First off, I've been on vacation the last week so I haven't really checked the forums much. When I got on today I went to the official forums dev tracker and I noticed something that really does give me a lot of optimism about this games' future. The community reps are really responding a LOT on the forums, and giving people a some pertinent information on a regular basis. Just looking at July 2nd's information, there are posts from reps on monster aggro, weather effects toggle, multiple ls chat, unlimited arrows, and adding daggers for archers. That was all just from Saturday. There were tons more informative entries for the preceding days.
Granted, most of these entries are short and just a paragraph or 2, but it's really cool to see that the reps are actually responding to people and giving them information. It might be minimal, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. I think explaining why they are making changes or not making them, or even just saying that they are telling the devs these suggestions that people have shows that they are learning to not only value their customers, but also to be discerning and logical with the changes they do decide to make. It at least gives me hope that this project has not been lost yet.
I'm certainly not saying I'm convinced the game will flourish as of yet, but this is a really optimistic sign for me. I came back from vacation expecting to see the same old stuff on the forums, and there was actually some information to find out, which was great. Now if we can just start to see some major changes in this game to prove that they are really working hard and on track... here's hoping we some of that in 1.18.