You spent 4:18 between 125-150 watts;
You spent 16:12 between 150-175 watts;
You spent 18:48 between 175-200 watts;
You spent 13:03 between 200-225 watts;
You spent 4:21 between 225-250 watts; and,
You spent 1:15 between 250-275 watts!
C.Cadence spent 100% of her time at 165W (2.5W/kg). If your coach told you to go out and ride for an hour at 70% of your FTP, you would certainly get a FAIL on this workout! The keyword in your comment is “unconsciously”. If you want to ride “unconsciously”, then sign on to an “E” group ride with rubber-banding on. You can watch a movie without so much as a conscious thought about cycling. I choose to ride with intention, consciousness, and with fitness goals.
“Lighter riders could also hold 2.5 W/kg, but they rode faster. I don’t think they had a higher W/kg than me.”
This is nonsense on its face. If they “rode faster” (faster than whom? the PP or YOU???), they would depart the peloton. And your second assertion is purely speculative. And anyone who has ridden with the PP for any length of time, and is paying attention, KNOWS that the PP will repeatedly alter her position within the peloton on the FLATS too, from the rear, to the middle, to the front - randomly - as a result of interactions with the other riders and their random behavior. So, your assertion that the “group was pretty tight” says nothing about the behavior the PP herself. She moves through the group randomly.
I’ll bet you had difficulty keeping with the Pace Partner when you first experienced the ride feel. Heck, I’ve seen professionals (Llama VIDs) who were surprised at the difficulty at first. But I think you’ll also find that as more persons ride more frequently on varied terrain with the PP, riders will improve. You should also remember, you don’t have to change the way you ride hills, or change the hugely stochastic nature of your ride pattern - you just need to know where the PP is (in front or behind), how far away, and the rate of change of that distance. Ride any “natural” way you like. Change the gradient bias (“trainer difficulty”) on your trainer to smooth the hills out. Fall to the back of the peloton, and race up that hill if you wish. Run off the front, and reset the drops multiplier. The PP will catch up when you tire. Ride in whatever manner feels “natural” to you… but the PP should remain at a known, predictable pace on all terrain, at all times. It’s up to you to vary your ride experience around that nice steady heartbeat. All it requires is a little skill (practice), and some concentration. Or not. Do you really care whether you stay in the “drops multiplier” bubble? Is that what this comes down to? In real life cycling, people go faster downhill and slower uphill, in relation to their flat pace. Just like the PP. But you do you.
The Pace Partners are a brilliant feature, with huge potential ahead. Want to pound the hills? Drop to the rear of the PP peloton and burn to the front on the climb. Or, go ride with the myriad groups that ride in this strange way that you call “natural”. With the option of changing between TT bikes and non-TT bikes, the PPs are the most terrific, RELIABLE, training mechanism on Zwift. BTW, 'bots are not “natural” - and expecting them to be that which they are not… is not natural.
I’m trying to improve the 'bot experience given the tools that have already been demonstrated, tested, and deployed in the production environment. That means using and expanding the FANTASTIC proximity animation that was deployed in January with release 1-0-61217, and then, unfortunately, watered-down to un-usability in February. Let’s talk about wish-lists… in the future.