TBH the main draw of vanilla should be PVP but I don’t suspect that’d be the case given how many people prefer prefer PVE or mainly PVE with pvp on the side. Even if everyone was trying really hard for awhile, we’d still have people not playing at the skill cap, that’s how high the vanilla skill is, and that’s also how versatile and how many mixups people can do in PVP which makes it vastly superior to PvE.
The other stuff is problems as well as trade-offs fundamental to MMORPGs and games. How much grind and in what way, too little, too much? As much as people are bored of doing the same, (which I’m not for gear, grinding gear and being done is usually something I’m thankful for) they’re also those bored of doing the same gear treadmill that looks perhaps not the same do to vague shape, intead of the cycle of grind and stop, with stopping being the plateau, there’s the repeat of “cycle through next xpac, rekins and grinding gear, then we do it again next time” this is emblematic of the fundamental tradeoff or ‘problem’ of MMORPGs
As much as people hate fighting games for the skill difference, and being destroyed by better players, and the constant grind of ‘labbing’ out fights, it’s a different type of grind, but players may and some do feel inclined that for whatever reason the ‘grind’ in fighting games is fine but not MMORPGs and vice versa.
The real loss is people as a whole imo, pvp in mmorpgs has its own flavor and style and so much variation with how much you can change in MMORPGs, it’s a real shame a lot of people sleep on the skill cap or chalk it up to “just a unworthy mentionable bonus to a game”