There's some part of his brain that's pushing past the wall of cognitive dissonance, and he's slowly beginning to realise that this isn't the incredible game he deludes himself into believing it is. That the money he spent might not have been justified. That they actually have a point and that there are a lot of logical, constructive, genuine arguments against the current state of the game. And ultimately, if you remove these things, it makes it much more easy for you to delude yourself into believing that GW2 in its current state is brilliant.
Personally, I think it'd be more helpful if he'd come down to reality and complain with the rest of us. The more people voicing concern against this becoming a monotonous, treadmill game, the more chance we have of actually seeing it fixed. A lot of things need to be done, but one is to focus more on fun, varied content instead of adding a treadmill. The problem with GW2 is that it keeps implementing content that isn't fun. I'll explain.
So... due to a friend's pesterings, I poked my nose into the new Lost Shores content. What did it have me doing? Gathering flotsam and jetsam from a beach. So I was essentially a janitor, and that's the problem with WoW - in WoW you're a janitor with weapons, in GW2 you're mostly a janitor with weapons. The content just simply isn't fun. It's copy-pasted, too. It mostly revolves around either kill thing, or press button to interact with thing.
If the content was fun, then they wouldn't need a treadmill. The treadmill is operant conditioning through and through, it's taking advantage of weak-minded addictions in order to make up for a game which simply isn't fun. But there are plenty of single- and multi-player games which don't need a treadmill to be fun. I was recently playing the indie game Deadlight. That didn't need one, it was fun because it was atmospheric and I was pulled into the story. Arguments that state that a treadmill is needed are fallacious bordering on felonious.
And GW2 needs a treadmill. Why does it? The content isn't fun. In The Secret World you have investigations to break up things. In Champions Online you have neat missions like the sky carrier defence, or the Whiteout investigations (where you learn about a race of shapeshifting aliens, and that mission is filled with paranoia, it's great). In Torchlight II you have puzzle rooms in dungeons that you can solve with friends.
Not only that, but they could make the combat more fun. They could speed up movement speed of players and foes inside and outside of combat, they could make it more nippy and fun feeling, they could provide a greater variety of skills (rather than most skills being copy-pasted versions of other skills with different skins), they could have their AI be tactical (like buffing, healing, and resurrecting friendlies). These are things that games like GW1 and Champions Online already do. It wouldn't be impossible to put these things in GW2.
Let me put an idea in your head right now: Chainsaws. Engineers are desperate right now for a good weapon, and imagine how fun that would be! And how about mobile drones? How about an arachnidrone which you could switch between healing and attack modes? It's something you'd have to defend, but in attack mode it could help defend you. There are so many things you could do with the engineer to make it more fun. And that's what this game lacks - fun.
It doesn't have fun, varied content. It has stale, copy-pasted content. The same goes for combat skills. Now, they could obey the rule of fun and improve the combat and add more variety to the content. They could put in chainsaws and some fun actual puzzles in jumping puzzle areas, maybe riddles and things, you know, to break up the monotony. They could do that, but what are they doing instead? They're adding a treadmill.
The treadmill is the most predatory thing you could add to an MMORPG. Why? It preys on the weak-of-mind and their addictive personalities, it makes someone want to play with the promise of bigger numbers. Opernat conditioning. That's lazy. They know it. I know it. That's the easy answer. So instead of fixing their professions, their combat, and their content, they're just going to opt for addicting people to treadmills instead. Well that's great.
Now, here's the thing. I think Rickter and people like him are beginning to see why there are complaints about this, why it's depressing. And their cognitive dissonance is fading. I'm hoping that soon enough they'll join with complaints like mine so that we can be a unified voice against this nonsense. Is operant conditioning as a form of content okay? Do we really like treadmills? Really? I think it's not okay. Let's tell ArenaNet that, let's tell them not to opt for the lazy answer.
So... you guys go back to picking up trash off the beaches, as monotonous and bloody dull as that is. I'll go and play something that's fun. Again, the rule of fun matters, here. I just want to know whom it was at ArenaNet that thought that picking up trash off a beach equated to fun content. I want to know because I want to slap them, and then I might slap them again because that would be cathartic. All the time I've been talking about how GW2 embraces its ability to be unfun. It shouldn't. It really shouldn't.
Again, I'll note, that GW2 is the only game I know of which manages to have an unfun flamethrower. They could make it fun, but they're adding a treadmill. So no, I don't think that's okay. I'm still hoping that the ArenaNet I once liked is still in there, somewhere, and that they're going to do something about this. But really, people... can we set aside the cognitive dissonance? This isn't a fun game. That's why they're adding a treadmill.
Let's help them figure out why this isn't a fun game, and demand that they at least try to fix that, instead of opting for the easy way out (turning GW2 into WoW).