Slowing down the rate at which players get utility skills, downed state, and so on actually hurts more than it helps. These are the sorts of things that you want players to be able to acclimatise to while they're still in relatively gentle areas so they can move into the harder areas with those skills already developed. The harder the zone, the less you want to be asking players to be trying to assimilate a new mechanic while they're also learning to deal with stiffer opposition. (And that's without taking into account that players are now going into zones with proportionally less powerful characters until they do get those unlocks - combined with the trait changes, in fact, it takes until level 80 before a character becomes as powerful as it was under the old system.)
The better approach is removing things from the tutorial zones that new players can't handle. The Queensdale champ train was quite toxic to the new player experience, and putting a champ event (the neoss in Caledon, for instance) on a skill point in a newbie zone was just sadistic.
It's not only traits/skills. When I heard that they were going to gate nearly everything behind later levels I honestly choked a bit. What's wrong with them? How can ruin this game even further and how low is the lowest common denominator they are aiming for? No harvesting at the beginning? No diving goggles? No wardrobe? No dyes? What the heck anet.