I played Paragon for six years and I have seen this happen before. I was hoping that Arenanet had learned from the GW1 experience but apparently not.
See, here's the problem. The Guardian is a profession explicitly devoted to defense and support, just like the paragon was. ArenaNet have stated that they do not want defense to be too strong, e.g. "things need to die". That sounds fair and reasonable, but these two design goals are diametrically opposed. When the guardian/paragon is using his skills properly, he supports his team with blocking, protection, regeneration, retaliation, etc. and things don't die. This makes some people unhappy, so we have another round of nerfs to weaken the skills so that there is no way to perform effectively by making the skills too weak, cooldowns too long, etc. This is why the mass healing skills were nerfed, why Aegis/Courage is still useless, why all of the blocking bubbles have ridiculously long cooldowns. This approach satisfies the design goal of "things must die" but leaves the guardian and paragon ineffective at what they were designed to do. And no one wants to play a character that is ineffective. These changes will have the long term effect of making people drift away from the guardian to play professions that are stronger, e.g. ranger, warrior, elementalist.
Jon Peters, I hope someone passes this message on to you... please get these guys under control, don't let Guardian become Paragon 2.0.
When there is no tactical decision in combat (for PvE or PvP) and all you can do is delay the inevitable demise of your team (which is evidently the current design goal) then your options are: kill them before they kill you.
Defense, support, healing, mitigation, strategy, tactics, all go out the window, and everyone builds for the most damage in the smallest amount of time, and you end up with a remarkably one dimensional game. DPS || Death is not a valid design, but that's where this is all going.
The shorter the fights, the less the non-damage abilities are used. Eventually things like immobilize, chill, vulnerability, blind, confusion, poison, weakness and cripple won't even be used because you're better off using a damage cast than a condition cast. Even burning gets tossed out the window because it needs time to actually do damage, and that's time you're dying if you're not DPS'ing.
2 second combo fields, 1 second boons, and similar short term durations are all indicative of the same problem. DPS || Death! Death || DPS! heheh. Don't bother with the heals, kill them faster!
This is already true, to a degree, but we're not there yet. Still time to pull out of the death spiral.
I think ultimately the root of the problem is impatience, and the desire for instant gratification rather than tactical strategic combat. However, if there is one thing the MMO genre has the greatest potential for, it's tactical strategic combat. This, unfortunately, flies in the face of the zerg > all, which has been the cornerstone of all pvp design since UO. Tactical and strategic combat allows a small force to defend against a larger force if they play smart.
This current path allows for the zerg to steamroll any and all resistance as "normal", while reducing fights to shorter and shorter durations both in PvE and PvP. It's hard to believe they can't see how dangerous this is. Will they notice when it gets to "3 casts and you're dead" or will it require "2 casts and you're dead" before someone at ArenaNet figures out there's a problem?