@Gjarrus : I want to address your concerns directly. I totally get where you are coming from and I know how much player roles are build up around a god/entity/religion/sect. I don't want you to think I am ignoring you and that I don't understand your concerns. I am very sorry if you feel that way. Let me try to explain things and why we have to do them they way we do.
Ideally, none of our volunteers would ever quit and would play their roles forever. Or, at least they would decide when they are done and have a nice event to wrap things up. In truth, they are players just like all of you. After a while they slowly stop logging in as much. After a few months, we rarely see them again.
This is a big problem with gods on all of the IRE games. It has been for the 15 years I have been working here. Without compare most of the emails I get from the other games revolve around the actions of gods in a game. Gods and the issues around them are the biggest complaint item from IRE players as a whole. It ranges from players thinking gods are actively working against them, to unfair RP punishments, to gods inactivity, to player and god deaths. By their nature gods touch every aspect of a game and players quickly get upset by whatever is going on around them.
These are 100% valid complaints. They are very hard to deal with because the gods are players just like everyone else and they do it for the enjoyment. All players are working for and against each other to varying degrees.
Let me address try to address the issues revolving around activity and how we attempt to deal with it on Imperian. First, the main complaints I normally hear.
Players want their god to be active and are upset when they are not. They feel like cannot advance their role or their RP.
Players hate it when an inactive god role gets a new volunteer to play the role. The complaints focus around the fact they can tell it is a different person. They talk and act different. Their ideals and focus changes. They don't favour the same players the same way. There are a lot of reasons why players do not like it. This has always been the number one complaint I get some players in regards to gods.
Players hate it when a god decides they do not like them. This happens a lot when the player behind the god changes or when the player does something the god does not like.
The Imperian god/entity system exists to try and mitigate some of these problems.
Cults and Sects are built up about the ideals of mortals, hence the "Age of Mortals". Religion is player-created instead of god-created. Think of the entities as the gods illustrated in "American Gods", if you have read that. With strong ideals you are going to attract an entity that is shaped to your beliefs and empowered by worship.
We have made it very clear that entities will die off at some point after the player behind them has stopped playing them. If we brought in a new person to play Esmyrsia, and they did not like your character, you would hate them more then you hate us killing her off. I know it sucks and I am sorry about that.
Entity death allows for characters in the game to have a bit of closure and move along. This is also why sects and cults are player-run instead of god-run. Players build the up the RP of their ideals and then an entity can be shaped by that and fall into place. This hopefully allows players smoother transitions to a different entity. The can justify they change in personality because it is clearly a different entity. We even allow for entities to typically adsorb the essence of killed entities to justify why they may have some of the same personality and ideals as one that has passed. They do not have to change their religion to an active god every time one goes inactive.
Of course, the system is far from perfect. As you have pointed out, the major hate now stems from the fact that your god will not come back and you will have to adjust to a new one.
Is it a perfect system? No. We're in a position where we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.
I hope this at least helps you see it somewhat from where we are coming at from running the game. Gods are a touchy thing on all IRE games and this is the way we have tried to address some of those issues.