Might not be new, But had few calls from my colleagues about the VMNIC number change and they report its not working after changing it in the \device\ID location of esx.conf file.
So just thought of giving some head's up.
Firstly!! Yes the only supported & always recommended way for correcting the VMNIC numbering & order is by following the VMware KB 2019871.
But there are few circumstances that we could not follow the recommended way & on extremely exceptional situation we will be looking for the obvious option of changing the VMNIC order in the esx.conf file as required. I see few number of web contents, it is listed to change only the /devices/ID section which is not working.
Actually, there are almost 3 to 4 places including /devices/ID location you need to change in for VMNIC# in the esx.conf file. So the better way is
Arvinth Rajkumar Ravi.