As far as I know it’s only the armor that has better stats so legendaries will stay on top… Now that that is out of the way, why are people so upset about there being better armor with the new patch and possibly more patches afterwards? Having to continuously get better gear gives people a REASON to go and play content they otherwise might have never touched. Most people won’t go and do all of the dungeons. Why not?? It’s not because the dungeon isn’t fun, it’s because the dungeon isn’t rewarding. There’s no motivation or incentive to play content once you’ve gotten the pretty pixel armor set you want.
With a “gear grind” in place it gives people a reason to go and play content they otherwise might not have. It gives people something to do and a reason to keep playing. Let’s face it, the game was dying because there was no end game and nothing to do and no incentive to do explorable modes if they didn’t have the best looking gear. People just go do CoF until they get all their fire gear they want and then don’t do anything else because there’s no reason to. They’ve already gotten what they want so there’s no reason to go do dungeons.
People will say “It shouldn’t be able the loot! People should do things because they are fun!” Well unfortunately that’s just not how people work these days. Most people will only do something if there is a good enough reward for doing them.
So that being said I think a “gear grind” would be necessary for the game to stay alive. So that people will have a reason to play the content and have something to do. Because currently it’s far too easy to just log on, get to 80, farm a few dungeon badges from that one place with the armor you want, and then go play some other game until there’s a reason to play guild wars 2 again.
Edit: Also it would help if the dungeons in this game were better designed. They currently have some cool things in dungeons I absolutely love, like the last boss in CoF story mode and the lasers you have to pass in CoE explorable, things like that. However the boss fights are boring, tedious, and repetitive and generally poorly designed and that is the other main reason people don’t do dungeons.