I've seen the multiplayer scene quickly devolve into the mess it is today, with hundreds of generic servers, each almost indistinguishable from the other, which all have incredibly similar p2w mechanics that obviously violate the EULA. I'm sure you all know the servers I'm talking about. They got the auction house, they got the daily kits that you need to pay money for a rank to access, they got it all. Often times they do monthly resets, or somewhere around that time range. These servers tend not to stay relevant for long, and seem to fade out of existence in a year or two. I don't know what can be done about this problem, but it is incredibly pervasive to say the least.
The problem with this is not only that it massively oversaturates the server market, but also definitely violates the EULA, because it's giving players access to in-game items if they pay irl money. I get that monetisation of servers is hard, but Hypixel and Wynncraft have managed just fine. These servers have no right to complain either, because it's clear that little to no thought was put into creating something original and creative, but was rather a hastily-made cash grab.
Mojang should implement a system to deal with EULA violators, and start going after these servers that are clearly violating their guidelines. This would promote server owners to make something unique and creative instead of following the same p2w formula.
I agree with a lot of what you're saying here. I've observed the server scene for many years now and have been sick and tired of seeing the same generic servers pop up with little to no ingenuity or originality to show for it. Servers that provide donation packages with non-cosmetic perks often forget what the word donation even means; not to mention their blatant violations of the eula.
A donation is a gift for charity, humanitarian aid, or to benefit a cause. ~Wikipedia
Donations should come from the heart due to ones desire to see their favourite server stay open over the long-term (and should only do so when their wallet allows for it)
This is why I often enjoy private vanilla servers when compared to other server types. Vanilla servers don't require much funding or maintenance to begin with, and due to their vanilla state they won't really have any in-game perks to provide their donators save for some items given in creative mode if they choose to go that route. Players who support these kinds of servers often do so on their own volition and not for the purpose of gaining perks that will see them rise above other members. I also appreciate that these kinds of servers often grow organically which inevitably gives them their own unique flavours over time.
Personally I've grown tired of servers that use holograms, loot-boxes, overwhelming amounts of colours and prefixes amongst other such things. I've no doubt become much more minimalist about my wants and needs for servers which is likely why whitelisted communities appeal so strongly to me these days.