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I agree with the OP.
Though I feel like the inverse is also happening at the same time. With +level being applied to everything, the tightness of the math, and the +- 10 crit rules, characters at higher levels DO in fact appear godlike to lower level challenges (ala high fantasy).
For me it has felt like the purpose and spirit of many of the changes/rules have been at odds with each other.
While the spell nerfs, stronger monsters at level, and normalized/generic characters make you have that gritty type of Sword and Sorcery feel (which I actually have enjoyed during actual playtesting to some extent)...
You also have situations where high level characters cannot fail low level challenges, cannot be hurt by low level monsters, etc.
Maybe these two things CAN be gelled together coherently and it just requires more tweaking. But part of me believes they really need to choose a specific focus.