To address some of the issues you've brought up let's start with agreeing that people's opinions are their own and your taste in what makes a fun game is valid to you. We aren't going to spend any time arguing that you're wrong to dislike some aspect of the game because it's your opinion and it's the right one for you. We made a similar point on your review on Steam, or at least we assume it's yours given that much of the same points are raised in the same order and tone.
So onto addressing some of the less subjective points you've made:
- WINTERMUTE STORY MODE: we understand that players are anxious to continue the story and we are hard at work delivering it. You note that we are "rethinking and adjusting and stalling" and that's perhaps an unfair way of framing it based upon your personal frustration but certainly we have not rushed out Episodes 3, 4 and 5 simply for the sake of rushing them out. We are fortunate to be in a position where we are not meeting artificial deadlines or being pressured by a publisher to shove out content that we don't feel is the best it possibly could be. We are able to take time to improve on what we've done as we did with the REDUX Update to Episodes 1 and 2 and we feel that this will make for better Episodes down the line as well.
Your willingness to wait for that is up to you but we have done our best to ensure that the community understands the decisions we're making and how that's going to produce the best-finished game.
- Mechanics Changes / Micromanagement: Here we get into a subjective area and one that it's hard to argue with you about without telling you that your opinion is wrong, which of course it isn't because it's your opinion on a matter of taste. We make adjustments to The Long Dark based upon our own ideas about what the game should be as well as player feedback. We listen to all types of players from all over the community and even within the community there's no single vision for what the game should be. Add on top of that that we do have a vision for the player experience and you'll definitely find times where we diverge from what's requested. What we hope is that the game we are making is one that the majority of our players enjoy.
Not everyone will like every change or tweak. Not everyone will like a change for the same reason someone else will.
If you find that our changes make you no longer enjoy playing the game then we're sorry to hear that because we do want people to enjoy the game but we're not sorry for making the changes.
We're also not quite clear on what you mean by micromanagement as there has always been a degree of managing things in the game. You need to worry about the weight you're carrying, wear the best combination of clothing and keep your gear in good condition.
- Sprains / Pistol: All of this fits above as well. As noted you can holster the pistol if you find that you're accidentally shooting it. With sprains we wanted to provide more information to the player about when they were at risk of injury.
- Value: Value is subjective. If you feel that your outlay for The Long Dark wasn't worth the time you've enjoyed it that's something for you to conclude. We're sorry to hear that anyone feels like they've been ripped off by us, whether they've played 15 minutes or hundreds of hours. However we are comitted to delivering the best possible game and are continuing to work towards that goal.
Episode 3 (as well as 4 and 5) of WINTERMUTE is coming as are more free updates to Survival Mode. If you're not enjoying playing The Long Dark then don't, never play a game you don't enjoy. But we do hope that you stop by one day in the future to see if something's changed and you can let the experience of surviving in the Quiet Apocalypse back into your life.