As someone who has at least 6 lvl 80's in GW2, I can tell you that game was never a PvP game, nor was it as sandboxy as even this game. The oldschool games that a lot of us revere weren't about the grind, it was all about the pvp content. It was about sets of mechanics that made the games enjoyable to play, even after there was nothing left to do, no further progression.
I played UO from opening day thru Lord Blackthorns revenge, on the same character that I had already "maxxed" within the first 3 months of the game. Why? because the games PvP mechanics were that good.
I played Daoc right up into the middle of the ToA debacle. Why? Because the games PvP mechanics were that good. I don't know what era of Daoc you played, but pre ToA, we didn't grind mats, you leveled to 50, took the cash you saved from leveling, and bought your MP set of gear from a crafter, and then had it spellcrafted with huge number of Cheap Albion Online Gold. It was the addition of crap nobody wanted like high RR and ToA artifacts that is when we saw the mass exodus of players from DaoC.
It was once the games mechanics went all out of whack or became grindy that me and the people I played with and our communities left those games.
Grind does not make a game fun. Grind in a open world PvP game is why this generation of video games are at best play em and leave em.
Grind isn't about skill, and it most certainly isn't about fun, and I predict a majority of players will quit long before they see their first set of 8.6 gear from the grind alone, and out of the remaining people who do not have enough Albion Online Items, tons will quit when everytime they hit a red zone in their t6 gear, they get raped by the hordes of modern powergamers in their t8 gear ripping them apart.
So basically what we have here is basically being forced into one linear line, instead of being able to explore the other lines because of the grind, and once again a game that will create a rift between casual and powergamer, and add to that a pretty craptastic 4 to 5 button combat system.