Indeed the praise is well deserved. FE is turning out GREAT. As a Veteran of WoM though I do have a few small complaints I hope will be addressed before the release build. Here are my suggestions.
1. Put the Dynasty System BACK IN, please. The Dynasty System was one of the best things about WoM. It made WoM stand out and it's absence is definitely missed by many I think in FE. It could use a few tweaks from it's iteration in WoM. It shouldn't be used as a General Factory. I think being able to get married and have children and then to use those children either as Generals or as bargaining chips for diplomacy should DEFINITELY be included in FE.
2. There are some graphical errors that appear in the FOW that are very distracting. It makes the lights in the FOW look pretty bad. These should be hidden if possible until the player actually reaches that spot on the map.
3. Intelligence should grant Some Kind of Damage bonus for mage characters. Basing almost all the damage off of just how many shards you control and maybe a magical weapon isn't enough. By mid game and into late game warrior characters are far more powerful than mages in terms of damage. Of course I'm not saying mages should necessarily able to do as much damage as a warrior with a melee weapon, but there is a definite gap and spell damage should be increased slightly IMO. Intel should grant at least a small damage bonus for spells cast by the mage.
4. (this is probably a bug) I notice a city only gets bonuses from the one tile it's founded on and not from any of the other tiles that you put buildings on. I would assume that all the tiles used that are built on should provide their bonuses to the city.
Congrats are WELL Deserved for FE so far. I played it until 5 o'clock this morning, slept for a little over 4 hours, and now I'm about to start playing again. FE is infinitely more fun than WoM and if you weren't already giving it to me I'd gladly shell out a good $30 or $40 bucks for it. It's really fun. Well done all around to Derek and all the team that made this happen.