Sorry for the dissertation, but if you are bored while waiting for Elemental to get fixed and want to contemplate the silliness of the human psyche....
I must admit I don't understand all the anger/people saying Stardock should have delayed releasing Elemental until February 2011. It seems to me that EVERYONE is better off with the game released and in players' hands, rather than having Stardock work on it internally for another 6 months before release:
Obvious - better off cause they have people's money, and can get players to do their "beta testing", find bugs, etc. without having to pay them...big win.
2.) Players who like the game
"Fanboys" or not, there are apparently a lot of people (50%-ish in the poll, and some positive comments in the forums) who are enjoying playing the game, even if they realize it is not perfect. They are happy it is out now so they get 6 months more of enjoyment. Plus the ability to make suggestions, which means the game will be better by Feb 2011 than it would be if it was just in Stardock's hands internally...let's face it, the official beta-testing process was not, and would not have been, as intense as what is happening now that the game is released - i.e. whenever the game got released players would have a lot of complaints/suggestions, and this way they are taken care of now, rather than 6 months from now. So you get to have whatever fun you can have with the game now, PLUS have the game in better shape by next February than it would otherwise be...PLUS have Stardock feeling bad and more likely to give additional free content that they were planning on charging for going forward = big win for this group, as well.
3.) Players who hate/are frustrated by the game in current form
Okay, you hate the game. Don't play it until next February, and you are in the same place you'd be if they didn't release it until then. Only you are even BETTER off, becasue of the reasons outlined above....you at least have the chance to make suggestions, and/or have other people climbing all over the game and improving it, so it will be better this way by February 2011 than it would have been if they didn't release it until then. Plus more Stardock effort/free stuff, as above. Okay, you had to put up your $50 now. But since you were going to spend $50 next February, you didn't LOSE $50, you just lost the use of that $50 for 6 months. Left in the bank, at the current .1% interest, that "costs" you $.025 in interest (pre-tax!). That sucks, but only a little. I would think if you were going to plop down $50 in 6 months anyways, plopping down, in effect, $50.025 now to get a more-robust, fully tested and vetted game in 6 months that you can mess around with now if you feel like it (and ignore if you don't), PLUS get Stardock's extra effort to make up the problem stuff, seems like a pretty good deal. So ignore the game, come back in February, and have a better game due to the "early" release than you would have had otherwise. If losing out on the $.025 interest on your money for 6 months really annoys you, get a refund and rebuy later - annoying, but not catastrophic, especially relative to the "free look" at maybe enjoying the game now and definelty enjoying the game more once it's been refined by the rest of the public. Either way, the "pre-mature" release seems like a small win even for this group.
I understand if a company releases a game that's not ready, takes your money, and walks away...that REALLY sucks, and no one wants to support the trend of companies doing that. But no one, even those who hate the game in it's current form, appears to think Stardock is going to do that.
Feeling like you are going to get something great, and then having to wait, is annoying...but you'd have to wait if they delayed the release, too. And buying something you thought you'd like, and having to go through the hassle of getting a refund cause you need the money to buy something else to amuse yourself, is also annoying. But it also seems that the annoyance is small compared to the CHANCE to get a look at something early...you might like it..you might not like it but like the chance to help reshape it...you probably will like it more in 6 months than you would have if the release was delayed...it just seems to me that if you really THINK about it, we should ALL be glad Stardock released this game now rather than working on it internally until Febrauary of next year... Stardock wins; people who are enjoying the game now win, and even people who dislike the game in it's current format kinda win. So why the hate?!?!
...if you truly believe that they will continue to improve the game as much as they would have if they kept it internal for 6 more months, the "early" release is a GREAT thing for EVERYONE (like how the capital letters make my points so much stronger.."look, it's in capitals..must be right!"). And it gets even better if you STOP writing how much you hate the game in the forums, and let other people help improve it for you without the distraction!!
Stardock - KEEP releasing games early, AS LONG AS YOU WORK HARD TO SUPPORT THEM AFTER RELEASE, we all win that way!!!!!!