I just heard about Elemental two days ago, and already I've become entranced with the possibilities of this game. It is obvious that a tremendous amount of excitement and work is going into it through the Beta. The forums are humming and there are lots of great journal entries.
But that is only if you're willing to dig through the mounds and mounds of inconsistent updates, forum topics, and journal entries. A less dedicated gamer would just look at the official website, see that its messy, slightly incoherent, and that it gives no firm feeling for the game and dismiss it.
This is very discouraging because it looks like this will be a fantastic game. A little more polish and attention for the website would really help draw in new eyes.
Here are a few things I noticed:
a ) The 'home tab' brings you to a block of text with some art thrown on it. It looks like the homepage of a talented mod group, not a professional game.
b ) The Lore tab has no design consistency. Some buttons bring up text, some new windows, some more buttons that link to pictures. Regularize this! The buttons should also be in a sensible order to draw a player in: background first, then details. The links provided are in no chronological or any-logical order.
c ) The gameplay tab is very nicely laid out until you click on the buttons, which then take you to content that looks like journal entries. I understand that the game is still very much in flux, but to introduce people who aren't willing or able to dig into the forums, you need a lighter clearer touch.
d ) The whole cloth-map zooming to normal map zooming to detailed map with tactical map thrown in isn't highlighted strongly enough without digging in and reading. This is a really fun concept, make a bigger deal of it!
Am I just crazy? Does the website need more love, or can it wait until closer (or after) release? I really like Stardock and want the best for their games and I think a little improvement on the website could pay off in the long run. So what do you guys think?