HOLY CRAP!!! There was so much hate going on at the time! Remember how broken it was and how long it took to level from 40-50? Remember that most of the 40+ dungeons weren't even ITEMIZED?!? Spells didn't do what they were supposed to, some damage paths didn't even have level 47+ damage spells... so much was broken!! (Check out all of these closed threads on this page: http://www.ign.com/boards/forums/daoc-general.80126/page-1547)
But what kept us playing was that the game was FUN! It was a huge world, and there was always new stuff to explore. Every realm was unique, every character was unique, every build was unique (or could be)... it was just so fricking fun to try out different stuff.
Compare all of that to D3, just as a game. Yes, this game was FUN the first time through... getting to 60, beating Hell... but now the replay value just simply S*CKS. I mean, it's the worst. There is currently no point. In DAoC, when there was so much broken, it was still a fun game to play because you were still working towards something, or experiencing something new. This game, once you hit 60, and hit A2/3/4 (wherever you decide to stop) Inferno.... there's just nothing to do that's fun.
I read not long ago, someone posted something like "Whoever decided to stop at 60/not go to 99 was an idiot". At least in D2, while you were item hunting, even if you weren't finding anything, you were still working towards a goal, and making some kind of progress. This game has nothing like that.
I've logged in for maybe 5 hours in the last 3 weeks. I just don't care. I get my 5 stacks, make a run, get nothing, and quit. I'm just done. I may play more if Blizz can somehow fix stuff (like Mythic did with DAoC, to make it one of the best MMOs ever), but until then, I'll get my money's worth on the forums.
TL:DR - A lot of games start out rough, and have haters, but the good ones are still fun, and the players will hold out because there's still stuff to do. Activision ruined that with pay-to-play and nothing to keep you interested.