For me at least I am having much more fun/time in other games, latest one is Battletech which i got with 2 expansion packs from humble bundle monthly which was $9 (12 normally but had $3 discount) and i get a selection of games on 4th Oct also which most probably will be no interest but still.
I log into NA look at what i need/want to do...
Kill missions PvE - 5th rates i need to sail an hour set up outpost, ship repairs, tow/sail ship over..
Kill missions PvP - Sail 1-3 hours looking for a fight only to find mostly teams of 3-4 players on gank fests (what ever happened to lone hunters?)
Cargo missions - Sail hours while watching netflix or playing another game alt/tabbing out to see if am near destination.
So what tends to happen is i will fight couple 6th rates outside capital to open slots, then go play something i can get some fun out of. I know is a sailing game so travel is expected but the whole realism guys obsession with huge time sinks, making lineships rare, etc has made NA feel like going to work.
Somewhere along the testing fun seems to have been forgotten, balance has always been an issue throughout testing and seems like nothing has been learned.
So we are left with a population mostly consisting of the ones that stuck through testing who mostly joined the same powerbases, and game design with port bonuses/ship permits created initial huge demand for combat marks..... which of course meant new guys were raped constantly around capital waters...
Combat mechanics are great, although forts are insane (again balancing issue) and have made motar brigs useless and may as well be removed from game if stay same as is current situation.
Port bonuses would be ok if say craft level influenced how many of the bonus points could be used perhaps 1 per craft level and crafter chooses which ones from levels available (no more mass produced frankenships) but ofc would need a wipe as game flooded with them which would be a disaster.
Open world is sterile, AI at moment are just comedy zombie things in open world so perhaps if done right AI reacting would be a good thing for game. Finally i think removing the protected zones/rienforcements was a really bad idea, but gotta keep the spawn campers happy... genius move.
I really hope NA is fun again and that the playerbase grows, but currently i don't see it happening. If devs think adding a wind button people can press to travel quicker will make people sit watching empty sea for an age instead of alt/tab netflix or whatever there really is little hope i think.
I have had fun in NA and many hours so can't complain personally, but I really hope devs have a master plan that will succeed.