No one was abusing this to get away from things, or to avoid RP. This change came about to avoid awkwardness when someone returns from @ooc and the players in a room have shifted. You might think you are completely alone in an open cube you just rented, but really someone is @ooc in that room! AWKKKWARDDD.
Generally speaking, this seems like a good improvement to avoid weirdness when someone returns to a room.
Obviously if you are returning to an @ooc you should offer some IC reason for your return like 'Seven returns through the door to the bathroom' Or something of that nature.