Your comments

Yes, however the fact that the shield is a cosmetic doesn't change much, the only problem with this could just be the removal of the shield, but I'm sure the shield will stay, however it won't matter. This is a gameplay tweak, not a cosmetic one, so the cosmetics can always accomate, such as a shield bash just being bashing your sword hilt, and idea #1 could just be energy to block instead of durability.

What do you mean? What's the old PvP, elaborate, the developer added back the desert map as an option, so I'm sure he could add back the old features in a separate place as well.

May have just been the developer setting things up to update the game. It happened for me too, I waited like 10 minutes and it was back up.