Who is best able to compare the enjoyment of how enjoyable something is? those who have played it across the different phases of change it has undergone or those who have to imagine what it was like and compare it to how it is now.
if we are talking about observations of the current system, then when older players bring up the past.... then those observations would not be up for dispute either, they are just observations... and they are entitled to their perspective on how the format has evolved. it has changed, whether it is more enjoyable for them or not is their opinion, but they at least have the ability to make real comparisons.
@sub... yep its not just 14 life, it is power creep and the ability to lock up wins at an earlier stage of the match.
low variety, generally repetitive decks
high variety, this is good
opening rounds are rarely decisive
more games are decided immediately after the opening round (and some times even before a single round is played)
this is bad in my opinion
third round was often some 50-50 guess work (annoying) but perfect pilling meant a comeback was possible
third round is more often (compared to the past) a formality since the life gap can no longer be closed
past - more enjoyable matches (in my opinion)
present - more variety in decks (also a good thing, but quality of matches has dropped)
As for what can be done to improve participation in ELO
... change the available pool of cards in some drastic manner... sooner or later this will have to happen. eventually there will be enough "newer" cards out there that old ones can be removed from the ELO
environment. Balancing this will be challenging. This is good for new and future players, and this is potentially good for veteran players who might regain interest, this will not go well for content players --- so exactly what happens in this community every single time change happens