Dev's won't reply, there are too few of them to keep us informed. They only post after the issue has been solved, which is in between problems, never actually communicating on current issues where it matters. Not everyone uses IRC.
Yes the forum downtime seems to be connected to the server, which is annoying as if we can't communicate a problem to the devs they can't fix it. Personally I don't think this game will go far. As brilliant an idea as it is, it just has too few man power and too little capital thrown at it.