Depends on how heavily you were going with the old tri-sword.
For halflings I always
used it; never any other prep. For gnomes, unless I was running a BURNDAYRAZ approach I brought it along. No arguments that this was a problem, but the trisword was a built-in assumption to halfling/gnome balance up until now.
The current Tri-Sword isn't a weak item at all even if it doesn't get touched up. What competition does it have, exactly?
Oh, I agree this isn't a bad item. It's certainly an order of magnitude weaker than the old trisword, but that's not saying too much. My impression is that it's around the same level as whurrgarbl now. Should be a great shop item without the additional gold cost, though.
However, I think the fine sword is the better of the two now. Trisword will be better for spiking, but the Fine Sword will have better long-term performance.
2) Gnomes still make kickass spellcasters, including being default warlords, especially with the Cauldron
Going to definitely have to test the gnomish warlord to see where it's power falls. It remains to be seen how much damage this did to him, and whether other kinds of warlords have caught up or surpassed him.
3) Halflings make kickass B2P spellcasters, decent healthmonsters and work pretty well with Alch Scroll.
Well, for Bloodmages I'd prefer the gnome, and you can't guarantee B2P with anyone else. As for healthmonsters, you need a way to boost your damage output, so I'll always prefer the human.
5) Halflings make good %res stackers, priests and servicable monks, and do fine with the codex
I'd always take the human for a resist-stacker. Totally agree on the priest; he'll always be a halfling-lover. I completely disagree on monks; without a reliable way to boost base attack I can't really imagine playing halfling monk anymore. Agree on the codex.
The REAL question is... what happens with ROGUES?
Not really worried; they'll be less insane, but there's a lot
of room for rogues to be toned down before I'd be concerned about making them underpowered.