I don’t exactly have rose-colored glasses for old gaming memories. Early MMOs had some positives certainly, but they also has some horrendous mechanics. UO was my first kick and regardless of what people the shard split, it was needed. EQ provided a “safer” space in true 3d, but it came with a massive grind and hard requirement to group. WoW took all of that, got rid of everything people complained about (and hired EQ guild leaders) and presented an “optimized” gaming experience that pretty much everyone could get into. Optimization unfortunately brought simplification of some systems.
I personally like the concept of multi-tiered crafting. This makes all items relevant in the crafting process. UO started with this, where that ingot at the start of the game is still relevant at the end. EvE does this too. There are multiple ways to find these “ingots”. It isn’t just one location, and one method. Find them with miners, find them on enemies, trade them, NPCs trades. There are some rare materials, or rather less common, but they follow the same thought process.
Warframe follows this as well. Of the dozens (and dozens) of missions, there’s a lot of cross-over of materials. Some missions are better at some sources, and some areas require a bit more work. The end result is that no matter what you’re doing, it’s rewarding and (somewhat) relevant. It also means that as much as you have vertical progress (levels) you have horizontal progress (options) at the same time, rather than closing off content.
This is a flipside compared to the modern “ubisoft sandbox” model. All the icons are things to do, but once you do, then there’s no real reason to go back.
The system isn’t perfect but it does work. Keeping all the content relevant for longer periods of time is a smart investment of resources. Also means that players have a lot more options to play through as the product keeps evolving. Choice is good.