if you read the wording they never actually said it would be only cosmetic. they used some very careful wording like 'almost' and 'virtually'
they said nothing is needed to play or complete the game. they never actually said it would never be game affecting in some way or only cosmetic. that is often something that we on the forums have created by interpreting their words
does it make it right, probably not, but they never broke their promise, they just worded their promise with some room to manoeuvre.
I agree with you, I think most of the hurt feelings on the forums are due to misinformation and that why so many people feel like they have been betrayed.