Nothing seems to have changed with the first set of named gear. The longsword is still a worthless +1 that can come with useless things like axiomatic. Same with the morningstar. These are just not worth it. Either Turbine decided that they didn't have time to change them or figured they were adding so many new items - but they still remains for most part useless. Unless you pull the gloves that comes with +5 illusion and 11 Int (EE). And the boots remain passable. Oddly enough with a +8 ability.
But when it comes to the new stuff some of it is okay, most of the other stuff is not.
Maul, Impact, Sundering and Dazing 9 - +4. Yeah - damage wise it's just a better chance to stun then Ratkiller but not much more damage.
Hand wraps, +7, Shock and shrieking 8, impact. Okay, but it's missing something that makes it stand out.
Frostbite (scimitar) is actually interesting +7, Cold 8 and Frostbite. It's a stacking vulnerability that stacks up to 20 and provide 1% more damage per stack. It doesn't say elemental specific like cold so it seems to be all type of damage. It also comes with a red and a purple augment. The stacking ability also slows down none bosses on a vorpal hit. Now this is actually a good item. It's unique and might fit into a nice 2 weapon fighting setup. And with 2 augment slots it feels like you can customize it to your needs.
Elemental Fury (short sword) falls really short (no pun intended). It's a +5 shortsword with 4 elements damage 5 - meaning 5-20 fire, acid, cold and shock.
Again - that's an EE short sword, +5 - no augment. Honestly - this is not even niche enough to be worth giving anything up for. To me this feels like it's the Heroic Elite version, not EE - but it's ML 28.
The nether Orb (EE) provides a +8 resist in everything including elements when blocking, it comes with a red augment slot (wish it was purple), A random +5 focus (not bad if you get a good one) and Spell Lore 9 (so 10% crit on all spells). This is again a good orb. It can single-handedly replace 2-3 items.
Edit: The nether orb also comes with energy siphon, a 60 temp SP proc on hit that can only proc once a minute.
Honestly - I wish they skipped the temp Sp procs but this might actually be semi useful. Ontop of spell lore and +5 focus this is just an added bonus. And I wish all of the named items would follow Frostbite and the Nether Orb. Functionally not overpowered, but specialized.
So far - some of the items are worth investing some time grinding, the original named stuff remains meh, and some of the new won't rival items you have now.
I can't for the life of me understand why they kept the original named stuff as is. It was our lamenting that caused them to add more named item so you'd think that also would inspire them to spiff them up.