Long time since I have been here, but I guess the topic is worth it.
I agree with a lot that has been said in here. I also dont think that any changes will bring back life to this uni, besides the decision to actually stop creating new servers.
From my point of view I started this server because of it s peaceful 1x war fleet setting and I would like to keep it that way, as Dione is thought to be a miner uni. Same goes for DF 50%, I wouldnt change this either and defence into DF would make me quit the game immediately.
Lifeforms is some new fun, at least it was for me when I tried it on the test servers when GF introduced them. Didnt play it on a life server though, but I think that would be some more achievements to get and some interesting combination to change and optimize your play style.
As for the eco and research increase, I personally like the idea as I fear that at some point the uni will be merged to an older one and those are all eco 8 if I remeber correctly. So we better get used to it.
But here I would be interested in what will happen on this ongoing board discussion about merges on the general EN servers...