The shard/seal grind is just too random and frustrating for many. It is an incredibly bad mechanic that has no challenge to it whatsoever, just mindless mindnumbing grinding.
When you look at the new system in Eveningstar with the faction vendors and the commendations I would say that is the way to go. I think the best way to do this change is to introduce Patron commendations that drop from chests or at as endrewards for the chains on epic. Then you can just get the item upgraded at a Patron vendor or trade the commendations for the wanted shard/seal.
I do have a tickle in my brain saying that they are actually planning on revising the epic loot acquisition/upgrade along with the augment slot/gem changes. Think its my third eye reporting in...