My biggest issue, that you brought up, but didn't focus in on, is the nexus event.
During it, atleast for VOT the entire server lags, not the zone, not the screens of people within it, but the ENTIRE server is forced to deal with the nexus, even on another half of the map.
To me, that is just atrocious.
Wall of text translated:
"Life isn't hard enough for me, I yearn for misery, I despise results in a reasonable of time for a reasonable amount of work, I"m moving to Korea, bai."
This game is killing itself because it is trying to cater too much to the casual players. They have dumbed down leveling to the point you can get to lvl 60 in around a week if you are hard core. People are leaving 6 weeks after the game opened because they are bored with nothing to do.
EME have listened to all the criers on the forums which is a MINORITY of the players and are slowly ruining the game by making it way to easy.
They have taken features out of the game that may not have appealed to all but they did appeal to some. Removing stuff to cater to the minority isnt the way to be successful.
So how is it not an MMORPG? Just because you don't like some of the specifics? Still lots of players, online in an RPG.
People need to differentiate their wants from needs.
The reason you can't very easily make a game hardcore and casual is because the game's content needs to be balanced within a limited spectrum of difficulty.
If you choose to give substantial rewards for large investments of time, as the OP and some others are suggesting, you will create an insurmountable gap between casual and hardcore players that will erode the community and eventually destroy the game itself.
Why? Because as hardcore players get better by investing more time, the content that exists is getting easier for them. So when it comes time to add new content to the game, the designers have to make a choice: scale the content with the hardcore players or scale it with the casual players.
Scaling with hardcore players will render the content inaccessible to casual players unless they are given some kind of quick advantage. However, giving them an advantage will alienate hardcore players, the problem that a certain globally dominant mmorpg is having right now.
If you scale with casual players, your new content will be trivial for your segment of hardcore players. They'll complain that the game is too easy, they'll get bored, they'll leave.
If you try to please everyone, you have to develop twice the amount of content, doubling development fees to pander to two disparate audiences that want essentially two different games out of one game.
a badly balanced mmo has 2 choices:
1. make it hard and impress a select few "hardcore" gamers
2. make it easy, popular, and increasingly pointless
what the mmo needs are difficulty balances (make hard mode harder, make normal mode easier)
and greater reward hard mode
also the game needs content to cater to solo players