One problem is that no matter what CCP says they’re trying to accomplish, even when they’re semi-honest about it, they’re limited by the facts that the real goal is “How will this change drive more sales?” and also that there are a bunch of managers at CCP apparently back-seat driving about game design with concepts that simply don’t work. “Scarcity creates conflict” and whatever other corp slogans make up the current agenda.
Another problem is the programming team appears to be quite limited in their ability to make workable changes to the game. They score about 2 failures for every programming success, by my count.
This leads to a situation where CCP and players both try to make “one size fits all” solutions, and abandon anything that doesn’t work out or doesn’t seem to create a demand for more sales.
Arenas, nor any other one-shot solution, won’t solve the problem. To solve all those issues, you would be looking at making the original style proving grounds (run and done) available all the time. Then you would tweak the Proving Ground events to make a sort of prestige/high end goal for more structured PvP. Then you would resurrect and correct the Resource Wars design to provide for some additional short-session, on-the-fly fleet forming and goal-achieving PvP challenges for solo/small fleet PvP engagement for the “just trying PvP out” crowd.
Unfortunately, developing a comprehensive strategy like that where different events/features are aimed at different segments of the player base in order to develop a more PvP-oriented culture appears to be beyond their capacity. They work on one system at a time until someone says “Guys this is going nowhere, let’s work on the next sales driver” and then they abandon it or leave it to languish half-finished.