I really wanted to like Elemental, and at first I actually did--the level of customization is pretty impressive, the lore seems interesting from what little I can glean of it, and the graphics give it its own style. But I just bought it two days ago, and I've already uninstalled it. This is, as the title suggests, the shortest time I've ever given a game before giving up on it. For posterity, and in the hopes that maybe the problems will one day get fixed so my forty dollars won't have been completely blown, I'd like to tell you why.
There are numerous little touches that are either done poorly or missing, for one thing. I've already covered some of them over in the "Ideas" forum, but I've uncovered at least as many more since that post, so I'll just summarize a few of the more glaring ones: factions shouldn't need to pay for the option to have female units, I should be able to customize individual unit colors during the design process, I should be able to replace or retire the peasant class if I darn well feel like it thank you, I would like the ability to recruit creatures in the same way I recruit champions (as it stands, champions are pretty dull), mounts and non-human units should have customization options as well, and most importantly there should be the option to play against the factions you come up with. Seriously, the others I can basically get over, but the lack of that last one is just downright inexcusable.
But most of that I could have forgiven, I guess. I could have waited for patches, or third-party modifications and such. What actually got me to quit were the bugs. Oh god the bugs. Why oh why is my faction history erased when I scroll through the flag selection? Why does the turn randomly refuse to end until I manually skip every unit's turn? Why does my newly-minted Sovereign not show up in the roster of available Channelers until I restart the game? But it wasn't an in-game bug that killed it for me, though--it was an out-of-game bug. See, I figured I'd try out the hardware mouse option, since I've heard that games eat up less memory that way. Seemed to be working great--until I finished Sovereign and Faction creation and actually started the game. Then I couldn't select units, and when I tried to turn the hardware option off my cursor vanished completely and I had to shut down the game without saving because I couldn't navigate the menu anymore.
That's not the kicker, though; the best part is the reason that I call it an out-of-game bug. It actually screwed up how my mouse functioned outside the game. My scroll wheel started working like a set of navigation buttons in Firefox, clicking on icons in Windows randomly selected multiple icons, and I couldn't restart through the Start Menu; I had to do it through the task manager instead. That cleared the problem up, but yeah: I uninstalled Elemental before I rebooted, and I don't plan on reinstalling it any time soon.
Overall, I'm completely disappointed and disenchanted with my purchase. Up until everything went horribly wrong, I liked (most of) the game, and I was even working on a couple of ideas for the spell design contest. As it stands, though, I don't see much of a point in coming up with new content until the old content is actually working the way it should. I expected a lot more from the Galactic Civilizations crowd. I'm sorry if I sound bitter, but I guess I am a little bitter.
In all sincerity, though, I wish the developers the best of luck in fixing this game and I hope everyone else has fun with it in the meantime.