Nice idea for a post. My own take is that features usually seem popular (Player roles were nice, recruit sorting when introduced was awesome, immediately, the major update to the site navigation many years ago went over very well), while changes to how the game is played, not as much, to varying degrees.
I don't think being a veteran of the game makes one right about everything, but time in the game 'might' make some things clearer, again the operative word there is 'might'. A couple of random thoughts regarding changes to the game:
1 - by and large change has not been a source of getting large numbers of new players involved from what I can recall, the only thing that has done that is the few times the game was promoted. One thing I don't have facts on, but my guess is adding worlds increased the number of players, To what extent such a move is positive or negative for the overall game, I have no idea, but I am pretty sure Tark, Knight, and Phalen increased the total number of coaches.
2 - A couple of changes have caused somewhat more than a normal number of coaches to leave the game, I'd hesitate to quantify that quantity in any one case, too many other factors involved, but generally, we lost a few extra coaches due to a couple of the changes made.
3 - Generally, the community learns to accept change, such that changing back would not be a great idea either, hence comments like potential was a great idea, might be better phrased as the community has learned to deal with potential as it is. I'd hate to see the old potential system now. Same is true of recruit generation, in many ways, the ship has sailed on the 'old' game, we've moved on as a community.
4 - One reason you see uproars occur on introduction of change, is sometimes the game manager has taken unpopular changes back, delemna's come to mind, hence, those not liking the change will do their best to get the change rescinded or modified. I don't know how many remember this, but potential worked poorly for 4 or 5 months, before it was fixed for example.
Great idea for a post, I don't really post much any longer, but I pop on every once in a while, and this one caught my eye.
Sorry for not using my other ID, as this is my alias account. Oh, and in the spirit of the political season, I'm Oldresorter, and I approved this message. Take care everyone!