This is correct.... Of all the players in the game, I'm probably the one guy that swings between love/hate the most.
Thus usual pattern for me is a frenzy of activity followed by burnout disillusionment and a disappearance act. About 2 months ago I posted my acc password in general discord, trying to give away my account. Pylons snapped it out and gave it back to me 3 weeks later. Fast forward a month or two and I'm uploading almost daily Duelyst content to youtube.
Go back even further and some of you hear may even remember that I streamed duelyst consistently for a while (and then quit, 3 times!)...and before that there was my first youtube channel (deleted) and blog dedicated to Duelyst strategy articles (https://kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.wordpress.com/).
So yeah, that's my pattern --- bursts of activity followed by burnout.
But anyway, since I'm here I might as well offer a few insights as to what I think Duelyst needs, but I wont offer specific solutions because, well, there is basically no point in doing so.
Problem (1): Meta / Card Design
At the end of day, Hearthstone has a large enough playerbase that in can survive almost any meta shit-storm that the devs can throw it. --- HS could lose 1,000 players a day for 6 months due to Pirate Warrior and still not give a shit. Duelyst simply does not have that Luxury.
What we need more than anything is an enjoyable meta --- and of course enjoyment is a subjective thing. But, speaking only for myself I'm not a fan of mechs (these days, anyway), nor was I fan of pets from shimzar, Variax, Meltdown and more recently Arcanyst meta.
Personally, I feel that the best way to play duelyst is to make decks that are as uninteractive as possible. -- Now, this is true of ALL competitive games (the best strats are always going to be the ones that greatly restrict the opponents options), thus the only solution is for devs to not give us too many uninteractive tools.
I'd also like to point out that, unlike HS, we have combo decks where the individual pieces are great. For example, in HS Leeroy Jenkins + Power Overwhelming + Faceless Manipulator is 20 dmg for 10 mana (*note, this is when I played HS, both Leeroy and PO have been nerfed since). And for a while, this was combo was the defacto finisher of Handlock decks.
From a design point of view I felt this was okay at the time. Why? because all of the 3 combos cards where rather situational; you can't curve out with Leeroy, and likewise curving out with Faceless was frequently tough to do. Poweroverwhelming had a few combos (shadowflame, Windrunner) but overall the card was fairly cumbersome.
Now lets compare with Duelyst. Decimus (unlike Leeroy) is playable on curve. And since Tetonic draws you cards its hardly a "situational" spell. The Upshot is Starhorn has ascess to incredible burst without so much of the "clunky hand" drawback you would see in HS.
Cryptographer / Drogon is the same deal --- both cards are easy to just curve out with and late-game can deliver more damage than a more dedicated OTK deck (think Flash Elucidatior Fractal all those eons ago). If interested I've outlined this criticism of Duelysts design (amoung other things) in more detail in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Seb0NK9lxFI&ytbChannel=Smash_the_hamster
In short, we desperately need an enjoyable meta. For me personally I think that entails an emphasis on board mechanics, fewer "kill now or lose the game" minions, burst combos should play like "combo decks" (and 'normal' decks should have access to such burst). Less dispel (copying (eg Mirage Master) / stealing effects are more interesting)
The Non-problem RNG:
On a related note, RNG is frequently cited as an issue, but honestly most of time I'm okay with the levels in Duelyst. Sure Meltdown was bullshit but its nerfed now so whatever. Personally I'm fine with Blue Conjurer (contra Scarzig) and the only change I'd make to 9 moons is to make it copy (not steal) a minion from the opponents deck.
To be clear, I'm not really a fan of RNG but I accept that it is part of CCG's and I don't think the game has reached unhealthy levels as of yet.
Problem 2) Content Creation
Okay, so it can be argued I have a vested interest in saying this but heres the problem as I see it; if you are a content creator for Duelyst its really hard to make any sort of cash doing it. The moment people can make reasonable money the easier it is to produce more quality content. And frequent quality content can, I think, create positive feedback loops where basically everyone benefits.
To take Scarzig as an example, I'm pretty sure that guy would love to do Youtube full time -- but starting out is tough. What happens for the community though if he does find a way to make it? Well, he'd have more cash and more time to spend on projects; so we'd see better videos (which is great for the rest of us) and he'd (presumably) have a blast doing it! win-fucking-win.
If we look at Twitch, the viewerbase just isn't big enough to support full time streaming for most people that would like to give it a go; In HS Trump, Reynad and Kriparian could all stream at the same time and there would be enough viewers to go round for each of them. In Duelyst however, if Hsuku, Grinch and F8 were to all stream at the same time they would all probably end up sharing a 'pot' of about 100 viewers. And unfortunately, a viewerbase of 33 probably isn't enough to sustain a streamer (full time).
Now sure, the twitch viewership is small at least in part because the game is small. But, arguably, the viewership is also small at least in part due to a lack of choice. In HS, there is at least one competent streamer doing what you want to watch (Arena, ladder (Legend, diamond), etc). What if you want to watch Arena but X streamer is too salty or irritating to you in some other way? Watch Arena streamer Y.
In Duelyst though, its rare for viewers to have much of a choice. As I type this sentence Quasipro is streaming (fyi, I'd recommend him if you haven't checked him out before) ranked. But what If I wanted to watch Rift mode? There is literally nobody for me to watch (right now). And so, due to a lack of choice, Duelyst have one less viewer at this point in time.
To be fair to CP, I think they are aware of the value of content creators which is why they had streamer league and so on. But for the rest of you reading this, just consider the value content producers can provide to a game and understand what supporting them can really mean (both for them as individuals, and for the game itself).
On final related note; I'd fucking LOVE to see someone like Lifecoach give Duelyst a spin. I mean that guy is so fucking obsessively analytical he'd probably be the absolute best guy to showcase the depths of this game. If he were to try (and like) the game he'd probably change to competitive scene by himself.
Anyway, I think thats enough rambling. Peace out.