GGG has a long story of nerfing mechanics or strategies deemed to be “too good” or “too fun” if you will, and with the rise of Elder Ring strategy I am veeery afraid this behavior might hit it.
Run A Variety of Influenced Maps!
Honestly, I think the question is simple: is this mechanic so powerful that it makes those playing without it be left behind more than it would be reasonable to? Or, in other words: are you forced into using this to have a chance of getting a high amount of currency? If yes, then they should remove it. PoE endgame tries to be about giving you all sort of options. You can run lab all day long. You can kill Shaper all day long. You can run a variety of influenced maps all day long.
All those strategies are suposed to be reasonably equal in terms of what they give you back. Of course some people might find a way of making one more efficient, and some strategies work better in different times of the league. But in general they do hold fairly well together, and if you’re reasonably efficient you’ll make a reasonable amount of currency in any of them.
How To Right Use Elder Ring?
The Elder Ring, as happened with Sextants before, removes part of this. It’s simply not possible to get even near the same amount of currency by running maps without this. You either make an Elder Ring, or you’ll be forever getting less currency. This removes options from the game, and is thus bad design.
To finish, you said that “With the Elder Ring, even running lower tier maps is fun and it feels like you are being rewarded for it.” Well, it seems to me that even lower maps feel like you’re being rewarded for it exactly because you’re getting so much more rewards than those that do not run an Elder Ring. Saying this the other way around: with the Elder Ring in the game, even running mid to high tier maps doesn’t feel rewarding for me, who do not have the ring.