Looking for explanation on odd gear progression in North Vern

If I could ask everyone to temporarily put aside the notion that nothing matters outside of the highest tier content, I have a question regarding the odd gear progression which takes place around the Arthetine-to-North Vern transition point in the storyline.

When you leave Arthetine while following the main storyline, you’re likely sporting a mix of item-level 255 (pants, gloves), 260 (helm), and 265 (weapon, shoulders, chest) equipment, primarily from dungeons like Heart of Sceptrum, Dr. Bergstrom’s Laboratory, and Verdantier. Shortly after reaching North Vern you’re introduced to Chaos Dungeons, which provide you with item-level 302 (tier 1) equipment.

This seems like an odd jump in power because (following the unlock of Chaos Dungeons) North Vern dungeons (Gorgon’s Nest and Ancient Elveria) / storyline reward you with item-level 270 equipment. Then you’re sent to Shushire where the dungeons (Maze of Mirrors, Vrad’s Hideout, and Frostpeak Temple) / storyline in that region rewards you with item-level 275 equipment. However, the earlier obtained i-level 302 equipment from Chaos Dungeons makes these rewards largely pointless.

My understanding is that you are also rewarded with a set of i-level 302 equipment once you complete the Shushire portion of the main storyline - I assume an attempt to push you into tier 1 that is made meaningless by (again) the Chaos Dungeons rewards introduced to you much earlier in North Vern.

Is this how the gear progression always worked since the initial launch in Korea, or is this oddness a result of changes that were eventually introduced to push players into higher tiers more quickly? It seems strange to invalidate the gear progression of five dungeons across two continents by allowing players to access Chaos Dungeons so early. Were Chaos Dungeons initially withheld on the Korean servers until players completed Shushire? That line of progression would make much more sense to me.

This is less of a complaint, and more of an attempt to understand the bizarre twist in gear progression that suddenly occurs in North Vern after 50+ levels of predictable behavior. And, again, I understand it’s ultimately meaningless to anyone whose aim is to reach Tier 3 as quickly as possible, but my curiosity still compels me to ask.