I'd love nothing more than to see positive reviews all over the steam page and 5k new purchases and players over the summer for steam sale, so despite my better judgement and foreboding that this will be a waste of time, I'll answer these questions from the US perspective. This will be more of a combined gripe.
Please remember this is a general opinion of a US based player that frequently discusses the woes of this game with other US based players. I'm not going to dictate facts, this is simply how we feel. Agree or disagree, this is how many of us feel.
- Majority of the US players up until this week have been unable to play this game in their prime time, regardless of server. On both PVP 1 & 2 you had an unnecessary port timer lockout that started at 9PM EST. This means the majority of the west coast was unable to do port battles any later than 6pm and even on the east coast 9PM is relatively early for us working folks. This lost you a ton of players. AUS/NZ players had to be up early at stupid o'clock to play. This lost you a ton of players. The lock out was brought up multiple times and it was never changed. This lost you a ton of players.
- The previous system to this was the lord protector, which unfortunately had the same result as above as nations put their timers in their prime time and US on the EU server either had to make the choice of playing on the sparsely population PVP2 or not do PBs on PVP1, similar to the decision we have now. Which leads me to another point below.
- At some point you said PVP2 and PVP1 were going to merge. This was a year ago. This led a lot of players, including my clan, over to PVP1 to start over. They moved over and got their prospective balls rolling and then the merge didn't happen. I know VCO lost a lot of players in anger over this. A lot of other clans did as well.
- The global server launch was completely botched. PVP 1 and 2 were not merged and EU was not created as advertised. Global was never given the chance to thrive and quite frankly we're pissed about it.
Look at the grey letters at the top of the login page.
nowhere is it mentioned that global can be an option for players who want unrestricted timers. It just says the 2 severs were renamed. EU1 was the dominant server previously and of course became the main one again. People didn't know any better. On @admin thread a while ago he said he was going to merge PVP1 and PVP2 and create global. First question I was asked when I logged in the other day was "why wasn't the servers merged?". We don't know.
- EU player bias. Despite what you might believe or some of the EU players on here, the majority of US players I speak to...and GB/AUS/NZ for that matter.....feel that there is a definite developmental bias towards EU players in this game. Their issues get addressed first, ours do not. Take the server maintenance lockout I mentioned above. That was in effect up until this week. For like 8 months US players could not do port battles in their prime time regardless of server. It was never addressed. One could only imagine what would happen if something similar had happened to the EU base, it would of been changed in days. This has lost you a ton of players.
- Another point I'd like to tie in with the EU player bias is their resentment towards US players. Obviously this is not all euro players, so try not to freak out. Very seldom does a thread or a discussion in global chat not have a jab at US politics, how fat we are, guns....Trump... you get the idea. Even last night in this very thread there was one subtle political jab by a EU player that had zero business in this thread. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. It grows tiring. US players don't discuss EU politics, why must we constantly endure the endless jokes and superior EU attitudes. A number of the negative reviews reflect this opinion. I love joking as much as the next guy, perhaps too much. I'm over it. US players were effectively run out of nations like France and Spain for a variety of reasons like language, bias and bigotry. This lead to an unfair representation of US based players playing in nations with other english speaking countries...aka US and Brit. Naturally we became allies. I remember reading a post on the french forums more than a few months ago that was basically calling all brit players pieces of shit because of the 100 years war or some bullshit like that. I mean what the actual hello kitty. It wasn't even a joke, it was a serious thread.
- And now the big one. Developmental changes. Or simply, the lack of changes. From roughly November to this week there have been no significant content changes in an EA game that is in development. Despite having to wait 6 months for more content, the content is fundamentally the same as the prior patch and the one before it. Some tweaks to the crafting system, tweaks to the combat system, ROE....etc. There is nothing "new" that was introduced in the form of content. No raids. No new missions. This is still the same game as it was 2 months ago, with new ways to obtain what you need to play the same system. It's kinda like eating chicken every night for dinner. You can grill it, fry, boil...whatever, but it's still chicken. We want something different, we want some beef. At some point EU and Global will see a drop off of players like every previous patch before it because there is simply not enough new content to make the game different than the last time those people quit. And I'm not trying to belittle what you and your team does @admin, but we keep changing and rehashing the same ideas over and over without actually making ground breaking content changes to the game.
- This is a niche game. We're never going to have 100k player levels like EVE or other games, but 5k seems doable and with a population that large multiple servers would be necessary. With a population under 1500 players (under 600 for the past few months) 2 servers just are not necessary and splitting up your population unfortunately one of those servers is going to suffer. And for over a year it's been the US one. Lower population numbers will continue to fall because in a game that is run by player driven content, there needs to be players. You have tried 3 servers, you've tried 2...you have not tried just one yet. One global server with the entire PVP naval action community all under one roof, geographically located to provide the best ping as possible to as many players as possible with a conquest system that is fair all around. This is what US players want. If you build it, they will come.
I'd love to discuss this with you perhaps beyond the forums @admin, but I doubt that'll happen. Players like myself and @Hodo are perhaps some of the more vocal detractors of this game, but the simple fact that we're still here trying to change things on the forum means we give a shit. This seems to be lost on @admin and because our opinions differ we're usually just dismissed.
There are were serveral US/Western alliance based players that ended up receiving bans over the past month, justly or unjustly, for various disagreements they had with admin and development choices. Those players being banned + the changes caused a number of players to not bother returning to the game. Let's take ZERG for example, perhaps one of the larger Brit EU clans and definitely one of the more heavily participant in RVR ones. They don't exist anymore. A few of their members are back, but most of them decided to say hello kitty it. That is one clan full of 20-30 people that could of gone global, but decided to stop playing due to dev decisions. It sucks not seeing some of those guys playing anymore. 7UP, formerly dutch and just recently a US clan. A few of them resurfaced in Sweden, but the majority of a 20+ player clan stopped playing. Most of them wanted to go global. I can think of 50 players that stopped playing over the past few months over what they perceived as poor developmental decisions and bias towards US/AUS/NZ players. It's very disappointing. The western alliance had a very close knit community that was broken up.
And I'm done writing my novel for the day. I hope I didn't waste my time.