I started to post this in the IDS thread, but since it's going all over the place and doesn't really cover what I want to address, I thought I'd start a new thread so this wouldn't get lost. I'd really like some feedback on this issue.
My biggest problem with the whole IDS situation is that ANet's actions don't seem to match their statements. A few facts:
1) ANet has stated that GW is not supposed to be about grinding. You should not have to farm to get good items.
2) As part of the holiday celebration, ANet adds several new items, some useful (IDS), others not so useful (Peppermint shields, Gingerbread Focus).
3) To get the not so useful item, ANet introduces several new quests. Somewhat time consuming, but not overly so and pretty fun as well. Once you're done, you get the item (and I don't think you can repeat the quest?).
4) To the the more useful item, you need to farm a particularly hard to reach area over and over again, either with a specialized build or a just a large team. But farming reduces the drops, so if you're unlucky the first few times, your chances to get one will decrease as you farm more (unconfirmed, but seems to be indicated by the experience of the unlucky farmers). Therefore, the farming appears to feed on itself.
Now ANet says that the game is not about farming/grinding (and even puts in code to discourage it) but then adds a special new item (IDS) that is:
a) unique in appearance,
b) has excellent stats, and
c) obtainable only by farming!!??
Now I admit that this item isn't necessary to have, but I think everyone would agree that it is a very useful item and would be desired by many, and ANet has to know that. This seems completely at odds with their stated position. And just to fuel the fire, Gaile states that they may not be there after the holidays!?!?
However, this is not a rant -- I think this could've been fixed by changing the way these items were given out. IMHO, ANet should've made the IDS part of the Wintersday quests and had it work like any other quest reward item (i.e., you can only do the quest once). That way, everyone who wants one can get one and people can't farm them to death and resell them for exorbitant amounts.
The more obscure items (gingerbread shields and such), could drop from strange areas such as the imps. That way, people who claim to enjoy farming the imps could farm away and get all kinds of cool little items. And some people probably will pay for them, even with their crappy little stats (heaven knows there are plenty of people in this game with gold to burn).
Anyway, it's too late to do this now, but this is just a suggestion to ANet for future special items of this nature so that people don't get so spun up about it and the players end up polarized into "haves" and "have nots".
(FWIW, I think this whole thing was an accident. The fact that Gaile seemed confused about IDS's at the beginning makes me think that some code might've gotten inadvertently deployed. But once people started getting them, they had no choice but to leave it there to keep everyone else from getting upset.)
Edit: As a disclaimer:
a) I do not have an IDS.
b) I did make multiple farming runs to attempt to get one
c) I do not have a sword warrior, so I wouldn't use one even if I had one
d) The only reason I was farming them was to give them away and/or sell them.