Quoting Twohawks, reply 15We need to keep in mind that the game was not intended at first to have MP..
Which, I think, is the right decision because the majority of people who play turn-based 4x strategy games play single player. You can't just take the single player experience and add multiplayer because that doesn't produce optimal gameplay (even though some people think this is what they want), and the last thing Stardock wants to hear is how dull, lethargic, and poorly balanced online play is. There is going to be some compromise one way or the other, and Stardock is trying to make the one that will have the most positive benefits.
This post uses some bad logic which kind of epitomizes the problem here. Yes, it's true that most people are in it for the single player. But those people are then by definition not the customer base for multiplayer - you want to design multiplayer for those people who actually want to play multiplayer. It's the same thing for modding tools - most of us aren't going to use them, and all the showing of the code used for modding that Brad has done doesn't interest most of us at all. But he's doing exactly the right thing, because that stuff DOES interest that subset of people who want to mod.
The point is that multiplayer is for the people who want multiplayer, not for the lowest common denominator that doesn't care about it. It's condescending to say that people essentially don't know what they want and what they will enjoy. I'm someone who enjoyed three day sessions of Hotseat MOO2 and HOMM, and this was simply the single player experience with added multiplayer, in a far more klugy format than Elemental could ever be. Those folks who actually want to play multiplayer tend to be more of those who enjoy the big messy hairball of the game, not those who are interested in 'streamlining'.
By the way, I would be delighted to be wrong, and to discover that the streamlined multiplayer is in fact awesome, and that what has been removed is simply stuff unnecessary or inappropriate for multiplayer. What has me be nervous/suspicious of what Brad says is fun in multiplayer is that he doesn't seem to be someone who particularly likes big, hairy, turn-based multiplayer games, and thus he may be speaking from a desire for speed and simplicity that I don't share. We shall see!