Back in the UO and EQ days, you needed to be determined to succeed. Death was extremely painful. You could lose hours of progress or even your entire house! Death was seen as a deterrent for many types of gameplay other than the one prescribed by the developers.
Flash forward to early Wow and the worst part of death was a 20 minute corpse run through STV. Nowdays, any game that puts you more than 20secs away from your corpse is considered hardcore.
GW2 is my current flavor and it treats death lightly. It really isn’t a deterrent in terms of penalty or time. What it does do is kill you all the time for little valid reason.
See, I like to get better. In the majority of games, I tend to float above average. I get meta gaming and theorycrafting. Heck, I write guides for games. GW2 is different.
You can die all the time due to level scaling. You can die to poor spawns, you can die to guys behind rocks, you can die because of aggro radii being inconsistent, you can die because of sparkles that don’t correspond to an attack but do to damage.
My elementalist cannot get better. He has the best gear, all his skills, all the passive traits that I think are of value and enough knowledge of the class to understand skill synergy. But I die a lot. I’d say 1 in 10 fights puts me in rally mode and half of those I die. Most of the time it’s me being victim of poor spawning in an empty zone. And it gets worse the higher in level I get.
It gives the impression than I’m getting weaker as I grow, which is not a fun feeling to have.