Ofc they are irrelevant updates. However the gem store is updated on a weekly basis. And as long as there are people willing to sink irl money into it, the gem store will take priority over anything else they put their hands on. I mean Dragon bash, seriously? Doing achievements that force you to kill the same looking mob for 300 times while hoping over waypoints....for a set of wings that will prooobably look much inferior to the Dragon Coffer ones...but that's the plan isn't it. Guess that's the reason why I log for the time it takes to do the daily.
After about 5 months playing(due to a boredom brake) the stakes for me are as follows:
-Fluid and well reactive combat keys
-Stunning Skill animations and effects
-Leveling in a inventive and immersive fashion
-Pretty good weapon and armor variety
-Can't farm anything on my own. Drop rates of items and materials are beyond horrible. Further more, there's no anticipation of doing a specific monster for the sake of an exclusive drop like in gw1.
-Forced to go to the Trading post for almost any of my needs.
-Feeling stupid for leveling every crafting profession to 400 and having some minimal profit benefit out of it.
-Feeling stupid for ever doing the orichalcum runs and turning 4 gold profit a day when for just turning over 15ish super weapon skins I earned around 500 gold.
-Feeling bored by the lack of challenges in combat. Every boss mechanic is the same and there is no room for individual achievements.
-Disappointed by the weapon skills, utility skills, and most of all elites. Half of them feel useless, the other half are there to fill the void. Where is the gw pvxwikia with more then 10 viable build for each class depending on the need of a specific situation. Where are all those great elites that you would actually base your build around, not just take the one that sucks the least.
-sPvp..what a miss.
-"We added more then an expansion's worth of content", I guess they are referring to the Gem Store.
-Lack of tanks and healers...myeah, pretty much starting to miss feeling useful and important.
...Looking back on those early gw2 videos makes a person wonder how something that looked so promising turned out into an experience that won't leave me with many memorable moments.
Mesmer. The thing that puts that class over any other for me in terms of fun is the proper execution of it's class features. Now this may only be connected to the generic shatter builds but that play style seems to have been executed properly.
-You do fair amounts of damage with your auto attacks, but nothing glamorous like the warrior/etc.
-You use your other weapon skills to funnel and augment your "f" keys, which in turn reward you with the best damage you can produce.
-You are actually pushing towards using your class-specific abilities, instead of poping them once in a while. Or even worse, not using them at all because they become detrimental to your overall dps. (read: gs warrior's adrenaline)
-Many of your skills, excluding mantras which need reworking, give you a good dose of utility and add a distinctive personal feel to the class.
To me, a mesmer with such a build is the most fun class to play. Simply because it's a class that truly feels Interactive.
Next to the Elementalist, which is as well great fun to play, but doesn't feel rewarding enough even when great effort and skill are placed into playing it to the letter.
Thing is, players were asking over and over again for endgame. They still are. Grind and small stat boost is easiest solution to that.
There is distinct discord in GW2 design:
They built game that can be picked up and dropped easily. Endgame should have been continuing to play as before or literal End Game of stopping to play and waiting for major content updates
But players refused to drop it for a while when they started playing - instead for game, they came up for marriage to mmo thing. Which means game worth of dedicating life to.
Theese players, when they drop game, they do not return because they find something else in meantime. New Significant Other so to say.
And developers, quite naturally, chose to make sure they do not drop game easily - hence grindy goals and invocation of sunken costs falacy. And when someone does drop the game, then there is temporary content - equivalent of tempting booty call from ex that has ambition to respark romance.
I think developers do not feel that grind is something desirable, but rather usefull tool to keep certain kind of players playing. IF they had different tools, they would use them.
But when you have a game that has a lot of potential but a short life-span for a great amount of players, wouldn't improving on that aspect yield greater results then leaving things as they are along side the rather meaningless monthly updates? Most are well aware that the only reason most people bored of gw2 remain playing it is because there is nothing else on the horizon at this point. What if ESO turns out to be great, or any other mmo afterwards? Do you believe gw2 will retain it's members with the Living story updates? I for one doubt that.
And yet, it's still present.
And that's the problem: we are dealing with a game where the developers feel that grind is something desirable and players grinding need to be rewarded for it.
That doesn't describe a game in which player get to choose if they want to grind.
I think it's a clever and subtle strategy really. There are many many ways in this game in which a player is gently pushed towards the cash shop. Just take those weapon skins here and there available via the gem store. I for one know about 10 guildies who at their peak of annoyance(while grinding for the legendary), submitted to gem store and purchased those fused skins. I know a few others who while lacking 200-300 gold to finish their legendary just said ".... it" and traded in cash for what they were missing. Whilst I don't condone it I don't blame them either. I mean take a month of one's time grinding for several hours a day and you'll be maybe a quarter into what you actually need. With nothing, nothing to cheer you up along the way. There is no "possible" drop to boost your growth rate. There are no multiple zones/ways to cater to one's preference. There is COF p1, Orr, and playing the Trade post...deal with it.
How depressing is that
EDIT: After getting around 900 gold for reselling the Halloween shields and a few super weapon skins, I honestly could not imagine going back to doing my orichalcum runs and orr farms.