I wouldn’t call it “cracking” (and I doubt Tom called it that) but I see what you mean. I’m not an official, so these are just my two cent and my thoughts about this.
This isn’t as much “cracking” as simply extracting the game files (using… hell, you can use Windows Explorer for that) and modifying them. In some cases, this can be the easiest way to mod something. In some cases, it can be the fastest way to do something. In all cases, it’s the messiest, worst and most likely wrong approach.
I doubt that this will change. If you really want to mod this way, I’m sure you can continue to do that even with the release. Yet, you shouldn’t. Nobody should have to do that (nor in some way have done that in the past). There’s a lot of things that can (and do) go wrong when you modify your game this way and none of them have pretty outcomes.
That being said, this method is hitting its limits. Between r27 and r34, two files have become “un-de-compilable”, i.e. they cannot be restored efficiently. There might be many more files like these - since those are logical errors, we cannot be certain why they are failing.
As it has been communicated recently (although I severely disagree with the reasoning and believe it is impossible to achieve), this won’t change either. That means if this trend continues - i.e. for whatever reason, unluac is unable to decompile files properly - more and more of this unwrap-hack-and-pack method will become inaccessible and therefore unattractive for people.
Like I’ve said, while this method should not be used, access to the source code - and not just documentation - is vital for modding, especially for more complex or exotic projects.