Hello and thank you for reading.
As you're well aware the stat difference between exotic to ascended is quite significant, especially on the weapons.
I've discussed this a lot lately with friends and returning players and WvW is one key interest that's gotten more and more difficult to get into over the years.
With ranks, builds and equipment maxed on veteran players, there's actually a big gap between their performance and that of new players. If not for the lack of rewards, there's actually still quite a competitive scene with certain guilds and commanders with an 'closed tag'. Meaning there's less room for creativity and certain meta classes and builds will be picked over others. As you can imagine, the format is simply less rewarding like this for newer players, while they provide less to your team and server.
Now with ArenaNet pushing build templates and all, wouldn't it be about the right time to allow players to experiment with this on an even playing field? To eliminate the raw stat difference I would suggest WvW-only equipment with legendary stats, earned through WvW currency and only usable in WvW, allowing everyone to enjoy a 'maxed' character in any and all PvP formats. So long as it's easily accessible, you could even consider disallowing transmutations.
So what are your thoughts about this? Has the introduction of WvW ranks, or even ascended equipment before that already eliminated the game's original mentality of rewarding skillful play? Is this too late into the game that players who 'worked' on their build, gear and rank would feel neglected? Would it further emphatize and solidify the 'meta' and in doing so, further lead to a dissatified consensus on the game's balance issues? Or would the renewed interest be more of a hook to include newer players? What do you think?