The RTS genre in in decline. The player count of all the most popular titles, including PA, has been consistently shrinking during the past few months (see here: PA, Grey Goo, AoEII, AirMech). Even SCII, whose player retention is guaranteed by a well-established eSports scene, has seen a decline in total player count in the past few seasons. This is only natural given the increasing popularity of other genres and the fact that no massive investments are made into RTS games. Although this is reality, and as such one can but accept it, I believe this doesn't mean that PA, or the RTS genre for that matter, is doomed to perish, in fact, far from it. Competitive RTS games are a niche of gaming that will always retain its appeal by using the most refined and perfected versions of the following benchmark mechanics: • Multitasking and Multimanaging requiring fast-paced chains of actions performed in a continuous time progression. • Understanding complex game interactions. • Adapting dynamically to evolving game environments. • Strategising within a deep and rich competitive system. There will always be gamers who will specifically seek for this kind of experience, regardless of how popular other competitive genres become. Nevertheless, for these games, and for PA in particular, to be successful, the right approach to its design and distribution has to be taken. Recently, we have seen many central, loved members of the community announce their moving on from PA (@ZaphodX @reptarking @Yaegz @foerest @wpmarshall ...) and I understand this is due to an issue that has been increasingly obvious in the past few patches: Uber is making progress in the right directions, and we understand that many developments aim for a greater good and have little impact on the current state of the game, but the game has to chage significatly until people feel comfortable investing time indefinitely in getting better at it or working towards the community in any way. I am not going to mention any issues regarding balance, maps or game mechanics, I think the current work-feedback loop between the devs and the community is giving a nice sense of steady progress that will eventually hit a sweet spot. The issue is, as I have discussed in several past posts already (I list them below for reference), player experience and player retention. One has to ask the question: why would someone who has tried PA for a couple of days come back and play again? why would anyone play PA for more than a couple of weeks? why would someone play PA indefinitely, with no plans for quiting in the foreseeable future? The possible answers to these questions are twofold: "I'm having a lot of fun by playing randoms and casual games". "I want to get better at this game and enjoy its startegic depth playing competitively". Any other aswer like, for example, "I just want to play with friends in casual, semi-competitive custom games", given enough time, becomes one of the two above or whoever gave that answer would stop playing PA at all. There are many things that PA does right at the moment, but unfortunately, the things that will cater precisely to the players who would give answers like the above are mostly missing from the current stable build of the game. The lack of campaing or an interesting Galactic War implementation nearly rules out any possibility for casual players to come back to the game after the first couple of weeks. Most importantly, I think, are the lack of a proper tutorial and the minimal tools that one may expect in a modern competitive RTS: player profiles with stats tracking, leaderboards with meaningful leagues, seasons, social features... Critically, there's no reward system for dedicated players, not a mere levelling system that allows players to see their time investment. And then there is the issue with how the game feels overall when you play it for extended amounts of time. The menus have bland visual designs, they are quite unresponsive at times, the action-command interface seems cluncky at times (hotkeys bugging, commands not queueing if clumped in time, etc.), there is no sense of belonging to a community when you log in the game, the commander models are very cool-looking but you don't feel like you own them (simply because there is no player profile screen that shows "your commanders")... and many other issues that have been raised several times here in the forums. I know that many of you would say that all these features are low priority compared to other, more related to in-game aspects, but I believe that if these are not properly addressed PA will eventually die and all the "more important features" will be pointless. On Player Profiles. Small tweaks and improvements. Long-Term features suggestions. On the potential of the Armory. (TL;DR) The whole point of this post is to encourage Uber to do their best and not to take the shrinking of the community as a bad sign as long as there is a plan to hit a point in development when most of (if not all) the issues above are tackled. Many have suggested that re-launching PA as f2p with paid features (like scII) and cosmetics would be a good way to revitalise the game after this process of development. It has also been suggested that including an expansion will help give the game more visibility and better reviews. All I have left to say is: take your time, PA and RTS fans will be here waiting for the game to hit the sweet spot, and then we will all happily come back to it if it is really worthwhile.