Some ideas from this game show just how pathetic other mmo's have been, but some ill conceived mechanics ruin this.
First of all your skills upgrade over time. The only way to advance yourself is really just time and thats about it. This means that if you start the game after another, he will ALWAYS be more powerful and skillful then you unless he makes a mistake or leaves. If you've not played the game already for at least 3 years, your always going to just be considered a peasant by the real players in the game. I had almost 4 years and a personal capital fleets of both industrial, logistical, and combat ships of many kinds and races of my own, and i still felt i had no impact on the player factions in the game and that i dont even show up on the radar even running large faction pos's (player owned stations).
The political and crafting system is the best any game has ever seen, as you can capture space and live there and even profit from your territory, but just like rl politics eventually 1 or 2 factions take over everything, and ever since the political maps almost never change at all even over the course of years. CCP could have taken steps to reduce these megafactions, and instead of dispersing them, they seem to make game changes to preserve thme frequently. Infact the game itself is still run by players that stopped playing about 3-4 years ago too. Thats right, the people calling the shots for the vast majority dont even play the game anymore, and they dont like you.
But you say you can get in with one of the big boys, either directly or indirectly? Well almost any fights your gonig to get are either total ganks with 100 of you and 2 of them, or its nothing but lagfests that you might as well not have bothered to show up. Lag for the games decent sized battles is not just slow like other games, but you'll sit loading for 45 mins, then anything you actually see has not been at that location since before you loaded the server, and your fleet commanders are like 8th to 10th rate now (almost all the good fleet commanders have ragequit except i hear Scooter1 is still running around down south) and will make very obvious mistakes frequently resulting in death or frustration and hundreds of hours of wasted time.
The game was great in its early political stages because you could have small intelligent groups survive and smaller more manageable and maneuverable groups that made for better fights. This was essential imo because the gameplay itself is so static. When you fight another person, you maneuver to your preferred range, activate all your weapons, and orbit the target. You can basically walk away once this is done as the games only skill comes from maneuver warfare, but since no one maneuvers except in the single large blobs, the mechanics are being bypassed in favor of just pure numbers. The pvp makes all but the leader a total pawn.
And speaking of pawns, as the problems compound and the population increases but the markets and available ingame money and territory stay the same, the intelligent players get upset and move onto other games, and the tolerant noobs stick around making the community in a perpetual state of decline despite increasing player numbers overall.
In combination with the linear leveling system, the bad physics, the overly simplified gameplay and the state of stagnant red vs blue type political organizations and the now total lack of anti blob weapons, all these things combine to take the best crafting and player based industrial system, and territory systems ever made and kills it pretty badly. You have almost no power over your environment, and a large portion of the active player base actually now only participates in the building side as they dont like the combat or cant put up with it anymore. This is fine if a little boring imo, but the markets are pretty crushed out in almost any of the huge list of products you could provide. On almost anything the margins are so low your basically going to be working for peanuts.
The games population more then doubled its active people online at any given time while i had been playing or more, and the amount of space and resources available hasnt increased very much if at all, and the same people who already have some priceless items from the old obsolete research and manufacturing systems will always have income you will never compete with further widening the time based skill system gap.
You always feel like your going to have that missing piece of the puzzle around the corner in eve, and it never actually gets there. This game is a huge carrot on a stick effect. The interface is all drop down menu based even for most movements which just gives a feeling of detachment.
The fps game Dust game doesnt really have a point if theres no real conflicts in the galaxy except occasionally in oversized showdowns that never go anywhere.
So much potential here, but so much disaster, as the problems compound, the intelligent player base pretty much vaporizes, so now its equivalent WAR or WOW and those the zombies that play the game. If eve 2 comes out, ill be all over it, but eve 1 is an experiment that got out of control and is past its expiration date. They could have saved it, but keep failing to do so, to the point that they should just do a sequel.