We're acting like there is an unwelcome change to something that is already working fine.
I think its likely that if it was "fine" they would not be changing it. That is not always the case, but it is my experience that SM Ops are definitely something most casuals I know care little about.
The gear is perceived as the gate, even if that is an unreasonable perception. You can lead a horse to water.....
They want folks to play SM Ops it seems. More folks than are playing at the moment. So keeping things as they are does not achieve what they may be after.