Thank you. To me, your statements are worth a lot. I have posted a few times here, but everytime I do I tend to have a "I have faith in Stardock" mentality.
I have been playing games since pong (yes, we had and I played it as a kid, scary part was that I thought it was cool), so it's about 37 years or so (maybe a little less, maybe a little more), but I can honestly say that you and your companies dedication are the best I've ever encountered. I would like it to be in a bit better state (mostly crashes are driving me crazy), but once I get up into the 100 or 150+ of turns I have really liked this game. Before that, it does proceed a bit slowly for me. The artwork is ABSOLUTELY TREMENDOUS. I also have no doubt that you guys will continue to repair/patch/improve this game until it is where the "community" feels comfortable about it.
I have stopped pre-ordering games for the most part. I used to buy Lucas Arts games long before they came out, but with the Phantom Menace game, they took a SEVERE nosedive (they might've been #2 for in a trust level for games after you guys, even though that was in the '90s) and I just stopped because I felt like I was paying a lot for inferior games. Not just from Lucas Arts, but from most game makers (what you mentioned about produce game>move on), so there was a period where I stopped buying games unless I could try a demo first and thought it would be worthwhile. I still do that to an extent, but I also do buy things sometimes without having tried them (Dragon Age and Fallout New Vegas jump to mind).
I think it was Sid Meier's that I read saying, "Hey, we are gamers, and we make games for gamers, but mostly we want to play them ourselves so we want them to be good." That is the impression I get from you. You want people to be pleased with the product you produce, and you want to continue to support it. For me, that is obvious. I bought Elemental a long time ago. For me it was easy. My thought process was basically: New game>makers of GalCiv II>excellent support>great post-release improvements/fixes>fantasy/dragoney/high socercery-ey/warriors(-ey)/monstery game (which is my favorite...the sci-fantasy theme) = BUY THE GAME NOW! So I did!
I hope you do read through these replies, because the one thing about GalCiv II (and the expansions), it was so obvious how much fun you were having making the experience better, and there was not a doubt in my mind that your number one concern was about "the community." For that, I say thank you, and although there are some companies I feel way good about (Firaxis, Bethesda, BioWare, Obsidian), in some 37 (or so) years of gaming, I have never felt so trusting of a company to "do the right thing" as I have of yours. It really does come across that way, so keep caring, keep up the excellent work (the art style in this game...WOW), and I really look forward to the future patches and expansions for this game.
Ps- I, personally, am really sorry that the one review pretty much crushed commercial success for this game. I never understood software piracy, because if you like a game you should be happy to pay for it so the makers of the game can then have money to make better games. Makes me really sad that this game won't get critical/financial success (especially caused from "one" view), I would have loved to see an ELEMENTAL II down the line. I love Stardock games, I love GalCiv II, I like Elemental a lot (and expect to even more...I am getting addicted) and I think your company is great, and I think that last one is a reflection of your personal dedication. (Wow, long Ps, huh?) Great job, and keep it going!!!