Well, yes and no. I think the practice that MMOs release unfinished is absolutely true, and is common in most genres across the gaming industry. And I think stuff like ascended gear and Fractals of the Mists are a perfect example of things they wanted to do on launch but didn't have time to complete.
Where my issue arises is that there are still issues/fixes that need to be done for GW2 to improve the quality of life of the end-game and they're instead focused on creating even more new content that distracts from these problems. ArenaNet has, simply put, said absolutely nothing about the state of fractals or the obviously flawed loot table. They've also said absolutely nothing about whether or not more hardcore content like Tequatl and Wurm are entering into the game.
In essence, as a community we have been running completely blind over the past year as to what exactly the direction of the game is. This would more than be fine, but this has coincided with some of the strongest gem store pushes including, but not limited to infinite harvesting tools, copper/silver-fed-salvage-o-matics, costumes, toys, and mini pets. And any time questions are raised about the direction of GW2's end-game we're met with Colin Johanson non-speak so egregiously nebulous that even Peter Molyneux is taking notes.
But you are right on one point. It's generally common that MMOs don't really hit their stride until a few years into their life. It's at that point the dedicated community is established and the developers have a good idea in mind of where they want to take the game. FFXI was a good game at launch (provided it was 1 year old when it reached the States), but it didn't really enter into its prime until Chains of Promathia came out.
But the thing to keep in mind about all of this is that CoP built upon preexisting systems in FFXI. The Living Story S2 is entirely disconnected from fractals, dungeons, and even open world raiding. It all takes place in single-player instances and what open world content we've received is both (1) completely unrewarding for those working on legendaries and (2) does nothing to challenge or excite two-year veterans of the game.
What happened to stuff like Marionette and the Scarlet invasion? What happened to stuff like Flame & Frost? Super Adventure Box? S1 had a lot of bullshit in it and the story was awful, but it also had some very good content that was engaging, fun, and challenging. You had to work with other players to succeed.
In S2 it's all solitary. It's no where near as engaging as S1, even if the plot is better this time around. My guild has literally nothing to do in this game together anymore except Tequatl and Wurm, and that content is getting very old very fast. And while I'm more than happy with just walking away and taking a break until they add new stuff, I am beyond frustrated that some of my most dedicated guild members that step up every day still haven't been rewarded shit for it.
Guild Wars 2 so desperately needs both a reward system overhaul as well as more content that challenges players and does it in a way that is both rewarding and fun and they're instead catering to the lowest common denominator and new players. They're uplifting mouth-breathers that can't even figure out how the downed state works or find the weapon skill system too complicated so that they just get it all at once for each weapon.
I mean for ♥♥♥♥'s sake. While most MMOs refine their vision and create content for their dedicated core, ArenaNet seems to want to widen the gap farther, pull in even more new players that have different objectives, and tell their dedicated core that they can wait. Sorry but I can see when I'm being jerked around. I quit World of Warcraft after Burning Crusade, after recognizing they were dumbing down the game to make a quick buck. I never went back because what I researched years later was an entirely different game.
I actually think GW1 is a terrible example to follow as the systems in place during Prophecies and in Nightfall might as well be different games. And unfortunately I worry the same thing is starting to happen here. I have no doubt in my mind that GW2 will continue developing while I am gone.
I am merely concerned that it's developing in a direction I do not like.
Boredom is more than acceptable after playing a game for 4000 hours over two years. But I just feel so slighted that I never got that fractal axe. That I never got those Wurm gloves. That I never got a single precursor drop in the world or in the forge. There's legendaries I want to make but the path of obtaining them is just so unfun, grindy, and abusive. The only reason I finished Bolt is because a guildie gifted me Zap. I was about to quit the game at that point, but his donation gave me reason to stay.
A little RNG is OK. But it feels like everything in this game is at the whim of it. I raided in FFXI two days a week for two years and was the best geared bard on my server in full AF2. I raided in WoW for a year three days a week and walked away being one of the best geared rogues on my server. I raided Tequatl nearly every day for a year and got one weapon skin. How is that OK?
I invested way more time into GW2 than I did FFXI or WoW and yet I'm far less rewarded for it.