I've been writing recently about what I see as a conflict between solo leveling and getting new characters to max level so they can join in group content. Solo players actually want to do the content, while group players find it a dull but time-consuming chore en route to endgame, and I'm starting to feel that both groups are getting the short end of the stick. Reading Ferrel's post about Rift's Expert Dungeon plaque changes in patch 1.2, I'm seeing some strong parallels.
From Ferrel's perspective as a guild leader trying to get his team geared up and ready to raid, decreased dungeon token income is a disaster, as it means that the guild has to spend more time farming content that has long since ceased to be interesting. He assumes that everyone who is farming expert dungeons is doing so for the same reason - to get the gear to be released from this purgatory as quickly as possible.
The reality is that there is a growing segment of the market for whom single group dungeon content is the end of the line. There's a big difference between clicking the automated group finder button at a time of your choosing to farm a 90 minute dungeon and committing days in advance to show up to a scheduled 3-4 hour raid. The old model of high difficulty, high reward dungeons does not serve Trion's long-term interest in retaining this demographic - infrequent players probably won't be able to find groups that can beat the content, and, if they do, they will run out of stuff to farm pretty quickly.
Developers are in a tough spot here. The majority of the content needs to be aimed at the majority of the customers - which means solo and maybe easy group content - because those customers have plenty of options to take their money elsewhere. However, taking the very top end of customers and letting them skip the 95% of content that is below their expertise is a good recipe for having those players run out of things to do exceptionally quickly. The result is what we have now - players forced to do things that they do not enjoy as a pre-requisite for things they would like to do, because that's the way the developers are getting paid.
Somehow, this does not seem like the best longterm plan.