Thank you for sharing this. It's very insightful and gives us a better perspective on what we can do to improve the user experience as the game development goes forward.
I believe the slow take-down of enemy creatures might be because of the newly implemented level system. I do not know if you were alone the entire time you played or were in a party, but we've added party exp bonuses to encourage everyone to make a full party to raise the benefit.
I can't speak from every departments decision, but I do understand that there are some things that could use some fixing.