As a crafter you made my own high GS weapons I see this change to HWM / expertise as a massive kick in the nuts.
I haven’t seen anyone run the numbers to see what knocking a GS600 weapon to a GS500ish range weapon is but assuming it’ll reduce damage and lower attribute +perks it WILL have a negative effect.
So instead of penalising players just cause you wantvthem to play differently why bot add “special” GS600 weapons which can only be achieved from each of the end game areas.
As an example say corrupted portals, add in a special glowing red skin and have the legendary weapon have a very slight boost over a “normal” GS600 weapon of the same type and I mean very slight.
That way its about progression and completion rather than just boring grind. Add a title for gaining each special legendary and maybe titles for gaining 3, 5 all etc.
Basically what I’m suggestion is if you want to make players to all content make it worthwhile and also fun without just needlessly adding boring grind and alienating a large part of your player base.
Now I have to admit the above isn’t exactly a new idea, most if not all of the successful MMOs I’ve played have done this to reward you doingvthe special areas. Almost as if its a system that works…