I think things naturally get worse as a community ages too. Iwon't say out-of-hand that an increase in size or newbieness isNOT the main culprit (although I kinda doubt it, and actually Ithink getting fresh blood may help a little). But I'm prettysure that another major source of problems is the fact that egosand reputations and grudges entrenched.When you're starting out a new game, no one knows who you are,and you don't know who anyone else is. Everyone knows thateveryone is learning the game, and people don't feel pressuredto make excuses for all their own mistakes and mock everyoneelse's mistakes. Whining is rare. Cheating is even rarer. No oneis carrying a grudge against anyone. Players can actually beobserved occasionally engaging in good sportsmanship.I think this fresh-start situation is a large part of why Ienjoyed Quake and Myth:TFL and Tribes so much for the first yearor so of each game. Then later -- and also in the sequel games,which pretty much inherited the community -- the spirit ofpeople having fun together evaporated pretty quickly in exchangefor self-centered wankery. And it wasn't the "newbies"driving that mode of behavior.
gosh, i just had a two page post agreeing with everything thathas been said and i clicked on check spelling and it is allgone.