I don't really understand why playing a wacky sandbox game differently than what was intended by the developers is an issue.
Why not just give you the Zenith at the start of the game? You don't have to use it, but why would the developers care if you play the game differently from their intent to start with a short sword?
Terraria is not a pure sandbox game and it never has been. It has had progression elements in it since 1.0, and ironing out aspects of that progression through balancing has been a part of the game since day 1. This is just another balance fix, nothing more.