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I mean that in the best way possible.
Financially, it has been anything but stellar. Economically it has been a loss.
The amazing amount of detail in this game is unsurpassed by anything, even some of the older games that have set precedents.
As somebody who had been burnt out on WoW and every other derivative product under the sun I wasn't expecting anything and got more than a thousand hours out of this game.
What exactly do I mean? Graphical detail. Platforming elements. Size of game world, content, class diversity. The events that were delivered free of charge I took for granted. The awesome soundtrack (seriously? nobody appreciates the quality of the music?). The easter eggs strewn about the world...
If this game had released 10 years before it had, it would have received "one of the best games ever made" award, but.. it didn't.
Even though it did everything perfectly and on top of everything added something the MMO genre really needed like Platforming (and to a FAR lesser degree), Puzzle elements, it hasn't received its just deserts and has in recent time sort of gone the tried route of adding more incentives for people to spend money (yay ascended).
To summarize the above: There will not be another game of the same quality as GW2 that delivered the same amount of content updates without an initial sub.