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" A.How to enjoy this game again; or B. What to do instead"
i can only tell you how i personally enjoy the game. and it's up to you if you wanna try what i do or something similar or even inspire you to try something new in the game.
what i love about mabi
i love how relaxing the game can be, i do a lot of life skills and i help contribute to a lot of players who need woodboards and i love cooking in mabi
i love being an archer elf not because its strong (cuz its not) but because i can pretend to be a D&D style elfy in anime style.
identify your triggers
gachapons prey on me as well, i'm bipolar and suffer from impulse control sometimes so i made it a rule to not play mabinogi when im depressed.
my perspective on making friends
as for toxic communities go. i feel ya there, back then when the internet was still a baby, anyone could make friends with randos and people were nice.
however now a days people lost the concept of real world consequences and are highly toxic. if they get banned they make a new account. and other examples too.
my advice about making friends on mabi is gonna be.. be cautious around randos but try to bring real world friends or people you trust more from outside the game in with you for less drama.
in summary and how i feel about it
try and bring friends into mabi as it makes less drama and more real world accountability
gambling in mabi preys on those suffering from mental health. nexon isn't held accountable for players going broke and they shouldn't be. thats the users to choose to spend money
this game is super fun!
but i dont have enough real world friends to bring into the game to go raiding so i take long breaks. from time to time. play other games and try to focus on something else ♥
i left out chains deliberately, even giants can benefit from chains if they do dex centered talents. and your right about the lack of str of course. but i dont use shurikens for damage, shadow binds title is great for dungeons and missions.
also, i'd like to add random info about the metallic arrows you can get from the jousting shop for only 2 points.
they are missing an important fact about you get 10% aim bonus.
(if the enemy running at you, if you have enough distance, you'll get 100% max aim if you wait. but you got to watch for the smoke animation under your feet to make sure you wont miss)
i paired metallic arrows with my spirit bow with ultimate unlocked for it. and i dont need vision as much anymore.
If the devs see there needs to be a rework for elves they would have done so that balances everyone else with the updates. At least that's what I noticed from the archery update. They reworked throwing attack with that update which made no damn since.. It's not archery.
I gave up on an update that focus specifically for elves. Giant always gets stronger while elves seem to need to focus on utility skills to get things done.
Glad I like to draw, cause devs won't provide that perfect elf niche I've been looking for.
Oh as for a "melee" weapon for elves.. try a spirit shuriken and focus on the left slots for damage and crits. There's a bonus damage if you have extra dex, check the wiki.