Let me start by saying both Insurgency games are way ahead of other games in Immersion and realistic gameplay, and Sandstorm has so much potential for long term success.
I keep seeing someone post "why can't they customize the bots(usually to make them easier), then some hardcore player responds with they're not hard enough and should be left alone, and said player should just "get" better. The only way new players can get better and learn the game is by playing, and the Coop games against AI are plenty good enough for that purpose. Hardcore players say bots are predictable and basically stupid, but I disagree. Some people like me really want to play this game but I don't have time to play it 3-4 hours a day. Where bots spawn from, routes they take, and strategy is "learned" from playing against and observing them. I like playing local because sometimes it's difficult finding a server that is a fit. I think the 1st person is talking about local play. What would be wrong with giving players in local play games way more control over the setup of the game. Number of bots, enemy and teammates, difficulty, and the option so your AI team mates can re spawn after a certain wait period. It's really frustrating trying to hold an obj. by yourself for the whole counter attack because your 3 team mates usually get killed before obj. cap. If the changes were only done on the "Local" side, it wouldn't effect Online at all.
I think all the "hardcore" players don't want newbies coming in to their online games, so they want the game to be as hard as possible to discourage them. Is that what NWI wants? I would think you would want to build the player base as much as you can, but I have seen friends who tried the game, liked the look and feel of game play only to be turned off from the difficulty and quit.