As far as I can tell, ArenaNet's current development strategy is an absolute cop-out. The new 'content' comes largely in the form of jumping puzzles, mini-games and short instances plastered with some hastily developed story that has no grounding in the lore or any overarching plot to follow. Don't get me wrong, jumping puzzles are fun and all that, and I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a hardcore player, but if ArenaNet really think they're creating a 'Living World' with this stuff, they're delusional. The bi-weekly cycle creates an illusion of quantity when actually, for a company the size ArenaNet is now, it's a pitiful amount being produced overall.
Have we been playing the same content...?
Our predecessors, the dwarven Brotherhood, knew she was different.
Yes, that was only introduced with the most current story, but even the Bazaar is connected to all of the past stories. Why did we even learn of the Bazaar? Because of Ellen Kiel trying to use it to gain traction for the upcoming election. How did she go from Lionguard to Politician? Because she's proven herself through the events of Southshore (what Flame and Frost led to) that she cares about the people and Magnus convinces her that she should run.
So yes, maybe it doesn't link up to the main story of fighting the elder dragons (until the connection between the Zephyrites and Glint), but every single piece of the previous living story has led us to this point. I don't see how you think that's not an overarching plot (Seems to me it's the very definition) or that it has no grounding in the lore.