This is a follow up from my previous question (Dealing with 2 Immature Players Who Detract from the Experiences of Others), based on what I think is an unfortunate development since I originally posted that question.
The 2 players from the previous question are still in our game, however, a new problem has emerged: they are now dominating the game, to the detriment of the rest of the party.
I am again looking for solutions short of leaving the group, though I am more open to leaving now that the following has occurred.
Issue 1: The resolution to the previous issue is allowing the players to act in ways that are still detrimental to the group
As with before, I am dealing with 2 players who feed off of each other. Based on what I know, after my previous posting the DM spoke with the two players, and explained how their immature behaviour was ruining the game.
However, they are now using this discussion as leverage of sorts, allowing them to get away with new actions which I believe to still be extremely detrimental to the group's experience. While some of the previous problems have since been resolved (e.g., they no longer make stupid decisions), they are now dominating the table with their new attitude. They are using the fact that the DM pulled them aside and asked them to be more invested as a justification when the group complains about them taking too much time in town, searching for items that aren't there, etc.
To provide some context, we are a level 20 party with ample money and supplies. The 2 players are now playing as a Bard and Wizard, and the rest of the party consists of a Barbarian, Ranger, Rogue, and Druid. We were tasked with retrieving an object at the bottom of the ocean. After learning about the object, it's properties, and it's location from a local sailor, the group found itself at an impasse. While the 4 of us wanted to venture out into the ocean and begin our quest, the 2 of them instead wanted to continue exploring the town to look for supplies.
Even after our DM recommended we get going (both in game through other NPCs and out of game to us directly), the two nevertheless continued to push for remaining in the town and preparing. These preparations (which included finding more than the 20 water breathing potions we already had, looking for trivial loot even though we all have upwards of 50,000 gp, and attempting to find more information about the object even though the sailor was the only person to have known of its existence) took around 2.5 hours real-time, and left the rest of the party quite literally twiddling our thumbs while the DM was forced to continue creating NPCs for these 2 to talk to.
Even when the rest of us tried to do things (like tying someone up to interrogate them, or moving an unconscious NPC), we were ignored by the DM, and effectively overruled by these 2 players actions, who now feel emboldened to act however they want after their disciplinary talk with the DM. I think that the party being ignored was mostly due to the 2 players speaking over everyone, though there were points where the DM absolutely heard us explain what we wanted to do, yet chose to defer to the 2 players' actions instead.
Even when us other PCs brought this up at the table, these 2 players used their talk with the DM as leverage, arguing that where before they were scolded for not being invested enough, now that they are invested in the RPG elements of the game we are complaining. While I think there is some truth to this, I also think there is some middle ground, where we can all play an immersive RPG together, and not at the costs of other players' experiences. I am also not sure if this is a misunderstanding regarding what good roleplaying is, or if this is them acting intentionally to get back at us for having previously complained to the DM (though I do suspect the latter based on how they spoke to the rest of the party when we expressed our frustrations).
Issue 2: This has led to situations where I as a PC am now being punished
After these 2.5 hours of literally doing nothing, I (being the more assertive of the 4 of us) decided it was time to act independently, and began swimming to the location (I was not too worried about exhaustion from drowning - perks of being a level 20 Barbarian with 24 STR and CON I suppose). In the process of swimming I encountered a ship with sailors who were racist towards orcs (I asked the DM what the sailors were doing, and he told me they were pointing and laughing at an orc swimming, calling my character ridiculous, and spewing general orc racism my way), and as a half-orc, I decided to try and flip their ship as an act of retribution. Upon successfully flipping the ship, I was then told that my alignment had shifted, as this was, in the words of my DM, a "purely unmotivated evil act."
This is extremely frustrating for 2 reasons. First, I was given no indication that there would be such significant repercussions to my actions (my level 20 character went from Chaotic Neutral to Chaotic Evil for flipping a boat containing racist sailors).
Second, my swimming altogether was really an act of desperation - I felt that if I did not do anything, I would have spent the entire session being ignored completely, and my 3 hour session would have been better spent sitting silently at home doing nothing (which ended up being the case for the other 3 players, who did not go swimming with me, and indeed spent the remainder of the session silently following these 2 players around town, unable to get a word in at all).
My problem is that I now feel alienated and betrayed by the DM, and punished for attempting to do something while these 2 other players were dominating the table. While my actions were admittedly bold, given the circumstances I would not have classified them as evil (though this is besides the point). After our last session, I felt like I was being dragged along for the ride with these 2 players, and when I tried to finally do something on my own, I was punished with an alignment change.
I am no longer sure if this is really a problem with the players, or if we should speak to the DM about how he is running the game. I am also not sure if this is a problem with me and if I am overreacting to what happened, but even now 5 days later I am still feeling frustrated with how the session played out.
So my questions are as follows:
How should I deal with these two players, given that their behaviour is no longer immature (in the sense of my previous question), but rather that they are using the DM's talk with them as leverage to continue to ruin our experiences?
How can I now bring up my frustration with the DM given that I now feel betrayed for attempting to do something while these other players had their fun at the expense of the rest of the group?
I have read this answer and this question thoroughly, but I think that the dynamics at play are sufficiently distinguishable (2 players, not an intentional betrayal by the DM as far as I can tell, etc) to warrant its own question.