Solved What purpose does /etc/passwd serve in FreeBSD?

I was needing to do some user modification yesterday and made some direct edits to /etc/password. I couldn't figure out why the changes I made there weren't reflected with pw commands and vice versa, but then I learned about master.passwd and vipw and was able to make the changes I needed to make.

So, what exactly does /etc/passwd do on FreeBSD? Is it just there as a legacy thing with no purpose?
So you think storing password information is unnecessary?

I think it's unnecessary to have the information in /etc/passwd replicated in /etc/master.passwd. The latter essentially just combines the traditional /etc/shadow and /etc/passwd files into one file, making /etc/passwd redundant, especially since you can't always rely on /etc/passwd to accurately reflect changes made to /etc/master.passwd.