From what I saw the main turn off was the fact that newer players would drop all of their money on weed/shrooms and get raided and lose everything, everybody ragequit and the only people that stuck around were players from Arean/old XS until it got boring. Unless you were growing with a giant org you were pretty much hopeless. If there was a 24 hour peaceful period for new players where they couldn't raid/be raided for the first 24 hours that probably would've fixed a lot of the problems with the economy.
I hated how crime was such a core part of the gameplay it made it easy for experienced players to work the system and affect those who simply weren't as good. The bullshit attitude of "team up if you want to have a better chance" is terrible. The whole "we don't attack new players" is terrible too. When's the deadline for when they're okay to attack? Why is it we have to actually make sure that newbies aren't attacked by literally keeping tabs of who's new on the server?
Lack of features and no way of discouraging the experienced players from the newbies/bad players killed it off. Say what you want about getting good or dumb "tier" mechanics (e.g. idk, some sort of shooting skills), what we currently have/had killed the server.