Try to think big picture Wily. I can list about 20 former regular posters who no longer come here. That is a very significant chunk of regulars to vacate town. If you poll them as to why, the common theme is the loss of quality in the last 12 months. When the numbers fall like that and they are not replaced by new recruits, the culture of the place will inevitably change. That is just simple evolution. It happens over time in communities and suburbs in our cities and towns. And with a change in culture those who have left have little motivation to return.
But the problem is the only way to attract newbies is to ensure the Forum is of sufficient interest and quality for newbies to sign up. Otherwise it might just be the current regulars who will surely, over time, get bored with each other (no offense intended). So potty mouth posts of personal abuse and hostility add nothing but demotivation for existing and potential newbies, which any marketing expert will tell you is a recipe for disaster.
Now what "sort of Forum" people want is in the hands of every poster, not MagiC, not the Mods, not Ascot, not Peter Mair, not even Wily, Fours, Firezuki. That is an everchanging perception held by members and guests collectively. Sort of the synergy of the place is the sum of the parts plus some. If too many of the parts are substandard, then the opposite will happen and discord and banality will predominate.