How do you make a great game? Take everyone's great ideas, put them together and it will be great!
Wouldn't it be wonderful if it worked like that. But it doesn't, it's not even close. I like to think of it like cooking. You can't cook by putting all the things together that you like. Putting all the things everyone likes together would be even worse. One guy wants cake, another wants pizza, another wants a steak. Throw them in a blender and....
Even for standard cake there are a lot of variations and preferences. What might be the perfect cake for me might not be enjoyed by someone else. Games are no different.
At the end of the day Fallen Enchantress cannot be the exact game everyone imagines. There are too many different things that are hoped for. And it's not to say that all the things hoped for are bad.
Explorable dungeons are a good example. They would be cool to have, but they don't belong in Fallen Enchantress. It's not just a resource issue (though that's part of it, the more we do the less we do well), it's about where do we want the player spending his time. What is the actual game? Done well explorable dungeons would break from the main game and have the player play a "minigame" for 10/20/30 minutes after which he would be returned to the main game (assuming he remembered what he was doing there).
There are some players that would enjoy that. But the break would be a hurdle for most players. We would lose players who didn't enjoy the 4x game and players that didn't enjoy the dungeons game (unless we made the explorable dungeons optional, in which case the time spent developing them becomes even more questionable).
So we have to decide exactly what Fallen Enchantress will be, and make the best version of that game that we can. If you have read the press release you already know some information about Fallen Enchantress's direction. It's about bringing the world alive. Not green and fertile and happy, but alive as in there is always something new on the other side of that mountain. Something unknown, wonderful or terrible out in the darkness.
It will be a lot of work. We could have focused on other things. But the cake we are making, the game that we want Fallen Enchantress to be, requires an interesting, dangerous world. The ingredients have been ordered, the chefs are working, artists are preparing the frosting. It's going to be fun.
ps. For those interested in explorable dungeons, I would argue that the wild lands in Fallen Enchantress deliver on that goal in way that's less jarring, more ingrained with the rest of the gameplay and doesn't use a separate map.