Methinks that you're drastically underestimating the value of hybrids. TV shows, restaurants, novels, and films all have strong 'hybrid' examples. Why not TBS games?
Maybe. But this isn't a new game. It's an overhaul of an existing one. I don't think there's another two years to get it right. With limited time, limited developer numbers, and a lot of things that need doing, I think the chances of success increase drastically if you pick a focus and make the game really good at that. Trying to do more things at once then you have the capacity to do just results in weak implementations across the board, and a game that excels at something is better then a game that's mediocre at everything.
Mind you, I'm the original NotMoM guy, so I very much appreciate complaints that Elemental has strayed far from its aspiration to be MoM's "spiritual successor." But I'm a very greedy user, so I want to have my cake and eat it to. Without needing to eat mods.
Especially given Brad's increasingly frequent talk about multi-threading, I don't see any reason for a game NOT to have multiple focii. The real rub is that the devs need to learn how to provide inobtrusive AI support for players who want to largely ignore a given focus, and so far Elemental completely lacks anything like a trainable royal council or whatever.
Multithreading is great in that it lets you use a lot more complex math and lets the AI do more things at once, because of those extra processors. But user attention doesn't multithread. If you're going to take Dawn of Discovery's production system, add in quests as complicated as something like The Witcher, throw in a spell selection as good as MoM, and pile a sophisticated combat system on top of that, you're going to be demanding that users pay attention to a very high number of things at once.
While some hardcore types would certainly love that, you're also going to chase off a lot of people who simply either can't keep track of that many complex systems at once, or only find some of them fun and can't tolerate the slog through the rest of them.
Incidentally, if I said that I'd be alright with quests disappearing entirely so attention can be devoted to adding depth (and yes, complexity) to the other parts, would I get lynched?