As the title states i'm really curious who this game is for in its current state and its future. I've been playing since season 1 and haven't missed a season other then being late to season 4 by 2-3 months. And honestly I just can't wrap my head around who this game is intended to entice. The pve isn't robust enough to cater to a majority of pve players, This is evidenced by the fact that historically the pve servers have never seen the population that the official pvp servers have. But then again this game can't be geared towards pvp players because the dev's have on a consistent basis seemingly done everything they can to curtail pvp in this game. We keep being told "oh well you can't judge these changes on the current state, this is all towards our vision for the future of the game". That's great and all but you refuse to give us the bigger picture and instead we get piece meal parts of some system we're in the dark about that never function properly and end up breaking the game further and further.
At some point you told us that you wanted this game to be more water based and you wanted to get us off land and into the sea more. This proved to be false. Evidenced by the changes made.
1) The barrel buff, which overnight killed naval pvp dead in its tracks and also made some naval based companies quit (one gin is the first to come to mind).
2) The gold changes. Even as someone who has access to pretty much unlimited gold, no one asked for or wanted this change. It further caused less water pvp. Don't believe me go look at the vast majority of pvp video content from this game this season compared to season 1, 2 or 3. It's all land pvp video's. We used to be out on the water. There used to be large fleet battles that made the game interesting and made it so Atlas as a game had something that no other game had.
3) Performance. Every patch you've released has introduced game breaking bugs that take weeks to address if they even get addressed at all. Each patch breaks more and more of the games already shaky systems. So much so that not only are we discouraged from sailing because of the current "working" systems but no one wants to sail a bp'ed or expensive boat around for risk of losing it to gridding or even having your character reset to level 1.
4) This game in its current state caters to no one who plays it. Large companies don't want to bother building big expensive ships only to lose them to issues like the one stated above. Small companies can't make the big expensive stuff. Even if they could they'd lose it to issues like the ones stated above and then have to invest even more time rebuilding another ship IF they had the resources. As a member of the company that controls the flow of iron wood in the game i can tell you just based on the amount of trades we've received that people just aren't making bp'ed stuff like they used to.
5) Every season we've been told "hey guys we're listening. we have a new direction and things will be better". I dare someone to tell me the game is in a better state now then it was in season 2 or 3. Maybe even season 1.
Please just tell us who this game is for. It's not a naval game at present. Its not a pirate game. It's not an mmo. Hell its not even functional most of the time with the battle eye issues. I'm just plain stumped at what you think this game is and what you are trying to accomplish with the game. You stated recently in the Q@A that you're happy with the gold for boats system. How? At what point do you realize that these changes and these busted systems that you guys seem to think are great are doing nothing to enrich the game. The game is averaging 250-350 players on official pvp during prime time. Does this look like the numbers of a game with a population who enjoys the game?