HAPPINESS TURNED ANNOYANCE
I pre-ordered GW2 over 2.5+ years ago via Amazon. When the pre-purchase program was announced I immediately purchased two copies. I've done all of the BWE events. My enjoyment of the content was such that, I was certain other members of my family would enjoy it too so I purchased more copies.
For me at least, the Head Start was great minus some annoying issues like "overflow" messages spamming me during combat. Or if you say no, you'd rather just stay on overflow, the game spams you every couple of minutes anyway asking you if you want to move. Benefit of crafting was diminished with the trading post AND in-game mail being offline in a game with no character trade feature. Color me puzzled about no player trade feature until the hacking wave started.
The inconsistent behavior of the grouping mechanic coupled with the overflow system certainly made grouping with friends aggrevating at times. Oh let's try one of us porting in and out of a major city... Oh damn, the join option isn't available for any of us, everyone back into a major city, drop party and rejoin! Added to that annoyance was a change that happened after the last BETA, that if you wander a relatively small distance from each other, party members can no longer see each other on the map. Don't scout just a little bit a head to check things out. Your party won't know where the hell you went!
I could deal with these minor issues just fine and continued on my merry. That was until they turned on mass Email Authentication. I have not been able to play GW2 since! Meaning, I haven't been able to access my account or the game since, August 29th. I waited a couple of hours, tried multiple times, checked spam folders and explicitly added all known GW2 and ANet domains to my whitelist to no avail.
I submitted a ticket, watched twitter and checked the state of the game wiki page. Each time they provided more information about what to include in your Support Ticket, I did it. Finally, on 9/1, I at least received a generic "we've received your ticket email" that asked for more information. I promptly provided all that was requested.
Guess what happened when I tried doing that? NO authentication email arrived. I replied to the ticket within minutes of it being received, as it suggested I do if I still had issues. I explained that my password hadn't been an issue, but maybe changing it was standard protocol with all the hacking but PLEASE address the fact that I don't get emails.
I check the wiki update again to find that I must not be alone because they are telling people who aren't getting emails to submit a ticket to have it turned off. I reply to my ticket again, explicitly asking for it to be turned OFF! Another day starts, well, it's almost afternoon. It's now roughly 14 hours since I replied to my ticket "resolution" saying the ticket had not resolved my issue and I'm still unable to get into my account or play the game.
WEEKEND LAN PARTY
I had planned a weekend LAN party for the young people for whom I'd purchased copies of the game - two of my children, two nephews and grandson who is only 6 but gets on well enough in WOW. I certainly wasn't going to taint their weekend by canceling simply because I was hosed.
My house has been full of young people - kids sleeping anywhere and everywhere. Pizza, KFC and junk food abounds. With a house full of people playing all damn day and night, it's harder not to remember that I can't get into the game but whatever, the long weekend is coming to an end. My urgency to get into the game is fading back to normal level of importance.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
GW2 is a STUNNING game with compelling content. All in-game annoyances aside, the content 100% and more lives up to the hype. Trust me, I wouldn't have purchased so many copies if I hadn't been absolutely sure of the enjoyment it would provide. During Head-Start I purchased gems to unlock bank slots, in it for the long haul.
However, it's feels VERY clear to me where the love and attention went to for GW2. It's all in the content, leaving the supportive services/features subpar in comparison. Game mail has been an issue on and off. Auction house has had similar problems. In a game with no player trade mechanic, you have got to nail the game-mail and auction house. And don't get me started on the PITA of being in a party and trying to deal with the overflow system. I've never played a game where your distance from a party member determined if you can see each other on the map!
All of the above aside, the trump card for me is email authentication. I don't think it was tested enough. I don't recall it being enabled en masse during any of the BWEs.
Unable to access the game since 8/29 over email authenticaion is appalling! I think I've been more than patient. What rips me most is my ticket was very clear that I'm not getting authentication email and if they're now turning that off for individual accounts, why oh why, was it left on my account???
Feels like the protocol they were stating wasn't followed with my ticket resolution. If my email had been changed (account hacked) then why wasn't it changed to the new secure one I provided in the email as requested and the wiki suggested?
Having left my email the same, I can only surmise that it hadn't been changed which leads back to authentication isn't working for me and was the issue I reported so why was it left on? I know the support people are probably tired and cross-eyed by now but as a customer this sucks.