I still think the best way to achieve competition across all levels is to make the world non-uniform so there are good regions where strong players will want to be, and worse areas with less reward where lower level players can only have other low level players as competition.
For non-uniform world, my issue is that it leaves bigger parts of it less-usable and discourages respawning into 'worse' zones. Weaker players are not much affected by that since they don't have codebase with features that would get impacted by that. For 'medicore' players that starts to be a bigger impact.
So from good player perspective 'Center' makes sense, for weak-player there's no difference, for medicore one it's either center/close to center and then respawn into worse area after wipe, or just start in worse area and have a boring/limited play