Ahh, that makes sense - a marketing scam!
Thanks for pointing that out, I should have known.
For sure. They knew what they where doing when they did this. You could go your entire lvl 1-49 with all blues and be fine. They needed something there at the end to try and get some kind of money out of you. If not, a f2p player would just roll another character and be done with it. This way, they are enticing you to try hard modes out and waive some free purples in front of your face. Hopefully you bite, buy the gear requisition unlock or sub for a bit to try it out. I bet this was planned back when they decided to make recruit 2 blues. You wait, after a while starting pvp gear will be war hero and by then thry will have the hooks in f2p players. A set of purple pvp and pve gear ready and waiting at level cap, with a little note that says, "Congratz, you made it, now give us some money lol!"