These look like some great changes. I feel like the combat/skills in this game are simple enough (read, not complex) that in order to keep things fresh/interesting, we need easy access to multiple weapons/armor combinations.
There are people who want insanely long grinds for gear/tiers, thinking that this will increase longevity of the game/play-ability. This is true for a very small percentage of players who play the game as a full time job. For the much larger majority population this leads to boredom, feeling like they are "too far behind", and feeling like there is a wall of time that they aren't willing to invest in a hobby to be able to have fun and be competitive,they are more like the Cheap Albion Online Silver.
There is a sweet spot of having progression to work towards, and being accessible for more players. In the end, the grind shouldn't be the focus of the game. The PvP/Combat should be engaging/fun and that should be the focus. Look to popular MOBAS for a lesson in how fun gameplay will make up for lack of linear character progression. Instead of getting stats, players shine through their teamwork/game knowledge/ and skill.
SI is moving in the right direction. They are looking for that sweet spot on the albion online gold shop. Now all they need to do is really focus on making combat fun, because right now PvP is the only thing (not gathering, not PvE) that is really FUN in this game.
Good. Then the PvP can be the focus instead of spending hours walking around clicking on nodes. Also if we want to try new weapons/lines we can feel like we didn't waste half a lifetime by switching over.
Theres good sides to both of it, I don't like flying through the tiers though, it'll probably burn people out faster once they feel they've gone to the 'endgame'.