Am I missing anything? Oh! And in about 15 days I get a new ascended accessory for free because I play the game!
You don't need to go around and fetch in order to get these dailies. But if you're not playing the game to its full potential, then I can see why you'd think you do. But that's not Anet's fault that the mechanics they gave you to enrich the gameplay experience (underwater battle, dodging, crafting) aren't part of your playstyle. I guess you won't get the dailies, then.
Oh god... this is so wrong. So damn wrong.
They are less and less optional with each patch that increases rewards. If you play with erratic schedulle, you will be left behind in pretty much everything that matters when they get that afternoon free to play with other people (notably xp and equipment).
They also do not require grouping, in contratry to what AKGeo promotes. And that is very important because it allows people to go afk anytime without being insulted or shouted at by coplayer.
Last evening, i did my daily in 5 game segments with up to hour of afk inbetween then. I am sure people like AKGeo would enjoy having me in their party, why wouldn't they?
You used to be able to do daily in 15 minutes if you wanted to and if you played in open world, doing personal story and whatnot, it just happened without devoting extra effort or deviating from gameplay.
So why are dailies important enough to agrue about then on internet?
They give fair chunk of xp towards next level, few silver in monetary reward and in mystic coin. Those are of little consequence, not important enough to post to forums about.
It is about karma - karma right now is the best access to "welfare exotics", if you do your dailies while leveling character you will have enough karma for majority of your equipment slots and enough gold for weapons and rest of slots. And no, you will not have enough gold for everything from "just" leveling. And your character which hit L80 3 months ago might be swimming in karma, but fresh characters aint.
And it is not optional - if you want to do any grouped content, you will need that exotic set.
Laurels now made it even less optional because in 15 days, everyone can get their first ascended piece and in three months, three ascended pieces are going to be at very least expected.
Dailiy and monthly is about the only way of accessing it casually.
So suggestion to "do the duneons, duh huh duh" is freaking useless because of catch 22 nature of it - how can i be running fractals to do my aquatic kills and revives when i am curently playing L41 warrior in mix of blues and greens???
Daily is the only way to "progress" in game while leveling alts and doing personal story - also knowns as "I play the game!"