Not only do I get to experience most of the "normal" Elemental bugs and issues, but because my rig is slightly under the system reqs, I get to see some really weird graphical fireworks (already posted about it on the support forum) , and the game still could certainly use quite a bit of re-balancing, tweaking, and perhaps major changes to some systems to achieve its true potential. But with all that, I am already enjoying it more than many games that have received some of the best review scores ever, such as Civ IV, for example.
"Sure, the game needs a total redesign, but right now it's great!"
Its basic premise, that of an RPG-type character in an RPG-type world but with empire building elements is just pure genius,
"I've never heard of Master of Magic, Age of Wonders, or even Heroes of Might and Magic."
and if Stardock are as committed to it as they have stated, I get all tingly just thinking about this game in a year's or two year's time (or maybe even Elemental 2, with all the Elemental's lessons learned).
"I regret buying this game and am trying my best to support my cognitive dissonance with Stardock's help."
But even now, after patch 1.08, the gameplay is already picking up, and it's very nice to see the game take major steps forward with every patch (and some minor steps backward ). Keep up the good work, Stardock. I think a lot of people criticize these guys without considering their situation and the current state of the industry.
"I understand the QA process even worse than Stardock."
Most games today are derivative, simplistic corporate money-makers aimed at the mainstream and boasting ever improving graphics and little else. Anyone who tries to make innovative or ambitious games, on the other hand, usually struggles to some degree, because innovation and ambition are inherently difficult, and because they cannot match the resources of an EA or Activision-Blizzard.
"I have absolutely no clue that Elemental was advertised as Master of Magic, a 15 year old game, with better graphics."
I believe I read somewhere that Elemental's entire team is like twenty people. So you can't really expect them to make something as complex as Elemental and have it be perfect right away. As long as they are committed to improving it, we owe them some patience.
"I am totally comfortable with spending my money on an unfinished product. And if I keep telling myself that, I might start believing it."