It is not my intention to get people riled up, but I fear folks might, but hear me out, I'm stating this for the benefit of all of this company's fans and supporters as well as the company it self. I also realize some of this will come off like bitching, but honestly, I did pay for at least that privilege.
I have tried and tried to play and enjoy this game and I haven't been able to because of how broken of a game it is, there are dozens upon dozens of in your face, obvious game-breaking issues with this game, it's evident all over the forums and in each and every session of the game I've played. The game release has been an utter failure, the subsequent patches have done some but not nearly enough to fix the game into a playable fashion. If I try really hard, yes, I can 'play' the game, but that's about a kin to me making up the rules or interpreting what I can out of all that is broken, it requires far more suspension of disbelief than I have to muster, I paid to not have to TRY and enjoy myself, and yet, I'm forced into a situation where it's all I can do or go play another game, or lurk on these forums, half-laughing, half-cringing at some of the similar experiences of others who forked down the same money (if not more for the LE edition). The fact that we have a thread where someone has mentioned that the forums are more fun than the game (and the mere fact that I have to actually agree with the statement) is really quite sad.
In every thread of someone complaining, there seems to be a fan, that die-hard 'Stardock is the darling of the gaming world' fan that shows up and demands that the person not just complain but offer up constructive criticism, suggest what should be fixed and then usually throw in, 'it will be patched in time, you just have to wait for them to patch it, this game will be great in X weeks/months/years, after an expansion or two, when the mod tools work, when this or that is fixed, etc.'
Normally, I would agree (to constructive criticism), it's generally not a good idea to just complain and not try to suggest a way to resolve the problem, but, now, after this much frustration with a clearly broken product that I cannot and will not recommend to anyone, it's an insult to suggest that any paying customer put up with this, not be allowed to vent and to advise or suggest that they give up suggestions, ideas on how something should work or pointing out the flaws in the game, why? Simple, we aren't Stardock employees, we don't get our paychecks from Stardock and on top of it all, we PAID Stardock money for a product and I feel as though these fans and Stardock think it is up to the community to fix THEIR problems. We're expected to pay our own money to help them do their job to fix the broken product we bought, that, is nothing but an insult.
At this point, my suggestions and frankly I suggest anyone else's suggestions and ideas and error dumps not be given so easily to Stardock, it might fly in the face of many but, at this point, my ideas and suggestions come at the cost of a consultation fee and it's not cheap because I don't enjoy it, I especially don't enjoy explaining having an issue only to be met with someone expecting an error dump, had this company some foresight, they could easily implement something that just sent the error dumps back to their offices, but no, it's this manual process we all have to go out of our way to do and for what? Forgive me if I have better things to do with my life, than help you fix your problems, I didn't pay for a game so that I could do work, least of all, your work.
I tried guys, I did, I sang your praises at the beginning, I read that review (that bit knocking Brad was wrong, the rest, was on target) originally and my mouth dropped, there's no way Elemental is that bad, I drank the kool-aid for the last 12 months, I was in denial last week. It is that bad. I hope others wake up as well, the market dictates what a successful product is, not pilfering your fans for free testing, bug reporting, ideas, etc. That's an insult to any paying customer. I wouldn't mind helping and suggesting if 90% of the game worked, I get it, software rarely is released without a few issues, but this is really bad, it's broken, I can't enjoy anything all I can do is laugh, at it, not with it. It's bad.
For all those supporters of the company, you guys are the true unsung heroes, you guys, sadly will probably be the ones who do end up getting this game where it needs to be. I know many people will probably still support Stardock in full (that's cool, your loyal, I respect that, hell I still like the company and it's general attitude, just feel really burned on this one), I don't expect my post to deter anyone but rather to put it in perspective, don't give your time freely for too long, your ideas, efforts and time are worth more than you realize and unless you truly enjoy submitting error dumps and reporting issues, don't feel obligated to do so, you paid for a game not to do their work and not to sit around for months discussing it, waiting for it to finally hit that 'finished' state.