Some of these issues probably just come down to the fact that we did just get a whole new version of the game less than two months ago, and the development team had only so much time to add new stuff to the game with the first patch containing a huge pile of stuff. So this was always going to be a little bit of a wash; there’s only so much you can do.
Part of the problem, though, is a lack of ambition. The holiday events are structured so that no one winds up needing to go out of the way to try something, and the whole thing is accessible as long as you’ve hit level 15 on one job (something that is about as challenging as falling asleep on NyQuil). And while accessibility is nice, it’s not the only thing that matters.
I’ve stated that I like Final Fantasy XIV’s current endgame, and I do, but part of the fun of holiday events is that you have something to pull in a different direction for a little while. Spice up an FFXIV Gil old dungeon or two; give us something new to deal with. Haukke Manor could hold an optional boss with minimal effort; it fits with the holiday, and because of how level sync works, it could legitimately be done with almost any setup of players. Or even just a roaming set of FATEs, something to chase — give us something to keep our interest beyond the first few moments of the holiday.
The team on the game is fully capable of making some engaging diversions. Let’s, you know, actually have a few.