Colin Johanson went on the forums to confirm that the 5% stat discrepancy between exotic/ascended will be staying and a new method to convert ascended gear to different stats will be added.
Ascended Gear Changes
Just want to clarify since I saw this come up a couple of times in this thread and we haven’t actually released our full official patch notes for 6/23 yet….
Ascended Gear will be staying 5% better than Exotic Gear. Gear beyond the tiers we already have are not going to be added and our existing tiers won’t change, they won’t be our main end-game form of progression for your characters/account for all the reasons we’ve covered before – it isn’t what we think Gw2 is about.
Masteries is being added to PvE to help provide this system as our form of progression for PvE moving forward, and the WvW ability system exists for WvW and will be what we use to expand WvW in the future.
To more directly answer some of your point….We are adding a system that lets you change the stats for your ascended gear next Tuesday – which will cost a combination of 10 spirit shards, piece you don’t want anymore, 5 ectos, and an exotic insignia of the stats you want to convert to. Legendary Gear will remain the gear that can freely change stats any time.
Stat change is only for armor and weapons
This is for weapon and armor currently – weapons use the same recipe as armor to stat change except they use inscriptions to allow you to change instead of insignias.
Alas yes it does destroy the runes and sigils in the item, the mystic forge doesn’t currently have a way to allow us to do this kind of stat changing without it working that way.
Save your ascended trinkets
There are no plans to do this type of recipe for rings, or other Ascended Trinkets.
There are plans… for things… and stuff… If I personally had a boat load of useless ascended rings laying around, I would not be deleting them right now.