It's a big change, and will be rough for those that bled AD and time to raise bonding runestones up. But, it's not all bad. (But some of it is.)
- Bonding Runestones will be retired from the game! You can turn them in for AD or exchange for other runestones/enchants of the same rank.
- Those IL points now come from Companions, which will have their IL and stat contribution increased. Bolster is also being raised (10% for Legendary).
- Augments now grant 85% of their IL as a combined rating, and 15% as the three stats they boost (different for each augment, as it is currently)
- Fighting Companions will grant 85% as well, but not the 15% since they fight.
- This might make fighting companions a bit more of a draw, but it isn't clear to me yet.
- All companions will grant 100% of their actual stats directly to you. This leads to the next one...
- Companion Influence is going away. So, stop spending boon points on it, don't buy/raise Dark Enchants for utility slots, etc.
- Runestones and Enchants will go up in IL and grant more stats. This is a much needed change, but also means spending more as currently you can almost ignore them compared to companions/bonding/runes.
- Companions can now be upgraded to Mythic, which have a base IL 1500 just like mounts and provide 20% bolster. A given companion category can now have 5 mythics for 100% bolster.
What to make of this? In some ways, it's good. Bonding Runestones went from an option to being mandatory, but were not very interesting. They now go away and their math is just the background mechanic.
It was ridiculous how little enchants mattered compared to bonding/companions/companion gear. It makes sense to have enchants matter more.
On the other hand, this is a money grab by Cryptic, to get top players to spend a ton (as they did with mounts) on tokens and other bits to upgrade companions to mythic. It's a big overhaul, and big overhauls always make money as top players redo their builds.
For the average player, it depends on how much was spent on companion influence, and whether what was spent on Bonding Runestones can just become a useful enchant. If the enchants are good enough, then a R15 bonding becoming an R15 enchant/rune could be okay. It also depends on how the metagame changes around companions. If augments are no longer the best, and you don't have the abyssal chicken or similar, then that may be an issue. Regardless, it's more grind to come up with ways to upgrade companions. And I do dislike that kind of grind.