Ok, I am an old-time player, starting a few months before the second class was introduced. I quitted three/four years ago due to GM's favoritism to a certain guild and horrible response by GM to complaints regarding a certain hackers, who hacked my guild, my account, and more than half of the members in it.
I just came back several months ago. I don't really WoE lately due to RL commitments, so read whatever I write here with lots of grains of salt.
Most previous posters had put their very insightful two cents that you really need to take care of - from exp and drops problems to major bug abuses that was not dealt with promptly, leading to seemingly GM favoritism to a certain alliance. Still, here's my take of current situation:
First, I am quoting from this excellent post:http://forums.irowik...?t=62244&page=6
Before trans battles lasted longer because killing people outside of gfist was pretty damn hard. You were trying to run them out of potions, and because of the economics of things most people had fat whites with a few yggs. Mastelas weren't sold at an npc and ranked alchemist potions could only be made in singles.
Of course most people were still terrible and died, but the handful of good people in each alliance didn't die until they ran out of potions or got fisted. And there was no real reason for you to have a ghostring, no one really had mvp cards, god items weren't in yet, etc. So it was pretty much a fair fight because you were wearing:
sunglasses  of some kind
silk robe  with marc card possibly switching to zephyrus silk or ifrit formal
muffler/manteau with raydric or ragamuffin
cranial [guard/buckler/mirror shield]
shoes/boots with matyr (or verit/sohee if you were a monk on defense) / crystal pumps
status weapon/hydra+skel worker weapon/quad dex rod/triple dex staff
nimble gloves / nimble rosaries / npc rosary / str accessory to hit bonus / with a hide accessory to switch to
None of that was expensive or hard to get. Stormgust damage was low enough that having ME wasn't 100% required to push. A lot of the time you didn't have it and would toss up safety walls to not get fisted. You geared to minimize damage taken so that you could last longer with more potions, instead of gearing to not get one hit with no regard to your potion capacity. Oh there were no gym passes too, so a wizard or priest could only hold ~30 white potions unless they wanted to go overweight. There was no recall so you had to organize your warps carefully and coordinate. It also meant you could defend by having guilds planted inside, and then when people died they could organize a counter-push through their own fort to eliminate anyone who happened to make it to the end of the first floor.
Trans and the patches just before/after changed the game immediately by having people who could 4 hit emperiums instead of a well built breaker taking over a minute to break an unguarded emperium. The leaders could then recall anywhere, meaning you had to be a lot less organized and defense was only viable in the final room. People could also one shot each other or come close to it so gearing for minimized potion usage took a backseat for gearing to one shot people or not die in one shot.
Here's the laundry list:
1. WoE was accessible back then. Back when I first started, my level 70s regular wiz was already decent for WOE-ing. Everyone was at the same level with almost same equips. Back then, the two biggies in Chaos were WAVE vs Geffen. But, there are still possibilities of new alliances forming and creating an interesting dynamic in the WoE politics, simply because no alliance is strong enough to completely dominate the server. For instance, GOLD, the third strongest alliance, was in general allying with Geffen in order to block WAVE, and later the Payon Alliance joined the fray. This forced WAVE to actually try to think of new strategies, from expanding to six-guilds alliance, to cultivate new "friendly allies" such as Maelstorm/Hack alliance and Alde Alliance.
Hell, even Love and Peace, a small non-WoE guild, could dominate the MVPs.
In short, WoE was fought between equals. If you stomp on a small alliance, the next thing you know, that small alliance would actually gang up with your rival alliance, causing problems.
Now, with tons of god items and high-end items monopolized by large guilds, not to mention retarded level differences, one alliance, heck actually one guild, is enough to dominate the server. Simply monopolize all god items, not giving any other guild any access to it, then you can trounce the oppositions and do whatever you want.
Fun for them? Yes. Fun for the rest of the server? No.
Of course, when you do the "race to 150," winners will be the ones who have all the god items and mvp cards, which causing the strong guild to be much stronger and the rest remains....
2. Fix the damn lag. When you keep seeing your screen feezing and you end spawning in Kafra with all your pots gone in both WOE and non-WoE, that kills all the fun.
3. Higher exp rate. I don't want this game to be like a pserver, but on the other hand, like everybody else said, when you are forced to grind in places where your chars are overqualified (e.g. warlocks in magmarings), then yeah it is getting tedious. I can understand the logic of exp penalty to force players to spread out, but I think this is kinda overboard.
In addition, get rid of the drop penalty. You can have this when we have a steady influx of new people coming in and that will help them getting some zeny to start the game. Keep in mind, however, that there are very few new players joining in, especially in Ymir.
4. I don't know whether this can be done here, but you need to limit the number of mvp cards/god items that a guild can use in woe. Fighting a guild full of people wearing all high-end items and double-belted RK is not fun, especially when you are wearing +7 silk robes, which was leet five years ago.
To GMs' credits, however, they communicate to players way much better now compared to what they used to. Still, more in-game events/activities won't hurt and if GMs can be more accessible in game, this may improve community much more.
Edited by Hanfeizi, 31 October 2010 - 12:33 AM.