The time investment is still there constantly making sure you have more gear. It's still a grind. But this is what I've been trying to explain here. BPG tried to resolve the boring grind aspect people complained about by reducing the skill grind, then increasing resource output, and trying to make lower tier gear more viable. The result was making top end gear too common increasing the minimum viable gear option so people still have to grind for gear and the leveling is too fast so no feeling of progression. They trying to solve a problem while holding onto the hardcore mentality and it had the wrong affect. Putting in the zones from day one would have allowed players to spend their time focusing on leveling their characters without always changing pace to get more gear. I say keep the zones, give back the lengthy skill grinds, make top end gear rare again. Increase durability loss so people still need to get new gear just not every time they die. Which for most people is a lot. It doesn't matter if people are maxed out their characters now because they probably would have been maxed by now anyway.