Noob here, throwing my own two cents in. I see lots of old geezers reminiscing on better times. Some of you seem optimistic that change is possible, some seem resigned, many of you seem to be carrying a lot of bitterness. None of you seem to be looking at this from the perspective of someone who has no !@#$@#$ clue what they're supposed to do or why they should even care. You join a game that promises to be 'political' you expect conflict, you expect diversity, you expect to be the underdog, and you expect teamwork to be your only chance in hell of ever overcoming the odds. What you actually get here is quite different.
When I started playing the game I took a look at the leaderboards and browsed the information index. Very quickly I realized there was 0 chance that the game mechanics would be enough to keep me here, there seemed to be some sort of hard cap on 'nation strength' where the strength part of that equation becomes irrelevant. The 75%-133% range thing for wars seemed helpful, but that bubble burst when I read 'or +250/-250 strength ranking'... Suddenly the crazy OP bastard capped at 1m can attack me before I even reach 200k (20%)? !@#$%^&*, and the worst part is that it's a nail in the coffin that will only get larger as the community gets smaller. The less players there are the steeper the climb gets for any new players daring to try, the easier it gets to push them down.
The only thing that has kept me here is the fact that I got an invitation into a small little alliance that linked me to a discord server where I was lucky enough to find a friendly community to keep me engaged in the game. Providing that community shouldn't be a veteran player's responsibility any more than it should be my own, it should however be the responsibility of those who hold positions of authority to at least try. Those with authority, who for any reason refuse to wield it to the best of their ability, can only watch while the world crumbles around them. Those without authority, who see the problem and refuse to do anything less than everything in their power to seize that authority and wield it, can only watch as they themselves crumble. Unfortunately for everyone here that second group is more likely to just walk away rather than play at being sisyphus.
EDIT: amusing commitment to censorship you guys got here xD