How terribly disappointing. Stardock is beginning to look like the crash and burn game studio of the decade. I've been patiently awaiting a "finished" product to show up after an expansion or two, but now, instead of making incremental inmprovements to a mediocre game, we now have a very good chance at receiving three, separate, mediocre games. Where is the logic in this? The world of Elemental isn't even very exciting. It is drab, monontonous and boring. I don't want three games in this world. I want one continuous effort to improve and enhance the very basic foundation that has been laid down so far. GalCiv2 1.0 and 2.0 might as well be different games for the amount of amazing improvements made to the latter, but they aren't. It's just the perfect example of how a studio can make solid improvements to an acceptable game and turn it into the best 4X sci-fi game of all time. Sure, that raised the bar a bit for Stardock, but the way the company is being handled lately is just shameless. All of this talk is just confusing the hell out of everyone.
Oh yeah, and setting the long-anticipated Stardock RPG in the Elemental universe all but guarantees it will suck.
Just make GalCiv3 already, PLEASE!
It is good to remember that Elemental is just one product produced by Stardock at any one time. The company itself is funded through their consumer software vs. strictly on games, which is why they're able to survive and attempt to make amends for Elemental. Otherwise I'm sure it would have already crashed like a lot of other game studios that bank on single products at a time.
Whatever the end product, Brad and Stardock have said that they will fix their reputation in this, and they're even willing to accept that Elemental will be a loss financially. So until we, the fans are happy, they will not stop developing. So we will only end up with mediocre games if we accept mediocre games.
They've already hired several big names in the genre which shows they are willing to shell out some money to get things going in the right direction, and it sounds like with Elemental Fallen Enchantress they've decided that too many changes need done to make Elemental a fully viable game. Any improvements to Elemental will help with Fallen Enchantress since they're based on the same engine and they can experiment with our requests to see which options we are happiest with, and then make sure they are present at release for Fallen Enchantress.
The world itself has lore, but the game implementation was not well done. I've not read Destiny's Embers as of yet, but I'm sure Randomhouse did a great job with helping flesh things out, else I doubt Stardock would have praised them as much as they did.
Just my thought on it.