Good post overall and it's a shame it's on a dead forum. A few things I would like to add that made the game lose prestige in my eyes:
Complete disregard for old players
I've spent thousands of euros/dollars on this game. I had nearly 600 played days by the end of BC. I gave my life to this game.
At this point in time, any random teenager can obtain 99% of the things I got in my bank within a few days. My PvE warrior (the original one) has 6 t3s, many other unobtainable items from nax (Ramaladni's icy grasp, plague bearer and so on). Now you pay some gold in the auction house and it's yours. Why? No amount of gold is worth all that time I invested to obtain these items. My guild killed Kael 10 days after nihilum (thats like top 10) and I got ashes on that kill. I was being spam whispered to sell it and I said no, cause I loved my character. My warrior was a tiny bit of my soul transferred into the game. Now an alt with 6 hours played total can go in TK kill kael like it's a lvl 10 mob and get it. Why?
THE ONLY thing they ever did that catered to some players was the veteran of the shifting sands achievement. I missed hitting the gong and the event due to school, with all the scepter pieces assembled. I was crying in the bathroom because of that. FUcK lost crew FUCK cubensis. After so many years at least they gave me an achievement. That's somethin.
I was someone important because I put a lot of effort and time in this game. I practically sacrificed my youth to get epics. I will always remember what my old guildmaster in vanilla told me "Doesn't matter what gear you have, what matters is when you have it". Yeah the when stopped mattering.
The next big thing, if not the biggest, is the gradual homogenization/ability pruning that has befallen the game. When I said I put a small part of my soul into my character I meant it. Every warrior spec took time to master. My action bars were full of abilities and macros. Playing was demanding but rewarding. Now everyone presses the same buttons, and the soul of each class has been lost. I believe this is the reason blizzard is bleeding subscribers more than anything else. You don't pve 100% of the time and you don't pvp 100% of the time. You play your character 100% of the time and if that's not enjoyable then nothing is.
This game was played by hardcore nerds. I would sleep in net cafes, forget to bathe, ignore my friends. But I had friends in game. Lots of them. Tons of them. Everyone knew everyone. We did shit together, we spoke on ventrillo, we had tons of FUN. Now I q up a dungeon, raid w/e no one speaks. No one is interested in anything, this place is like a huge tinder where you constantly swap partners.
That's all I think I got for now