one good thing the update did was create a situation where players need to be constantly running rituals so they can collect magic items. seems like there are a lot more rituals now (though low value usually). that helps with getting your daily quests. and tears are pretty hard to come by..... i am one of the lucky ones who already had a maxed foreseer, so i know this update was good for me, but even if your throne is low, you can still have a good dungeon with upgraded traps, and i'm still only going to 1 star you. also i am pretty sure everyone has the same chances at retrievals no matter what your throne.
i'm f2p, and it took me over a year to max out my castle and throne, but i didn't do it because i felt i had to to survive, or to complete something. I maxed them out because i like the game and getting skilled at it, and learning to recognize dungeons.... the gold and items flowed out naturally. all these updates but the game play has basically stayed the same since KoT started, if you like the game play you will be successful no matter what your throne.