Agreed. I would rather see this game push boundaries and experiment rather than fall back on dull systems used in every other game in the genre. Elemental does not need to be Civ IV with magic. I don't know why so many people seem to want that
I'd dare to say that a lot more people find Civ 4 fun then find Dwarf Fortress fun.
I think Stardock should let us play each of the original camp ideas in the beta builds (when they get more stable so people can't use bugs as an excuse ) and I guarantee you that people would find camp 1 (or something similar to it) a whole lot more refreshing in the end. Yea, it may look complex on paper, but once you get the hang of it, it turns into depth. Just like with Dwarf Fortress, use the wiki while you play and you can sort through the "complexity" and find the magic in it.
You're right, the forum crowd will like it. But we already know that, there's no need to delay the game another month to rewrite the economy a few more times in order to figure it out.
I'd also say that it's not a lot of depth that it adds, but a lot of logistics management. At some point I want to go raise armies and level terrain with volcanoes, not tell the game to move Iron from city X to city Y so I can build more helmets.
Other games get old because the simplicity makes them repetitive. Dwarf Fortress can never get old, and will live on indefinitely because its different all the time, and the immersion allows for different stories to be crafted every time. The depth is so much greater than a game like Civ could ever create. Because take the economies in both games for example, DF would be considered "complex" but is different every time you play. Products have different values, and rarity. When you find a supply of something special you know it could be gone, you have a limited supply. Civ has a simple system. You find it once and you have it forever unless someone takes it. No values, no certain amount and it all turns out to be boring as hell to play by the end game. Both games have depth, but the complex system stays interesting throughout a play through.
Tell me how many times you've quit Civ cuz after a while it just got boring..? I know I do. Every time I finish a play through of DF I am left feeling a sense of awe and my mind is still racing with imagination of the world I was playing in. That's what Elemental needs to create, and That's what a sophisticated, well engineered (NOT simple) economy can supply.
It's a niche game. It serves that niche very well, and has exactly zero appeal outside of fans of that niche. (Also, the 1Z economy looks a good deal different then Civ 4, primarily because there isn't infinite iron for all eternity from a single mine. Global storage is a lot more interesting, if the numbers are tweaked right.)