|Do you know where your variables are?|
My only concern with the proposed changes is that the monks who casts their votes strictly to gain XP...
I think you may have a "straw man" here. I hear lots of claims of people casting votes just to get XP (and I usually hear these when someone is complaining about getting downvoted), but I don't see a lot of evidence of it. I'm sure lots of people have played that game, but it gets pretty boring pretty fast (especially compared to other "games" you can play), so I personally doubt that such accounts for much of the voting.
And I'm quite convinced that "casting downvotes strictly to get XP" is currently extremely rare. I would have liked to spend some time discussing such issues (especially this point) when announcing the plan, but I wasn't given that opportunity, and I don't have the time nor inclination to try to craft those words at the moment.
...will no longer use them to downvote. This will disrupt the assumed balance of voting for reasons other than the nodes content.
The number of downvotes cast compared to upvotes is currently *tiny* (and this is a good thing). Even completely eliminating downvotes would have little effect on average node reputation. So any reduction in downvoting will be "in the noise" as far as node reputations are concerned.
On the other hand, it may deter the would-be retalliations?
I doubt that part of the plan will have much impact on retalliation. I had hoped that it might reduce the duration of some retalliations, but I that was a rather wan hope. But it doesn't matter much to me because some of the other changes should make retallition much less of a problem.