I'm sure this has all been said in this thread already but wanted to put my 2 cents in on my Guild Wars experience now that console has finished it's first week.
To add to the echo chamber... stressful. At least half a dozen if not more others in my guild have also stated this same sentiment. GoW was always a fun, relaxing game that you could play at your own leisure without "pressure" to do well. GW takes this and throws it out the window. Now I understand that guild wars is technically optional, but out of a 30 person guild, inevitably many will want to partake, which then drags the rest of the guild along.
Also, what's "worse" is that there are unobtainable troops/etc that are hidden behind guild wars, basically forcing the completionists/collectors who are more or less playing the game for fun and the chance to snag that card they don't have, to compete in a highly competitive, frustrating mode of gameplay in an attempt to obtain those troops, with no other outlet to get them.
The stressful part comes in a few different forms:
1) First, not being able to play your matches until the end of the week. Those who have weekend plans or will be out of town Friday - Sunday have no option to get their matches done ahead of time and miss out on them. And then are either pressured to run through 15 matches at 10pm on Sunday night when they get home and are exhausted, or "let their guild down" and not complete them. That expectation alone sucks, but then coupled with the fact that guild wars matches usually last 5x as long as a regular pvp match, makes it a chore... and that's not what this game should be.
2) Second, the variety is atrocious. Players are incentivized on the offense side to pick "unnatural" mono color teams, which don't mesh terribly well most of the time, while defense is only incentivized to "hold off the attacking player" with no restrictions whatsoever, thus they can choose any combination of troops they want and pick the cheesiest, most RNG favorable teams out there "just to get the win". If I see one more "Mab, Justice, XX, XX" team I'm going to throw my controller. It's just not fun at all, and coupled with the lack of variety, I honestly dreaded clicking my next battle.
3) Third, And i'm not sure if this has been addressed yet, but at least in PvP if you lose to an opponent, you're done with it and move onto the next. When I play a cheese team made to just irritate the piss out of you in Guild Wars and lose to it, I'm then forced to play it again? That's the absolute last thing I want to do. It's ridiculous and makes me want to stop after the first loss.
4) Fourth, Because of the lack of variety in defense teams, and using a mono color on offense (again, harkening back to not wanting to disappoint the rest of your guild members, because I could honestly care less), instead of matches taking 2 - 5 minutes, they take 5 - 15 minutes a piece. Let's cut the difference and say an average match takes 10 minutes, times 35 matches, that's over 5 hours of mind numbing, extremely frustrating play. Especially when half of those matches are coming down to extreme RNG cascade, devour, death mark luck at the nitty gritty end.
5) Fifth, The idea of Guild Wars was not a bad one, but somewhere along the way what it was "supposed to be" was lost. It turns a casual game into a hardcore one. The difference is, if I'm looking for a "hardcore" game I'll go to something like a Dark Souls or Bloodborne game, where the play is grueling, but the only thing to blame for me losing is myself. Gems of War, with it's extreme amount of RNG was never meant to be a "hardcore game". There are just too many factors outside of a person's control. It doesn't matter how well you construct your team, or time you take to balance it... a few lucky cascades, a death mark that goes off on half your team on turn 2, or a devour that hits every time, can flush all that down the toilet. When it's casual, you chalk it up to bad luck and move along, when it's for "special goodies" and "not letting your team down", its a draining experience that loses the fun.
And for those that say "well then just don't play guild wars"... that's not always a viable option. A HUGE part of the game is being in a guild and the experience that comes along with it, and if select people in the guild want to be a part of it, then it puts a ton of pressure on you to also participate. Couple that with the fact that theres a huge scoreboard that, if you do fail, feels like a huge arrow is pointing to your name saying "THIS IS THE PERSON THAT SUCKS IN YOUR GUILD" and I can understand why people are quitting. At that point, if you're in a guild you like, you don't want to let them down, you're pretty much obligated to trudge through the monotony of it.
I understand that there are players who enjoy it, and that's fine. But those players seem to be the more "hardcore" of the bunch, and while every game will have them, again, that's not what this game as a whole was designed to be. There needs to be a way to allow Guild Wars, or something like it, to be less restrictive, offer more variety, and not hide "valuable" prizes behind a wall that that is the only way to obtain them. Without giving it more thought I'm not 100% sure what that solution is at this moment, but I'll definitely report back if I come up with something.