I get being overwhelmed in pushing content. In hindsight, who knows, maybe you wish you would've done it differently. At the very least, I recall offering feedback on rough spots I encountered in my play. You might not have always agreed with my delivery, and I get I might've even been harsh through frustration, but I still recall instances that were simply met with counters of "Quit whining!" or "Code it yourself!" Loki's bitch fits over BLUs finding bugs with spells stands out to me still (and in one case leading to the discovery the entire spell file had been wiped/changed), and that kind of lacking restraint isn't really something I look for from a person in a position of authority.Arus, at the time you had played we rushed out a vast amount of content as the mentalities of us the staff were a lot different at the time then they are now. We especially me have spent the better part of the past 2 months reorganizing content and finding the gaps in things which ultimately made certain things harder then they were intended to be. The other issue at hand is a vast majority of the time players tend to complain when there is nothing to complain about and never offer a viable suggestion to a given problem.
We have had a staff member in secret over the past several weeks going through the server to find the holes in the leveling experience. As noone has ever attempted to re-balance the game for 99 play the way we have it is a trying and often very difficult thing to complete. We expect with the zone level reorganization as well as the inclusion of ilvl crafting in the coming weeks that a vast majority of things earlier players to the server had issues with will be fully resolved.
At the time, there were some pretty big issues like MACC and L100+ being buggy. I wasn't happy about the glut of instant-death moves, either by sheer damage or additional effect like Doom (and holy waters being ass). Things basically going to hell without chain-stuns is something I tried to bring your attention, too. The server's increased movement speed, carrying over to mobs, also made certain tactics more difficult. The game's enmity system then was also garbage, playing into the prior point if someone pulled hate off the tank (if you were lucky to have one), so I don't know if you've adopted retail's more recent variation there. Some social aspects really can't be overcome, like people preferring DPS roles over support, to the point you guys even started sanctioning WHM bots. I could've talked more about the leveling process if we got the perception you being receptive, but instead there were kneejerk reactions like some GoV pages getting nerfed or the insistence that @regen wouldn't work past 74, which basically meant if you weren't syncing in CN, you were a moron.
End game prep was something I touched on in my last post, and I know during my tenure, the ZNM system went from free-spawn to popped. Aside from RNG being ass and things not popping out the right Salvage pieces someone might've been after, it felt like the end reward didn't really justify the hassle. I was fortunate to have completed my Morrigan's before the change, but I can only cringe at the thought of what those who came after might've had to go through in both organizing people and then the monotony of running back to Whitegate for more pops. Others might've found roadblocks in daily spawns or other mechanics that might've worked in 2005, but not so much these days. I'd even lump keeping CoP BCs capped into this category.
Challenging people is cool, but as then and now, the challenge needs to come from the right angles. Presuming my character is intact, if I were to log in now, I'm guessing if I wanted to get anything outside of lowbie leveling done, I'd still be handily relying on others. Most probably won't know or remember me, which yields the disadvantage of wanting to help an "unproven" stranger. That's human nature, though. So, even if I could gear myself up into higher ilvls through crafting, I'm not sure if that form of endgame is something the general population would find enjoyable, either. More likely it'd be a supplement to other activities. And this is really where the size of a private server becomes the enemy, as your aspirations may work on a busy server, but fall flat when both activity and progress are so staggered between individuals. I'd tried to conveyed things like this back then, or at least I think I did, but it seems more like my message(s) came too early. *shrug*