I posted recently that I voted poor and gave my reasons. That thread is shut down now though, so I can't post my follow up thoughts there. I did not like it much on my first game, the second got better when I discovered a scrap yard and had several random events transpire. Then I updated again and played through an entire large map on easy in one sitting with no crashes! For the first time in FE beta I was excited while playing the game. I think that one thing that changed for me was after watching videos of others playing I changed my game play style a bit. I also learned a bit on how to rush production and get several cities with outposts out there despite the monsters. There are still many issues, but I am pleased with the experience I had.
The main things I noticed while playing are how different play style is beginning to end game. In the beginning there is lots of up close battles with lots of micromanagement. Learning a new spell or gaining equipment means something huge that you can see, the damage numbers getting bigger, being able to fell cooler monsters. But sometimes you get stuck, maybe that is just the randomness of the game. Get a bad map and you can only explore so far before the monsters are unbeatable, then you have to hit enter 300 times before you can venture out again. Then, in late game, there is just so much going on, especially with a large map, that it is nearly impossible to think about everything at once (whereas your AI opponent has no problems with this). This is why I am so thankful for alternate paths to victory, and being able to demand surrender! When I met Tarth, their faction power was 500 and mine was 370ish, about 200 turns or more later they had 300 and I had 700. What had happened was, all the Factions spawned in the northern half, more or less. Tarth conqured the ENTIRE south and western parts of the map before I finished everyone else in the Northeast quarter. How I won was by raising mountains across all the paths to my continent except one that would not close cause the roads and forest were being jerks like that. Then I took my OP sovereign and his band of summons and champions, all buffed out to the max (getting like +40 mana per turn at this point), and I went city to city capturing and razing them. Eventually he would come behind me and invade my turf and I'd have to take my cities back, but I had a guy with wind step or whatever so that helped a LOT. Also, things like earthquake and firestorm are great for softening up enemies and just feeling BA. The one thing I would like is even more OP mana sucking nukes to drop on guys within your area of influence. You can defend with better armies, or just a huge frikkin mana pool and impossibly high level spells.
Okay, onto more concise points not that I've got that out of system.
- Early game needs more work, I think a few more simple/easy quests that are still "fun" (not just killing rats) and more low level monsters to grind on. That way you are always doing something till you've leveled up to where you can face more powerful things. Maybe have something like a wolves den, the den would be far enough off to allow for decent expansion before getting to it, the den itself would be guarded by some high level boss type wolves, but it would spawn little packs every few turns to harrass your outlying villages. Strong enough to be annoying, but not strong enough that a few guards can't fend them off till your sovereign can come clean them up. I don't know... I guess this sorta already happens, maybe just not on my settings.
- late game, bigger spells! Magic is amazing, and getting better every update, but I still think there could be more... but that's just me. I like big booms.
- Late game, maybe work on some of the UI and being able to automate things like city building. I find that anything more than 3 major cities and I lose all focus and just set each to build everything it can and get crazy with the return key. I mean, I would not mind it if I could turn on an AI that auto explored areas and settled everything for me so I didn't have to, or something. Not a game breaker if this can't be done, and I'd rather it not be there than be done poorly, if you know what I mean. But I guess I'm lazy and sometimes want to just fight, or control my sovereign, not manage 13 cities and dozens of armies.
- This is more of a late game problem, but seen in all of it. It is hard to sort of close off areas. I play defensively, I like to funnel my enemy through heavily defended chokepoints. So far, the only way to do that is to stretch out cities in key areas, and make fences out of mountains hoping the AI does not wise up in an update or two and flatten those walls. Really, what would be cool, is if outposts could become forts or something with maybe a few expansions of their own, maybe the ability to attach to a resource tile like cities do, and put it inside it's walls, and then be able to station units inside that get defending bonuses.
- Oh, something else to note, the early game it is somewhat easier to see what the differences between factions are, but late game they tend to drown out as the battles just get to be huge and personally, I'm auto completing most of my battles. Like, I liked Magnar's slave armies, but I never used them after playing with the "gimmick" in the beginning because you're so limited to the size of your army. With the sovereign you can only have, what, 3 slave units before researching larger stacks? What I could do with three better units vs the slaves low cost thing was still more valuable to me. I think maybe it would take several play throughs to really understand the best way to play Magnar, or any of the races. But what I'd like to see is some really really unique looking stuff, like the Gilden golum unit. Visually very different (but disapointingly hard to get, did not find out I could make it till a few turns from winning)
All in all, I think a lot of the things I would want changed are already being worked on, I see good progress, can't wait till Beta 4