I didn't really like the beginning of HW, to be honest.
They seemingly tuned it assuming everybody was going to have full Poetics, but yet that is not always the case. Someone who is chewing through the MSQ might end up in, say, i90-100 and the first several quests in Western Highlands, each fight was a battle for your life.
Even after getting a full set of Lv51 HQ Craftables from HW, the mobs felt too hard. They hit too hard, and took too many hits to kill, and this continued through most of the expansion, even when I was doing my best to do every single quest I could find to keep my NIN geared up. Every battle saw me going down to 60% HP by the time it was dead (that was WITH a somewhat low ranked chocobo companion helping me), and pulling two was dangerous indeed.
But then, it seems like they did the same thing on the crafting and gathering side of things too -- HW started off assuming you had endgame gear from Vanilla which kinda screws over the players who are on the leveling path when they reach Level 50 for the first time. Face it, nobody's going to want to grind vanilla endgame to get to 51..... but even when they DO get Lv51, buying the Lv51 HW crafting/gathering stuff you are still pretty weak in crafting/gathering; it is way overtuned. You have pretty much 0% chance of HQing anything whatsoever, and just trying to craft NQs is difficult. Not to mention how they jacked up crafting, where a single piece of equipment requires 5-6 synths to gather up the ridiculous list of materials to make anything.
I hope they got some complaints about this and dialed it back for SB... because honestly... your average piece of white gear should not take an hour to gather and craft everything to make it, nor should it require endgame gear to have any chance of HQ. I shouldn't need Lv60 gear to have any chance of HQing a Lv51 piece.
And the Market Board prices reflect this; just about everything is 100, 200, 300k unless you get lucky and see an NQ or two, but then the NQs... you can just buy those off of NPCs.
It's all kinds of whack.