GW1 had a better and more involved pet system and pet combat. That alone should speak volumes when people would prefer a direct port of the old system over the new system.
But for my overall issue with it because I shouldn’t directly compare games, GW2 is mobility based combat in which movement is the most important determining factor in fights. Most of the combat in the game takes place while mobile (as opposed to rooted attacks). Attacks that root the player are often times compensated by being big, important skill, both to land as the user and avoid as the intended victim.
At which point we get to pets, where none of there attacking abilities are mobile, and yet almost none of their abilities are strong enough to justify being rooted abilities. The downside to this is especially evident versus other players, who generally are smarter than the AI to the degree that they can use cheap gw2 gold as a player to negate the effectiveness of their opponents AI. However, their effectiveness (30% damage before factoring in utility function) is completely and totally tied to that AI, meaning that now, that player has to “trick” or force the AI into being intelligent enough to compete with your intelligence to the point where it lands some of its damage or abilities.
This is especially difficult in terrain based kiting, where in certain situations players are smart enough to figure out that they can kite pets on terrain that those pets won’t be able to traverse, essentially handicapping ranger players by 30% of their damage on top of utility being lost.
That is a huge issue. I have no doubt that eventually ANet will be able to iron out details with Pet AI versus content, but versus other players, to some degree, I think that rangers are always going to have to work harder to get their pet mechanic to work than other classes and their mechanics, and I don’t see ANet compensating ranger players for their disadvantages with any clear advantages (like eles get with having such high DPS but having to manage so many skills and a low health pool).
Being able to use the other 2 cooldowns skills on demand that our pets use would be a huge start. But the ANet devs think “that’s too hard for ranger players.” But just like ANet’s shock with how fast the Tequatl revamp was beaten versus the time frame they were expecting, they seem to have a habit of gauging the intelligence and abilities of their playerbase a lot lower than where they actually are.