I am starting a new thread for this and not following in the Telly threads, as the nerf saga and a witful comment from @sophos made me realize why I was truly disheartened by the nerf.
A player background: I am a member of a top100-150 alliance, with a quite strong and wide roster. I was getting fairly bored with the game for some time, even standard raiding was becoming a mindless routine with a 95% win rate in the months before Telly. I considered a bit of disrespect when antinerf was called generally selfish, while for me & my teammates and many top players/alliances the reasons were different. For me the main reason against was not that I wanted to wake up to a bit higher cups and have a good feeling about it, but we loved the new challenge Telly provided. It pulled us out of the routine daily raid wins and 5-6 war one shots.
I admit that the balance change was successful in reaching the goal of SG and the others calling for it: In defense Telly still remained relevant and imho still the strongest tank, but rather on par now with the other few top ones and more easily recoverable when she fires. On offense I am still happy to use Telly as a support/healer and Vela as a support attacker, they are still very strong in their roles. So after a week I made my peace with the balance and where my emblems are now. But still I feel, the challenge is gone, though yes I understand the reason why this was needed.
Fast forward to Tavern of Legends event which now just made my lack of challenge feelings much stronger: SG has created a new format of event, this part I praise as a good idea. But the very slow mana generation of bosses combined with a low number of levels made the whole thing into a joke for me.
Jumping also a bit back when I completed path of valor (or lvl48 quite some time ago), again there was no real challenge completing it and no feel of any urgency to do all tasks for an active player. This I also considered a huge step back from PoV1.
In summary: I know the game and its content must be accessible to the widest possible player base with sufficient rewards for their effort, BUT at the same time imho the game content should also cater for the strong and developed players with difficult and challenging tasks. We would like to sometime use our brains and our skills tested. I recently feel that with every new content or difficulty lowering changes we are doing a step back somewhere to candy crush land.
Path of Valor: if SG wants the completion to be accessible with lower demands, fine. Why not make an additional tier with one daily task or a set number of tasks as a kind of hardcore level, many such ideas were already proposed so we have more interesting tasks as the existing ones: e.g. win raids with only healers or only 3 att heroes. The end reward does not need to be high, even one 4* ascend item is fine, even with no daily rewards for this tier. Do it for the challenge and fun of it.
Tavern of Legends: The mana speed of bosses must be improved. And we could easily have 15 levels at least or more. This changes nothing for the ones who had a roster for only e.g. 8 stages now, but the ones with wider rosters could play to the end and really plan who to use.
General raiding: Well this is the most complicated one, maybe SG could finally think to modernize the outdated Cups system. I have seen some interesting arena ideas on the forum far in the past. EDIT: As the raid attack problematic more precisely described by Sophos in post #7, I also wonder if perhaps there already exist some ideas on improving the raid attack mechanism itself.
With this post I aim to see if I am alone with these feelings or if there are many other players that look for higher difficulty/challenging content in the game and discuss where you think the game could be improved to address our need.