I personally cant think of a small game company I would be happier to support than Stardock. Why?
They care about their customers.
They are honest.
They provide oustanding support, ongoing addons, new features etc. The BIG ones should take notes from SD on this!
They aren´t your average: Hello Im Supportguys3221 how may I help you?...We are aware of that problem... . Have a nice day enjoying World of Schmockcraft... *cough*
Elemental for me is an interesting game, providing a platform for mods and learning development with, great to work with tools (kudos guys).
Needless to say that the game needs work, HOWEVER I and I assume many others would be happy to help SD out in anyway we can, be it adding stuff that is used in an official expansion, suggestion you get the idea. That is something I wouldn´t do to all Developers and SD is the reason.
I think it boils down to this:
People who are willing to support SD despite a rocky release, do care about the potential of smaller developers. Basically saying: so what if they had a rocky start, I want to support them.
And than you have the other guys. This could be me, but in my opinion those are mainly ppl of the younger generation, who do not know much about this industry and its origin. Having the impression all developers are either Blizzard, Activision, Sony or whatever.
Of course the pricetag didn´t do Elemental any favours for those guys.