Well, its been a while that recently I really felt like that its going all over the place in term of theme, sotry and that mechanic within set are way too narrow or self contain to be use outside of their set.
In term of "story" of set we went from big "Gozilla" style monster to viking theme, to medieval fantasy to "victorian" style, no ties in within 2 sets that are release, no combination or even relation within sets. It is quite hard to have a sentiment of being in a story line or what not when each set is so different.
The mechanics of a set most of the time feel flat in most case and doesnt allow much constructive power to be interesting or even give possibility outside the few brew you can "select a mechanic and build a deck around it" then that it, you will have all those from one set, then you complete the rest with "staple" card of the color. There usually not enough possibility to the mechanic to not fall just as a "brew" idea within the deck and will just rarely be interestingly "competitive", having a party, venture in the dungeon, energy or card with effect like "when you surveil" are too restricted, you are just better off with card with effect that are less restricted like magecraft / prowess and allow much more "build" around.
Why are set mechanic always usually purely so self contain and never really ties in, combine or even appear in other set, that EVERY set you need to "learn" the 4-5 new mechanic words and that those words will be basically never used again (bare the few exception that became evergreen like scry) and doesnt really allow to be built around much, Magic is supposed to give the ability to combine card and power but the moment you want to choose a mechanic, you are restricted a lot, because if you want a energy usage deck, you need to use a good portion of your deck to be from Kaladesh, no real choice of selection.
In the past Magic was about Blocks , 1 big set, then 2 smaller expansions to that set.
That way you had a story over 9 months, much more cards, much more time to play and collect these cards and everything was slower and cleaner.
Today, every set (with exceptions) is just 1 set, then you hop to another set, another story, the story itself is much less fleshed out, theres more product and variations of everything, so its much more of a "rush".
And WotC is chasing that "high" on full force, with their screwed idea of pleasing everyone a little bit, its easily overkill if you commit to much to all of it.
I personally resort to playing just on Fridays (and PreReleases on the weekend) very regularly, so its more of a constant and less too much of Magic (as you can totally burn out).
Current set designs follow somewhat of a checkbox sheet.
They very much tend to have at least 5 color combinations per set and often all 10 2-color pairs in some kind of theme for a set.
Thats super cramped up for a single set, to have basically 10-factions in some kind or another.
Planeswalker for a long time had the issue that they also followed some kind of template , 4-5 mana, +1 had to either make tokens or draw a card, -2 had to be some kind fo removal or produce some bigger card advantage, and the ultimate had to somehow win the game.
For the first bunch of planeswalkers thats cool new stuff, but when you get the 20th planeswalker with that design template, well, it gets super boring.
The planeswalkers that break out of these templates are either super bad, or pretty broken (playable 3 mana planeswalkers tend to be pretty overpowered).
Most set mechanics are mainly done for Limited play. Almost all cards in a set are just useful for Limited, draft, or sealed format, all the "bad" commons and fringe uncommons and otherwise unplayable rares.
In constructed just a subset of a set actually can be relevant, as so many cards are just flat out worse than the "mythic" in the set.
And the way WotC designs sets, they have a metagame in mind they are planning to see, so they are aware what cards are pushed in powerlevel and they basically pre-build some decks with the cards to guess what the metagame of standard might be.
A even smaller subset of cards is designed to be powerful or specific enough for other formats, like Modern.
And of course theres Commander / EDH format of people that want their fix too, so each set has to have some legendary creatures for them and some toys to play with.
That way sets can quite easily feel more and more the same, as they follow the same check boxes of card design variations.
Lately especially WotC resorted to "gameplay gimmicks" , like Dungeons, the Day/Night mechanic and stuff like that, which are much less card-design and put some element in the game that is alien and they design it in powerlevel much more conservative, so it wont completely shake up a format ... exception to that are the "Modern Horizon" and the other super premium products, as they push powerlevel of cards intentionally to guarantee the cards will influence a existing constructed format.
Sets are designed by teams self-contained , just a little bit of leeway between the sets and some "bridge" cards that combo with something from the new set (like you get a bunch of vampires in the werewolf set, "teasing" the upcoming vampire set).
With the old set design of 3 sets per block, interaction between the sets in a block was given by design, today thats not the case anymore.
That has the advantage, that if someone really does not like a sets mechanic, they will get a fresh one in a shorter time period.
On the same coin, if someone really likes a sets mechanic, they are basically guaranteed to not get more of it for the foreseeable future.
Especially during Covid i resorted to just buying the bunch of interesting singles of a set i wanted and nothing else.
Normally i play a lot more Limited, so you get to play a lot more of the cards in a set, not just the tiny subset of pushed constructed cards.
well, sure, its gimmicky and only used in sealed, but they could at least try to make them more interesting and potential "build a deck of [mechanic]" rather than being so restricted to the set, its been like this since almost lorwyn, like I said, there no interesting thing you can really brew if you want an energy matter outside Kaladesh for example and a lot of other "mechanic matter" from a set or even worst from subset of a mechanic, like "surveil" matter and such.
Also what the purpose of a set mechanic then, if its only mainly use in such a small portion of the gameplay. its basically make a card obselete the moment you are not in a sealed or very casual format, a card with "do X if you surveil" is just pointless if you dont play a bunch of surveil
Like they could do this, instead of having "whenever you surveil" change to something like "whenever you looked at card from top deck and putted some in graveyard" ok I know its more clunky, but that the idea