This is my first comment I have been watching this game and reading comments for sometime, I have recommended this game to several people after vetting it detailing what I perceive as strengths and weaknesses.
So you asked a few questions I'd like to answer I cringed when I saw you release dates and from witnessing several other developers make the same mistake. Some lessones are best learned unfortunately it's a terrible one and eats up so many hours that could be better spent doing pretty much anything just to crowd control and not ruin yourself.
I think you did very well, another phenomena that I see is the fanboi .. Only way I can make sense of them is that they feel any criticism is an attack, to me it seems it goes to a point of extremism and is more harmful than helpful. I see them try to make bugs or problems seem intentional let's look at one thing that needs a lot of work " CRITTER AI " now I don't know what's involved what's possible ECT .
I do know it's terrible and completely breaks immersion and cheapens gameplay and experience wolves have no personality or behaviors that makes them feel alive almost all aspects from baiting to attacks even the pathing is just awful ( Its all critters it's so bad I assume you know it already) , perhaps if they behave unlike wolves pre disaster a little backstory could be introduced maybe player finds a ransacked research camp that was. Monitoring wolf behavior and offer some backstory in this fashion. Could even make it a mini mission story arch of some kind adding content as well.
I really hope you plan on sinking resources into all animal AI it seems like almost none has as of now so I assume you have just not gotten around to it yet and don't want to waste to much time on it till that time comes.
As I stated I watch this game closely including the modders. I know this is a touchy subject and why .... But I see it as a wasted resource as of now ... Embrace it or waste it I know it's your game and your experience and they jeopardize it but I doubt trying to stop them is a good use of your time reach out to them instead maybe even add a few to the payroll.
I think they only want to help I've seen them try to reach out to you with bug fixes ECT and get no response not sure if it's a pride thing or legal thing just saying maybe more in your interest to work with them so bug reports etc get done right and make sure people with mods aren't wasting your time with bug reports and perhaps they can work even work with you.
it's your game but it seems like to me they aren't going away and ignoring them or trying to stop them is counter productive and a waste of time. I have been impressed by them actually even thou I haven't used any as of yet I have been watching.
Anyway I hope this is helpful I'll post more if you'd like I'm sure most my observations have your attention like losing arrows and arrows damage, blood trails ECT... I am using my phone so sorry if presentation sucks. I have been meaning to give feedback that's hopefully useful to you .. Really love the game see so much potential hope I can see it realized not wasted as I have watched so many others do.
I can see you love your baby and care for it. It's a great change from the cash grabbing I see from almost all other dev nowadays. I will do my best to return that respect for your game but no fanboy butt kissing here I will always do my best to offer constructive criticism .... Keep up the great work ...
Oh one last thing you are spot on with never.. Ever giving a date not even suggesting it'll be done in a month .... But it's good to show that work is taking place with updates ECT people like me look weekly and so many times there's nothing even a small update would be nice .. One day I hope to see something like ... Today we started on wolf pathing next we will be working on adding a fishing pole and mechanics for using it ... Well something like that holds my interest and excites a lot more than a deadline for me .. Ok peace