As disgusting as it is, I think the FS community must more or less concede defeat. As much as the fans might hate to become just more groveling bootlickers before Mr. Smart (as some "FS fans" *cough* apparently did rather early in the flame war ), I think it's better they stow away their pride and zealousness to protect a franchise that has every right to be defended than risk several years worth of MODs and artistic work being erradicated because they couldn't refrain from dishing out the criticism. Note that I'm not saying everyone should simply acquiesce to the demands of a socially-challenged bully because fighting it takes work. I'm just saying sometimes you shouldn't risk so much for a Phyrric victory.
Go on and make FS3, Mr. Smart. Just don't ruin the community.
Well - generally speaking - we know this. It's pretty obvious that, at the end of the day, we have no real say in it. What most of us are focusing on, is letting people know what we've done in terms of modding the game and improving the engine.
That way we'll kind of have a legacy of our own - if Derek Smart does make FS3, and it turns out to be awful, or even just less than AAA, we'll be able to remind people of how good FS1 & 2 are.
On a side note, there are a number of community projects releasing what will amount to standalone games, using the modified FS2 code - in particular the TCs for Star Wars, Babylon 5, Homeworld and Wing Commander.
I'd advise anyone who has an interest in FS2 or the above to check out http://dynamic4.gamespy.com/~freespace/hlp/
, because we can always use more members