It’s difficult to have everyone happy, with every update always be someone who will be mad about something. But we can have a mix of both worlds in every situation.
There is a bunch of problems that can be easily fixed, as I said in other thread in a game you have two focuses:
One is have more people.
The second one is that these people and the ones who was playing before that not drop the game.
In order to achieve that you must need to satisfy two groups of people, the ones who wanna have fun and kill time(doing quest, killing mobs, having friends), and the ones who loves competitions(in terms of lvl/leaderboard or pvp).
1-For that the quest system must be reworked a bit with some of the ideas that were discussed in the other thread. This will help a lot.
2-Another good point to work is the PVP/Penalties, some people do not wanna get killed and is frustrating in low lvls, on the other hand some people like to lvl up be stronger and go to kill someone to have some fun or because someone was pissing you off killing your mobs in your face or something like that.
For fix that I do not see best solution than having only PK areas in High Lvl and dangerous zones that I mentioned.
I dont see any point to have PK in low lvl areas, and with the penalties will not fix the killing noobs problem, because there is some guys killing in ghost time to time, is not difficult to reach lvl 40 and be there with and alt account to kill everyone to have fun and piss of the other players.
With this approach you have the best of two world, a free pvp system without penalties in PK areas, only negative or positive karma, and may be the penaltie should be a bit symbolic like dropping a little more gold and earning less money from the drops for example, or for every 1K karma you do less damage, or whatever, but not dropping items, for the type of players we have this is too hardcore.
Or if you are PK you can get attacked in every area, does not matter if it’s open PVP or not open PVP, you cannot defend.
If you have the correct balance here with benefits and cons you will have a group of people who will love to be “the police ones” and the ones to love to be “the bad ones”. I played some games with two sides, the bad and the good ones, and every side has their pro and cons, so there were a lot of ppl being police ones, and others being the criminals.
3-Later of that you can think about a pvp balance and guild system, in order to achieve some fun PVP, and with this balance and the point 2 being fixed may be the problem with items will be solved because every one will have an equipment for killing people/guild wars, and other for killing mobs.
Sorry for being too long… these are ideas and should be polished, is not to get all literal(especially the part of the penalties).