Just so that we're clear on this, is this a valid example of how the new Trace mechanic works:
(Corp has 8 credits, Runner has 8)
1 click: Plays an Operations card that triggers a Trace attempt with a value of 2
Corp has an initial trace value of 2 from the Operations card
Runner has an initial link value of 1 from a Hardware card
Assuming ties are broken in the Corp's favour as per the original game. The Corp decides to spend 6 credits, resulting in a total trace value of 8.
The Runner would therefore have to spend all 8 bits to avoid being traced (due to a link value of 9)
In a sense, there is still an element of bluffing, but it falls on the Corp's shoulders to set the tempo (as one would expect since they're actively tracing the Runner) The above example makes it clear that either the Corp want to get the tag or to empty the account, but they also lose most of their balance in the process. The Runner has to ask themselves, "Can the Corp follow the tag up with something nasty?" and weigh the risk of being tagged in the current circumstances.
Likewise, the Corp would know that by bidding 6 credits, in this example, that they would drain the Runner's credit pool, but could they risk dropping some credits, working back from 6 in order to maintain their balance. Is there risk in leaving the Runner with 1 or 2 credits?
This change, whilst different, is not to be readily dismissed, I feel, as it seems slightly fairer to the Runner. Personally, I never liked the reliance of link cards to improve your Base Link since they were only relevant if the Corp was making trace attempts, if at all. No traces meant you ended up with a diluted deck, but having less trace cards reduced your chances of getting one out when trace actually occurred. You could only use one Base Link card and since most Link Modifier cards were also Base Links, they were filler. The Corp knew that without those cards, they can always bid zero and always beat your zero link value.
Thinking about it, I don't really miss the prior iteration. Tracing is still in, it sounds like an improvement and that's all that matters to me.