Just my general impression after playing the game through several times. Two things stand out most prominently-
The game is fun. It really is.
This game is not nearly finished. It's extremely buggy, the ai is pathetic and a lot of things don't make sense.
All stats and abilities should be displayed. Particularly of note- dodge/miss, sovereign abilities such as organized, mana/health regen and wisdom (can be seen in combat, but should be displayed alongside other stats on character sheet.) It's hard to tell what a unit is worth or how to use it when important information is hidden. Sometimes units with higher attack rain arrows down on units with lower defense, but still miss six times in a row, or only deal one damage. This makes no sense unless there is some sort of additional hidden stat adjusting the battle. If it exists it should be displayed.
Champions that are royalty say they improve your prestige, but don't. This is confusing. Similarly, thieves/etc. I don't think champion class actually affects anything, ever. Not sure if this is a bug, or the champions would be overpowered if they could take advantage of their class (though champions seem a little weak.) Anyway, units shouldn't say or infer that they have abilities that they don't have, it's confusing.
Please give me an option to disable unit auto design. I like keeping careful control over my unit design, and I don't like cleaning out a giant mess of automatically generated units every turn.
Pariden's Return says you can only summon 1 titan, but I've summoned multiple. Could be bug, but as it stands the spell isn't that strong, so I assume it's an incorrect or confusing description.
What does Moria's book of spells (or whatever the spell book you get from adventure is called) do? When you receive the book and when you research spells accessed through it, it should tell you so.
More fanfare when a child comes to age. Especially late in, children can be extremely powerful and I don't like missing it when one becomes usable.
You should be able to edit Sovereigns after you design them.
In tactical combat, the chance of hit, and average damage should be displayed when you hover the attack icon over a target.
Arrows need to hit their targets faster. Archery based armies can take a long time in battle.
Suicidal sovereign charges are suicidal. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to survive in enemy territories, so the computer should never enter enemy zones, and if it finds itself inside one it should teleport to safety.
On that note Ai doesn't use magic enough. Most importantly the computer doesn't teleport at all. Teleportation gives players such an extreme advantage over computers that it's generally impossible to lose.
AI's declare war on me, but never attack me with a single unit. I can just ignore their declarations of war and they'll leave me alone anyway. Sometimes my sovereign is wandering around in the middle of enemy territory, surrounded by units much stronger than it, but the AI still does nothing and ignores me. This makes it very easy to prey on weakly held cities while bypassing the strongly held ones. The AI must be much more aggressive to be taken seriously.
Similarly, the AI doesn't seem to pursue the spell of making or the master quest, so I can always be assured that however slowly and inefficiently I play, there is no risk of defeat. I should be constantly worrying about what the other kingdoms are doing while I wander around killing trolls or making 'the perfect unit' by clicking end turn 100 turns in a row.
(bug?) tactical enchants (namely haste) stack indefinitely, and don't wear out at the end of combat. As such, I can get 6 casters together, cast 12 haste spells on any decent unit, while fighting a bandit or what have you, and then cast deflect at the start of the next fight, and kill virtually any army before it can move.
I can summon a vigilant demon and have it attack an enemy on its own, doing 20 damage to all enemies with two arcane explosions (assuming I have any + essence effects), then, when it dies, I can repeat this at the cost of 5 mana each until my mana pool is empty.'5 mana, deal 20 damage to target stack, usable any number of times per turn', seems a little strong, especially compared to other spells like stone rain that does around 15 damage if it hits at all, and can't be spammed. A 1 turn cooldown on summon spy would make sense.
Giving tons of items to champions. This strategy isn't something I dislike (in fact, it's currently necessary in order for champions to be end game viable.) but wearing 25 backpacks makes no sense. Champions need access to extremely powerful artifacts, that would be priced accordingly, instead of buying absurd numbers of items. That said, champions with absurd amounts of +move are overpowered, not to mention annoying. If I give 6000 gold to a champion, it can go into the wilds and kill neutrals for an income of around 3k a turn.This strategy feels very much like grinding and can make the turns take forever.
If you give a champion a ring of essence, you can then improve his essence stat whenever he levels. Using this, you can create any number of champions with essence, using just one ring.
Disbalance to expectation-
Ice lords and fire giants seem to be the strongest summons (ignoring summon spy, demonic ally and Pariden's return), despite not being the most expensive. On the other hand the minor elementals are all more expensive and weaker. Summons would probably be too strong if all summons gave the same value per mana as ice lords do, and would be too weak if ice lords were weaker, but it would make sense to weaken ice lords and fire giants and distribute the power to the minor elementals.
Children should not come with 1 combat speed. A unit that is so deeply complicated to get should not be the slowest unit in my army.
Children should be more consistent in power level, or the power level they receive should be explained somewhere ingame. As of now, sometimes the children come with hundreds of essence and sometimes they have 15 or so. Their levels of mana regeneration similarly vary wildly- not sure why they do regenerate mana.
Winning the game is rather unilateral. In Master of Magic people would try to stop you from casting the spell of mastery- however, with the spell of making you just win all of a sudden. It would be more interactive if researching the spell of making caused a announcement of your actions to all the other players and gave you a -5 diplomatic relation penalty for each ai.
The master quest is too easy relative to the difficulty of learning. The enemies in the master quest should at least be able to take down the dragon you receive in the questline previous to the master quest.
Random guardians are too weak after city level 2. Even the city level 2 guards are a little weak.
Materials aren't valuable enough. Material costs should be increased so that having an old growth forest actually means something. It would help if vengeance coating actually worked. More items like it would also make sense.
Iron is not often the limiting reactant. Considering how many abilities revolve around producing extra iron (Faction/Sovreign bonuses) if you produce an army consisting entirely of iron using units you should run out of iron before you run out of gold.
Diplomatic capital is too hard to force focus on. A strategy revolving around building huge sums of diplomatic capital is not currently viable without scenic views, which are rather rare (therefore random) A sovereign ability similar to naturalist might make sense. More buildings that affect diplomatic capital would also make sense.
Elementium is too difficult to use. A squad of 12 elementium equipped units is virtually impossible to build, but the benefits are too small to make a non 12man group viable.
Neutral hostiles attack your resources. This doesn't actually matter, because rebuilding the resources is much cheaper than guarding them. However, tracking down what particular resource was destroyed is annoying.
Neutral hostiles sometimes attack towns, occasionally with extremely strong forces. Why? It seems too random.
There is virtually no point in maintaining more than one army on the entire map. It is impossible to guard against neutral hostile invasions of distant cities because there's no way you'd even notice their approach. With +movement, organized, and teleport, non-sovereign/champion led units are too slow to be used in any circumstance.
It is virtually impossible to pay the wages for the diplomatic units, which just end up deserting you after taking all of your gold. Conquest is just as useless, because the training time is like 70 turns and the game will be over by then. Summoned units, adventure-rewards, champions and crystal-empowered units are simply stronger.
The computer fails to recognize just how powerful I am. Even though I can easily beat them in a war, they insist I'm far too weak to engage diplomatically. This is frustrating because it means everything must be settled via the sword. I once had 36 young dragons and 36 archers and I was told 'my army is far stronger than yours.' I just don't buy that.
If by playing a battle out, I can avoid any losses, why does auto resolve result in losses? Can't the AI fight effectively enough to mimic the same tactics I employed in battle to escape harm? The same for auto resolve recklessly wasting mana when it didn't need to. If auto resolve costs too many resources to use, it may as well not even exist, but it is necessary to exist because fighting every last troll and wolf is boring.