First things first I love FW. Without it I can only see Eve dying, one short-sighted step at a time.
To Daemun’s point it really saddens me that CCP has let it stagnate so badly, then say it is changing it in Winter release, then just stop any mention of it. Feel a bit conned.
In reply to your questions, my two cents worth is:
What are your biggest issues with how FW is now?
Lack of balanced factions.
Now that all 4 factions have won the WZ at least once it seems there’s very little to fight for. Not everyone here is only running an lp/isk making exercise but want to achieve something. For four years I did nothing but fight to get the Minmatar the damn WZ medal (#nomedal). It gave purpose. Now there is no purpose for us loyalists but to try to find gf’s. Which is rare indeed.
I know you remember the amazing fights in Huola four years ago, balanced fleets, and appearance of Diana Kim’s Harpys or X-Gallentius’ derptrons to the fight. True, dynamic fights, open to all. They were not about LP but about pride in chosen Empire or supporting mates. Shared interests/values connect people but FW is now too singular.
What would you like to see change to improve the overall experience?
Agree with most of great ideas above to change mechanics and get rid of farmers and tiers, but for me unless there is a reason to actually fight for a faction (not just oneself) there is the endless swing of one massively outweighing the other.
Somehow Empires need more loyalty and recruitment into FW corps. Why not make some of the most lucrative sites in Eve available in Low Sec to only Empire FW fighters that hold system. Or some other (than medal) kind of recognition for victory.
What do like about FW / What works well?
Fights against old foes like Daemun and yourself, because of the history shared in the WZ. It adds the fun dimension to fights.
It trains new pilots to PVP.
And the fact it is not just a bunch of Apostles sitting in a motionless ball.