In addition to reducing the amount of damage received from high-level encounter NPCs, each Ward on high-level armor set pieces worn will now affect the amount of damage players are able to do to those NPCs. Players not wearing any pieces of the appropriate armor set will see their damage greatly reduced. For each piece of the appropriate armor a player wears, their damage against the boss monster will increase. [Source]
Basically, if you don't have any of the set you do 1dmg per hit to the mobs in the dungeon (100% decrease), if you had 1 set item you do 80% reduction, 2 peices a 60% reduction, etc. (Source of these findings) This change effectively placed Warhammer Online onto the same path that Trials of Atlantis took Dark Age of Camelot. Essentially it was going to turn Warhammer Online ito a gear-treadmill based game just like World of Warcraft. Instead of needing the gear to make your character's stats and abilities better, it would simply be needed to let your character do any damage at all to the mobs. It was forcing players to spend their time farming Dungeon A to move to dungeon B to move to dungoen C, and so on and so forth. There's no need for me to explain much more about why that is a horrendous form of game design since Mythic hotfixed it out. The players spoke - and they spoke loudly. Here's what Mythic said tonight:
In response to player feedback we have reverted the recent change to the Ward system on high level encounters throughout the game. Players will once again do regular damage and the set bonus will only impact your resistance to the encounter's attacks.
The ward system will continue to undergo further testing and development on our internal and public test servers. In the future we intend to introduce improvements to not only the ward system but to the item rewards tied to the system as well.
Please note if your character is currently logged in you will need to un-equip and re-equip the pieces in order for this change to take effect. [Source]
More details on next page.