It's rather "we constantly ask the devs but we never get it now".
Active users know that this is not entirely true, there are many reports where the devs answered "fixed with next update, thanks".
The fact is also: sometimes we get a reason or an answer, sometimes we get something, but sometimes we also get nothing, and this for longer time.
But then... surprise!
For some, it is not always a good one, as they are never happy whatever they get, and for some others, they are happy as long as they see some improvement.
But it is rather normal and human that the unhappy users more frequently or more easily write what they don't like, whereas the happy don't even see the need of writing why they're happy or what they like.
At the moment (or since release of ShootMania), we have some combined issues at the same time:
- relatively low player base
- unsatisfied players (e.g. there was nearly no day since the last update where there was no report about matchmaking issues)
- apparent and feeled issues with the game
I guess as long as the really bad issues are not fixed, as long as the prominent players are not satisfied, they will not spread the word, or at least they won't tell good about it, and the playerbase will remain small.
A vicious circle.
But the complexity of the game has also increased a lot.
Newbies might be confused at first, or disappointed by other "much better" players that are always beating them.
Because of my spare time, I have mostly lost interest in playing ShootMania, also because I can't train enough to really get better to survive at least one round. Sometimes I trying out new interesting modes, but that's all I can do.
Of course this is also a deciscion which games to play in general, but the more attractive and accessible a game is, the more easy it is to continue it.
I have the feeling that "nearly everyone" is rushing towards Elite, because it is played the most, it is played in tournaments, and there are apparently many points to gain.
Perhaps Elite should be reserved for the real pro gamers, or at least only allowed to enter with a certain level reached in Storm or a Elite preparation title.
The new solo platform is a nice training ground, but there should be something similar with bots (like "Elite training" title, but more general) from the official side.
What the devs can do here, is a good question. They are certainly doing their best.
But there is still so much to do, and for the devs it looks like it would never end,
and the players always want even more new stuff or changes.
The discussion about player count in ShootMania is somehow interesting.
If you look at the count of Valley players in comparison, Nadeo should litteraly cry, as they would never had expected it to be that low that soon.
Sometimes there are even more ShootMania players than all TrackMania titles together.
So basically ShootMania player count is rather a luxury issue, isn't it?
After the vacation periods, the active counts should raise, until next exams phases.
Patience is probably the best advice, for everyone.
Of course this does not mean we should stop writing reports, like novationx shows nicely