Thank you for your reply. There are a few things I'd like to counterpoint on.
And this sort of ties in to something you said in your second post. I thought it was a terrible idea for them to give you access to all of your abilities so early in GW2. I had all of the abilities I was going to use by level 50. So from 50-80, my class played almost identically, and I had nothing to look forward to but a few skill traits. It was definitely a GOOD move that they gave you so many skills to start out, but they didn't pace them out to keep your interest through the end of the game.
This both is and isn't true about Guild Wars 2. While all of your attack skills attached from your weapons become accessible by merely using them for a while, the refinement aspects of the game truly made the skills into a different beast all together. As a Mesmer I can tell you that the entire pacing of the class changed at level 40 when I first got access to Deceptive Evasion, which changed all of my tactics at once. It wasn't an ability, but it was a game-changing trait. I feel as if the significance of this can't go unstated. There most defiantly was a feeling of progress with the classes beyond simply learning the attack skills.
Beyond this, I'd like to point out that Square Enix has the advantage of quested skills; Particularly, in the concept of job abilities, which are fairly different than your normal class abilities, which are simply granted with level. With the level arc fairly swift in FFXIV, the significance of having to slow down and do a quest to unlock some of your classes will help with the feeling of progression, and, with the idea of Merited abilities still a possibility, I don't think learning skills and feeling progressed and interested will be as much of an issue here as it may have for you in Guild Wars 2.
I think you might be overstating the efficacy of this solution on its own. I think it's a great solution for keeping low-level content accessible, and I think you're correct in pointing out that rewards need to scale to properly incentivize the content. But GW2 basically does this already, and it hasn't made the completion of low-level content necessarily desirable. There are reasons for that which I feel are more or less specific to GW2, but my point simply being that while level scaling is a very useful and important tool, I don't think it nearly addresses all the problems with low-level accessibility.
I agree, and may go further to point out the possible reason. Guild Wars two strived heavily to normalize stats and make it so no one piece of content ever held a major edge over the others. This leads primarily into the trend that most weapons and items in dungeons and unique areas were cosmetic.
Square Enix could bypass this by making unique, scaling rewards based on themes related to the specific content regardless of level. Want powerful wind based meteria, fight in the wind-based dungeons.
I agree with everything you said about the "problem," but I don't think this is inherently the solution. It can certainly be a part of the solution. But I think that the larger problem is that skill needs to be the decisive factor in earning prizes, not time spent grinding or camping.
This was a lack of clarity on my part.
Essentially, there are two kinds of difficulty in games: Difficulty that requires dedication over a period of time or 'timesink' and difficulty that requires memorization and preparedness in a fight, or 'skill'. Neither one of these are superior to the other, and they're both prone to abuse.
A fight that is too hard will narrow down the candidates to playing them only to the elite of the elite, which is those who already have most of the best gear, and best teamwork. While it is good to have those challenges, they need to remain few comparatively to those that are more accessible.
Likewise, provide too long of a timeskink, and ,as you say, the experience gets watered down.
The balancing act is to provide both of these avenues for pursuit of your goals, and allow the player to decide what they enjoy. The normal version of Nael Darnus was an excellent fight that was challenging; where as Raven Nevermore and Ifrit Extreme could be considered downright punishing to some. These situations, in which you're pushed hard to work together to pass, should have that guaranteed loot.
However, to keep the currency aspect of the game from getting stagnant, a bit of additional 'luck' element can also be introduced. For example, Garuda's Headbands and her weapons.
Garuda had a chance to drop her weapons via RNG, but even if you won, you got a headdress. Enough of those, and you got the weapon you wanted anyways. This is a good system to have in situations like that and can be mimicked in other events along with other gains.
I'm not saying balancing this content to solve the issues will be easy. What I was attempting to stress is that the concerns for these games are shared with both the casual and the core audience. And that the divide between these two camps is really unnecessary, as the solutions to their problems can and should not step upon one another, except in the case of achieving that base-line of statistical competence (not competent performance, mind you) which I firmly believe should be easily accessible.
Or put simply, content less of a gear check, more of a teamwork check. A player should never feel guilty by playing at their own pace.