I don’t mind some flashy effects, such as the streak effect of a sword slash, or maybe a muted glow.
I definitely agree that many of the sword skins are poorly designed. The flashiest one I use is Bolt. The others that I use are the Fractal sword and Mistforged Hero’s sword. I’m working towards an Infinite Light, partly because I had a Runic blade in GW1 and that is one of my favourite skins of all time. The MFH sword is reminiscent of the big Middle Eastern scimitars or the ancient Chinese sabres, the designs of which I also love. In terms of non flashy skins, one of my favourites is the Ceremonial sword skin, which is much like a sabre and suits a Thief beautifully. The fractal sword is simply the most beautiful sword in the game. It has the perfect balance of flash versus elegance without being over board on either aspect.
Other swords that I do like are the Krytan, Light, Mystic/Inquest, Seraph and Whisperblade for the simple fact that they’re elegant designs with minimal fancery.
In terms of flashy greatsword skins I use gw2 gold and that’s about it. Ebonblade and Cobalt skins are about as simple and elegant as a greatsword can be. I also use Naga Fang, although the hooked slashing edge is a little silly from a combat perspective as that would just catch on to armour and things. The Ebonhawke and Lionguard skins are also sensible looking. Others that fall into this category are Dawn/Khrysaor, Dhuumseal, and Ghastly.
I’ve always hated using flashy effects to draw attention onto oneself. It’s a big “hey look how cool I am with this big flashy blade on my back!” sign. Hence, why I absolutely detest Eternity, Sunrise and Twilight. They serve absolutely no purpose except to be a nuisance in a big fight and block any of a boss’s tells. it’s hard enough to see with all the elementalist spells firing off I do not need my vision completely blocked by stupid swirls.The contender for worst looking skin set is the Pearl set. To have that as the crafted exotic set is an insult to the eyes.