|No such thing as a small change|
I'd like to address a few of your points, and not necessarily in order.
First is this issue of votes bonus. You seem to think that people will lose out because of the vote bonus. This wrong. Under the new system users will continue to recieve their vote bonus until they have 250XP. Under the old system the user would lose their vote bonus at 200XP. So that has actually moved up.
Regarding the new vote allocation scheme. You say that people lose votes. And you are right. That was a deliberate design decision. Under the old scheme all users over 3k XP recieved daily 40 votes, which represented a voting pool of 16.6k votes. Those same 400 odd users now receive about 7k votes. Generally speaking this is perceived as a Good Thing as it makes newer and lower level users votes mean proportionally more, and compensates for the increase in total number of users. Overall the vote count is still almost certainly signifigantly higher than it was when the original level scheme was created.
Also, it seems to me that you (and many others) have become used to the old system without realizing that it in fact was a very different system when users like myself first joined. Not because the system changed of course, but because of the size of the user base. When I started there were less than 20 Saints and only about 100-200 regular users. We currently have a regular user base of about 4000 and we have over 400 saints. This is a drammatic inflation. And the way we have compensated for it is to reduce the number of votes available. This will mean that the $NORM will drop over time, which in turn will mean that lower rep'ed nodes will generate more XP for the users that write them.
Id really appreciate it if you could leave off the doom-and-gloom predictions until the new system has had a chance to "settle down". I think that in two or three weeks you will have forgotten what all the fuss is.
And just to reassure you, the gods involved in this releveling did a fair amount of analysis and debate to come up with the new scheme. We considered a lot of factors, including current user XP distributions. We think that the new scheme will in the long term provide a lot of room for growth, and will return the voting/experience system to something a little closer to what it was when it was first introduced. And frankly if it looks like it needs to be tweaked again to respond to something we have overlooked, then it will be.
So rest easy.
Oh, yeah, about this saint issue. If you are level 13 or higher then you are a saint (or perhaps 'saintly'). If you are level 26 then you are both a Saint and saintly. IOW, we still consider all users over 3k to be 'saints'. Have a look at Saints In Our Book to see.