There is very much a Us vs Them mentality in this game. It needs to stop.
On one side, people are tired of the lack of empathy continuously displayed by some posts. The continual insistence to 'work harder, try different tactics, git gud' etc. This lack of empathy comes across as condescending and has led to the outright ignoring of anything said, reasonable or not. Those blanket statements essentially infer that their feelings - and they - do not matter. I get it, on the internet we forget that people are people, we have all done it (and I'm probably guilty of it more than most). At this point, it does not matter if you think they can compete with you, if you think that they have the same synergy or capabilities or strength of skills as you. What matters is they don't think so, and that feeling is so inundated into the game at this point that they are choosing to leave and not play rather than try. For the group of people who want more PvP, want more competition, they should promote changing that feeling, promote increasing that strength and not fighting tooth and nail to prevent it.
On the other side, the insistence that any player disagreeing with a longheld position that you may find important is just trying to shut down conversation rather than dive into the root of the issue to make changes needs to stop. We need to stop thinking that everyone intentionally wants you to lose and they are all out there to make you stop playing. It is not fair to expect them to not stand up for their skills and skillsets. It is even worse when some of them ask pointed questions to get to the bottom of the issue, to help move forward, and are then jumped upon, insisting they only seek to shut down the conversation.
Everyone needs to stop and simply listen to each other, listen not to respond to each other, but listen to understand each other. Everyone who is still commenting, still discussing, retired or not, playing or not, clearly cares about the game and wants it to survive and thrive. We need to stop shutting each other down and start pushing each other up. We need to stop saying that 'only people that play matter' or 'only the people that left should be asked why they don't play anymore.' Both types of players are important to ask and get information from.
Stop living in the past, look at the strides that have been made in the past few months. Reach across the aisle and learn to move forward. We don't need to attack everyone or argue against every little thing every chance there is. Look how heated a discussion over forum buttons got. That's insane.
If things are truly going to get better, everyone needs to take a deep breath, take a dozen steps back, and realize that we're all on the same page. We all want things to succeed, we all want players to participate and we're moving in that direction, slowly but surely.