Looking at the rules, options and choosing what "I" think will be a good 'build' - then playing it out
Starting with a powerful 'me' that I can then further customize with a bit of experience based on what I need. Do "I" need to be a research machine? A solo quester? Heavy movement to get more things done? Heavy defense where I can tank and have a bunch of ranged? Can "I" sacrifice mobility for some other benefit? How do "I" want to play this game.
Making those decisions and having them mean something - super powerful but takes forever to get anything done, weak but empowers multiple other actions, somewhere in the middle,etc.
Same with the empire - do I min/max with dramatic weaknesses to allow dramatic benefits and hope the benefits outweigh the negatives in the long run?
Sadly, while I save/reload - its not 'FUN', but it leads to 'Fun' by fooling myself that I didn't save reload to get to the result I wanted...
Real variety in choices - which race? which building? which weapon? Do I go left or right... if left, right closes. Oops (maybe a save/reload in there depending).
Losing is fun if it is not long term detrimental. I'll say it. I want my 'big guys' heroes and such to survive. LH has a great mechanism for that. I can have a hero die and its not a definite reload. Warlock... yeah, I'll reload.
I like uber loot. I like game changing loot that makes hero #5 REALLY special. Now he can fly, teleport, kill anything in one hit..etc. At the same time I'm ok with negatives to offset power. He can fly but has no defense, he can teleport but then can't act for two turns, he can kill anything but is reduced to 1 hp and is stunned for 2 turns, etc.
Incremental improvements are BORING... 2% increase to blah blah blah is important and a good long term decision, but...boring. I like "heartrender - can rend any heart from afar, but the damage applied is then applied to the caster - i.e. Do 120 hp in damage, take 120 hp in damage" (not necessarily more than an example).
Random events are fun - as long as the good are on par with the bad at least over the course of many games. it would be 'fun' to get a bunch of good events in a row. Hell, its 'fun' to get a terrible event that doesn't affect you and validates a prior choice. All undead, based on mana - world event that all food is halved and all mana doubled - hell ya.
Off to play warlock 2. Still, this is one of the few forums I visit regularly looking for updates.