TL;DR: If you nerf something, atleast nerf it in a way so people whine about it because it’s annoyingly interesting, instead of annoyingly boring.
Splitting PvE and PvP would cause a mode divergence that increases in size over time.
At some point, these modes become two entirely different games, as differences between the modes pile up over time.
For some demented reason, PvP seems to have lesser player retention, but increased consumer rotation (Battle Royale, CoD, everything with PvP) Read: More money circulated, because PvP players are more likely to call in back up in form of friends, than PvE players are, who are usually more introverted.
PvE will enjoy more individual player retention, because it’s hard to let go of achievements, the longer and more they accumulate, especially since they don’t have to belong to someone else (i.e. the unilateral marriage contracts to alpha tribe leaders in PvP)
I believe a better approach would be to be aware that it is difficult to balance PvP without deteriorating features that are considered fun or endearing at the cost of players.
Instead, one should preserve the endearment of these features by maturing these.
If something becomes meta, work with the meta and make it awesome.
If all PvP players use a life-blood spear, you have a predictable pattern that you can exploit as a designer. Create a mob, or an element that inverts healing effects.
Stop treating meta as some form of unforeseen mutation or cancer that corrupts your vision… Players don’t play the way YOU want them to, therefore stop “neutralizing” emergent behavior, and start playing with said behavior instead. Take advantage of it. That’s proper design.
The reason something becomes meta in a game, is because everything else is mediocre. If you turn that meta mediocre as well, it’s just playing whackamole with the mediocre that stands out.
IF you have an overpowered weapon that seems to be only viable on thrall, have the damage go on both the mob and the thrall (just for instance, i’m sure people have better ideas, but who usually just want to illustrate ideas as likely to fail because they seem to have better ideas themselves that they never seem to present).
What Funcom is doing right now are quick-fixes under a harsh schedule. They are forced to make quick fixes because they have sooo many platforms that need to undergo certifications and they got vacations etc…
It’s like those ISP’s who do I.P. leasings… reset your router every midnight just because they don’t have enough IP’s to go around… there are better ways to do this, but they simply don’t have thetime or the capacity to implement said better method.
Therein lies the problem.