Please note: This is meant to be an opinion thread. There's a suggestion thread to pitch ideas for changes, please don't try to use this thread as that. This is merely for discussion to get an idea of what people think. As always, please be respectful of everyone's opinion even if you disagree.
My first impression is that there are things I like, things I don't like, but the cons seem to outweigh the pros here. I hate to be cynical, but I opened the cash shop to check out the new clothes. The first thing that stood out to me is the initial 5 rage boost on each piece, and that's going to be a gamechanger in that I believe we will see a mass exodus of people who can't afford them. Why? I don't know what it is for other classes but for archers, we get our AOE at 45 rage. 30 rage with pvp set + 5 per piece on clothes = 45 rage. So this means for every archer that has clothes and pvp set, they can now lead with AOE, and the ones who don't have clothes cannot. So my first thought is.. good luck to everyone in PVP trying to beat a player or players that can instantly AOE you and you can't do the same. You run into a group in GA that can now AOE you 3 times with their first attack (something that used to be a mage's huge advantage in this game so that has now taken that away) and your team has to spend 2 or 3 rounds rage building to use your AOE, well, your group is most likely done from the second that battle starts. I look at this and I say that's going to be the sword that needed to drop for many if not most free players to say they've had enough, and they can no longer compete in this game. Time will tell I suppose.
Someone else also brought up something to me - She bought the clothes, she was careful about putting together the specific look she wanted, she went to synth a piece and it completely changed the look of it. I realize we were told this was going to be the case but needless to say she's now quite upset and feels ripped off because something she just spent money for, the look that she wanted, is now gone because of a process that, let's face it, is not going to be optional.. you're going to have to upgrade your clothes in order to stay competitive when everyone else will do the same. She also tells me there was no way to safely retain her old look, not even a balen option to do that.
The things I like are seeing new features being introduced, such as Divine Altar, and the new, updated look. Also love the addition of a "Sell X and Below" astral option. Auto Cooldowns for VIP are very cool. I'll reserve judgment on the features I haven't see yet until, ya kno, I actually see them
I think the way they want us to spend money to do certain things now has just gone overboard. I'm not a fool, I get these kinds of games, they're pay to win.. but this was a big step in that direction, and I can only look at it and say "They just put a pricetag of 1200 balens on being able to stay any kind of competitive in this game". I'm very sad to see that. We're already getting thin here on S1.. this does not bode well for all but the upper echelon of people who can afford to keep going forward. I can only look at this and wonder what the next wave of "You won't be able to compete without this" will be.