AR's popularity was definitely NOT "built the first day the realms were built." In the very beginning, there were no cabals. Winter and many other areas weren't in. Some of the most interesting and useful skills in the game, such as mind link and pry, weren't in. Mobprogs, quests, luck, many of these little things weren't in originally. (Most of the Mobprogs were added during testing, but a good number of them came afterwards.) Many of the changes and the balancing that the Imms did with existing classes, such as the tweaking of warriors' fourth attack and the adjustment to the backstab damage, weren't implemented. AR when it first opened was very different from AR right now. And certainly, the playerbase was a lot smaller in the beginning too.
Some of you who don't like the recent changes might want to take a look back at what AR was like in the beginning, and all of the changes that were made since then. For every single change or addition, someone hated it, said it was useless, said it was too strong, said it was too weak, said that it sucked, said that the Imms sucked for putting them in, everything. But I think most of you will agree that the gameplay of AR is more diverse and more interesting than it's ever been, especially when you look back at how far we've come. We welcome your feedback on these changes, but we ask that you accept what changes we make, and that you give them some time. What we've changed we can unchange as well, so there is no rush to make sure that every single new skill is approved by everyone who will ever play AR. It's just not realistic. And for us as the Imms, constantly having to explain and justify our every action only bogs down our progress.