I've been playing Soul Hunters as a non-paying player. It's been fun, but I feel I am about to resign. Here's some thoughts.
I've observed an increasing difference between paying and non-paying players. When the game was in its early days, you stood at least some chance playing with no monetary investments, slaying paying players by simply using better strategies and inventing new ones. Nowadays, you will lose everytime, and this hardly has anything to do with strategy (you will find no diversity between opponent teams anyways). Nothing you can do. Don't get me wrong: I fully understand that paying players should reap their benefits, but I feel this is now resulting in shifting soul hunters towards a "highest bidder's" game... in the end a proven non-sustainable business strategy.
Server mergings are game killers. On some server, I was once one of the top players, but the first merge dropped me out of the top 300, and when I recovered finally to some extent, a second merged did the same. After this, the best I could achieve was somewhere around top 100. This is really spoiling - no: destroying - the fun.
So-called "game improvements" such as the heroic academy talents, hero forge and runestones do not really add to the game, as far as I am concerned. They tend to just make the game more tedious and thwart any strategic considerations.
New heroes often make older heroes obsolete. True: attempts to counter this by introducing several hero awakenings have brought a mild relief, but it is almost negligible. The message is simple: lilith wants you to invest (heavily) into the new heroes.
It is all fine with me, but I am leaving. And I think this sends a message. For a few years, I was a loyal and dedicated player of this game, and although I haven't paid for anything, games like Soul Hunters rely on "fish" like me, to keep paying players content. From an ecological perspective: to keep the community alive, you need to invest into all ecological levels. This is what lilith is forgetting about... but I am aware this is just my opinion amongst thousands.