Eso in its current state is one of the least grindy mmorpg I have ever played...
Yes you could get really unlucky in an arena or dungeon or trial for weapons however it's the carrot.
It exists in all mmorpg and honestly the one and done you want will probably never happen.
I don't understand why you keep saying this: "It's silly that the game so drastically encourages a player to change their build because of a single mechanic." This would mean that you need to have a tanky build during the first 3 portals/arenas (whatever they are called), and need to change to a DPS build on the final boss fight. And this is not the case.
You decided, chose, to play this tanky build, and you failed with it at the final boss encounter. If you'd play a "normal" build that can take a few hits, deals damage and so on, you wouldn't have this problem.
And besides, the "play the game how you want" in my ears doesn't sound that you should be able to fill a trial DPS role with tank gear, or be a dedicated trial healer with DPS setup. It's like you can live your life the way you want to, but you can't magically turn into a rabbit, can you? Because you are a human (or robot, who knows, this is internet after all).
Dear ZOS. Please let us choose our arena weapons at the end.
Farming is a key aspect of the longevity of a MMO. That’s why dailys exist which give you the chance of a stylepage. By your argumentation the dailys should give you the whole stylebook at first completion, because apparently, they are only fun the first time around. This would render the daily quest normal one-time quests.
You see where im going with my argumentation: it would lead to player saying they have nothing to do, nothing to aim for after a very short time. The grinding-aspect of any game is a tricky thing to balance and could lead to the demise of a game if you tip the scale in any of the two directions too hard.
Too much grind: players feeling they can never get what they want and quit out of despair.
not enough grind: players start feeling bored, because they get all the new weapons after 12 runs.
If you would have made the argument that we need a token system, that’s what I could stand behind. Because it acts as a failsafe for bad RNG. If every 10th run would grant you enough tokens to get one specific weapon, that would increase the longevity compared to your proposal tenfold, while countering the bad feeling of having to battle against RNG.
Lots of new players don’t even know how good they have it TBH when monster sets came out there was no such thing as transmute crystals and at the end of the dungeon you were running there was no guarantee of a monster helm drop one of my friends tried for the engine guardian helm for almost a year before getting it in the right trait and heavy so they really have cut the grind by ALOT so the arenas not so bad to deal with especially with transmutes just gotta get the wep to drop once and you can put what ever trait you want
120+ runs in vma and no bow.
Did about 30 on normal when that changed and no bow.
How is this an ok system? Why am I running content that I can do on my sleep and still not getting what I need.
I know there should be some grind involved, but that's pretty ridiculous.
Thats crazy if you think about the fact that you have a 1/6 chance to get a bow which makes it one of the easiest weapon to get. For element or type specific weapons I understand why it takes longer because you have 1/6 x 1/3 = 1/18 chance to get a fire staff for example.
Back in the day I leveled a stam DD because I ran vMA so often without getting a fire staff that I gave up, when the perfected weapons got added I got fire staff on my first normal run..