I think the changes are fair and reasonable. It makes sense to me.
You still have the wildcard round, but I feel that 30 seconds isn’t enough time. You need a good 5-10 seconds to build up, leaving you 20-25 seconds? It seems like once you get going, you get stopped. I think this was done to speed things up at this level. For many people who compete just to say they competed at Worlds, 30 seconds is often 30 seconds too long anyways. From the perspective of the sound team, this is a real grinder though. But who cares about us sound guys anyways, right?
But, they are then adding a wildcard round for dealing with non-qualifiers and the general public. Basically, they still have the contest set up so that anyone can have a fair shot at the title. The preliminaries will be completely qualified people at this point.
I think the only problems will be the first year as people will need to adjust to the new format and rules. I don’t think everyone will be happy. It’s really not that big of a deal. They rules are well spelled out. Of course, change results in complaints and there will be.