I don't fault anyone here really. I won't hold it against you if you don't want to 'mash'. I also don't hold it against you if you want to play a more active role in combat. The unfortunate truth however, is that in appeasing the more relaxed player is almost always to have the flow of combat reflect that slower GCD.
Slower GCDs are more fun in dungeons/instanced combat so that you have time to think about what you're doing, and also to have time to react to what's going on in the battle. There's longer GCDs in FFXIV vs, say, WoW... but from my experiences it looks like there's a lot more movement and mechanics to deal with from your average boss fight than WoW (at least, the easier difficulties).
I would not want FFXIV-style mechanics and movement with WoW's fast GCDs, lol. That would be a little insane.
The reason why people don't like long GCD is this...
Generally speaking, the abilities that are off of the GCD tend to be either abilities that have limited usage(stuns, slows or snares, interrupts, ect.) or they have much longer cooldowns(minutes or more). As a result, encounters tend to be 'spiky'. You're mashing away to keep up while your buff is active for that 1 minute every 5 minutes, but the other 80% of the time.
This is a big part of it too, FFXIV loves its long cooldown abilities. And yeah, they're usually OGCD, but they don't really "matter" in terms of balancing out the length of the GCD because you only use them once every 30-60+ seconds. WoW has pruned a lot of their long cooldowns within the last couple expansions, now most classes have one or two, tops.
Again, I'm not taking a side here. Just pointing out that there are cases to be made for both sides. To me that means that there needs to be a change to the foundation. Personally I would shed the GCD system altogether in favor of a build/spend, priority-based system.
This is something WoW has done, with varying success. Holy Power for Paladins feels nice, and they've vastly improved Combo Points for Rogues and Feral Druids over the last couple expansions. They've even added such resources to other classes, such as Shadow Priest, though some of these classes, it seems more like a gimmick than an actual mechanic that you commonly use.
FFXIV is trying to dip their toes into the water too, with things like Oath Power for Paladins. The problem is, the builders and consumers of these resources are too few and don't really weave into a regular rotation. Therefore, most of what you do is still the same old GCD combo abilities that don't care about the Oath Meter whatsoever. Now I'm not saying you should ignore the Oath Meter, as it does have its place, but most of your ability usage is the same old 3-button combos, depending on your needs.
I don't know about ditching GCD altogether, though -- if you ditch it altogether then you're forced into mashing buttons as fast as you can. GCD prevents you from being measured by how fast you can hammer buttons. Now, what I think we COULD do, is base the class around 1-2 resource builders and 2-3 resource spenders and give the builders a cooldown.
Ret Paladin in WoW does this -- your Holy Power builders are Crusader Strike and Blade of Justice. These both have a ~4 second cooldown. Your Holy Power spenders are Templar's Verdict, Divine Storm, and either Word of Glory or that Damage+Heal Attack I can never remember the name of but is insanely overpowered.
You get 1 more ability that does not build Holy Power, nor spend it, but it is a ranged attack, and is your opening attack, and places a debuff on the enemy called Judgment.
You build Holy Power with CS or BoJ, throw Judgment when it is available, and spend your Holy Power as the situation calls for it. The GCD actually matters very little with Ret Paladin; you barely notice it whatsoever. Usually only when you use Judgment, or when you're about to use a Holy Power spender (and just used something else previous to it). It's a very balanced playstyle, and it is one of my favorite.
It toes that line between button-mashing and fall asleep boring, the happy Middle-Man, it's perfectly in-between both. It's easy to just pick up and play, anybody, even a complete newbie could sit in front of a Level 110 Ret Paladin and figure out how to play it with adequate proficiency within five minutes or less, but yet there's room for refinement that takes quite a bit of practice to get to, especially if you take the random extra attack proc talents. Edited, Dec 16th 2017 10:48am by Lyrailis