In one world, I had 170+ friends on my Friend List before the first Event that needed you to send stuff to friends... Most I do talk to frequently... Many are new people that I helped get started... Only a few have ever been added just for the sake of an event to "top up" my list.Surely nobody has anywhere near 100 people that they actively talk to. I don't see the limit as a problem for most players, but you do have a good point when you mention new players struggling to find available friends for events.
Perhaps a different option would be to incorporate some kind of suggested friends list that shows people around similar level and activity, possibly ones close by on the map or who have friends in common. Sure, the list is only there for events so a random list of available people would work, but we might as well throw in a few relevant factors on the off chance that it might bring some people together.
And one of the reasons for the Friend List is to be able to whisper to someone when they are online. You can no longer use the ( /tell playername ) function to whisper someone... When I tried to whisper someone that was actually in the alliance chat using the /tell function, I got this error:
[19:57] Henry: You can only whisper to players that you can see in a chat window.
So, if they aren't in the same alliance as you, not in the same Saloon as you and you wanna chat... There's no way to even try if they aren't on your Friend List.