If you don’t feel the problem high sec wannabe PvPers had with Crimewatch was the flag timers, feel free to elucidate any other ‘nerf’ to PvP you care to, in detail. Rather than making vague references to nerf after nerf.
You often take the position that ‘frequent nerfs to PvP have cost the game players’ (which it has, though the question is about extent and whether the same changes retained other players), and that ‘more PvP will keep more players around’ and that ‘PvP is good for socializing’. You state these opinions, but rarely have a shred of data to back them up.
You often misinterpret the 2015 “our brief study has shown no evidence that illegal ganks drive players away, but rather a very slight tendency to stick around” as showing “ganks in high sec PvP retains players”. The actual summary of that data from any meaningful statistical analysis (given the terms they use to describe it) would be “over the span of this small study, illegal ganking in high sec did not show a conclusive effect in either direction”.
I’ve PvPed, I find it boring. I get no kick out of attacking weaker targets, I have zero interest in another player’s ‘salt’, I don’t need to prop up my ego by pretending I’m a badass in a video game for killing weaker players. Thus, the only challenge PvP in EVE presents to me is going up against reasonably fair competition in a test of skill and builds, and that almost never happens in EVE. As people often say, if you’re in a fair fight in EVE, you both did something wrong. I’m also completely uninterested in TiDi pissing matches over whose alliance is the big boy.
So yes, certainly for me in particular, EVE is not interesting for PvP, and likely never will be. For PvP I go to games that are actually designed to make PvP interesting and easily accessible. That doesn’t prevent me from spending a dozen years reading EVE forums and blogs and newsposts and watching what happens in the game.
You also keep trying to build the case that the “wardec nerfs” were bad for retention or at least ineffective. There are many other factors applying to retention over the same period of time, not least of which is simply the increased ISK cost per wardec. Some metrics CCP has shown are up, others are down. It’s obviously still a work in progress, and IMO was never a huge factor in overall player retention anyway. While the previous effects of wardecs may well have been ‘stark’ on the people typically wardecced against, I doubt that was ever a very significant percentage of the player base.
To put it another way, the current wardec system hasn’t really helped much. But then, the player trends of the past 10 years show that none of the previous wardec systems were any good for player retention either.
I don’t find your position overly ‘wrong’, per se, just that it is usually misdirected and poorly focused in a way that won’t help EVE improve and move forward. I also find your emphasis on high sec ganking to be weaksauce and lame. And generally you have too few facts to support your positions.
“Going back to PvP the way it was” won’t fix EVE, it was always poorly designed. “Making PvP work better and be more interesting in EVE” is certainly something I could get behind. “Bring back the good ol’ days” isn’t.