I gave up on multiplayer games a few years ago. Spawn killers, campers, vile trolls in chat, stupid weapon specs and unbalanced play killed it for me.
I really miss it, but the only way I'll go back is if I can control the server. I want to control who can join and police their behavior, I want to fix all the bugs and adjust all the weapon specifications to a good balance of realism and play-ability. I want to be able to remove annoying game elements and add my own. I want to be able to script-force solutions to player behavior.
I can't believe spawn killing is still a problem in new games. In Medal of Honor, 20 years ago, me and other modders had already solved that with spawn invulnerability for three seconds or until you fired your weapon.
That might sound like I'm a control freak with a "my-way-or-the-highway" attitude, but I was actually good at that once and like-minded people did enjoy playing on my servers. I think people appreciated that I was always open to implementing new ideas, and trusted me if I said there was a good technical or gameplay reason why it wouldn't work. Continuous tweaking and additions kept things interesting.
It will probably never come back, there's too much money to be made with micro-transactions. And they want you to abandon games as soon as the new one comes out, not stick with and continuously add to and improve an existing one.
Just ranting a little here.
The constitution wasn't perfect but it was better than what we have today.
You have much to be proud of, Lamron! My first online multiplayer experience, my first voice-chat experience, were with you and MOH! My system back then, a young Mac, was barely able to do anything, and for the longest time there was no Mac codex/application to let me voice chat. But you were kind and helpful and patient, and eventually I had better processors and memory and could play equally with everyone else. I really appreciated that spawn killing fix, and in fact, I thought that was the standard, not having done anything else. But when I encountered dedicated spawn killers with other games later, I was stymied, flummoxed, etc., and angry. So again, you have much to be proud of. I'm sorry the games have been put to pasture that let you mod them, and the players aren't around to play them, too. I recall when MOH was dying out, and I stuck it out and kept playing, and after about a year, I was ranked in the top 10 players, and then #2, in the world for playing MOH on line. But that was because there were so few players still connecting and playing, and eventually, I gave it up too. And COD 1.5 had a great Freeze-tag mod (I love sniping and assisting, with thaws, rather than Rambo run and gun), and I ended up on a tactical group playing that for several years, and thoroughly loved it, but eventually that gave out to COD4 run-and-gun (even on the FreezeTag servers). I haven't played any online multiplayer games now for about a year--real life got intense, and my old Mac was just too slow, the latest Mac OS actually dropped support for many of the games I wanted to play (MOH, COD 1.5, COD2 2, etc.), and the double boot into Windows on my Mac in order to play games got too involved. But finally, I have a new hot system (of course, still Mac) and with Steam and booting easily into Windows 10, I can play many old and new games. I just replayed Portal, for example, and I just started Halo Reach (I never played more than one level of any Halo prior). But now, some old games are 32 bit, and I can't run them at all, as I need 64 bit games for both the Mac and Windows sides. So it just keeps changing. I am contemplating retirement, at which point I will have more time for gaming, so I am just now getting the urge to get back into multiplayer, maybe back to COD4 FreezeTag with the 20-30 people I know who still play, but I don't know, maybe there is some new game to try. I expect it will have the usual problems, as you've enumerated, but I still have hope. But I remember the playground fondly.