5. Make sure the player is having fun, not the designer/computer.
It doesn't mean that if suddenly most of the players of this forum want the game to be turned into an FPS, Stardock should do as people here (which is just a small part of the people who will play the game) says.
Stardock offers an idea. And while they are nice enough to let us influence it, only them have the right to finally decide how it must be. And it's their duty to make sure that what they offer us is fun for us. So if they say: "You get 6 human factions and 6 fallen factions, all of the mechanically different.", they must make sure that we have fun playing those races they provided us.
8. Make it Epic
This game (or any other) doesn't need more races to be epic. That's nothing but a totally biased an unfair opinion based on the desire to play different races. Master of Orion III must be epic just for having multiple races. Oh, wait, wasn't it a bad game? And surely Civ IV cannot never be epic because it only has humans that play mostly the same.
But here we are again with a topic of: "This game must have A, B, C or it'll suck." (not literally but the spirit is the same).
For those of us who have dreamed about a truly worthy spiritual successor of MoM, we won't get it commercially the way this is going.
If you won't get it commercially, how will you get it? Or maybe you really wanted to say that you won't get it at all?
Aaaaaanyway, sometimes I wish Stardock added different races to the game but made them work exactly as the humans. Seriously. The people only cares about there being different races after all, right? The correct answer would be no. Smart people wants factions that play differently. That's what really matters. Oh yeah, if they can get those differences in different envelopments (races) then the better. But different playstyles will beat number of races any day.
And it's quite tiresome how people fool themselves about how if they are no many races (species actually, unless people talks about having arians, asians...) the game cannot be fun, how it cannot be epic, how it's going to suck and how Stardock don't care. Not everything is the frakking Lords of the Rings, a Dungeons and Dragons book or any other book with lots of "races". The Trilogy of Darwath, Paladin, The Ladies of Mandrigyn, The History of the Runestaff, The Time Master Trilogy, Mirage... there many fantasy books that don't depend of multiple races to be good, interesting and/or epic. In fact, although some of those might have some non human elements (like the dark creatures of The Darwath Trilogy) but they are human focused. And the same can be applied to games.
Stardock has a story they want to develop for this game and it emplies humans and fallens. If they really want to make a good job with it, they need to focus on it and not in what some players define as "fun" and "epic". "Spiritual sucesor of MoM" is not the same as "MoM2 in disguise so Atari doesn't sue us.". Let them work in their vision instead of twisting it to match other different vision. Some time ago it was said that non creatures would be available for sandbox but not campaign, so we might no need so much mods for some "traditional" fantasy races. And expansion packs are assured as long as people are not closed minded zealots. Oh, those would be a minority so at least a expansion pack is mostly assured. And if Gal Civ II's expansion packs are an indication, expansions for Elemental will redefine the word "epic".