I remember back in the early days of se3 where the devs said they aimed to release a new fractal every 4 to 5 months, since then that has changed to be every other lw update (so every 2 episodes). Thats fine and all but the lw updates have a pretty "louse" cadence esp in the latest season, season 4. Just in prospective, between Shattered, which was delivered with the last ep(ep6) of se3 and Twilight which was released with ep1 of se4 there was a 4 month wait. Deepstone which released with ep3 of se4 took aprox 7 or so months. Depending whether we get ep 5 this year or the next we are either looking at a 6 or 7 month total w8 for something that might or might not have a cm (and judging from the previous 2 it might not).
Its also worth mentioning that the last fractal reworks we got were a full year ago which were molten duo and mai trin.
Are fractals gonna end up like raids? Having a few first well paced releases and then going to almost a 10 month w8 between each one? I mainly played gw2 for the instanced content, less so raids and mostly fractals, cms were some of the best content to be added in gw2 and to this day i view Nightmare cm along with shattered (when it works) to be some of the best releases that provided me with a tone of playtime (unlike lw which admittedly i find my self over and done after the first week). The knowledge we got with ep3 ama (iirc) that the teams are now merged also paints a somewhat grim picture for the future of fractals and prob raids as well.
This is really sad to see since seeing with the more aggressive monetisation in the gemstore that the overall quality of the lw updates has increased along with the twitch presence imo (compaired to earlier years) as well as earnings from the last quarter showing increase, that the game seemingly is doing better than ever but my favorite part of the game which i spend the bulk of what is 4k~ hours (afk in mistlock excluded) has instead degraded compaired to last year.
Thats also the case to some extend with lw, even though i said lw has seen increase in scope and quality we havent gotten any episode around the 2 month mark and instead we've even seen delays up to 1 month for some releases.
Let me add here that it also feels bad how raids and fractals are tied to lw, this is mainly due to the fact that if a lw update is delayed so is the fractal (as seen with deepstone, which supposedly had a smooth development and was done before Bug in the system got shiped). It also gives me a sense of urgency, i personally want to take my time to play through the content without missing out on something else and/or feeling like i could be doing something else with friends or that i could get spoiled for lw while im doing the fractal and vice versa.
These mega releases make me feel like instead of massive content droughts the game is instead experiencing smaller 3-4 month ones as nothing noteworthy is happening between lw. The game is under the radar for 3 or even 4 months at a time until it releases lw +raid/fractal (prev all 3 at times) where it pops up then go back in hiding, i feel like it would be much better if we had the fractals and raids release inbetween lw episodes ( Lw> fractal> lw> raid> lw> fractal etc).
Don't take this as doomsay that the game is dying or smth, as i said its prob doing better than ever, its just the part of the game that i love (instanced content) that feels like it hasnt had any benefit from the success of the game elsewhere and instead feels like its slowed down.