Gear grinding is a whole thing, yes. And buying your way into gear with gear packs is for uber whales only.
I might or might not have saved an old phone at the recommendation of another player a couple years ago and it does random overnight autos for me.
Here's the good news. The hard dungeons resets ALL of us, BT. Everyone who is behind on gear is gonna have the opportunity to start fresh lookin for mythic stuff. Honestly, you're upset today, but Hard Dungeons and Mythic gear and Gear Ascension is a huge catchup mechanic for anyone behind right now. This should be all good news, but you're pissed, which I don't get at all. The whales will always be way ahead of you in the original marathon cause you started when they were on mile 25, but there's a brand new race starting and you get to start with everyone else this time.
If I'm pissed at anyone, it's at myself. I've spent a lot of money on this game, way more than I can justify. I didn't go into crazy debt or anything over it, but I definitely could have invested that money into a lot more than account progression.....and I progressed my account only to find myself bored, bound only to what Plarium allows me to do. And stuff I don't want to do costs me advanced quests, which is energy to play the game.