As others have said - Gear only carries you so far in PSO2, your progression in this game is tied almost entirely to your personal skill level, and learning how to overcome an obstacle by getting better at the game.
Will new Units, Weapons, and Augments help? Of course they will, but not to the extent of something like WoW or XIV, where new gear turns older encounters into complete faceroll nonsense. Learning the game is going take you much further than grinding out an Atlas weapon from Zig, and upgrading the Buster Quest units.
Take the Crimson Fellwyrm, for example. When the UQ launched, there was a very, VERY long thread here on how the encounter was over tuned, how it was too hard, how his attacks were undodgable and too cheap. Hell, my first runs usually took in the area of 25-30 minutes, ending with me out of Moon Atomizers, and most of my Mates gone. This only was made worst with the Heroic version. My first run didn't even see him reach his final phase.
Now? Ole' Red is lucky if he lasts ten minutes, and I use next to no consumables, and Blackey aint doing much better. By comparison, my Atolm run last night also saw us wrapping the encounter up in about twelve minutes, with no deaths, and me only taking a handful of hits (mostly laziness near the tail end of the fight). This was with a PuG group I matchmade into as well, so this shows that the playerbase is also getting far and wide better at the game as well.
As for what's changed on my character? I have one new unit that I picked up with Buster Medals. That's it. I'm still rocking my Nemesis while I still work to get a new toy from Zig, I still have a Cliffard leg piece and a Circuray Arm piece, and my augments haven't changed all that much. What has changed is my understanding and mastery of the Braver's i-frames, how to better utilize banishing shot's combo with my other PAs, and more importantly, I've learned and memorized the bosses movements, call outs, and attacks. I can do Deus Esca now practically blindfolded, and the Fellwyrm encounter is getting very near to that point as well, all because I actively made an effort to learn how to get better at the game.
If you want more power and the ability to turn what were once challenging encounters into child's play, that is what you need to do as well. Treat PSO2 like a Soulsborne - Gear and Stats will only carry you so far, everything else relies entirely on the person behind the controller / keyboard.