So, I killed off one of my characters(just got tired of the look and didn't want to sink gold/$ into TP), and made a new character the other day...after the patch. Holy cow nuggets! On the one hand, you do level faster in the beginning. Hearts in the noob zone will give you half the XP you need to level. On the other hand...everything else. The PoI, skill points, 7-0 skills being strung out to level 40, offhand and skill options being hand-fed in increments...
I can think of a few reasons they did this. On the one hand, it is something someone with a business degree would think of doing. On the other hand, for anyone who knows anything about MMOs, or games in general, it's cutting off your nose to spite your face.
One reason could be the China release. They felt that either they had to prevent rampant key farming and other abuses some make in rotating through a new character every so often, because of the stereotype of Chinese gold farmers(patently racist); or, they felt the new Chinese needed things spelled out for them in the game(again, see before).
Another is just us. Before, since elites are crap in this game, for the most part, you could, once you got 7-9 skills unlocked, join in on WvW/EotM and not be tits-on-a-bull, getting bags and wallets on the zerg train. The new system kills that till at least level 35. Maybe they just want us to really be invested in a new character, instead of whizzing through a personal story that has become fairly monotonous for those in the game for more than a year. A better solution for that one: write a better damn story.
As everyone knows, to paraphrase Julie Andrews, the forums are alive...with the sound of anger. Yesterday, someone asked in a thread on GW2 forums what they were doing post-patch. Half said not playing GW2, and no one said they would buy any gems. It may be a bit of hyperbole, but while this patch is not as severe, the last time I saw this kind of reaction on forums, was NGE, CU, and Monocle-Gate. They can afford to piss people off now, with the Chinese release; but based on the many problems people have with this patch, unless their goal is just to be a traditional grinder MMO, they might want to listen.