It's quite interesting, isn't it? You'll have to forgive me, as I've been in-and-out of the game for awhile now.
We have reached a point where the "meta" of the game has well outpaced the "mechanics" of the game. Most alliances still remaining that are actually relevant (lol micros) have mostly figured out fairly optimal paths to deal with the simple mechanics of gameplay. The builds, the infra and city building strategy, what units to target, how to raid or conserve resources, etc.; those have generally been well-solved aside from the occasional server hiccup or glitch. The development of major changes to the mechanics of the game has greatly slowed. I suspect this is in large part because the codebase is a very fragile thing at this point, and making even moderate changes of any substance is likely going to require a lot of time and labour to patch. That's not indicative of failure on the part of the game administration, but it does mean that you allow the invested and serious players a chance to really work out the optimal strategies that they feel will work for them.
In Coalition A, I've noticed for the most part a relatively steady brain drain over the past few years. Many of the players who were well-known along alliances in Coalition A have either retired or left the game entirely. I would suggest this is because most felt accomplished with the way they have played, and thus they have moved away. Either that, or they feel as though the game does not have much to offer them at this point. There's been a fairly general decay in most of those alliances, yet for the most part they have a relatively diverse set of backgrounds and philosophies. Losing players of that calibre doesn't just hurt those alliances or the coalition itself; it also means that experienced players and personalities have left the game and no longer contribute to making it a community. I think the players in Coalition A are generally ready to move on with the "meta" of the game, but they find themselves unable to do so.
Personally I was ready to delete months ago (maybe even beyond a year at this point to be totally honest), but I have stayed on due to the current global war - and had committed to staying on long before I knew I would actually be in the fight. It is more likely than not that I will delete post-war. While the memes of wanting to spite posters from Coalition B who want to drive people out of the game would be the thing that gets clicks and wows, the reality is more that I too, feel relatively accomplished in the game (inb4 lol you didn't do jack), and I have other things out of life that I'd like to turn my attention to. I don't actually think that everyone is like this, or that people will suffer from a lack of morale and leave the game because of this war. I've played these kinds of games for a long time. I honestly don't know why I've stayed on for the past two years even, other than the social community of people in the alliances I have been a part of.
In Coalition B, I've noticed an ethos of taking every possible small advantage and rolling them in together to try and elevate beyond their normal limits. From the massive influx of referral bonuses and out-of-game allied help via GPWC and other communities, to providing tools and resources for the game and thus likely being granted some additional access to mechanical features, to well-organized baseball leagues to get cash; the major alliances on the side of Coalition B have found tiny bits of the fluff mechanics and used them to find an extra gear to the normal mechanics that they operate from.
I don't think this is an awful thing in and of itself. Is it perhaps against the intended spirit of each of the bonuses? There's an argument about exploitative practice there that holds water. But I think it is perhaps a very good example of the "meta" outstripping the "mechanics", as I alluded to earlier. Other people in this thread have laid out the histories and reasons for why alliances in Coalition A and Coalition B (and I guess the neutrals count too) have acted and behaved in the way they have over the past several months and even few years. I don't have to reiterate that. I think part of the reason that Coalition A feels that Coalition B doesn't care about the PR battle (other than the fact that this is the OWF and it is pretty shi- as a general rule, let's be honest), is because Coalition B has taken the mechanics and imports and decided that they can go it alone without the help of peripheral allies or peeling off anyone from Coalition A to join them in a post-war world. Or, if for some reason they can't do that in a post-war world, then they've decided that Götterdämmerung is their only choice (and even then, it still mostly takes the concept of the PR battle and gives it the moutza).
These games seem to have a somewhat limited shelf-life if the mechanics are not tweaked every so often. We have probably hit that point here. There was once a golden era for simulators of this type, but despite this probably being the best contemporary game of its kind, it is really fairly stagnant other than recent imported communities like GOONS and GPWC (who have all been ported over by Coalition B). The personalities aren't being refreshed or added, but rather dying off and stagnating. And if you don't have a new set of ideas to drive the "meta", then without innovations in the "mechanics", you'll come to a grinding stalemate soon enough.
That's because our precious downvotes were removed from the forums so this is all we have left, amirite.