting over.