The formula you're referring to is loose and straightforward because it was designed to be hidden through a social exchange which was unheard of, so it always had an effect on the person. They added an extra layer of intrigue I'm sure.
Truth. That's just how sub games function. The business is enticed to introduce grinds that keep you running. This is the thing I find most amazing about the Ffxiv. It's designed with no time wasted gating they've clearly stated that it's acceptable to remove in the event of a content shortage and that you will not fall behind. They value the time of the user much more than blizzard and realize that if they want to keep the amount of subscribers at a high level, they have to make more good content. If I could be a player in Azeroth with square enix in charge I would gamer nuts all over.