Whether or not it’s the right system for GW2, I think there’s been a serious overreaction insofar as millions upon millions of players have leveled characters in games with significant ability and perk gating for years. It has proven success bringing inexperienced gamers into a game, which is what it’s goal appears to be here.
But I have tried it in GW2 and for me:
(1) Taking combat abilities out of my hands by moving them to later levels has made playing at lower levels less fun.
(2) I already strongly disliked the trait system changes from earlier. The game had a poor effort-reward balance during leveling when it was released, and it’s not been improved. The consensus has always seemed to be that leveling becomes a slog after 30, and their solution, rather than come up with things for players to be excited about, has been to move leveling rewards to higher levels, thereby making the lower levels less satisfying.
(3) Low-level XP gain really is lightning fast, but it adds to the feeling that I’m being treated like an idiot. I kept being reminded of WildStar’s “kitten yeah! You’re awesome!” when I leveled up.
(4) The dumbing down of low-level content is sad. I liked carrying things, pouring buckets of water on crops and fires, whipping cattle, and cleaning up scraps and tools. Active participation in the happenings of the world is more fulfilling and immersive than what the changes offer.
(5) With respect to 3 and 4 above, I want to feel like I’m playing with self-motivated gamers with sophisticated gaming tastes who know what they’re doing, and these make me feel like I’m playing with the iphone crowd.
(6) The compass is ridiculous. Not only does it sometimes give you bad guidance, but a big selling point for GW2, offered (I guarantee) by many of the players who now support this compass nonsense, is that the game lacked aspects of linear hand-holding of other games. It’s a visual distraction that I don’t need gw2 gold, so at least let me turn it off.
The leveling changes, while not catastrophic, have, for me, made the game worse. One can get used to it and learn to live with it, but if you’re having less fun, the changes were bad for you. You can then weigh how the positive changes in the patch compare to it. In my case, since leveling alts is a major part of the way I play the game and playing the TP, collecting minis, and running with a guild are not, this patch has been a minor setback after the positives of the wardrobe and account-wide dyes introduced earlier in the year. It has moved the game away from the way I like to play it.
On a more general level, GW2’s differences from major commercial MMOs were IMO part of its appeal. If I want to level characters like they do in WoW, FFXIV:ARR, or SWTOR I play those games, where they honestly do it better by virtue of the leveling experience being designed around it.