"I really hope this doesn't apply to arcade. This could really skew some things. Is this just for the two new modes?"
I honestly don't see how this change would "skew" things. All the original ships had 15 points distributed to each skill set, all that's changed is now YOU get to choose where those points go.
And there is still only 3 different types of bullet patterns, but now you get to pick which one you like best. No one pattern is significantly better than the other IMO. Each have advantages and disadvantages.
And even if for some odd reason you turn out to be right, that it does end up skewing things. Skew things in what way exactly? I assume your talking about the leader-boards? As that's the only thing that could possibly change. The games been out for 8 months now and the leader-boards are pretty stagnant. Wouldn't it be a GREAT thing to mix up the leader-boards and shoot some extra life into the game?
I'm hyped about these changes, even though I'm in the top 100 and top 50 on almost all of the maps, I won't mind getting a newer high score as that's the whole fun of the game.