Not really. They have just learned to communicate more ambiguously.
The Khitan heavy armor (not sure about the others, I don’t own the DLC but might buy it just to verify), has vastly superior cold protection to anything else and so is not comparable to anything.
And yet irrespective of the words they are using now, the implications of those words are that DLC does not provide advantage. (Tbh, I don’t now nor did I ever care much about sub 60 gear since if the fights aren’t equal in the first place, your odds aren’t good anyway, but certainly, it wouldn’t have been hard to offer identical drop in replacements for other gear in every respect in in the first instance. In fact, it’s technically harder to do anything more.
Also, since SL was over nerfed for no reason at all, it leaves space for the Aquilonian heavy armor to have comparable heat protection to SL, whilst being demonstrably superior in pretty much every other respect.
That being the case (as I’ve already mentioned in another thread), the best armors in the game applicable to the most lucrative areas in the game (hot and cold) would only be obtainable by buying the DLC.
And again, fixing the stats on some non DLC gear to eliminate that advantage is the opposite of hard. They still didn’t do that though, did they.
We’ll see what they do with the next DLC, but certainly, Khitan heavy armor is hardly comparable to non DLC armor and since they could have reverted either the changes to temps or the cold protection on the armor and did neither that’s intent, not incompetence.
And still we don’t have a plausible explanation for why they couldn’t correct some typos in a table, or pad out the waves to include humans (and so the artisans everyone wants), or change the server defaults so that lower difficulty waves spawn, or do likewise to set the min number of online players required for a purge.
It still doesn’t reasonable explain why thye needed to “stabilse” a testlive patch for weeks, run a blink and you’d miss it free DLC event to promote testing and then between the end of that test and the rollout, suddenly manage to add critical bugs affecting the decay, or demonstrating the changes to heat.
All of this reeks.