Well, Melissa Bianco (5-year veteran Level Designer on the CoH team) wanted to change it... and change it she did. In fact, there are so many changes it's impossible to list them all here. You really need to go check Melissa's new dev diary to get the full rundown. Needless to say, veteran players will love the new and improved Hollows. It's been simplified, streamlined and now reflects the style of Striga, Faultline and other zones in that it's more of a hybrid zone (part city spawns, part hazard).
The great news is that Melissa removed every single spawn in the Hollows and started from scratch. Spawns in Cherry Hills, the first neighborhood players hit after zoning from Atlas Park, have been changed from Hazard to City zone type spawns, and are now in the 5 - 7 level range. Similar changes have been made in Four Seasons, Red River, Eastgate Park and Eastgate Heights.
But what about the infamous deathtrap known as Grendel's Gulch? Not only do the devs acknowledge that the spawns were too difficult, but they were entirely too close together. As such, groups have been spread out and toned down. Down in the bowels of the Gulch spawns are 13 - 15, around the perimeter they're 11 - 12. Trolls, a smattering of Devouring Earth, and Vahzilok have migrated into the Gulch as well.
Every mission door in the Hollows was yanked and reassigned to a specific contact. Contacts now give missions that are in line with the neighborhood's difficulty, so players won't have to travel across great (and deadly) distances to get to them. A new contact by the name of Meg Mason has been added (in Cherry Hills). She hands out repeatable missions for each neighborhood.
We're very glad to see this zone finally get some much needed attention as it really was a place most players actively tried to avoid. We'll let you know our thoughts when we get more playtime with the new and improved Hollows.