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I'm a guy who loves to spend money on games to look unique. Not just unique actually, I want to stand out above the crowd with my fashion. That's what my goal always is when I look what to spend my money on in these games. Gear doesn't do this and fashion does.
So while it was blasphemous that a set like the Halloween Witch set could cost so much, there was a part of me that was happy because I knew that this decent looking set would be highly exclusive to people. There's only a select amount of people who really would be able to finish the set. From personal experience, I've only met 2 other people in-game (not really from looking) who have finished the set.
So perhaps as an average paying customer you are not happy, but don't lump us all together. Some of us are actually satisfied with this model.
Is leveling speed really important to people? An MMO lives or dies by what is available endgame, I couldn't care less about leveling speed. I like the speed in the CBT because it's alt-friendly.
Apparently that's what people these days think. I personally have never seen the point in making a game where you methodically design a level system with equipment, skills, content and rewards just to make sure people can skip it as fast as possible so they can get to a point where they have everything unlocked from the moment they step into the game and can mindlessly grind dungeons for months until they get tired of it and leave.
MS is a game of exploration, socialization, artwork, progression, cooperation. That's what the game should've focused on since the beginning, and as you can see there is still a lot of beauty in the map designs and the homages to the first game. Now they're throwing all that away to satisfy people who want to teleport through 100 different NPCs, skip every dialogue, story and cutscene and solo all the dungeons so they can get +1 to their gear score.
Honestly, why can't you just pick one of the hundreds of other, better MMOs on the market that are focused on that and leave MS to the people who care about other gameplay?
Probably because the purpose of a leveling system is to gate you from going into territory that you aren't ready for? People act like you're supposed to be proud of being a certain level when all you're doing is showcasing that you're willing to put up with a system that prevents you from enjoying the actual game. Do you understand why a game like D3 can never be successful but WoW is? Because the emphasis on leveling is too extreme in one and tolerable in another. Do you understand why PS for MS get so popular? Because they enhance the rates that players from the original servers cannot stand.
Sorry, but in this day and age people are becoming more and more aware that a game with a heavy focus on leveling is just proving itself to be poor design. MS2 is more than leveling and the sooner people realize that, the better off we'll be as a community to actually help this game improve.