Originally Posted by Josh_Brown
The way most players avoided ganks was through manipulating other OS mechanics to their benefit, like tagging NPCs and using invisible/invulnerability timers. Basically, a lot of this game has been players finding "creative" means to skirt the rules and game the mechanics in order to deal with parts of the game that were poorly designed or implemented. Rather than fix things, FLS largely used to pat people on the head for using things in ways wholly contrary to their intended function, and then add more unbalanced content and broken mechanics instead of addressing existing problems. I think this was an easier answer for some of the early dev teams than fixing things, and I think on some level they liked the "sandbox" feel of letting people play with the mechanics.
But the result wasn't fun in the long term - it was more like an untreated cancer that progressively metastasized and sickened the game. New players had to not only learn a complicated PvP system in an open-world PvP environment that made them valid targets for high-level players even at the lowest levels, but they also had to learn a long series of work-arounds in order to be able to play the game with a basic level of competence. And as the work-arounds and notions of best gear, best classes, acceptable targets, etc. all solidified within the playerbase, a lot of the fringe players who had been trying to do their own thing, RP, whatever, in a sandbox style, found themselves left out, and a lot of them left. It was sort of like moving to a small town as a kid who enjoys sports, only to discover there's only one game played in town, it's basketball played 4v4 according to a modified set of rules and scoring, played for money in an old gym with uneven floors, bent rims, dead spots in the backboard, and half the lights burnt out. Huge home court advantage, and a lot of incentive for a newcomer to just take their ball and go home.
Now I see the dev team trying to really fix the problems players have been having for years, and make the game run tight, according to an intended ruleset, with mechanics that don't require GM policing, and it's good stuff... but it's unfamiliar territory to everyone who had memorized all the sweet spots of those old backboards in that dark gym, and all the places where a warped floorboard would kick a loose ball free from some unsuspecting nub.