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I know some DAOC'ers looked down at the battlegrounds, but for me and my friends we spent a great deal of time there. One of the things MJ has said which makes me think back is that "actions have consequences" or something to that affect.
One thing that I think hurt DAOC, and really hurt the healing classes was when they allowed people to rez back at the portal keep.
In the past, when you died in the BG's (alone) it meant getting a horse and riding all the way back up to DL, getting on a pad, putting on a necklace and waiting for glasny to port you. People didn't want to die, or solo because if you died out there alone you weren't going to get a rez. If you were a solo player, many people thought of you as selfish and wouldn't bother coming to rez you (especially if you died over and over on a suicide mission). You were going to have to release and spend 10 -15 minutes getting back. People also communicated in chat much more (Hey Glasny is on the pad, hey I died here can someone come rez me, they are camping my body) etc. While I am not in favor of spending 10 or 15 minutes to get back to play, I do think that really hurt the healing classes, and their demand. People used to be forced to group up out of necessity because it meant surviving longer, and having someone watch your back. When they took away the consequences, groups fell apart, healers weren't wanted as much and when groups fell apart, keep sieges diminished as well. Keep siges diminished, the fun diminished as well.