But won't hell freeze over before players figure out that they have the power to choose how to interact with the game and can avoid a lot of things they don't like.. by..... simply not doing them?
You are entirely missing the point. I like to do SM mode ops. I worked hard to make them easier for myself by gearing myself up & then optimizing the stats on all my gear. So I should just stop doing ops? Unfortunately that's the part of the game I really enjoy & if the only way I can run SM stuff on the off nights when I am not running HM's with my guild is to be "downgraded", then I will take my $15/month elsewhere, thanks.
People act like they are having a virtual weapon pointed at them as soon as they log in.. and are given mandatory instructions as to what to play and how to play it.
We're acting like there is an unwelcome change to something that is already working fine. Gearing up for SM ops in this game is UNBELIEVABLY easy. They practically hand you a set of Ops starter gear on Oricron. Even with that said, I'd have no problem with some kinda bolster mechanic for people who are too lazy to do a few quests. I just don't understand why I have to have my character "downgraded" in the process.