There are points to be made for both sides and it is up to Stardock to consider both sets and make the correct decision. I do hope they pay more attention to beta test feedback with Fallen Enchantress than they did with the abyssmal War of Magic.
God I find that last comment obnoxious.
You learned the wrong lesson from WOM. If you think WOM would have been a great game had we just thrown in more forum goer ideas you are mistaken. A lot of what was wrong with the WOM design was because its design, which started out as basically MOM, slowly mutated based on endlessly throwing in user ideas to the point that the underlying engine wasn't able to handle anything particularly well.
How do you think we got quests and dynasties and multi-tile cities in the first place? Those were user requests.
As a reminder: Here's an image from the original design document for Elemental:
What does that look like?
Take that start and start adding fan suggestions without a disciplined design or development process and you get WOM. So that I'm clear here, WOM didn't live up to its potential because Stardock's games unit didn't have a proper software development process. But the design of the game itself was the result of me wanting MOM plus me and the team slowly adding more fan requests into the design.
Sure, they may not have been your requests but the story of WOM's design wasn't Stardock didn't listen.
With FE, we have a fantastic game designer on hand to create an amazing game - Kael. And as if that's not enough, he's able to bounce ideas off of Jon Shafer whose office is next door and then get daily feedback from me.
The development for FE has the best of both worlds: A proper development process + the GalCiv II development team (who were working on Impulse during WOM).
My point is, we're not using the community as an ad-hoc design committee. The beta has been very successful so far because we've been able to get feedback on balance, stability, and weaknesses in the current design and evaluate ways to improve the game design that we already have.