From the GameShark interview:
Yeah.. I’m not a good advocate for multiplayer.. I love multiplayer in, say, StarCraft II, but in turn-based strategy games… basically we put it in because some people like it a lot. Some people imagine that multiplayer should be like the single-player game with humans in it, but our play-testing on it found that that isn't fun at all. So what we've been doing with the multiplayer is really streamlining it so that players get a different technology tree that focuses on the parts that are the most fun in multiplayer. It kind of moves the game along a little better.
Please at least consider having the "full" game/tech trees as a game option when hosting a MP game, don't arbitrarily limit my options. This is honestly the first thing I've heard about Elemental that has really put me off, as it's a trend in the Strategy market that drives me nuts. East India Company only having skirmish battles for MP, the Total War game not having the campaign be multiplayer, etc.
I understand that playtesting is important, and they want to have the game be fun out of the box. However, please allow this as a game option checkbox. My friends and I want the full experience, we don't need stripped down, streamlined, or anything like that. We play games like Fall From Heaven 2 and Europa Universalis 3 together, I think we'd be okay with the full SP tech trees.
Granted the quote above is a bit short on concrete details, but I really hope Stardock reconsiders this, adds it as a game option, or at least has it easily modable, otherwise that's very disappointing.