I like to give a more general feedback and would be pleased to read a developer feedback. Specific problems are already reported in several bur reports.
My character is now 2 years old, generated and played from one and the same computer: Mac-mini (2014), i7 2,3GHz, 8GB RAM, standard graphic (1920x1080) one monitor. Not a single hardware part changed over time. I always play with one single account at the same time.
When I started I could use ‘good’ graphic settings, such as high details, medium shadow, some post processing, all effects active etc. The program ran smoothly, very rare random crashes, nice explosions, nice ships - everything fine.
Since about June/July 2017 I have to switch all effects off (I do not see explosions any more), and set all graphics options to the lowest possible. Nevertheless, the game has severe lag (in some situations below 10fps) and my CPU runs hot after roughly 20-30 minutes.
The last 2 years game progress for me summarises in: graphics quality reduced, no explosions, no laser trails, no visible scram effect, stuttering movements (some times) and permanently running CPU cooling fan.
As the reply to my last bug report reads (analogous): ‘you need to scale down the screen resolution’ my hopes are meanwhile very low.
To your information: I tried everything else I read at helpsides, forums and bug replies, cleared cache, downloaded everything, optimized files, used different vine versions, changed all and every in-game graphic setting and deleted and re-installed the whole game.
I don’t know if other Mac user do experience something similar. But I’m curious about the future - are the developers aware that, over time, the visual quality is going down (not up) for users not upgrading their hardware?