So, this will be my last post regarding this thread and any other thread that has to do with changes.
For the last 4-5 years the community had plenty of opportunities to accept changes that could have made the server better and refused them. Moreover, they made everything in their power to ensure the only way someone could "catch up" was by either spending a sh** tone of money on the server, or farm the game for an enormous amount of hours every single day. What's funny, is that some of the players that wanted and voted for the very changes that made the game the way it currently is, are the ones that now complain about the most about the game.
People want to farm faster and solo, so IP blocks on dungeons got removed and their cooldown reduced. This lead to the drops of said dungeons being less valuable, so now you have to do them x more times to get the same money you used to do with one run. But now, everyone can run them if they need the mats, so prices reach record lows every time the population decreases (or stabilizes after a big income of players). A handful of players can completely crash a market if they feel like it with the current state of things. STILL, whenever there is an event, people complain drop rate is too low, they want it all and want it now. Plenty of times they got the better out of the team, and drop rates were boosted which screwed the markets repeatedly.
Then, when the population of the server was already low and the main "concept" of the server destroyed, there was nothing to do but to focus on the demands of the few late game players that lasted. All eggs were put in the PvP basket but people were never satisfied with the state of things. People wanted a PvP dungeon, they got Ochao but now they complain one guild (HH) dominates it (I bet if it was the other way around ZG players would be totally okey with it lol). With Melley came Mythic alchemy (Now, this dungeon is hard and IP blocked, so it's only farmed by the top guilds who mostly want it for PvP related drops aka myth alchemy). Then, Hydra, another PvP focused dungeon that introduced S skills to try balance the PvP. Still, apparently this wasn't enough, people still complain about class balance constantly and now want S skills to be faster to farm (excellent way to make Hydra a dead dungeon soonTM).
A server with the build of SG could never be a PvP "only" focused server. Even with the recent changes that make getting to "high end PvM" way easier, the difference between PvM and PvP investment is simply ridiculous. But, as most people didn't care with the state of the server, population wise, as long as they kept their status as Nr.1 nothing was done. And, given the "active" community right now is divided into 3 guilds (people who actually make their opinion be heard) who care only about being Nr.1 there will never be any consensus..
When a server relies on the "needs"/demands of a few players, obviously things go South. By no means I'm saying the team did everything right. Plenty of times, they should have ignored complaints of greedy players and made what was objectively best for the server. But, given the vast majority of people who used the forums were Toxic c**** they ended up conceding to the demands made.
For SG to be able to compete with other existent servers, or to at least keep a healthy, stable population throughout the year, pretty much alchemy would need to be reworked completely, which means reworking most dungeons and beta maps. Add new map proper for levelling, rework Enchanted Forest into a farmable map where all classes could compete (and nerf to the ground the drop rate of 75 weps there, cause printing 46+ avg weps only lead to make them worthless in the long run) etc etc...
The refinement plus system is also a big ehh, and introducing rarity changers was probably really bad too. But hey, now you can make perfect items way more easily.
Conclusion: Why spend so many resources to try fix a broken product when you can make a new server from the ground and make more money with it.
The community has the server they shaped themselves throughout the years. A server specifically made for 100ish people (being nice here) where a bunch of others hang out cause they have friends playing and cause they don't give a crap about PvP.