At its simplest level the objective of combat is to kill the opposing side. However in content that involves large groups of players, death isn’t much of a factor which has a negative impact.
Rather than having encounters where the goal of the monster is to kill off the group of players, we instead see lower forms of difficulty, often referred to as “artificial”, such as timers before an automatic defeat, turning much of the content into “DPS tests”.
Instead of the encounter being about how well the players perform in the combat itself, the difficulty comes from how well players can coordinate and if they can deal enough damage in time.
This is most apparent in the living story releases which have focused on open world content involving masses of players, where the player group is pretty much invincible. The monsters aren’t designed to be able to wipe out the vast amount of players that can be around them, and even if they do manage to kill a few players it doesn’t have much impact due to how easily players can recover through revives or simply using gw2 gold.
This has caused a lot of frustration and hatred throughout the community regarding open world content. Combat loses its appeal when it doesn’t challenge the individual and since the difficulty of the fights doesn’t come from how well players perform in the combat, but instead on group coordination and damage, they are left feeling insignificant.
Large scale content needs to be redesigned, putting more emphasis on player death and individual skill for survival, continuation of the fight, and success. Monsters need the capability of wiping out entire groups of players and the punishment for death needs to have more impact.