A slightly skewed view...
If any of you were around in the Golden Age of SoA, you might remember when the tank died, so did the fellowship and you better have a mini on their healing toes to keep the group up. In the Golden Age of SoA (pre WB), classes did pretty much 1 or 2 tasks; 1 well and 1 not so good.
The new trait trees are a way to get to see this Golden Age again.
The skills that are buried are available IF you CHOOSE them to start with. No you cannot them all like we have now with our smorgasbord selection. But they are there. Some have been consolidated and a few removed or made passives. If you CHOOSE to not select them because you prefer a different sort of play, you are able to do that too.
Your toons are not "dumbed down", you will actually have to be "smarter than ever" to select the set that best suits your style and also the best the suits grouping (if you group).
It's really The Golden Age of SoA - revisited.
Oh and as for these changes that have been made for "no apparent reason", they just are not apparent to us, but they are to the Devs...
If you miss out on Meduseld, the Golden Hall of the King of Rohan in Edoras, you will surely have missed something rather special, and it's all there for a reason too but maybe one we haven't learned about yet (unless we read the books or saw the movie). If you do get there, spend some time exploring the hall - the landscape/building designers hit a home run once again.
Whoever says “I” creates the “you.” Such is the trap of every conscience. The “I” signifies both solitude and rejection of solitude. Words name things and then replace them. Whoever says tomorrow, denies it. Tomorrow exists only for him who does not seek it. And yesterday? Yesterday is Kolvillàg: a name to forget, a word already forgotten.
The Oath: A Novel by Elie Wiesel