I just want to point out a few things which were interesting in the latest AMA with Chris Whiteside. They admitted some mistakes here but there is reason for hope that things will get corrected.
Chris about the implementation of Ascended gear only from Fractal-Runs:
for example full Ascended gear will be introduced over a long period of time and will be earn able through lots of different parts/activities of the game. We had intended for example for the first release of acsended items come from other parts of the game but sadly it did not work out this way. Moving forward this is how it will work however.
...and his solution that this will be corrected in the future updates.
In regard to gear checks specifically all increases in the power curve will be minimal and therefore there should be no straying from the intended power curve that you see in the game now, in terms of trajectory.
In regard to gated content via gear then i think that this is something we are going to give more thought to. Specifically if the reward at the end of the activity applies to players that are not just looking to do a specific type of content. Note that this statement is somewhat contradictory to the philosophy laid out above if the required items do not drop elsewhere or the ultimate rewards don't either. This is something we are going to fix.
+from another answer:
In retrospect Ascended should have been deployed pre launch and earn able throughout most activities in the game (which is how we are moving forward).
he admitts that they are aware of certain grind situations in the game, no PR talk here... he plays with open cards and states a honest answer + looking for solutions
I do however feel that we do have to be very careful in regard to progression design turning into grind and i believe there are some instances of this kind of grind that predate the launch of the game. It is for this reason that we are looking to revamp some aspects of the game whilst connecting other parts increase the overall experience of fun in our progression mechanics.
there was this discussion about "minimal grind". A user stated:
With regard to minimal Grind, how is going from 5 Ectos to 50 Ectos for a piece of gear minimal? 5 T6 items to 250 T6 items, minimal?
Good point Nacho. We are currently discussing these particular items and it is fair to say that we don't want have such big hikes in requirements moving forward.
they totally see it the same way we do, and they plan to fix this, just as they fixed the dungeon tokens which now are much less grindier than before.