I am not sure if Emerald has already done in the past, but here's my suggestion. Emerald please bare with me.
First I will present the current problem, in my opinion:
I will start this off by saying that my biggest frustration, no matter how many times I played this server, is the people's congregation along with the constant running in circles. This is a complicated problem and it needs to be broken down.
First of all we have a humongous area to run. If I die, I will respawn to a random spot. I am gonna need to join my party, cause I'm either the bishop, or we have a bishop, or we play better as a team, it doesn't matter. The first problem here is that I have to run and cover this big distance in order to reach my party members. Meanwhile, some other party member might die and respawn in a random spot, and he has to do the same thing. This leads to being scattered around the map. Here is an example: https://i.imgur.com/XAGSwkB.png
I am not exaggerating, it is really like this.
The second problem here, is I might encounter a smaller group of people and die and have to respawn again somewhere random. Either way, precious time is being wasted here.
In this point I will explain the next issue, and that's the melee characters. In this season I decided to play a melee character, a Tyrant. What I noticed in these few days, is that I really really struggle to get into a fight. After running for about 1-2 minutes and finding a group, I'm gonna need to fight to earn some precious adena. We all know what happens when you make a step further than the rest of your group, no matter the class you are. You are instantly getting targeted and you experience an arrow-rainfall.
Now imagine going in with a Tyrant. You can't dive in. But there aren't any other solutions as well. I tried to target only mages, or people who were still Rank 1 with bad equipment, but even though I dealt a good amount of damage(to be honest it could be a tat higher, but that's not the point of this thread), but I ran out of time before I died.
As you can understand, diving is a no-go. I thought, ok, I still have my range skill, I might as well try and take some PvPs that way. The damage is tremendously low, and the only thing I managed to do is to get a few assists.
Of course, you cannot just boost all melee characters. This is not a solution, cause melee would be a beast in any 2v1 or 3v1 fight.
So, until now we have:
1. Diving into the crowd is a no-go.
2. Using the range skills will get you assists, but is a waste of time.
3. Boosting and tweaking the tyrants is out of the question. They are strong as they are.
Small PS here: All classes are balanced in my honest opinion. Emerald has really outdone him self with this season. I have absolutely no complains; except the tanks, but that has been fixed.
The third and last point I want to raise is the narrow places, such as Forge of the Gods. Such areas are extremely overcrowded. There aren't many things you can do or strategies to follow, and there aren't many ways you can go. Archers mostly, and mages are thriving here. You can see archers from the back-line firing their arrows, and mages in the middle behind the front liners killing who ever forgot to take a step back. As you can see, melee characters are out of equation here. Even if they rush in, they will get aggro'ed or target-cancelled.
I have been playing Lineage for about 15 years. I'm sure many of the guys here have more than a decade under their belts as well. In these 15 years, I have played countless of servers, either official, either high rate, or mid rate, or low rate, or custom server with weird stuff, as well as faction servers. Faction servers have always been my biggest love. I'm a huge lover of upgrade games, and faction servers feel like it. You constantly grind the precious adena to upgrade your stuff, in order to kill faster and earn adena faster to upgrade your gear faster, only to do all the previous from the beginning, but this time even faster! Faction server is a constant competition for the top place and I love this.
Through the years I have played quite a few faction servers, but there was only one server that I really really loved. I am not gonna state its name tho. This server had its flaws like all servers do, but its virtues were more.
I have also created 2 pvp servers with a few custom items, which have been quite successful. I know how tough is to make a server, and how it is even tougher to maintain it, and my maintaining it I mean maintaining the players. If 20% of the stress comes from building the server, 80% comes from the people. As an admin you're trying to be neutral and objective and keep everyone happy, but we all know it's impossible to keep everyone happy. People complaining for stuff, you fix those, but then other people are complaining and it's a vicious circle. So for the rest of you who are reading this post, please take a step back and try to see things from Emerald's position.
The point of my suggestion is to eliminate the over-crowdness and give people more chances to do fair fights as well as have more fun. The core of my suggestion is to break down the areas.
What I mean by that?
Before I introduce you to my idea, please note that everything can be changed. You, Emerald, have more experience with servers and people than any of us has here. You might directly see many flaws in my idea, but don't hurry to judge it. Everything can be configured based on your experience.
Now imagine having a few areas. For the sake of this example I will take a few towns because it's easier for me. We will have Giran, Rune, Elven Village(in case it's not a faction village) and Aden. Towns/Areas can be as many as the player-base number needs to avoid over-crowdness. It can be 5-6 areas on day zero, and later when people settle down, get reduced to 3 areas. These areas need to be not extremely large. You don't want to have people running around looking for enemies and wasting their time. You want them to find someone, fight, and in case they win, run to the next encounter.
Every town will have 10 or more spawning points, depending of the size of the town. This way people have more options in case of overcrowdness.
Here is a small visual example: https://i.imgur.com/pCHZyHj.png
As you can see people are more scattered, and they have the chance to engage into more fair fights. Right now I cannot think of ways of people abusing this. In case of spawn-killing, I think a good solution would be having a protection buff until you take a step or use a skill other than soe. If people are camping in enemy spawns, player will have the opportunity to just soe or write in faction chat that many players are in that spawn. Else they can teleport in other place and run to that spawn and engage into a fight. If nothing of it works, they can just go to another town. And that's the best part of my suggestion. Everyone has an option. If he doesn't like the mages gathered in that area, he can go to another. If he doesn't like the competition in an area, he can go to another area.
One can clearly see how in this scenario every class can be valuable. Melees can fight fair fights or run away, mages can show their true skills without having to use AoE skills, and archers can show their true strategic thinking and position. Tanks can be truly useful for once. They can for example run in a party and really contribute into the fight. Of course this might rise a few problems, such as extremely strong parties consisted of a tank, a bishop, and 2 DDs, where they will rule a town. But every faction can have such a party.
I am not sure if my suggestion can be implemented in the current design of this server, but I trust you will find a solution in case you like my suggestion.
Thank you for taking time and reading my wall of text.
PS: I have been writing this post for quite some time now. I had to erase a few parts to re-write them and I tried to be as objective as I could. I don't want you, Emerald, to see me as someone who is wearing blinkers. I am trying to be as neutral as I can. I am not mad about anything, the server is great and everything is working perfectly. I am only a bit frustrated, and through my suggestion I want only to help.