I withdraw my previous statement. I just took a read of the entire article (which I hadn't done before), and it definitely reads like the precursors of the implementation of a gear treadmill.
What I think is amusing is this line right here:
We designed the process of getting Legendary gear to be a long term goal, but players were ready to start on that path much sooner than we expected and were becoming frustrated with a lack of personal progression.
It absolutely blows me away every time I hear this line from an MMO developer, especially an MMO developer who has made an MMO before
. How can you not understand the dedication of time and effort some people will put in to getting these BiS items? The biggest roadblock is the amount of gold the materials cost, which has been easily subverted by Anet's inability to deal with gold sellers for such a long period of time.
Also, who the hell are all these players who are supposedly sitting on legendaries and twiddling their thumbs for something to do? I've never once seen somebody running around with a legendary weapon on the Tarnished Coast server. Unless I'm just woefully inattentive, I can't imagine more than a handful of people per server (at most) have these weapons thusfar.
And finally, my biggest complaint: If you're worried that such a large section of the playerbase are itching for more progression (which I suppose could be legitimate; I don't really have anything to do on my Ranger now that she's 80 other than farm Orr), then why are you violating the major design tenant of your game for the sake of progression, instead of granting the players more progression through expanding the world itself?
Oh right, I know the reason: because gear treadmills are easier to pump out as "content" than actual, real character progression.