I haven't placed EWOM in some months, mostly due to (a) work demands, ( the prior frequency of crashes and (c) various game design issues. But I happened to download the latest and greatest (1.29) last night and have spent a fair amount of time playing it. Some immediate observations:
-- I'm still getting crashes. Not as often, but given how many other games I have played for hours on end without crashes, it's a bit disconcerting how frequently EWOM crashes, given how long it's been out.
-- There seems to be some kind of bug with the "population needed/population available" figure. I will have enough surplus population to build, say, a study. I build it, and suddenly the game tells me that I'm short by 30, 40, 50, 100 people -- in other words, just by building a building, I'll go from, say, 330/334 to 400/334. I thought maybe this was some strange game balance thing, though I had no clue why the game would work that way. Then -- and what prompted me to come here -- my game in progress jumped in one turn from (roughly) 435/415 (pop needed/pop available) to (roughly) 1300/550. Huh? Anyway, it makes building units and buildings very slow and tedious.
- I like the new starting conditions (Arcane Arrow/Teleport immediately available, weaker MOBs, etc.). It makes wandering around in the early part of the game more fun.
- Even when I build studies and have a library or two, the tech tree gets awfully tedious as the game progresses. Combined with the pop problem above, it led me to abandon several games as being just too boring to continue.
-- I don't see any improvements in overall strategic options. Neighbors ask to marry your kids, then say, "Why would I let my kids marry yours?" Neighbors ask for tribute -- you're only two options appear to be pay or go to war. Interactions with other kingdoms feel awfully shallow compared to GalCiv, Civ, FFH2, etc.
IMHO, YMMV. ..bruce..