I only get ascended items for my main character I take into Fractals. There is really no other reason at this time to have ascended items unless that character does fractals. Then after that character has done a lot of fractals you should have tons of Pristine Fractal Relics that you can help to get your ascended gear for other characters.
Just look at it as one character then after a few weeks of doing dailys and getting PFR you can start to look at your other characters and find it is not so bad after all.
I like everything in your post but, this one strikes me as the most important to GW2 as well as any game really.
I think new players feel like they are so far behind when they join because they are starting a year after the game is released and try to rush everything.
IMO GW2 is one of the few games where you are never behind because everything you need is available.
Also I agree with trying to find a good guild or at least some people that you can run and learn the game with.
With the scale down for level 80 players it makes it nice for new players that we can come back to a lower level area and not just dominate everything. The level 80's IMO are still a little too powerful even with the scale down but, it is still nice that you can over aggro and die if you are not somewhat careful.
This is a very fun game to play and offers a lot for those who are willing to slow down and take it all in.
Don't worry about getting to max level in a day, it will come with regular game play and having fun.
I really like this idea. Being an older / casual player I don't have the reflexes I used too
The group I normally run with likes to take our time and enjoy the process of going through a fractal or dungeon.
We are all more tanky and less DPS but, we always make it to the end and have fun doing so.
As you know, even if you are full tank gear you can still get smoked if you just stand there.
However it is nice to know that if I miss a dodge I am not going down instantly.
We all do a mix of Zerk and tank stats and again we do great in all the content.
So if ANet does change things to make these type of builds even more effective then I am all for it.
You will always have the groups that make you ping your armor and want to run through 3/4 of the content just to get done fast and there is nothing wrong with that. I can easily avoid those groups when I do need to PUG.
I would just like to see them do more for us who like to go a little slower and play the game.
Anyway I don't see this as dumbing down the game like some are saying, I see it as making the game more fun for those of us who aren't as fast as we use to be lol
I did have a good time in a fractal with another War, one time. About half way through the first fractal (swamp) we were fighting the final boss. He asked me if I was full Zerk and I said no. He quickly started cursing me and the whole team (PUG group) for letting me in. I figured the group leader would kick me but, instead I saw the thing come up to kick this other warrior. After he was gone I asked why they didn't kick me because I wan't full Zerk, (The group did not specify that you needed to be). The leader simply said "lol because we didn't need to rez you 7 times on the first Boss fight like we did him." I laughed and we continued on picking up a different person and finished the fractal with no problems what so ever. I am pretty sure we didn't have another downed or dead player for the entire fractal.